DARPA Wants Silly Putty for Serious Situations

From Medgadget:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is soliciting proposals to develop a “fracture putty” material that would be used for quickly repairing broken bones while providing cast-like support for the fracture.

DARPA wants to develop a dynamic, putty-like material which, when packed in/around a compound bone fracture, provides full load-bearing capabilities within days, creates an osteoconductive bone-like internal structure, and degrades over time to harmless resorbable by-products as normal bone regenerates. The agency believes that a successful “Fracture Putty” could rapidly restore a patient to ambulatory function while normal healing ensues, with dramatically reduced rehabilitation time and the elimination of infection and secondary fractures.

CPR Pad Makes Resuscitation as Easy as ABC

From Gizmodo:

This concept  is a gizmo which you’d have in a first aid kit to help you if someone collapses and needs CPR. You’d whack it on the chest of the ill person, line it up and follow its instructions. It flashes to give you proper timing, and clicks to let you know you’re using the right chest-compression pressure (it’s harder than you think). It looks pretty simple, and is exactly the sort of thing that might help save a few lives in an emergency.

Nonurgent use of emergency departments is targeted

From Modern Healthcare (free subscription required):

Two healthcare research organizations have joined forces to support an initiative that will test strategies to reduce nonurgent use of hospital emergency departments. The not-for-profit New England Healthcare Institute in Cambridge, Mass.—which conducts evidence-based research to influence policy change—and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, also in Cambridge, will work with hospitals and other healthcare sites to experiment with ways to decrease the use of emergency rooms for nonurgent purposes. The initiative’s research phase has been completed, and the organizations will meet with the healthcare sites in August. Strategy testing will begin in September, according to a spokeswoman for the New England Healthcare Institute.

AMA pushes coverage, access for uninsured

From Modern Healthcare (free subscription required):

Physicians at the American Medical Association’s annual meeting in Chicago voted to support an AMA proposal to cover the uninsured and to study the impact of free clinics on improving access to healthcare for the uninsured.

Joint Commission releases ’09 safety requirements

From Modern Healthcare (free subscription required)

The Joint Commission released new requirements for the 2009 National Patient Safety Goals, effective Jan. 1, 2010.

Updates were made to six of the 16 goals the commission wants facilities to focus on as they address patient-safety issues in their care programs. Major changes include how facilities prevent healthcare-associated infections under Goal 7, the commission said in a news release. The patient-identification Goal 1 was updated to eliminate transfusion errors and to increase patient involvement in their own care. Procedure-verification requirements also were added to the universal protocol Goal 16.

Facilities will have to pay significant attention to infection control. There are three new-hospital and critical-access hospital requirements under that goal to reduce multiple drug-resistant organisms, central-line and surgical site-associated infections. Ambulatory-care facilities, office-based surgery practices, home-care organizations and long-term-care organizations will have to follow requirements for central line-associated infections, as well. Preventing surgical-site infections also will be a new requirement for ambulatory-care facilities and office-based surgery practices under the updated goal.