September 7, 2014

Nurses Who Care the Most Likely to Quit Earlier

nurse%202.jpgNurses who care the most about their patients are at a higher risk of emotional stress and exhaustion, and ultimately burning out. Those surprising results of a new study find that nurses who are more dedicated to caring for patients and enter the health care profession because of a passion for caring for others seem to be too invested in their patients, and therefore are at a higher risk of exhaustion. These nurses are actually much more likely to leave the profession early.

Nursing is a demanding job. Nurses are a critical part of the health care system and keeping nurses motivated, healthy, and satisfied with their jobs can do a lot to help reduce the risk of medical errors involving nurses. Unfortunately, a number of distressing studies released over the past few years have pointed to flagging nursing motivation levels, poor health among nurses, and higher rates of burnout. Earlier this year research found that nurses often report low levels of motivation, because of lack of support in their job. In other cases, nurses reported being unappreciated, and suffer from too little sleep and irregular eating habits. As a result, their health suffered.

Now, a study that was published recently found that nurses, who entered the profession because of a passion for care giving were actually likely to have that passion backfire on them: These nurses were more likely to burn out. In contrast, nurses who entered the profession for other factors were more satisfied with their jobs and had a lower risk of leaving the profession.

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August 30, 2014

Drowsy Driving Prevention: Are You Making These Mistakes?

sleepiness.jpgThere is a silent killer which contributes to more than 100,000 accidents every year on American roads: Drowsy Driving.

A recent survey indicated exactly how uneducated and uninformed American motorists are about this important issue. The surveyors asked respondents how they combat fatigue at the wheel. The researchers found some surprising answers. Far too many American motorists are using ineffective strategies to combat sleepiness while driving. Some of the strategies include:
* Slapping one's face
* Splashing water on the face or neck
* Playing loud music
* Turning on the air conditioning
* Opening up the windows or sunroof
* Exercising
* Smoking

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August 23, 2014

Lowest-Performing Hospitals See Highest Rates of Child Birth Complications

dandelion.jpgIn spite of advancements in medical technology, childbirth continues to remain a hazardous procedure for American women. According to a new study, out of the approximately 4 million women who deliver a baby every year in this country, approximately 13% suffer at least one major complication.

For each of these 4-million women, the birth of a baby is a momentous occasion, and cause for celebration. However, very often things go wrong during the delivery. From failure to monitor maternal health and fetal progress to a failure to accurately identify the need for a C-section in time: any number of mistakes can be made during the delivery process. These errors contribute to serious injuries to the baby and the mother as well.

However, according to the study, those rates of complications vary significantly across the country. Compared to better-performing hospitals, the lowest-performing hospitals in the country are frequently the scene of higher rates of complications and errors. For example, according to the study, women who underwent cesarean sections at a lower-performing facility experienced complications including infections, clots, and lacerations at a rate that was five times the rate of higher-performing hospitals. At lower-performing hospitals, the rate for these types of complications was 21%. At the better hospitals, the complication rate was approximately 4.4%.

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August 16, 2014

Lack of National Outcry over an Increase in Truck Accident Fatalities

Truck%20wheels.jpgEven as federal transportation authorities have recorded consecutive drops in the number of traffic accident fatalities recorded across the United States, the number of truck accident fatalities has remained more or less consistent or has actually increased over the years. In spite of that fact, there is little action by the federal administration, and no national outcry demanding answers to questions of trust trucking safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2005 alone, there were 3,921 fatalities involving truck accidents. That same year, more than 100,000 people were injured, many of them seriously in truck accidents. That works out to an average rate of 10 fatal accidents, and more than 284 injuries in truck accidents every day. That's not the only bad news. Between 2009 and 2012, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration there was actually an 18% increase in the number of fatal attacks. During the same period of time, the numbers of fatal car accidents actually dropped by 1.74%, while the annual distance traveled by trucks dropped by 2.57%. Further, the number of trucks actually dropped by 2.86%. In other words, even as there was a drop in the total number of vehicle miles traveled and the number of trucks on the road, the trucks were still involved in a higher number of fatal accidents.

