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Mayo Clinic Calls for Standardization of Safe Imaging Protocols for Children

The benefits of medical imaging far outweigh the risks when children receive The Right Exam, ordered The Right Way, with The Right Radiation Dose. However, overuse and misuse of imaging change the benefit-risk ratio and Mayo Clinic is leading a collaborative effort to ensure a national protocol is put into action. The commentary, published online in the Journal of Patient Safety, calls for the American College of Radiology, the Joint Commission, the Intersociety Accreditation Commission, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to require three safety practices for accreditation of all American hospitals and advanced diagnostic imaging facilities. “No hospital or medical imaging facility in the country should be granted the privilege of imaging children unless it first meets fundamental safe practice performance measures,” says Stephen Swensen, M.D., lead author and radiologist, Mayo Clinic.

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Antibiotics After Gall Bladder Surgery Do Not Appear to Reduce Risk of Infection

Among patients who underwent gall bladder removal for acute calculous cholecystitis, lack of postoperative antibiotic treatment did not result in a greater incidence of infections, according to a study in the July 9 issue of JAMA.

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Rapid Surgical Innovation Puts Patients at Risk for Medical Errors

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Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that the risk of patient harm increased two-fold in 2006 – the peak year that teaching hospitals nationwide embraced the pursuit of minimally invasive robotic surgery for prostate cancer.

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GW Physician Releases Paperback Edition of “When Doctors Don’t Listen”

Author Leana Wen, M.D., director of patient-centered care research and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, teaches patients how to better advocate for their health in her book, “When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Testing.”

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Weekend Emergency Surgeries Deadlier for Children

Children who undergo simple emergency surgeries, such as hernia repairs or appendix removals, on weekends are more likely to suffer complications and even die than children getting the same kind of treatment during the week, according to results of a Johns Hopkins Children’s Center study.

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For Cancer Patients, Sugar-Coated Cells Are Deadly

Every living cell’s surface has a protein-embedded membrane that’s covered in polysaccharide chains – a literal sugar coating. A new study by a Cornell University researcher found this coating is especially thick and pronounced on cancer cells – leading to a more lethal cancer.

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Common Herbal Supplement Can Cause Dangerous Interactions with Prescription Drugs

St. John’s wort, the leading complementary and alternative treatment for depression in the United States, can be dangerous when taken with many commonly prescribed drugs, according to a study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

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Patient Safety: What’s Simulation Certification Got To Do With It?

Simulation techniques that target medical errors and seek to provide continued improvement in the quality and safety of patient care are rapidly becoming the new “go to” methods for professional healthcare education. Ranging from simulated human patients to detailed animations and disaster scenarios, these fool-proof techniques are increasingly used by hospitals, universities, and training schools to bridge between classroom learning and real-life clinical experience.

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Death by Prescription Painkiller

The number of deaths involving commonly prescribed painkillers is higher than the number of deaths by overdose from heroin and cocaine combined, according to researchers at McGill University. In a first-of-its-kind review of existing research, the McGill team has put the spotlight on a major public health problem: the dramatic increase in deaths due to prescribed painkillers, which were involved in more than 16,000 deaths in 2010 in the U.S. alone. Currently, the US and Canada rank #1 and #2 in per capita opioid consumption.

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Surgical Patients More Likely to Follow Medication Instructions When Provided a Simple, Instruction Sheet

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A study in the July issue of Anesthesiology revealed that patients who receive a simple, multicolor, standardized medication instruction sheet before surgery are more likely to comply with their physician’s instructions and experience a significantly shorter post-op stay in recovery. These findings are important because surgical patients often fail to follow their doctor’s medication instructions for preexisting conditions such as diabetes and hypertension on the day they are having surgery – a costly mistake that can lead to surgery cancellation, complications and longer hospital stays.

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