Daily Rounds: Nursing Lockout, Patient Death; Free Baby Formula; Prostate Straight Talk; Personal Pain Relief

Hospital: Medical Error Likely Caused Death of Patient During California Nursing Strike (AP) — SAN FRANCISCO —"Authorities were investigating the death of a patient who was given a “non-prescribed dosage” of a medical drug by a replacement hired when thousands of nurses went on strike across California, an Oakland police spokeswoman said Sunday. Spokeswoman Johnna Watson did not release details of the incident at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. The patient died Saturday, two days after the nurses walked out during the labor dispute on Thursday. Many were not allowed to return to work on Friday. Steve O’Brien, a doctor and the hospital’s vice president of medical affairs, said the death was likely caused by a medical error. The patient had been receiving treatment at the hospital since July."

Hospitals Still Handing OUt Free Baby Formula — (AMedNews) -- "Fewer hospitals are packing infant formula in the diaper discharge bags sent home with new mothers, but most still do it despite criticism over the negative impact on breast feeding, a study found. The proportion that did not distribute formula in company-sponsored diaper bag sample packs doubled from 2007 to 2010 in the survey of more than 1,200 hospitals across 19 states and the District of Columbia with the highest and lowest rates. But that represented an increase from only 14% to 28%, leaving most hospitals still on the side of distributing sample packs."The Side Effects? Well, There Is One...(NYTimes) -- "The reality for many of the 240,000 men in the United States in whom prostate cancer is diagnosed each year is not all that rosy, at least when it comes to their intimate lives. After surgery and radiation treatments, many men quickly discover that sex will never be normal again. Sensations change. Many men can no longer achieve erections without pumps or pills. For some, the ability to have sex goes away entirely. Yet, for years, men facing prostate cancer surgery have been reassured by their doctors, who could cite studies in prominent medical journals, that their sex lives would be just fine after treatment. Doctors would often boast of sexual recovery rates in excess of 90 percent, but failed to disclose that those numbers applied to a select group of patients rather than to most men who walked in the door. Now, research published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association finally offers men some straight talk about what to expect from treatment for prostate cancer."

When It Comes To Pain Relief, One Size Doesn't Fit All (NPR) — "In a massive review of current studies and research published earlier this month, scientists at Oxford University in England examined 350 different studies involving about 45,000 patients. They looked at doses of single painkillers as well as combinations of drugs, totaling 38 different pain medications — everything from acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen to more powerful opiate derivatives. Biochemist Andrew Moore headed the study, which aimed to explore whether one medication worked "best" for most people. Their conclusion: No. Certain pain medications which worked to relieve pain for certain individuals were barely noticeable for others."

This program aired on September 26, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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