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August 2, 2014

Researchers Probe Vacuum Therapy for Brain Injury

brain.jpgInjury to the brain can be some of the most devastating trauma a person can suffer. One reason for this is that there remains no complete cure for a brain injury. In addition, successful treatment is heavily dependent on reducing damage after the injury has occurred. The smaller the subsequent damage, the greater the chance of reducing long-term effects. This is why a new study is so exciting. New research found that vacuum treatment used soon after a brain injury can help reduce the severity of the injury and promote recovery of the patient.

Researchers investigated the effects of using controlled vacuum or mechanical tissue resuscitation to heal sections of the brain damaged by injury. The researchers experimented with the therapy on swine that had localized, controlled brain injuries. Different levels of vacuum therapy were used and the resulting effects of the therapy were compared.

The investigators also focused on the effects of the use of mechanical tissue resuscitation after 3 or 5 days. They evaluated the effects of the therapy differed and how it differed when treatment was administered immediately or within three or six hours of the brain injury.

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July 12, 2014

Hospital Invests in Extra Pharmacists

pestle%20and%20mort.jpgMore than 7,000 people are killed every year in medication errors in hospitals. Many hospitals are struggling to minimize the risk of drug dosage, administration, and other errors in their facilities. One hospital, however, has invested heavily in increasing the number of pharmacists in its emergency department, with successful results.

At the Children's Hospital Medical Center in Dallas, all drugs that are administered in the emergency department first go through a pharmacist before they go to the patient. The pharmacist reviews the medication to make sure that the medication is the right one for the patient and that the dose administered is also correct. It is an expensive investment, but according to Children's Medical Center, the results have been very encouraging.

At the facility, there are currently 10 full-time emergency pharmacists. That is a higher number than any other hospital in the country. They are on call 24-hours a day. However, the hospital believes that it's worth the investment because of the reduction in the number of medication errors.

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July 5, 2014

FDA Lowers Recommended Dose of Sleep Aid to Prevent Drowsy Driving

pillow%20talk.jpgYou don't necessarily have to be sleep-deprived to fall asleep at the wheel causing an accident. If you are driving under the influence of some prescription medications, especially sleep medication or anti-depressants, you are just as likely to doze off while driving.

Sleep medications, antidepressants, hypertensives, and a range of other medications have known drowsiness-inducing properties. It's not just prescription drugs that can increase accident risks. Even over-the-counter medications, like cough and cold medications come with a high risk of causing the kind of drowsiness that many motorists tend to ignore.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was lowering the recommended starting dose for a sleep medication, because of studies that find an increased risk of drowsiness and impaired driving several hours after taking the medication. According to the Food And Drug Administration, its studies indicate that motorists who take the popular drug Lunesta continued to experience the depressing effects of the drug for several hours after they take the medication. For instance, a motorist who takes the drug before going to sleep, is likely to feel the effects of the drug even when he driving the next morning. The study found that the drug remained in the person’s system for as many as eight hours after taking the drug.

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June 27, 2014

Are You Aware of the Safety Risks with Your Used Car?

cars%20and%20cars.jpgThis year promises to be a record year for recalls. General Motors, on its own, has recalled more than 40-million cars in the first six months of this year alone, and promises to recall more in the months ahead. That is especially troubling news for buyers of used cars.

The country's largest seller of used cars is under the spotlight after a number of consumer groups petitioned the federal administration to take action against CarMax. These groups take objection to the company’s promise that all the cars that it sells are inspected regularly to ensure that defective cars are not sold to consumers. A coalition of eleven consumer groups has petitioned the Federal Trade Commission concerning this matter.

