Obama announces new veterans’ medical records system

From CNN.com

The federal government is establishing a new system for updating medical records of servicemen and women during and after their military careers, President Obama announced Thursday.

The joint virtual lifetime electronic record will, among other things, help ensure a streamlined transition of health care records between the Pentagon and the Veterans Administration.

It will provide “a framework to ensure that all health care providers have all the information they need to deliver high-quality health care while reducing medical errors,” the White House said in a background statement.

“When a member of the armed forces separates from the military, he or she will no longer have to walk paperwork from a [Defense Department] duty station to a local VA health center. Their electronic records will transition along with them and remain with them forever,” Obama said in remarks delivered near the White House.

Liquid Wound Closure

From Medgadget:

liquibandMedlogic Global Ltd. out of Devon, UK has been awarded a prize in the 2009 Medical Design Excellence Awards, in the Critical-Care and Emergency Medicine Products category. The winning product is LiquiBand® Optima wound-closure adhesive, a superglue for the skin. The product features strong, fast adhesion with no pain and some antibacterial properties, for easier application and avoidance of scars.

Quebec Lack of Air Transport Options

From CNN.com:

Natasha Richardson came to Mont Tremblant ski resort in eastern Canada last month for what was supposed to be a skiing getaway.

But what she may not have known is some doctors have been arguing that if a person here is in need of urgent care at a medical trauma center, he or she may not be able to get there fast enough. The only way to get to the closest trauma center from here is to drive 2½ hours to Montreal. No helicopter medical service is available.

Some trauma doctors have argued for air transport here since the mid-1990s. They say the safest and fastest way to move anyone suffering a trauma injury such as Richardson’s is by helicopter. Helicopter transport is common practice in the United States and other areas of Canada. But in the Quebec region, very few places have access to air transport.

In an open letter to the citizens of Quebec sent to the Montreal Gazette, Dr. Michael Churchill Smith, director of professional services at the Montreal General Hospital, said incidents like Natasha Richardson’s should serve as a wake-up call to Quebec. “It is no longer morally acceptable for our citizens who, in the moment of their greatest needs, do not have access to a rapid transit system that gives them the best chance to not only survive, but to survive with a quality of life.”

Daniel LeFrancois, director of Quebec’s pre-hospital care, told the Gazette that cost is prohibitive when a one-hour flight costs $6,000

Hospital Keyboard Helps Prevent Cross-Contamination

From Medgadget:

The Medigenic infection control keyboard from Esterline Advanced Input Systems of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho won in the General Hospital Devices and Therapeutic Products category of the 2009 Medical Design Excellence Awards. The keyboard was designed to feel like a standard desktop unit, that can withstand being cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants. For ease of cleaning, the device also features an on/off button to prevent accidental keystrokes to go into the computer.


FDA to Review Medical Devices Marketed Prior to 1976, Including AED’s

From the FDA:

The FDA today announced that manufacturers of 25 types of medical devices marketed prior to 1976 must submit safety and effectiveness information to the agency so that it may evaluate the risk level for each device type. Devices found by the FDA to be of high risk to consumers will be required to undergo the agency’s most stringent premarket review process.

These 25 device types, which are listed in the Federal Register announcement posted today, were marketed in the U.S. prior to the Medical Device Amendments to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1976. That law authorized the FDA to review new medical devices. Today’s announcement is the first step towards completing the review of Class III device types predating the 1976 law, as was recommended by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a January 2009 report to Congress.

Detail from the site:

External cardiac compressor 870.5200 LIX, DRM
External counter-pulsating device 870.5225 DRN
Automated external defibrillator 870.5310 NPN, NSA, MKJ