An ER missed Ebola.  Heres how it could happen to you. How did the emergency department staff of a Texas hospital see, and discharge, a patient infected with Ebola? Despite the fact that blame spreads through hospitals faster than hemorrhagic fever viruses, I’m not interested in pinning down a single person, or a single thing, which may have allowed that to happen. I am very interested, however, in offering a few insights ...

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Thousands of people have travelled from West Africa to the U.S. in the last 6 months.  While the CDC and others throughout the Obama administration continue to reassure everyone that the U.S. is 100 percent prepared for an outbreak,  potential cases and exposures continue to surface all across the country. In Dallas, the first confirmed case of Ebola has passed away.  Even more concerning is the fact that the patient initially ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 14, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. ID System Reduces NICU Errors. Mistakes made when entering clinical orders in one hospital's electronic medical records system were reduced after implementation of a unique naming system to reduce confusion and miscommunication in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
  2. Clinicians Explore EV-D68, Paralysis Link. The mysterious cases of acute ...

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Ebola in the ER: What you should and shouldnt worry about As an ER doctor, right now I'm thinking a lot about Ebola -- it's in the news, in my inbox, and in questions from my patients.  Whether it's an outbreak, a flu epidemic, or a bombing -- we in the ER see them first, and so I'm always thinking about how we'll be ready. So, what concerns me, and what doesn’t? Ebola patients in the ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 13, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Cashing in on Ebola. What was your reaction when you first realized that Ebola was killing thousands of people in Africa and would probably come ashore in America at some point? Sympathy? Worry? Scientific curiosity? An urge to hop the first plane to Monrovia?
  2. Ebola: Body Fluids Carry the ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 10, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Aphrodisiac Aids Genetic Type 2 Diabetes. The stimulant yohimbine may improve insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes patients who have a genetic risk for the disease.
  2. Ebola: Second Texas Man Assessed. A new patient is being assessed for Ebola in the Dallas hospital where the first U.S. patient died.

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Not long ago, the Joint Commission established that patients with pneumonia should receive antibiotics within four hours of diagnosis. Timely diagnosis and treatment can be the difference between life and death in patients with this illness. In fact, some people believe this kind of quality measure should play a large role in how we pay for medical care. After all, doctors should not be paid solely on the basis of ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, October 6, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Dallas Ebola Case a Distraction. Lost in all the brouhaha about the Dallas Ebola case is one salient fact: Thomas Eric Duncan, now reportedly in serious condition in Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, didn't catch the virus in the U.S. He caught it some 5,700 miles away in Liberia.
  2. RA ...

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The first Ebola patient has been diagnosed in the U.S. This news is likely making many of my regular readers wonder, “Should I freak out?” This is a reasonable question, and I will attempt to answer it. But first, let’s go over how this nasty microbe spreads. Ebola is caused by a virus that is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is sick. It is not airborne; ...

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The Ebola outbreak: Dont blame the nurse There is a lot of talk about why the man diagnosed with Ebola at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital was sent home from the emergency room not having been tested for Ebola despite telling the triage nurse he had been in Liberia. Because they let him go, he came in to contact with up to 20 people including a handful of school aged children. ...

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