Hospitals across the nation are being swept up in the biggest wave of mergers since the 1990s, a development that is creating giant hospital systems that could one day dominate American healthcare and drive up costs. The consolidations are being driven by a confluence of powerful forces, not least of which is President Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act.
The University of Florida's health system is reviewing the application of a heart surgeon from Kentucky who came under scrutiny after a CNN investigation into the deaths of babies in his care. Dr. Mark Plunkett was the chief heart surgeon at Kentucky Children's Hospital before he resigned to take a position with University of Florida Health.
Better communication is the key to improving patient outcomes after cardiac surgery, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. "Preventable errors are often not related to failure of technical skill, training, or knowledge," investigators wrote, "but represent cognitive, system, or teamwork failures."
Barbara Mancini, the Philadelphia nurse who is being charged with assisting in the suicide of her 93-year-old father, is pinning her hopes on Pennsylvania's attorney general to drop felony charges that could send her to jail. Mancini, 57, is alleged to have given her ailing father, Joseph Yourshaw, a lethal dose of morphine to hasten his death.
Patients who underwent carotid artery stenting followed a few weeks later by open heart surgery (a "staged" procedure) had a lower risk of the composite primary endpoint of all-cause death, stroke, or myocardial infarction (MI) than those who underwent staged carotid endarterectomy followed by open heart surgery (CEA-OHS) or those who had CEA-OHS performed on the same day (a "combined" procedure).
A lung-protective method of ventilation improved outcomes for patients who had an intermediate-to-high risk of pulmonary complications before undergoing major abdominal surgery, a randomized trial showed. Compared with standard ventilation, ventilation using positive end-expiratory pressure and a lower tidal volume significantly reduced the occurrence of major pulmonary or extra-pulmonary complications in the first postoperative week.
Kidney recipients in their mid-teens are at the greatest risk for losing the graft, researchers reported. Additionally, in a retrospective database analysis, black teens, ages 14 through 16, were at the highest risk of having the new kidney fail, according to Kenneth Andreoni, MD, of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues.
The controversial LICH closure, which health workers, unions, and politicians have fought for months with protests and lawsuits, appears to finally be coming to fruition in New York. Earlier this month, ambulances were ordered not to go to the hospital, so many went to Brooklyn Hospital a mile and a half away. But extreme temperatures, too many patients and an air conditioner problem caused Brooklyn Hospital to start diverting patients.
Experts say that unless another doctor uncovers the telltale signs of a previous surgery – or lack thereof – it is nearly impossible for a patient to know whether a surgery has actually occurred. Even other medical professionals who are in the room at the time of surgery can't always say with certainty that the surgeon has performed an intended procedure.
Obese renal failure patients who have a body mass index (BMI) under 40 kg/m2 derive the same overall survival benefit from kidney transplantation as non-obese patients, researchers found. Standard-criteria donor transplantation was associated with an average 66 percent reduction in risk of death one year after transplant surgery for patients with a BMI under 40.
Despite writing post-operative notes stating that he had performed six procedures on one particular woman, including the removal of torn cartilage, smoothing areas of arthritic wear and removal of soft tissue from within the knee joint, the autopsy and hospital records revealed orthopedic surgeon Dr. Spyros Panos did none of those things.
Telephone follow-up after ambulatory surgery proved acceptable to most patients, saved time and money, and was associated with few complications, investigators in a pilot program reported. Three-fourths of patients contacted by telephone after hernia repair or laparoscopic cholecystectomy accepted the contact as the sole means of follow-up.
Elderly men with elevated levels of low-grade inflammation measured by high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) are more likely to break a bone, particularly vertebrae, a Swedish population-based study showed. Fracture risk was 48 percent higher for the top hs-CRP tertile than all others combined, independent of bone mineral density.
Obese patients who have laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy keep the weight off in the long run, researchers found. In a single-center study, patients who underwent the procedure lost an average 57.4 percent of excessive body mass index (BMI) over five years, Ralph Peterli, MD, of Claraspital in Basel in Switzerland, and colleagues reported online.
Johns Hopkins Hospital is back on top. After spending 21 years as the country's best hospital, according to U.S. News & World Report, Johns Hopkins Hospital relinquished its crown to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston in 2012. This year, the roles have reversed yet again.