Saving Patients’ Lives Through Suspended Animation

From Here and Now:

A new procedure could increase the amount of time emergency room doctors have to restore blood flow to victims of shootings or stabbings, before brain damage occurs, from just a few minutes to an hour.

In the clinical trial, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center plan to put trauma patients into a kind of suspended animation by temporarily removing all of their blood and replacing it with cold salt water.

The procedure, called Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation, would stop the heart and brain activity, meaning the patients would be clinically dead. That has raised some ethical concerns.

Data-driven simulations help ease ED crowding

From FierceHealthcareIT:

Researchers from the University of Florida are touting the success of a data-driven simulation model that helps reduce crowding in the emergency room.

There are a variety of factors that contribute to ED crowding, the authors note in their paper, published at BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. This model helps determine in advance which intervention could be most effective in particular circumstances.

New Report Lists Top 10 Reasons Children End Up in Emergency Rooms

From KVNU:

Every year more than 25 million children under the age of 18 are sent to emergency rooms around the country.

A new report from U.S. News and World Report lists the top ten reasons that children are sent to the ER. The causes of hospitalization were named in no particular order and included endocrine disorders, genitourinary disorders, musculoskeletal disorders, mental and behavioral health conditions, skin disorders, digestive disorders, infectious and parasitic diseases, nervous system disorders, respiratory disorders and injury and poisoning. 

Hospitals learning to manage new Medicaid patients

From the Charleston Daily Mail:

Despite the influx of newly insured and patients receiving Medicaid benefits, emergency rooms across West Virginia aren’t seeing much of a strain on resources. 

“This is a relatively small snapshot of a short period of time since expansion was implemented,” Gregory said. “It’s a little too early to tell and not necessarily representative of a specific trend. I think we all need more experience with this population to determine and ascertain the numbers. But interestingly a small snapshot of what we’re seeing statewide is any increase in volume that may be attributed to Medicaid expansion is not causing any specific problems in our emergency departments.” 

Man goes to jail after pouring water from toilet on floor at ER, cursing

From the Brownwood Bulletin:

Deputy Joe Thomas was dispatched to the emergency room early Wednesday morning on a report that a patient was pouring water from a toilet onto the floor, cursing loudly and kicking furniture at a wall.

State rural health panel holds first meeting

From Online Athens:

Four hospitals have closed in the past two years. Many areas can’t attract doctors, or have trouble keeping the ones they have. Some counties are without a hospital or other critical health services.

Those rural health care problems in Georgia were among the issues discussed at the initial meeting Monday of the Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee, recently appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal. The panel was created to identify the needs of rural facilities and offer potential solutions. Members include hospital leaders, physicians and state lawmakers.

“The task is not going to be an easy one,’’ said state Rep. Terry England, R-Auburn, a panel member who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee. “We’re open to a lot of different ideas and solutions.”

Possible remedies include a new initiative for a financially troubled hospital to downsize into a freestanding rural emergency department.

One strategy that went without much discussion was expanding the state’s Medicaid program.

Consumer advocates and industry leaders have said expansion would give coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured in Georgia, turning many into newly paying patients — and thus helping a hospital’s bottom line.

The Affordable Care Act offers incentives for states to expand their Medicaid programs, but the U.S. Supreme has ruled that states don’t have to do so. Georgia’s GOP-led government has rejected expansion, citing the cost.

Senate OKs Sylvia Mathews Burwell To Be Next HHS Secretary

From KaiserHealthNews:

The Senate confirmed Burwell’s nomination to head the Department of Health and Human Services 78 to 17, with only Republicans casting votes against her. Burwell Wins Confirmation As Secretary Of Health

The Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be secretary of health and human services, which will make her responsible for delivering health insurance to more than one-third of all Americans. Ms. Burwell was confirmed by a vote of 78 to 17. All the no votes were cast by Republicans. But 24 Republicans joined 52 Democrats and two independents in voting for confirmation.

The Senate confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the White House’s budget director for the past year, on Thursday as the 22nd secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. On a bipartisan vote of 78 to 17, senators approved Burwell to lead the government’s largest domestic department, ending a quick confirmation process that was devoid of the bitter partisanship surrounding the 2010 Affordable Care Act and the changes it is bringing to the U.S. health-care system