According to the petition, it is deceptive for the dealer to claim its vehicles have passed inspections while the company has not taken even the most basic steps to identify whether the car was previously involved in a safety recall, and whether safety defects have been addressed. It appears that CarMax does not fix recalls while continuing to claim that its cars have been inspected for safety. The Center for Auto Safety Consumers Union, the Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumer Law Center claims that CarMax’s promises are false.

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June 20, 2014

Morgan Accident Linked to Drowsy Driver

truck%20and%20sunset.jpgDriver fatigue is linked to a horrific traffic truck accident recently that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan, and killed one person in his car. The accident once again spotlights the urgent issue of truck driver safety, especially the need to establish rules that limit hours of service.

According to reports, the driver in this case was so drowsy that he was unable to control his speed in response to slow-moving traffic ahead. As a result, he veered out of control, and crashed into a limo carrying the actor and members of his staff. Morgan sustained critical injuries, and will need extensive hospitalization, rehabilitation, and therapy.

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun an investigation into the accident. The Board will soon come out with its report, and is likely to point to the role of driver fatigue in this accident.

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June 13, 2014

Senior Patients at High Risk of Medical Errors

old%20hands.jpg Far too many senior patients are at risk of suffering injuries as a result of medical errors, including medication errors and errors in treatment. According to a disturbing new study, as many as one in five Medicare patients find themselves suffering medical injuries that are unrelated to their disease or medical condition.

The results of the research were published recently in the journal, Injury Prevention. According to the researchers, some of these errors included giving the wrong type of medications, allergic reactions to certain prescription drugs, or giving treatment that actually complicated existing diseases or medical problems. Overall, these medical injuries were not the result of any underlying disease or medical condition that the patients suffered. The injuries were due to inadequate or incorrect medical care. Moreover, most of these injuries occurred not in the hospital but during outpatient care.

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June 7, 2014

Timing of Surgery, Hospital Admission Could Affect Patient Care

clock%20face%20326.jpgPatients, who are due for surgery or hospital treatment during certain times of the month, or even certain days of the week, have a much higher risk of dying. This phenomenon is called the "July Effect" in which patients are much more likely to be exposed to the risk of medical errors in the month of July as interns enter hospitals. A new study confirms that the risk of fatality after surgery is highest in the afternoons, on weekends, and when patients are admitted to a hospital in the month of February.

The study was presented recently at the European Society of Anesthesiology Meeting in Stockholm in Sweden. The researchers analyzed data involving 219,000 patients, who had surgical procedures between 2006 and 2011. They found in the analysis of the data that patients who had surgery in the afternoon, had a 21% higher likelihood of dying, compared to patients who had surgery during other times of the day.

Patients who had surgery on the weekend had a 22% higher likelihood of death, compared to those who had their surgeries on weekdays. February was also a deadly time to go to a hospital for surgery, or for any kind of treatment. Patients who underwent surgeries in February had a 16% greater likelihood of dying, compared to those who underwent surgery during the other months.

Earlier unrelated studies have indicated a higher risk of fatality for patients admitted into the hospital on weekends. This is because many of the top doctors and specialists may be off on weekends, and many hospitals operate with a skeletal staff on weekends. That means a patient may not receive the immediate care that he requires when he is seriously ill, or suffering from a medical emergency. It also means that the patient may not get the kind of specialized care that he needs.

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May 31, 2014

Teen Safety: Surviving The Deadliest Days of Summer

kids%20car%20keys.jpgThe “100 Deadliest Days of Summer” is not the title of a new blockbuster film playing at a theater near you. This is the term given to the period between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holidays which constitutes the hundred most dangerous days for teenage drivers. These are the days when a teenage motorist’s risk of being involved in an accident rises dramatically, especially when the teen is driving with passengers or driving aimlessly as teenagers often do during the summer months.

So, what can teenage parents do to keep their children safe during a season when teenagers are less likely to stay at home and are at a much higher risk of accidents when they do drive?

According to the AAA, an average of 261 teenagers dies every year during each of the summer months - May, June, July and August - in traffic accidents. That is an increase of 26% when compared with the death toll the rest of the year.

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