photo10Duke Studies: Banked Blood Doesn’t Deliver Oxygen
Duke studies find banked blood loses ability to deliver oxygen to tissues. Replacing nitric oxide in donated blood could solve the problem.

Montreal Gazette: “Too much blood: Researchers fear the ‘gift of life’ may sometimes endanger it”
When doctors at a New Jersey hospital pioneered a “bloodless” surgery program for patients who refused blood transfusions on religious grounds, they discovered something totally unexpected: Jehovah’s Witnesses, who would choose death over a transfusion, recovered just as well as transfused patients — and in many cases, even better…

Transfusion Strategies for Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding N Engl J Med January 3, 2013 368:11-21 Vilanueva, et. al.
The hemoglobin threshold for transfusion of red cells in patients with acute gastrointestinal bleeding is controversial. We compared the efficacy and safety of a restrictive transfusion strategy with those of a liberal transfusion strategy.

The Joint Commission has posted proposed requirements for a “New Patient Blood Management Certification Program”
The Joint Commission’s Laboratory Accreditation program is developing a Patient Blood Management certification program for Joint Commission-accredited hospitals. Patient blood management incorporates a patient-centered approach into the blood utilization activities and blood conservation strategies that occur within the hospital.

How Many Die From Medical Mistakes in U.S. Hospitals?
An updated estimate says at least 210,000 patients die from medical mistakes in U.S. hospitals a year.

A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care
Based on 1984 data developed from reviews of medical records of patients treated in New York hospitals, the Institute of Medicine estimated that up to 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. The basis of this estimate is nearly 3 decades old; herein, an updated estimate is developed from modern studies published from 2008 to 2011.

To Err is Human: Building A Safer Health System
This report lays out a comprehensive strategy by which government, health care providers, industry, and consumers can reduce preventable medical errors. Concluding that the know-how already exists to prevent many of these mistakes, the report sets as a minimum goal a 50 percent reduction in errors over the next five years.

Wall Street Journal: Here’s What Your Operation Will Really Cost
Intermountain is building an ambitious new data system that will also be able to track the actual cost of every procedure and piece of equipment used in its hospitals and clinics, a function that is standard in many industries but not in health care.

Wall Street Journal: The Biggest Mistake Doctors Make
A patient with abdominal pain dies from a ruptured appendix after a doctor fails to do a complete physical exam. A biopsy comes back positive for prostate cancer, but no one follows up when the lab result gets misplaced. A child’s fever and rash are diagnosed as a viral illness, but they turn out to be a much more serious case of bacterial meningitis…

Medicare Penalizes Nearly 1,500 Hospitals For Poor Quality Scores
While the health law’s insurance markets are still struggling to get off the ground, the Obama administration is moving ahead with its second year of meting out bonuses and penalties to hospitals based on the quality of their care. This year, there are more losers than winners.

The Economist: How science goes wrong
A SIMPLE idea underpins science: “trust, but verify”. Results should always be subject to challenge from experiment. That simple but powerful idea has generated a vast body of knowledge. Since its birth in the 17th century, modern science has changed the world beyond recognition, and overwhelmingly for the better.