More than one in 10 emergency room nurses surveyed last year said they had been attacked in the previous week

From the Sacramento Bee:

A review finds California’s hospital workers, especially those in emergency rooms and psychiatric wards, are at risk of violence on a daily basis.

A Los Angeles Times report ( published Sunday says some hospital caregivers say they are bitten, hit and kicked so often they consider it a regular part of the job.

More than one in 10 emergency room nurses surveyed last year said they had been attacked in the previous week. A 2007 study found nearly 40 percent of employees in California emergency rooms said they had been assaulted on the job in the previous year.

The patient was drunk, naked and covered in blood when he burst out of his emergency room cubicle around 2 a.m., brandishing scissors.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Although nearly invisible to the public except in extreme cases, violence against nurses and other hospital caregivers is commonplace in California and around the nation, according to surveys, state records and interviews with hospital employees and industry experts.

Some workers, especially in emergency rooms, say they experience some level of assault — biting, hitting, kicking and chasing — so often they consider it an unavoidable part of the job. Most attacks don’t result in serious injury, but hundreds have resulted in workers’ compensation claims in California alone in recent years, according to a Times review.

Chest pain severity not a telltale sign for MI

From The Heart:

Among patients presenting to an emergency room (ER) with potential acute coronary syndrome (ACS), those with severe chest pain were not more likely to have an acute MI or 30-day cardiovascular complications than those whose pain was less intense, in a new study published online July 26, 2011 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine [1].

Although it is important to relieve pain to make the patient comfortable, “pain severity itself should not be a factor in evaluating patients’ risk for acute coronary syndrome in terms of discharge decisions,” the authors write. Patient “history, physical, and classic cardiovascular risk factors . . . make more of a difference than something as subjective as pain score,” corresponding author Dr Anna Marie Chang (Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia) told heartwire.

“The take-home message for all care providers is that in the area of chest pain that might be evolving ACS, do not discount or be less aggressive in your evaluation and clinical management of the patient if their pain is described as less than severe,” American College of Emergency Room Physicians (ACEP) spokesperson Dr Harry W Severance (University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis) concurred, in a comment to heartwire.

Emergency room in the sky

From the Star Phoenix:

Just moments earlier, the tight-knit crew, most transplanted from the adrenalin-filled environments of intensive care units, emergency rooms and road ambulances, sit in the lounge of the cramped hangar building off 46th Street, discussing upcoming home renovations and last week’s hailstorm. A sleepy day at Saskatchewan Air Ambulance has suddenly been awakened.

Early Life on a Farm Linked to Blood Cancers

From MedPage Today:

Children who grow up around livestock are at elevated risk for hematologic cancers in later life, New Zealand researchers found.

Overall, spending the childhood years on a farm was associated with an odds ratio of 1.22 (95% CI 1.05 to 1.41) for dying from a hematologic malignancy, according to Andrea ‘t Mannetje, PhD, of Massey University in Wellington, and colleagues.

But risk varied depending on type of animals on the farm.

“The Government Will Pay Doctors $44,000 to Use an iPad”

From Gizmodo:

The Obama administration strongly desires that all medical records be electronic. There’s a much-lauded app called drchrono for the iPad which can make that transition happen. Logically, the government will toss up to $44,000 to any doctor willing to use it.

TheNextWeb says that doctors who use the drchrono app, which has been certified for ‘meaningful use’, would receive government contributions over a period of five years. In addition to logging medical records, drchrono can also translate speech to text, handle photos and videos, send out bills to patients and insurance companies and send prescriptions to pharmacies.

Health insurers seek to cut unnecessary ER visits, costs

From the Denver Post:

Anthem now buys ads that pop up when a patient searches online for “Anthem” and “urgent care.” The clickable ads lead to a symptom checklist, locator maps for urgent and retail care, and the 24-hour nurse phone line Anthem wants them to try first.

The company, with 950,000 Colorado members, also sends robo-calls to patients whose recent ER visits were “potentially avoidable,” telling them about alternatives.

The push is to “empower the member to make choices,” said Dr. Manish Oza, a medical director for Anthem. “That includes using generic drugs, what hospital you go to for a knee replacement. . . . Ultimately then it’s their decision how they want to spend their money.”

Healthcare access lagging in rural U.S

From Reuters:

Rural Americans are more likely to suffer from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems and cancer, and face greater difficulty accessing quality healthcare than urban counterparts, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The challenges facing healthcare providers for rural areas could be compounded by recent healthcare legislation, according to the UnitedHealth Center for Health & Reform Modernization.

The Center projects that around 8 million more rural residents will join Medicaid, state and government-subsidized insurance plans in the national coverage expansions than would have otherwise — a net expansion of some 5 million people.

BBC America’s ’24 Hours in the ER’ takes viewers behind the scenes

From the NY Daily News:

The show is a snapshot of life in one ER, one different from what a lot of Americans see every day. Indeed, walk into a New York City ER and, depending what neighborhood it’s in, you might find a mix of folks with serious problems and/or others there for minor illnesses because they don’t have access to a doctor.

Coughs and colds, though, don’t necessarily make for good TV, which is why those things are rarely included on shows.

Thus, “24 Hours in the ER” is not “Boston Med,” or the other versions of life inside a hospital crafted by Terry Wrong at ABC News. Though it has inteviews with doctors, nurses and victims, it lacks the emotional story arcs, careful editing and the heart of the ABC documentaries.

What it does have, though, are interesting snippets of life inside a London ER. Some simple, some not so simple.

Boosting Awareness Can Curb Overuse of Antibiotics

From MedPage Today:

Guidelines focused on curbing the overuse of antibiotics can indeed lower the number of prescriptions written for them, Canadian researchers have found.

Antibiotic use fell off rapidly; in the year after the guidelines were published, the number of scrips per 1,000 patients fell 4.2% in Quebec, while in the other provinces, the proportion rose 6.5% during that time.