Although all hospitals in the state are making plans to rapidly identify, isolate and safely evaluate people with suspected Ebola, eight hospitals are preparing to care for a person with Ebola for the duration of the illness.
CHI Franciscan Health (Harrison Medical Center – Bremerton campus),
MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital,
Providence Regional Medical Center Everett,
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in Spokane,
Seattle Children’s Hospital,
Swedish Medical Center (Issaquah),
Virginia Mason Hospital, and
UW Medicine (Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Valley Medical Center)
“The chance of a confirmed case of Ebola in Washington is very low, but in the event it happens we want to be sure we have the capacity to provide ongoing care to a patient,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, state Health Officer. “Patients with Ebola can become critically ill and require intensive care therapy. Care needs to be delivered using strict infection control practices. We are working with each of the committed hospitals to ensure we are coordinated and thorough in our response.” Continue reading →
By Dr. Kory B. Fowler Medical Director, Intermountain Region Humana
The influenza virus– commonly known as the flu – affects up to 20 percent of Americans annually, leaving more than 200,000 people hospitalized from complications each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The flu is particularly dangerous for Washingtonseniors, who often have pre-existing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Last year the flu vaccine prevented 6.6 million illnesses, 3.2 million doctor visits and at least 79,000 hospitalizations.
There are many ways to reduce the risk of catching the virus, such as washing your hands often, but an annual flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu and reduce the risk of complications. Continue reading →
Emory’s plan to treat patients who have diseases like Ebola actually began 12 years ago.
Dr. Jay Varkey’s first thought was, “What do we need today, in order to care for these patients tomorrow?”
In the three months since, Emory has treated four Ebola patients. All survived. Dallas nurse Amber Vinson spent more than a week at a special treatment unit at Emory before being discharged in good health and good spirits Tuesday.Continue reading →
In the past year, new hepatitis C drugs that promise higher cure rates and fewer side effects have given hope to millions who are living with the disease.
But many patients whose livers aren’t yet significantly damaged by the viral infection face a vexing reality: They’re not sick enough to qualify for the drugs that could prevent them from getting sicker.
An estimated 3 million people have hepatitis C. Faced with a cost per patient of roughly $95,000 or more for a 12-week course of treatment, many public and private insurers are restricting access to those who already have serious liver damage.
Many baby boomers who have hepatitis C contracted it years ago from blood transfusions at a time when blood was not screened for the virus.
Other strategies that limit access include restricting who can prescribe the drugs or requiring early proof the drug is working before continuing with treatment.
U.S. security agency ill-prepared to deal with pandemic: audit | Reuters – “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which protects sites ranging from land borders and airports to the White House, may not be able to maintain operations in a pandemic due to inadequate supplies of protective gear and drugs for its staff, according to a government report on Thursday.”
Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist Paul G. Allen today increased his commitment to efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to at least $100 million and called on the global community to join the cause.
“The Ebola virus is unlike any health crisis we have ever experienced and needs a response unlike anything we have ever seen,” Allen said. “To effectively contain this outbreak and prevent it from becoming a global epidemic, we must pool our efforts to raise the funds, coordinate the resources and develop the creative solutions needed to combat this problem. I am committed to doing my part in tackling this crisis.”
To help individuals contribute to the effort, Allen has created crowd-sourcing website — TackleEbola.com.
The donation platform is designed to coordinate and optimize individual global giving, Allen said
Donations of all sizes will go to funding the solutions required to treat, contain and prevent the spread of Ebola.
Donors will be able to select the need that they are most interested in funding and 100 percent of that contribution will be applied to that need.
The site also offers a way for donors to view the impact of their combined contributions with updates on progress towards goals.
IN THE battle against Ebola, mobile phones could be invaluable—not just in themselves, as devices that can be used to send people public-health information or let them call helplines, but also because of the data they generate.
While Ebola stokes public anxiety, more than one in six hospitals — including some top medical centers — are having trouble stamping out less exotic but sometimes deadly infections, federal records show.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die each year from them—more than from car crashes and gun shots combined.
Nationally, about one in every 25 hospitalized patients gets an infection, and 75,000 people die from them each year.
from themA Kaiser Health News analysis found 695 hospitals with higher than expected rates for at least one of the six types of infections tracked by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 13 states and the District of Columbia, a quarter or more of hospitals that the government evaluated were rated worse than national benchmarks the CDC set in at least one infection category, the KHN analysis found.
The missteps Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital made this month in handling an Ebola patient echo mistakes hospitals across the nation have made in dealing with homegrown infections. Continue reading →
The Ebola epidemic in Africa and fears of it spreading in the U.S. have turned the nation’s attention to the federal government’s front-line public health agency: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But as with Ebola itself, there is much confusion about the role of the CDC and what it can and cannot do to prevent and contain the spread of disease.
The agency has broad authority under federal law, but defers to or partners with state and local health agencies in most cases.
Julie Rovner answers some common questions.
Q: What is the CDC?
Formally renamed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1992 to reflect its broader scope (previously it was just the Centers for Disease Control), the Atlanta-based CDC is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its mission is to promote health and prevent disease, injury and premature death. CDC’s most recent budget is just under $7 billion.
Q: What is CDC’S role in combating Ebola?
CDC personnel have been working on the ground in West Africa to try to stop the spread of Ebola since the spring, when cases began to mount. CDC Director Thomas Frieden told a congressional hearing Thursday that the agency currently has 139 staffers in West Africa, and that more than 1,000 workers have “provided logistics, staffing, communication, analytics, management and other support functions.”