2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 23,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Should Your Doctor Be Napping on the Job?

From Time:

It usually happens around 5 a.m. after the night-shift adrenaline has worn off. A certain ER doctor sits in front of his computer finishing charts, when his shoulders slowly start to sag, his head lolls, and then he has nodded off to sleep, his loud snores reverberating through the ER.

After several minutes of amusing commentary from the staff, someone usually elbows the doctor in the side (or, once, put smelling salts under his nose) and he awakes with a jolt. “Great power nap!” he smiles, leaning back and running his hands through his hair. Then he bounds off energetically to see the next patient.

Hospital: Smokers need not apply

From CNN:

A Pennsylvania hospital is expected to begin screening job applicants for signs of nicotine early next year, claiming it will not hire smokers, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday.

Geisinger Health System — a facility located in the eastern town of Danville — will institute its no-nicotine policy on February 1, 2012, said Marcy Marshall.

Applicants that test positive will be offered help to quit and are encouraged to re-apply after six months, she said.

Rogue Physicians’ Impact on Medical Malpractice Claims

From Claims Journal:

Medical malpractice claims related to the conduct of rogue physicians are on the rise.

“It seems to be a growing problem,” according to Linda E. Jones, executive vice president at RCM&D Healthcare, a Baltimore-based insurance consultant.

“We do hear more and more issues of physicians [involving] illegal or unethical activity,” said Jones, who is also chief operating officer at SISCO, a subsidiary of RCM&D and a third party administrator that provides claims services to healthcare organizations.

Mandatory Retirement Age for Emergency Physicians

From the Annals of Emergency Medicine, via ACOEP:

“I personally feel that [a mandatory retirement age] is something we should be looking at,” Pinakiewicz said. At least, she added, there should be some assessment of a physician’s skill by someone other than the physician himself.

“You hear stories of physicians who are well thought of for their clinical skill, who begin a decline due to inevitable aging, and there is no structured way for anyone to deal with that, so that it falls to a brave colleague to try to convince them,” she said. “It is inconceivable to me that in an industry like ours, where the stakes are everything, we do not have any check and balance on this issue.”

A small but consistent body of literature confirms the intuitive assumption that physicians’ skills decay as they age.

Pediatric Standardized Patients Enhance Paramedic Training

From JEMS:

The New Haven (Conn.) Sponsor Hospital Paramedic Training Program has made a conscious effort to improve its pediatric training by offering standardized pediatric patients to its students. This increases their familiarity with an understanding of the intricacies of emergency care for this patient population.

Simulation Training

From Kevin MD:

Simulation is a disruptive and transformational technology in medicine

Incredible innovative and entrepreneurial skills have led to many new techniques and technologies in medicine. Some are both disruptive of the old way of doing things. Others are transformational. Over the next few weeks I will review some of those that I believe are among the most disruptive and transformational. Medical simulation is such an advance. It is dramatically transforming the way medicine, especially medical procedures, are taught and it is clearly disrupting the long held approach of learning on the patient.

Loaded Gun Gets Emergency Room Patient Arrested

From NBC Bay Area:

Ronald Damian Lacroix, 66, was seeking treatment for hypothermia on Monday when he entered Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Terra Linda while carrying a loaded handgun,according to the Marin Indepedent Journal.

Apparently Lacroix has no fixed address — meaning he is homeless — and carried the weapon for protection, he told police. He also told police he was with both the FBI and the San Jose police, Marin cops said.

Therapeutic hypothermia contributes to intact survival after over an hour of CPR

From CantonRep:

Evans’ treatment included medications, a ventilator, an aortic balloon pump to support his heart, tandem heart machines to oxygenate his blood, then hypothermia treatment.

“The hypothermia helps preserve the brain and heart. It drops your body temperature to 93 degrees for 24 hours. It preserves the energy in your heart and your brain,” Liz Evans said.

“He was in a medically induced coma for five days. When they took out the balloon pump to let his heart beat on its own, it was beating. On the sixth day, they took him off the ventilation. Then he just woke up.”

Tattoos, Piercings Can Present Problems for ED Physicians

From ACEP News:

Body modifications are all the rage, so emergency physicians need to know that troublesome tattoos can interfere with MRIs, and should keep a pair of pliers handy to deal with problematic piercings.

Approximately 36% of Americans aged 25-29 years have one or more tattoos. Piercings are most common, for now, among 16- to 20-year-olds, 47% of whom have rings, anchors, studs, or other metallic objects poking through various body parts. Some 10% of Americans aged 12-15 years and 27% of people aged 21-25 years have body piercings, Dr. Rachel L. Chin said at the Scientific Assembly of the American College of Emergency Physicians.