Health Updates 25 August 2011

  • FDA approved Botox for loss of bladder control: “The US Food and Drug Administration said Botox can be injected into the bladder to treat those who lose bladder control because of damage to the nervous system, through conditions such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.” (Reuters)
  • Hospital acquired infections costly, preventable: “A program to reduce hospital-acquired infections can save an average of $1.1 million a year, according to results of a new study.  In 2002, one in every 20 hospitalized patients developed a healthcare-associated infection (HAI), making HAIs one of the leading causes of death and illness in the US and costing up to $33 billion dollars, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”  It has been reported that the current healthcare reimbursement system does not reward hospitals for preventing infections; even worse, preventing infection means fewer re-admissions – a loss of reimbursement for the hospital and another disincentive.  The two most common HAIs are ventilator-associated pneumonia and central line-associated bloodstream infections.  “Without a strong business case, hospitals may be reluctant to embark on meaningful efforts to improve safety” study experts fear.  (Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today)
  • Doctors played a key role in South Florida pill mills: “Federal investigators allege that doctors used their prescription pads to order vast sums of pills from wholesale pharmaceutical suppliers, then dispensed the pills to as many as 500 patients a day – some of them drug couriers from as far away as Appalachia, Mexico and Turkey.  In return, the doctors were paid on average of $35,000 per week, the indictment says.  And one Miami-Dade doctor was even offered a raise if he wrote more prescriptions.” (Miami Herald)
  • Jury rules in favor of doctor who partially amputated a man’s penis: “The jury unanimously found that Dr. John Patterson exercised appropriate care when he removed a portion of Seaton’s penis after finding cancer and ruled 10-2 against Seaton’s claim that Patterson did not properly obtain consent from him before removing his penis.” (ABC News)

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