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Why hospital patients need to be concerned about sepsis - III

In today's post, we'll conclude our ongoing discussion of sepsis, which has been identified as not only one of the leading causes of hospital readmissions in the U.S., but also as a contributing factor in half of all hospital deaths.

Having already established what sepsis is, as well as it symptoms and the people most at risk of developing it, today's post will naturally focus on how the condition is both diagnosed and treated.

Why hospital patients need to be concerned about sepsis - II

In a previous post, we discussed how research has revealed that sepsis is not only a contributing factor in 50 percent of all hospital deaths, but that it is currently among the leading causes of hospital readmissions here in the U.S.

In recognition of these eye-opening findings and the fact that many people might not be very familiar with sepsis, we began discussing some background information on the condition. We'll continue these efforts in today's post.

FDA issues warning about a hidden danger in mobile medical carts

When you go to a doctor's office, outpatient clinic or hospital, you take it for granted that not only are you going to receive quality care from a medical professional, but also that they equipment on which they rely to provide this quality care will be both safe and functional.

While it's true that certain time-tested equipment is largely immune to any sort of mechanical mishaps, the same can't necessarily be said of those tools that have been present in exam rooms and operating rooms for shorter intervals.

Why care transitions in hospitals can be so dangerous

While much has been researched and written about the dangers associated with shift transitions in teaching hospitals, meaning the patient handoffs that occur when medical professionals clock in and out for shift changes, there has long been a dearth of insight into whether these same dangers are present during care transitions in teaching hospitals.

For those unfamiliar with the difference, care transitions mean the patient handoffs that occur in teaching hospitals when a whole team of physicians, including the attending physicians, residents and interns, hand over the care of a group of patients to an entirely new team of physicians every three to four weeks.

Why hospital patients need to be concerned about sepsis

A recently published report in the Journal of the American Medical Association by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System made some rather concerning findings regarding the rates of sepsis among discharged hospital patients.

Specifically, after examining data on one million patients from the 2013 Nationwide Readmissions Database, the researchers discovered that sepsis is responsible for more 30-day hospital readmissions (12.2 percent) than four other equally serious medical conditions, including heart failure (6.7 percent), pneumonia (5 percent), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (4.6 percent) and heart attacks (1.3 percent).

Study examines the impact of rudeness on quality of patient care

The unfortunate reality for all working people is that no matter their chosen profession, there will come a point when they have to deal with rude behavior. Whether this impoliteness comes from customers, clients, co-workers, managers or professional colleagues, there's no denying that it can prove to be upsetting and jarring, making it difficult to complete work for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.

Interestingly enough, a group of researchers from the University of Florida recently conducted a study in which they sought to determine the effect that rudeness by a pediatric patient's loved ones can have on medical performance and the results were highly disturbing.

3 ways to educate new drivers about the dangers of texting and driving

It may seem like just a quick distraction to send off a text while you are driving, but the results can be deadly. As teenagers start driving and learn to adapt to the rules of the road, it is important that they learn to avoid the temptation to text and drive. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2014, 431,000 people were injured in car accidents that involved a driver who was distracted while driving. To avoid accidents that can be fatal, parents and guardians should educate new drivers about distracted driving.

Three things every bicyclist should know if they are a victim of hit and run

The bicyclist who was victim in a hit-and-run on October 3 in Chapel Hill is the latest example of the risks bikers take in sharing the road with cars and trucks. According to local police, the biker was pedaling north on the 500 block of Hillsborough Street close to Bolinwood Drive when the driver of a small light-colored SUV attempted to pass. Unfortunately, the driver hit the cyclist, perhaps damaged his or her front end, but did not stop to lend assistance or share information. The injured biker was taken to a UNC Hospital, but is not being identified at this time. The victim's injuries don't appear to be life threatening.

Fortunately, most vehicle drivers are honest and level-headed enough to not flee the scene of a crime, particularly when there is an injury. While there are no statistics on the number of hit and runs involving bicycles, The North Carolina Department of Transportation's report on bike crashes states that there were 1024 accidents across North Carolina in 2012 with more than two-thirds occurring in urban settings. This total includes 39 disabling injuries and 27 fatalities.

The dangers of distracted driving

It's widely known that driving becomes more dangerous if the driver is distracted, and the more attention that is taken from the road, the worse it is. Lawmakers have attempted to address this issue through actions such as issuing texting and driving bans for drivers of 43 states plus another three U.S. territories, but still the practice is relatively commonplace. In a June 2015 story, the Huffington Post revealed that nearly half of adults admitted that they had sent or received text messages while driving. Almost a third admitted to doing so within the last 30 days. Cell phone use is even more common, and while it is still legal in some capacity in every state, lawmakers have recognized the dangers enough to restrict cell phone use to only using with hands free models in many states, or even bar all cell phone use for young, inexperienced drivers.

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