Winnipeg Ambulance Stolen While Crews Attended Patient

From JEMS:

Some Winnipeg paramedics were left in the lurch Thursday morning after their ambulance was stolen while they attended a call in the city’s North End.

The crew went to a home in the 200 block of McGregor Street at about 4 a.m., but the patient decided not to go to the hospital, said Paul Roberts, a superintendent with the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

When the paramedics walked outside to put their gear away, their ambulance was gone.

Roberts said the ambulance was equipped with anti-theft features, but for some reason, they failed.

Doc Indicted in Bombing of State Medical Board Chairman

From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:

One morning last February, a bomb exploded in Trent Pierce’s driveway in West Memphis, Ark. Pierce, a family doc who chaired the state’s medical board, was severely burned and lost an eye.

Yesterday, a doctor named Randeep Mann — an internist who had been disciplined by the state medical board — was accused of planting the bomb.

Sebelius announces health security strategy

From Modern Healthcare:

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced the nation’s first health security strategy, which focuses on the health of Americans during a large-scale emergency. The strategy establishes priorities for both government and nongovernment activities for the next four years.

Dispatcher-Assisted Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation. Risks for Patients Not in Cardiac Arrest

From Circulation:

Background—Dispatcher-assisted cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instructions can increase bystander CPR and thereby increase the rate of survival from cardiac arrest. The risk of bystander CPR for patients not in arrest is uncertain and has implications for how assertive dispatch is in instructing CPR. We determined the frequency of dispatcher-assisted CPR for patients not in arrest and the frequency and severity of injury related to chest compressions.

Methods and Results—The investigation was a prospective cohort study of adult patients not in cardiac arrest for whom dispatchers provided CPR instructions in King County, Washington, between June 1, 2004, and January 31, 2007. The study focused on those who received chest compressions. Information was collected through review of the audio and written dispatch report, written emergency medical services report, hospital record, and telephone survey. Of the 1700 patients for whom dispatcher CPR instructions were initiated, 55% (938 of 1700) were in arrest, 45% (762 of 1700) were not in arrest, and 18% (313 of 1700) were not in arrest and received bystander chest compressions. Of the 247 not in arrest who received chest compressions and had complete outcome ascertainment, 12% (29 of 247) experienced discomfort, and 2% (6 of 247) sustained injuries likely or possibly caused by bystander CPR. Only 2% (5 of 247) suffered a fracture, and no patients suffered visceral organ injury.

Conclusions—In this prospective study, the frequency of serious injury related to dispatcher-assisted bystander CPR among nonarrest patients was low. When coupled with the established benefits of bystander CPR among those with arrest, these results support an assertive program of dispatcher-assisted CPR.

GAO: VA needs to bolster doc-credentialing efforts

Ed. 2,500th post! Blogging since  May 2005.

From Modern Healthcare:

The Government Accountability Office says the Veterans Affairs Department needs to do more to ensure that its hospitals are adequately vetting and monitoring their physicians, based on a review prompted by patient deaths at the Marion (Ill.) VA Medical Center.

The GAO visited six VA medical centers and looked at credentialing and privileging files for a sample of physicians, and the report notes that the problems identified were not as severe as those uncovered at the Illinois hospital. Of 180 files reviewed, 29 lacked proper verification of state licensure, the GAO found. In 21 instances, physicians failed to disclose malpractice settlements and judgments, which the GAO discovered by trolling an external database that the medical centers should have consulted.

The Onion: Man Braves Freezing Weather To Cross Parking Lot

From the Onion:

Surmounting treacherous icy pavement and a windchill factor dipping as low as 19 degrees Fahrenheit, local resident Louis Bergstrom survived a real-life battle with the elements Friday when he successfully completed a harrowing four-and-a-half-minute journey across the desolate, frozen parking lot of an area G & G Grocery Store, the 38-year-old court stenographer told reporters.

According to Bergstrom, with night coming and temperatures dropping rapidly, he was forced to leave his wife, Linda, 37, at the entrance of the supermarket and valiantly set out on his own to retrieve the couple’s 2001 Toyota Corolla. Before leaving, Bergstrom solemnly vowed that he would return for his pregnant wife as soon as he possibly could.
Ed. Greetings from Iowa!

Birmingham firm’s software aid doctors keep track of patients’ vital signs

From the AL.com:

Doctors in the emergency department, operating room and intensive care unit have multiple patients at once and often feel the need to be in multiple places at the same time.

Now technology can help doctors do just that.

Well, almost.

Birmingham-based Acuitec is marketing software called Vigilance, which runs on an iPhone and can track patients’ vital signs, send distinctive message alerts when patients get into distress and provide live video and sound from an operating or patient room.

Developed by Vanderbilt Medical Center doctors, the Vigilance system was first conceived for anesthesiologists, who can have up to four patients at once.