Tag Archives: HealthcareNews

Why A Former Microsoft Engineer is Determined to Improve Hospital Safety

The Seattle Times recently published the story of a former Microsoft engineer who was left paralyzed from the chest down due to a medical mistake. According to The Seattle Times, the engineer had suffered from ankylosing spondylitis, a condition that causes the spinal cord to become inflamed and brittle. The condition can also cause spinal cord fractures. When this former Microsoft engineer fell out of bed one morning, he suffered a spinal fracture and immediately headed to the emergency room. Doctors did not believe he had suffered a spinal cord fracture and instead sent him home with painkillers. Shortly after being sent home, the engineer experienced tingling and lost control of his bowels. He returned to the emergency room, except this time doctors took him more seriously. When technicians placed him into an MRI machine, he lost all function below his chest. He had become paralyzed. Are Medical Mistakes Preventable?…
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Can Predatory Bacteria Halt the Spread of Superbugs?

Superbugs are antibiotic resistant bacteria that researchers suggest may kill 10 million people every year by 2050. The threat posed by superbugs is so serious that some researchers have compared it to global warming. World health organizations are calling for an ‘antibiotics revolution’ to stop the spread and development of new superbugs. Such a revolution would involve curtailing the use of some antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotics has led these bacteria to evolve and become immune to most methods of treatment. Researchers with Rutgers University want to use ‘predatory bacteria’ to hunt down and kill superbugs. It is an ingenious approach to target superbugs not with new antibiotics, but other bacteria. One of the great aspects of this approach is that it leaves surrounding tissue untouched. Predatory bacteria would kill superbugs, but not harm surrounding organs by killing off helpful bacteria. Researchers tested a predatory bacterium on regular bacteria strains and…
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Why Patients Are at Risk of Medication Errors During Hospital Discharge

Medication errors are an increasingly common threat to patients being discharged from hospitals. Four years ago, researchers at Harvard Medical School conducted a study on medication errors and hospital discharges. Researchers used 851 hospital patients undergoing treatment for heart disease to assess the scope of the problem. Half of the patients experienced medication errors during the first month after being discharged. In addition, 23 percent of these errors were deemed ‘serious’ and another 2 percent were life-threatening. We can use a recent example to discuss how patients and their families are hurt by medication errors. Kaiser Health News recently published a sad story describing the death of a patient who was discharged with the incorrect medication. According to the patient’s daughter, who is an oncology nurse, her mother began to experience mouth sores and other serious side effects after arriving home from the hospital. The hospital had given her a…
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