A New Way to Help Diabetics Deal with the Pain

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are “acupoints” that are used in acupuncture to help treat an ailing body. These acupoints are the target of an effective therapy that has been found to help diabetics Continue reading

ED Crowding Getting Worse

A study using a national database found that while the number of emergency department (ED) visits increased between 2001 and 2008, the crowding in EDs increased even more.

Note that the main drivers of crowding appeared to be intensity of the ED visit, including giving intravenous fluids, doing blood tests or procedures, Continue reading

Female and Younger Athletes Take Longer to Overcome Concussions

New research out of Michigan State University reveals female athletes and younger athletes take longer to recover from concussions, findings that call for physicians and athletic trainers to take sex and age into account when dealing with the injury. Continue reading

Kids’ ER Visits for Psychiatric Care Inching Up

Emergency room doctors are seeing more and more kids for mental health problems, and many of them are uninsured, researchers said at the annual conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Boston. Continue reading

High-Tech Hypothermia Treatment Helps Patients

The treatment and care of heart patients is always evolving, often dramatically, and one therapy in particular now may help cardiac arrest survivors in central Alabama. Continue reading

A Night in the ER: Adrenaline, Chaos and Very Long Waits

At Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, as many as 550 patients a day pass through the emergency room. ‘It’s like a battlefield in here.… It just doesn’t stop,’ says a nurse supervisor.

A wall-mounted computer screen in the call center at L.A. County/USC Medical Center showed the emergency room was full. Ambulances were supposed to take patients elsewhere on this Friday night. But they kept coming — some because it was the closest ER, others because the injuries were so severe only a trauma center could handle them.

“We get them from outside hospitals, from clinics, from the field, from the jail, from police, from everywhere — everywhere,” said Alma Aviles, a nurse supervisor. “It’s like a battlefield in here.… It just doesn’t stop.”

Four patients waited on gurneys in a hallway: Continue reading

Medicine Gets a Feel for the Orient

Acupuncture is being trialed in emergency rooms in Victorian hospitals.

AFTER more than 2500 years, traditional Chinese medicines and therapies are finding a place in the once-sceptical world of Western emergency departments and medical laboratories.

The Chinese Medicine department at RMIT’s School of Health Sciences, the largest provider of Chinese medicine studies in Australia, is collaborating with a range of Victorian hospitals to trial the use and benefits of ancient remedies such as acupuncture and ginseng.

Acupuncture has been trialled on patients suffering acute pain in emergency rooms at the Alfred, Northern, Epworth and Cabrini Hospitals, while ginseng – a root believed to increase stamina and quality of life since the 11th century – is being tested to relieve symptoms of chronic lung disease at Box Hill Hospital and Austin Health.

Professor Charlie Xue, Continue reading

Small Town Doctors: The Search for Someone who Does it All

Bigfork, Minn. — Dr. Heidi Korstad is standing in the two-bed emergency room at Bigfork Valley Hospital, describing in her rapid fire manner the health care system in this town of 450 people.

“Small communities are misrepresented sometimes,” says Korstad, a family practice doctor who runs emergency services for one of the most highly rated hospitals in the state. “Everybody thinks we’re treating ear aches and sore throats because we’re not the Mayo. Where do you think people around here go when they have a heart attack or major car accident or a stroke or cancer? They don’t go to the Mayo. They go to us. And we may pass them on for specialty care, but we have to take care of everything that walks in the door.”

It’s not easy to be always prepared  in a small town, Continue reading

Robots Are Coming to the ER

A group of computer engineers at Vanderbilt University is convinced that the basic technology is now available to create robot assistants that can perform effectively in the often-chaotic environment of the emergency room. The specialists in emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are enthusiastic about the potential advantages. So, the two groups have formed an interdisciplinary team to explore the use of robotics in this critical and challenging setting.

Team member Mitch Wilkes, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, presented an overview of the group’s thinking on Monday, Dec. 6, in a paper titled, “Heterogeneous Artificial Agents for Triage Nurse Assistance,” at the Humanoids 2010 conference held in Nashville.

The paper proposes a system of cognitive robots  Continue reading

Research Shows Less Empathy towards Patients that Abuse ER Services

About 60% of emergency physicians say they have less empathy for so-called frequent-flier patients who visit the ED more than 10 times a year.

Nearly 80% told researchers they hold some bias against these patients, and 82% said caring for them contributes to their level of burnout, according to survey data presented at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine’s June annual meeting in Boston.

“The emergency room is becoming their primary source of care, and it’s not any ER’s goal to be an outpatient care provider. That’s not the model of what the ER is supposed to be,” said Jennifer Peltzer-Jones, PsyD, who led the survey team. “If you look at burnout, there’s that lack of a sense of personal accomplishment. The ER model is you fix the patient and you get them out. If the patient keeps coming back  Continue reading

Overcrowding in Emergency Rooms Increase Death Risk among Patients

Overcrowding and long waits in emergency rooms lead to more patients dying or needing further hospital treatment, researchers have found.

In an analysis of more than 14 million patients in Canada, researchers found that hospital shifts with longer average waiting times were linked to a higher risk of patients dying, or returning to the hospital for more treatment, in the following seven days.

Cutting average waiting times by one hour would have saved more than 800 lives over the course of the study, the researchers estimated.

Among the sickest patients, spending six hours or more in the ER was linked to a 79 percent higher chance of dying during the next seven days, compared with staying less than an hour. For less  Continue reading

Despite Rise in Patients, Emergency Rooms are Closing

More Americans are seeking care in hospital emergency rooms. Yet, almost a third of urban and suburban emergency departments have closed over the past two decades.

The number of ERs in non-rural areas in the U.S. fell 27 percent between 1990 and 2009, according to a study published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. That’s an average of 89 closures per year.

Illinois has lost 23 non-psychiatric hospitals — and their emergency rooms — since 1990, with the most recent closure being that of Michael Reese Hospital in 2009, according to the Illinois Hospital Association.

Illinois hospitals are not allowed  Continue reading