As a young medical student I remember the arrival of the first video arcade games very clearly: Asteroids, Space Invaders and Pacman. I spent whatever spare cash I had on them, never playing long enough to be any good, or rich enough to get any better. When I bought my first computer in my late-twenties, I relived my excitement with the newest computer games, spending a disproportionate amount of time long into many a night.
Managing patient temperature in the operating room has always been a critical part of any surgical procedure. When patients undergo large open surgical procedures, such as liver, cardiovascular, burn or any large abdominal incision, heat loss is common due to the patient being exposed to the cold OR temperature and the cooling effect of the anesthesia and mechanical ventilation.
Obesity is a huge healthcare problem in the United States. It has reached the proportions of an epidemic and continues to get worse. Multiple medical problems including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea and cancer are closely associated with obesity. The patients with extreme obesity can reach a body weight of five, six or seven hundred pounds and even higher.
The Joint Commission is focusing on patient normothermia issues for patient safety and new SCIP measures require that upon release to the PACU body temperature be maintained at 36 C or higher. One of the easiest ways to help unintended hypothermia in patients is to warm the temperature of the OR .
A few years ago after learning of the death of a favorite teacher, a friend from surgical training and I began exchanging e-mail messages reminiscing about the man we once alternately referred to as “the Silver Fox” because of his dapper looks and “Chuckles” because of his easygoing manner.
Increasingly our Western world culture assumes that most things in medicine can be reduced to a linear, data-driven, algorithmic process. One only needs to witness the now-famously heralded article on ICU check-lists to understand the unwavering trust we have in this model. ICU medicine's complexity reinforces our trust in this approach because patients are usually too sick to contribute to their care.
Back in the times when EHRs were just EMRs, they had a very simple and humble mission. The software was supposed to help providers of health care services better manage their business. EMRs were supposed to help physicians adhere to CMS documentation rules, automate patient flow management and get rid of all the mountains of paper floating around a typical medical office or hospital .
I get emails, and one which caught my interest was this recent one from loyal reader Nurse J (lightly edited): "Do you assess everybody that comes into your ER for everything, or do you just assess the complaint? I am a newish critical care nurse at A Great Big Hospital, and my wife is a sixth year ICU nurse at a Smaller Hospital.
This is a painful story to write. A close friend of mine, in his 40’s, had a persistent light cough for many months. Finally, when he had an X-ray taken, it showed a large tumor on his lungs. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. As a non-smoker and strapping, physically fit man, he was shocked, as you can imagine.
What should surgical professionals consider when purchasing temperature management equipment in order to achieve adequate temperature in the OR for both patients and surgeons? Patients and surgeons are both interested in the same goal – the best possible outcome. According to several studies, patients who successfully maintain normothermia (36C – 38C) during surgery require fewer transfusions, experience less post-operative bleeding, spend less time on mechanical ventilators, require less time in intensive care and go home sooner.
During my internship, the first year after graduating from medical school, I took care of a middle-aged woman who began our first conversation with a question that patients still ask me today. “So doctor,” she said as I pulled my stethoscope out to listen to her heart, “where did you go to medical school?” In a social context, I might have considered her question to be polite chatter, a filler during an awkward quiet moment.
In recent years, recognition to the role the environment plays in spreading potentially infection-causing microorganisms around hospitals has grown. As a result, new technologies have emerged that look to disinfect surfaces such as keyboards, countertops, bedrails and more that are discreetly contributing to hospital-acquired infections in patients.
At the American Telemedicine Association’s annual meeting recently the results of a national survey were revealed. The survey of health care and information technology professionals, sponsored by Intel, found that a majority of decision makers believe that the emergence of telehealth will have a major role in improving the care for the globally aging population, aka the “baby boomers.
While the danger of infection for patients has always been a top concern at health care facilities, the increased cost associated with hospital-acquired infections makes finding solutions to manage infection-causing microorganisms even more crucial. Recently, a UK study published in the June 1 print edition of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that Clostridium difficile (C.
Is the health care reform bill excise tax on medical device manufacturers a fair trade for more customers, or an unnecessary burden that threatens innovation? Although the health care reform bill was signed months ago, everyone seems to still be riffling through the pages trying to figure out what it means and where it’s probably gone wrong.