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New Breakthrough in Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most serious injuries that a person can suffer is a spinal cord injury. When this vital neurological conduit is damaged, it can have repercussions on many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory, urinary, muscular, and gastrointestinal. Additionally, such an injury can mean expensive life-long treatment for the sufferer, costing an average of $30,000 per year to treat according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Promising new research

Unfortunately, once the spinal cord has been damaged, there is currently no way to reverse the damage. As a result, there has been numerous research commissioned to find a way to help find a way for spinal cord injury victims to make a recovery from their injuries.

One Distracted Driving Behavior Found to Cause More Deaths than Texting

The roadway danger posed by electronic distraction has received widespread attention in recent years; to date, 39 states ban texting behind the wheel for all drivers, and an additional 6 prohibit texting for novice drivers. The prevalence of texting behind the wheel and its dangerous roadway implications has spawned numerous studies, advocacy groups, and safety campaigns.

Yet, according to a new study, there is another form of driver distraction that is far more likely to cause a serious crash than use of an electronic device. This behavior, however, receives far less attention.

Paralyzed Woman Uses Robotic Arm

The latest advance to restore movement to people who have become paralyzed and lost control of their muscles is now here, according to an article from The Washington Post.

A Massachusetts woman who has been paralyzed for 15 years was recently able to pick up a bottle of coffee and sip from it by sending her thoughts to a robotic arm.

Researchers have called this the first time that reaching and grasping by a brain-controlled prosthetic arm has been successful.

Swiss Cheese Model

Between 44,000 and 98,000 people die each year in U.S. hospitals because of medical errors.

According to an article by Johns Hopkins Nursing, there is usually a string of errors in a number of different systems.

They call it the “Swiss Cheese Model.”

Teaching Hospitals Have Higher Risk of Complications

According to Medicare’s first public evaluation of hospitals’ records on patient safety, patients are at a heightened risk for preventable conditions when going to teaching hospitals in America.

The Medicare program found that Washington Hospital Center, Georgetown University Hospital, and the Cleveland Clinic were some of the institutions having more complications than average, according to an article from The Washington Post.

The Medicare reimbursement to the hospitals are based on a number of things, some including readmission rates, how patients rate their stays, mortality rates, and how closely hospitals are following guidelines for patient care.

Why Best Practices Haven’t Fixed Health Care

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine reported that American health care was decidedly dangerous for patients. One in every few hundred was hurt, and one in every few thousand was killed by medical misadventures. The cause was not malfeasant individuals; it was inadequately designed and operated systems of care delivery.

Since then, health care providers have invested in a variety of initiatives aimed at improving safety: Electronic order entry to minimize medication mistakes, “kaizen blitzes” and other improvement projects to “lean out” unwieldy processes, checklists to ensure instruments aren’t forgotten inside patients, and countless patient safety conferences.

Wrong Site Surgery Tool

On February 14, a new tool was introduced to help fight wrong site surgery incidents. Developed by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, the Targeted Solution Tool (TST) will take healthcare officials through a step-by-step process to identify, measure, and reduce the risk of accidental surgeries.

According to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, the national incidence rate is as high as 40 per week. That includes wrong site, wrong procedure, wrong side surgeries, and wrong patient mistakes.

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