Hospital's ICUs had 2.5 million monitor alarms in one month | Study shows increase in hospice use along with intensive care | Dental care for ICU patients may reduce infection risk
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October 24, 2014
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Critical Care Update
Hospital's ICUs had 2.5 million monitor alarms in one month
A study of five ICUs at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center found that more than 2.5 million alarms linked to patient monitoring devices went off in just one month. The alarm-fatigue study published in PLOS One found almost 89% of the more than 1.1 million alarms for heart rhythm problems were false alerts linked to computer errors. HealthDay News (10/22)
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Study shows increase in hospice use along with intensive care
An analysis of data involving nearly 7,000 older ovarian cancer patients found that access to hospice services increased in the last month of life from 1997 to 2007, as did intensive end-of-life care, including ICU admissions. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that terminal hospitalizations declined during the study period. When patients received hospice referrals, inpatients were more likely than outpatients to enroll within three days of death. News (10/22)
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Dental care for ICU patients may reduce infection risk
Study data show ICU patients who received enhanced oral care from a dentist had a 56% lower risk of respiratory tract infections than those who received usual care from an ICU nurse. The study in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology included 254 patients and suggested weekly dental care may improve outcomes for vulnerable patients. (10/22)
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Medicine in the News
Study: Nonprofit, for-profit hospitals give equal care
A study by Harvard University examining 237 nonprofit hospitals that converted to for-profit structures found that the quality of patient care did not change after the conversions. The study also discovered that converted for-profit hospitals generated more revenue than they did as nonprofits. U.S. News & World Report (10/21)
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Trends and Technology
IBM teams up with AirStrip, university to boost care of critically ill patients
IBM is partnering with AirStrip and the University of Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care to design mobile early warning solutions for treating critically ill patients. IBM will supply a streaming analytics tool to gather unstructured and structured data from sources including body sensors and EMRs. The platform will be intended to predict the life-threatening complication hemodynamic decompensation. mHealth News (10/23)
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Rapid test may predict whether a patient will develop sepsis
Canadian researchers have created a rapid test designed to assess whether patients will develop sepsis. Results are available within an hour, and it was effective in 96% of cases evaluated. "We identified a gene signature that is associated with the eventual diagnosis of sepsis and subsequent organ failure. We can test for this genetic signature as soon as the patient arrives in the emergency ward," researcher Bob Hancock said. The findings were reported in EBioMedicine. Sun News (Canada)/QMI Agency (10/23)
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Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."
-- Henry David Thoreau,
American writer and naturalist
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