Resuscitation outcomes no worse when families watch doctors work

From Reuters:

Letting family members watch while doctors work to bring a loved one back from the brink of death may not hurt patients’ odds of survival, a new study suggests.

“Hospitals that have been hesitant to set policies that allow families to be in the room during resuscitation should be encouraged that this didn’t lead to worse outcomes or errors,” said Dr. Zachary Goldberger, the study’s lead author from the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

“This is an important opportunity to enhance our end-of-life care for patients who are hospitalized,” he told Reuters Health.

Police disarm gunman in ED

From the Observer:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they disarmed a gunman in the Carolinas Medical Center emergency room early Sunday without any shots being fired.

Police said the man went to the emergency room with injuries suffered during an earlier altercation at a club in uptown Charlotte.

While in the emergency room, the man saw several people he’d argued with at the night club, police said.

At some point he drew a gun and pointed it at the others, police said.

Community Paramedicine program aims to keep chronic illness patients out of emergency

From CBC News:

Paramedics are trained to provide medical care in dire situations.

But a new program in Sudbury has paramedics making house calls before anything gets serious.

The Community Paramedicine program, which aims to keep people at home and out of the emergency room, allows paramedics to visit patients with chronic and complex illnesses without the prompt of a 911 call.

Malpractice Fears Spurring Most ER Docs to Order Unnecessary Tests

From US News:

Nearly all emergency room doctors surveyed order pricey MRIs or CT scans their patients may not need, mainly because they fear malpractice lawsuits, according to a new report.

Of 435 ER physicians who completed the survey, 97 percent admitted to ordering some advanced imaging scans that weren’t medically necessary, the findings showed.

Near-Death Experiences examined scientifically

From the Atlantic:

Recent books by Sam Parnia and Pim van Lommel, both physicians, describe studies published in peer-reviewed journals that attempt to pin down what happens during Near Death Experiences under controlled experimental conditions. Parnia and his colleagues published results from the latest such study, involving more than 2,000 cardiac-arrest patients, in October. And the recent books by Mary Neal and Eben Alexander recounting their own NDEs have lent the spiritual view of them a new outward respectability. Mary Neal was, a few years before her NDE, the director of spinal surgery at the University of Southern California (she is now in private practice). Eben Alexander is a neurosurgeon who taught and practiced at several prestigious hospitals and medical schools, including Brigham and Women’s and Harvard.

It was Alexander who really upped the scientific stakes. He studied his own medical charts and came to the conclusion that he was in such a deep coma during his NDE, and his brain was so completely shut down, that the only way to explain what he felt and saw was that his soul had indeed detached from his body and gone on a trip to another world, and that angels, God, and the afterlife are all as real as can be.