When we hear about maternal death, we immediately think of a third world country but in reality, 2 to 3 women die every day in the U.S. from pregnancy and childbirth. Unfortunately, African American women are affected disproportionately and are four times more likely to die than anyone else. The tragedy is that at least half of these deaths are preventable.
In her article, Special Report: Black Women Die Nearly Four Times the Rate of White Women From Pregnancy Complications, Rita Henley Jensen, describes the dilemma of the acting chief of the maternal and infant unit of CDC, Dr. William Callaghan. Callaghan can’t sleep at night because he wants to know why pregnancy is more dangerous for U.S. African American women.
During my residency training, I witnessed a maternal death. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*
Heart attack mortality fell by nearly a half a percent last year at 4,500 hospitals that treat Medicare patients. And, facilities with the lowest and highest death rates saw similar declines, according to a new hospital report card by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Heart attack mortality fell from a national average of 16.6 percent last year to 16.2 percent, with a range among all facilities from 14.5 percent to 17.9 percent. CMS released the data as part of its hospital report card effort to spur better quality and outcomes through public reporting of recommended treatments. The agency added heart attack and heart failure mortality to the report card three years ago.
At issue now is what’s driving the figures: public reporting of hospital data driving improvement, or faster door-to-balloon-treatment times. Areas that do need to improve include lowering readmissions and getting people to the hospital faster when they have a heart attack. (USA Today)
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*
With 365 days a year, one would think the law of averages would win this battle. And you would be wrong. Because there is a deadliest day of the year? It’s none other than Christmas. Who would have thought that? Why would Christmas be the deadliest day of the year.
Researchers examined 53 million natural deaths between 1973 and 2001. What they found was cardiac and non-cardiac deaths peaked during Christmas and New Year’s (between 4-5% higher than expected). They also found that the proportion of holiday deaths was increasing with time. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist Blog*