Health care facilities should consider mandatory flu vaccinations for their employees if other attempts don’t increase rates to 90%, a draft statement from a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) working group stated.
All public health services, HHS staff and Federally Qualified Health Centers should follow suit, stated the Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination Subgroup in draft recommendations.
The working group released five steps to boost vaccination rates:
–Employers should establish comprehensive flu infection prevention programs as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to achieve the Healthy People 2020 influenza vaccine coverage goal of 90%.
–Employers should integrate flu vaccination programs into their existing infection prevention programs.
–HHS should encourage CDC and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to standardize the methodology used to measure Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
Some medications are well known for being risky, especially for older people. Certain antihistamines, barbiturates, muscle relaxants—take too much of them, or take them with certain other medications, and you can wind up in serious trouble (and possibly in the back of ambulance).
But researchers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Emory University reported in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine that those high-risk medications are not the ones that most commonly put older Americans (ages 65 and older) in the hospital.
Warfarin is #1
Instead, they found that warfarin is the most common culprit. Warfarin (the brand-name version is called Coumadin) reduces the blood’s tendency to clot. Many older people take it to lower their risk of getting a stroke.
After warfarin, different Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
I live on the West Coast, where it is rare to see a smoker. Because it is not socially accepted, smokers are not out in the open. They lurk behind buildings to take a smoke break at work and I don’t even own an ashtray for friends because none of my friends smoke. But San Francisco isn’t the rest of America. In 2010 there were 45.5 million Americans who smoke, with men smoking more than women. Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Each year approximately 433,000 people die of smoking-related illness.
Here are some more stats on American adult smokers. The highest prevalence is American Indians/Alaska Natives (31.4%) followed by whites (21%). Smoking incidence decreases with increasing education and improved economics. By region, the Midwest has the most smokers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia (22-27%). That is huge.
California and Utah have the lowest percentage of adult smokers at Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Antimicrobial resistance is a world-wide problem and increases the difficulty a variety of infections. In the United States, the major threat that is faced each day by millions of Americans every year is posed by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Studies to obtain precise estimates for all types of resistant infections is ongoing, but we do know that every year, almost 90,000 people become ill with infections caused by one of these resistant bacteria—methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA. Of these people, over 15,000 die.
Tremendously effective strategies have been developed to prevent infections, especially those likely to be caused by resistant bacteria. Readers of this blog are very familiar with the wide range of evidence-based, proven-effective interventions that reduce the incidence of infections and prevent the transmission of dangerous pathogens between people, especially hospitalized patients who are most at risk.
But a critical strategy for preventing the development of drug resistance in bacteria is to use antibiotics carefully and judiciously. Scientists have known for 70 years, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Safe Healthcare*
The overdose death rate from prescription opioids, referred to as “narcotics”, has reached “epidemic levels” in the US according to a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report further states that the intentional misuse and abuse of popular opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, methadone and others now cause more deaths than those caused by heroin and cocaine combined.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC Director told reporters that “Narcotics prescribed by physicians kill 40 people a day.” He continued by stating “Prescription painkillers are meant to help people who have severe pain. They are, however, highly addictive.”
The report states that increased prescribing of pain medications by doctors is a significant cause of this growing number of deaths. However, the situation is far more complicated than this report presents. Poor pain management and prescription drug abuse has become Read more »