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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blog Updates for June 2010

June 19, 2010. In Choosing a Surgeon - Part I we added: For example, in [PMID: 20512532] there is a documentation of the "July Effect": "Each July thousands begin medical residencies and acquire increased responsibility for patient care. Many have suggested that these new medical residents may produce errors". The authors write: "Inside medical institutions, in counties containing teaching hospitals, fatal medication errors spiked by 10% in July and in no other month [JR = 1.10 (1.06-1.14)]. In contrast, there was no July spike in counties without teaching hospitals. The greater the concentration of teaching hospitals in a region, the greater the July spike (r = .80; P = .005). These findings held only for medication errors, not for other causes of death."

June 19, 2010. In Choosing a Surgeon - Part I we added: The fact that overwork leads to errors seems intuitively reasonable and has been documented in other medical situations. For example, in [PMID: 15767214] the authors write: "At the beginning of each month, there is a spike in government payments to individuals, resulting in a beginning-of-the-month spike in purchases of prescription drugs and in increased pharmacy workloads. Studies suggest that pharmacy error rates increase with increased workloads. These facts raise an important and previously unanswered question: is there a spike in fatal medication errors at the beginning of each month? We examined all United States death certificates from 1979-2000 (> 47,000,000 deaths) and showed that medication error deaths for which the decedent was dead on arrival or died in the emergency room or as an outpatient spiked by 25% above normal at the beginning of each month. This beginning-of-the-month spike (25% +/- 4%) was larger than for any other major cause of death. The beginning-of-the-month spike did not vary by socioeconomic status and was not larger for substance abusers than for others. Five explanations for the findings were tested. Evidence suggested that the spike in medication error deaths cannot be solely attributed to a spike in the consumption of alcohol or drugs. An increase in pharmacy error rates might play a role."

June 16, 2010. In PSA Screening and Early Detection Part 2 and in ED After Prostatectomy. Part 2 - Rehabilitation we added this link: half life.

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