News & Information
Healthcare Serial Killings Down in U.S. but Up Globally
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 30, 2014 10:48 PM

Now there's a headline that you don't see often touted as good news:  Hey, fewer healthcare workers in the US are committing serial murder, but worldwide more of them are.

The number of serial killings committed by healthcare providers has leveled off in the U.S. in recent decades, although it is rising internationally, Eindra Khin Khin, MD, said here at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.

According to the literature, the number of cases of healthcare serial killings overall rose from 10 in the 1970s to 21 in the 1980s, 23 in the 1990s, and then to 40 in the years 2000 to 2006, said Khin Khin, who along with her colleagues presented a poster on the topic.

The vast majority of killings (72%) occurred in a hospital, with the remainder occurring in nursing homes (20%), patients' homes (6%) and outpatient settings (2%).

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Quarantines Not Necessary. Remember Mary Mallon
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 30, 2014 10:30 PM

Quarantining people who might have Ebola but are presently asymptomatic is unnecessary and has unintended negative consequences, according to several experts.

"Persons who don't have symptoms don't spread disease," Jeffrey Duchin, MD, chair of the public health committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.  "Once symptoms develop, patients can be isolated and [providers can] determine at that point whether they have Ebola."

And now a word from the history department:  Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected 53 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. She was twice forcibly isolated by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation. Among the infections Mallon caused, at least three deaths were attributed to her. However, due to her use of aliases and refusal to cooperate, the exact number is not known. Some have estimated that she may have caused 50 fatalities. Mallon was the first asymptomatic typhoid carrier to be identified by medical science, and there was no policy providing guidelines for handling the situation.  Apparently we did not learn from history,  now back to our message on Ebola:

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What Scary Movies Can Teach Us
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 30, 2014 07:38 AM

Everybody knows the fundamental rule of horror survival: when you unexpectedly find yourself up against a monster or crazed slasher, you stick together. Splitting up just makes it easier for the adversary to pick you off one-by-one.  Our profession has long endured the attacks of such crazed slashers, but we don't seem to have learned these lessons.  

A review of the lessons learned from scary movies might help you, and our profession, better learn the basic survival skills.

Horror movie fanatics also know:

  • You don’t go to sleep – remain ever vigilant and it is much more difficult for the monsters to sneak up on you.
  • You avoid the local food and water, flora and fauna, as much as possible – If something looks particularly attractive it just may be a trap!
  • You keep your libido in check, (Slashers hate the amorous) – When you are in a fight for your life, now is NOT the time to think about "other things," see the first rule about vigilance.

Here are some other movie specific lessons for you to ponder:

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Fall in Malpractice Awards, Rise in Malpractice?
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 07:45 AM

In spite of a small jump last year, medical malpractice payments seem to be trending downward, although medical errors remain a major problem, according to a report from the consumer group Public Citizen. The American Medical Association, a longtime critic of the consumer group and its methods, questioned the validity of the report.

Public Citizen said it is troubled by the overall decline in the volume and value of such claims over the last 15 years, because it found no sign that the actual incidence of medical errors is falling. If anything, the group said, "the actual crisis over avoidable medical errors is worse than we ever knew."

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5 Surprising Energy Zappers
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 07:37 AM

1. Bad posture

Sit up straight! And not just because your mother told you too…according to the American Chiropractic Association, your body actually consumes more energy when you’re slouching. Make sure you’re taking breaks to stretch. “When you stretch, you elongate and elasticize your ligaments and muscles and lubricate the joints. Your joints will glide more, which will require less consumption of energy in the muscle.”

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