A neural “off-switch” for pain documented

From BoingBoing:

In Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states, a paper in Brain by researchers led from the St Louis University Medical School, scientists document their work in switching off neural pain pathways by activating an adenosine receptor.

Pursuit and restraint raise police officers’ risk of sudden death

From Reuters:

Police officers are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death when performing stressful duties like chasing, restraining or fighting with suspects, researchers say.

Sudden cardiac death is up to 70 times more likely during those kinds of stressful activities, compared to when police officers perform routine duties, according a new study of U.S. law enforcement deaths.

‘Stroke robot’ helps improve treatment for stroke patients

From AZFamily:

The robot fills a critical need in stroke diagnoses, because there is a shortage of stroke doctors in this country, Dr. Zach explains. “To have a stroke doctor available in every Emergency Department is just physically impossible,” he explains. “So we are all over and scattered. So if a patient is brought into a center and they don’t have a stroke doctor, it becomes a problem.“

With his IPad, Dr. Zach controls the robot’s two cameras, “One of these cameras is a fish-eye camera so it shows us a really broad view of the entire room, and we get a very large visual field with that,” he explains. “So we are able to ask the patient things like, is there a clock in the room, and there is one over there, and we will be able to see it even though the camera is pointing over this way, you know, and we will be able to know whether the patient can see to that side or not. On the other hand the other camera is a very high quality zoom camera. We can actually zoom in on somebody’s pupil and actually check the pupil reactivity, see if the eye movements are ok.”

He can also read vitals on the screen, and follow the patient to a CT scan. “I will see the pictures come up on the CT scan hot off the presses,” he says.

Patients at (Swedish) EDs regarded as ‘symptoms’

From MedicalXpress:

The healthcare work of providing care at Emergency departments is medicalized and result-driven. As a consequence of this, patients are regarded as “symptoms”, and are shunted around the department as “production units”. These are the conclusions of a thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

What is central for Swedish Emergency departments are short waiting times, efficient care processes and a balanced budget. The healthcare work is dominated by a medical perspective. This gives limited opportunities to satisfy the individual care needs of the patients.

Online clock deters hospital ER visits for patients with minor issues

From the Record:

One in five visits to Canadian emergency departments is for minor medical conditions that could be treated in a doctor’s office or clinic, according to a new report.

While many emergency units are busy treating colds, sore throats, earaches and other complaints that could be handled elsewhere, St. Mary’s General Hospital has seen a drop in the number of visits by healthier patients thanks to its innovative online clock showing emergency room wait times.

“What we found was there were some patients who just decided not to come,” said hospital president Don Shilton.

CHI vs. the Blues in Nebraska Update: “CHI official: Emergency care is in-network”

From the Telegraph:

While negotiations between CHI and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska remain at an impasse, people with emergency medical needs are still covered at CHI Health St. Francis, the hospital’s president said on Tuesday.

“One of the things that we think there is confusion out there [about] is emergency room care,” Dan McElligott told the Grand Island Rotary Club. “By law, patients are considered in-network for a true emergency at the hospital. We want people to know that they can come to the emergency room and, if they think that it is a true emergency, get the care they need because their life matters.”

Automated CPR machines help South Dakota hospitals

From the Times:

The newest addition to the Avera Weskota Memorial Hospital emergency room is always at the ready. And its hospital colleagues know it will correctly do its job every time.

The Wessington Springs hospital recently received its Lucas 2 chest compression device, which is a machine that senses the size of a patient and delivers standard CPR compressions to help resuscitate a patient who has suffered cardiac arrest and showing no pulse or is unconscious.

JoAnn Hettinger, director of nursing services at Avera Weskota, said this machine “doesn’t get tired.”