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March 5, 2013
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  Critical Care Update 
  • Colloids offer no benefits over crystalloids, study says
    Using colloids to resuscitate critically ill patients with significant blood loss did not lead to a lower risk of death when compared with using less-expensive crystalloids, U.K. researchers reported in the Cochrane Library. The review showed no benefits to using colloids and noted one colloid, hydroxyethyl starch, may increase the risk of death. Medscape (free registration) (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Continuous use of N95 masks protects against infection
    Clinicians who consistently wear N95 respirators are better protected against respiratory and bacterial infections, compared with those who use regular masks, according to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. However, the lead researcher said the benefits are only found when the masks are worn continuously, which many clinicians do not do. Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Stored red blood cells start to lose function after 3 weeks
    A study from Johns Hopkins University found that red blood cells stored longer than three weeks begin to lose the flexibility needed to carry oxygen through narrow capillaries. "There's more and more information telling us that the shelf life of blood may not be six weeks, which is what the blood banks consider standard," study leader Dr. Steven M. Frank said. The findings were published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia. Yahoo/Asian News International (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Medicine in the News 
  • Panel IDs 10 "strongly encouraged" patient safety schemes
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality published in a supplement in the Annals of Internal Medicine 10 strategies for improving patient safety that should be adopted immediately and an additional 12 strategies that are encouraged. Among those strongly encouraged for immediate use are preoperative and anesthesia checklists, hand hygiene, and interventions for reducing urinary catheter use. News (3/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CMS data show 70,000 fewer readmissions in 2012
    CMS data show 30-day readmission rates for Medicare patients dropped to 17.8% late in 2012 from an average of 19% over the preceding five years. The 70,000 fewer readmissions for 2012 show the Affordable Care Act is improving quality and slowing the growth in spending, Jonathan Blum, a CMS deputy administrator, told the Senate Finance Committee. Bloomberg (2/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Trends and Technology 
  • Virtual assistants to help docs boost care delivery, survey says
    A survey conducted by Nuance Communications found 80% of participating physicians said virtual assistants would alter the way they utilize health care applications and EHRs over five years. Doctors also said mobile virtual assistants could boost health care delivery by improving their access to patient data and giving them more time to spend with patients. Healthcare IT News (3/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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--Alexander Graham Bell,
Scottish-born American inventor

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