Friday, April 3, 2009

Hand Washing ****Unbelievable!!!

“We know that a range of pathogens are spread from healthcare workers to patients by direct touch and that the current rates of hand hygiene compliance are suboptimal,” said Philip Polgreen, MD, University of Iowa Health Care. “Our new low-cost method of monitoring could potentially reduce cost while increasing compliance rates.” The failure of healthcare workers to perform appropriate hand hygiene is one of the leading preventable causes of healthcare-associated infections.

Read about how this may change our future-

Bacteria Meningitis in Ohio

Meningitis case at OSU raises issue of vaccines
Shots not required of Ohio resident students
Wednesday, April 1, 2009 3:18 AM
By Encarnacion Pyle
Ohio colleges since July 2005 have had to keep records of whether students living in residence halls have been vaccinated against meningitis and hepatitis B.
But the focus has been more on telling students where to find information about the illnesses rather than determining whether the campaign is working.
Some people would like the state to require that every student living at an Ohio college be vaccinated.
"I can't emphasize enough the importance of getting a vaccination for meningococcal, which is so deadly and can spread so rapidly," said Dr. Mysheika LeMaile-Williams, the medical director at Columbus Public Health.
An Ohio State University student is the most recent of 17 bacterial-meningitis cases in the state this year. Ohio State announced yesterday that the illness was diagnosed in the female student Monday morning. She was taken to the OSU Medical Center.
This is the first case of the contagious illness on the campus this year.
OSU spokesman Jim Lynch would not identify the student but said she is a resident of Patterson Hall.
He said people who had direct contact with the student have been notified so they can get a preventive antibiotic. Ohio State's spring break was last week, and the student was hospitalized before she attended classes Monday, Lynch said. People who were around her in Lorain County, where she spent spring break, also were notified.
Two Ohio University freshmen, including the son of Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien, also contracted bacterial meningitis this year.
Bacterial meningitis infects the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord and can be fatal if it goes undetected and is not treated early. It is passed from person to person through saliva.
About 2,600 people in the United States catch bacterial meningitis each year. It can destroy organs and tissue within hours, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC has recommended that children as young as 11 be vaccinated.
Common symptoms are a high fever, headache and stiff neck. Other symptoms are confusion, nausea, a rash, sleepiness, vomiting and discomfort in bright light.
Ohio recorded about 40 cases of bacterial meningitis last year, according to the state Department of Health.
The state's colleges are required to ask students whether they have been vaccinated against meningitis and hepatitis B, a virus that affects the liver and is spread through contact with blood or other bodily fluids. But several schools said they use the records only when a student falls ill because the information is often incorrect or outdated.
About 5,000 students at Ohio State and 4,000 at OU have indicated that they have been vaccinated against bacterial meningitis, officials said.
Sen. Gary Cates, a West Chester Republican, has introduced a bill that would require all students living at an Ohio public university to be vaccinated, an effort that has failed in the past.
"It's a first step to better protecting our students," said Cates' legislative assistant, Sarah Spence.

Drug Overdoses in Ohio - In loving memory of my Sister Gidgett Burns

Drug overdoses kill more Ohioans than car wrecks
Thursday, April 2, 2009 2:17 PM
By Alan Johnson
A new killer has quietly replaced traffic crashes as the No. 1 cause of accidental death in Ohio.
Unintentional poisoning deaths - nearly all of them drug overdoses - eclipsed traffic fatalities in both 2006 and 2007, the Ohio Department of Health reported. Numbers have not been released for last year.
Overdose deaths shot up 249 percent between 1999 and 2007. An average of three people now die each day in Ohio of drug overdoses.
The state agency calls it an epidemic.
In addition, heroin and synthetic opiates such as OxyContin have now replaced cocaine as the second-tier "drug of choice" among those seeking rehabilitation, treatment agencies are reporting. They rank behind only alcohol.
Officials gathered at a Statehouse news conference today said they are alarmed by both trends, given the backdrop of state budget cutbacks for drug-, alcohol- and mental-health treatment programs.
"We have a serious problem with opiate addiction," said Joe Trolian, executive director of the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Richland County.
"This is not just down-and-out people from the wrong side of town. This is high-school students that died in the family recreation room, athletes who thought they could take just one more pill, older adults who mix drugs and alcohol."
Cheri L. Walter, chief executive officer of the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities, said that as funding evaporates, only those patients who qualify for Medicaid are certain to be served.
"Many Ohio counties have no funds left over to provide services to middle- or lower-income families who have minimal or no health-care benefits."
The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services has $38 million in state money, twice as much as when it was created 20 years ago. However, it is treating 100,000 people instead of 40,000.
Health officials said opiates are "largely responsible for this alarming increase in drug-poisoning death rates." There is a direct relationship between increasing sales of prescription opiates and drug overdoses, they concluded.
Franklin County reported 61 deaths by prescription narcotics in 2007, the most among Ohio's 88 counties.
The drugs involved include methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin) and morphine. Sedatives such as Valium, tranquilizers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills also are often abused, the agency said.
Costs associated with fatal drug overdoses, including medical, work and quality-of-life losses, add up to an estimated $3.6 billion a year in Ohio, the Health Department found. An additional $35.5 million in expenses resulted from nonfatal overdoses.
Paul Coleman, president of Maryhaven, a Columbus alcohol- and drug-treatment center, said a study done for the agency last year found that each $1 spent on treatment saved more than $11 in costs related to crime and medical expenses.