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New Jersey Medical Clinic Shut Down Due to High Infection Rates is Open Again

New Jersey Medical Clinic Shut Down Due to High Infection Rates is Open Again

The Osteo Relief Institute, a medical clinic specializing in knee pain in Wall Township, was shut down by state health officials on March 7 but was back in operation two weeks later. Thirty-eight patients were infected by injections, reports NJ.com. This instance is just a small part of hundreds of thousands of infections patients suffer when they obtain medical care across the country. Monmouth County Health Department officials found that employees weren’t properly washing their hands and allowed full needles to sit “well before” they were used on patients. After a re-inspection, the clinic re-opened. The state confirmed 38 reported cases of infections due to injections but an investigation continues. The problem of infections caused by health care providers is well known and widespread. Results of the HAI (Hospital Acquired Infections) Prevalence Survey were published in 2014, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It reports that an estimated 722,000 infections occurred in U.S. acute care hospitals and about 75,000 patients with HAI’s died during their hospitalizations in 2011. As the Osteo Relief case shows, the problem isn’t limited to hospitals. The CDC also states that in the past ten years more than thirty outbreaks of hepatitis B and C in non-hospital healthcare settings occurred in outpatient clinics, dialysis centers and long-term care facilities. Often infections can spread between medical facilities. Patients infected in hospitals may be transferred to rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes where infections spread to other patients and residents. Infections in skilled nursing facilities can make their way to hospitals if an infected resident is transferred to a hospital. While many infections can be dealt with...
More exhausted residents = more dead patients?

More exhausted residents = more dead patients?

Think you work long hours? Medical residents, those who have graduated medical school and are working in hospitals to get hands-on experience, can currently work up to 16 hours a shift. The private group overseeing physician training in the country is proposing that it be increased to 28 hours, reports the Los Angeles Times. That may mean exhausted residents treating patients in New Jersey hospitals in the future. Have you ever been awake for more than 24 hours? If so, how well did you function? Do you think you would be able to make life-and-death decisions after being awake that long or perform a medical procedure without making mistakes? The 16-hour limit was a reduction in 2011 from 24 hours, after evidence showed exhausted residents were endangering both their patients and themselves. Studies show the longer residents work, the more likely they are to make potentially deadly errors when caring for patients. Nearly 20% of residents at the University of California Los Angeles stated in a 2007 survey that they had fallen asleep while driving, because of work-related fatigue. Doctors who want the increase claim that current shift limits may endanger patients by forcing residents to leave at critical times and that the grueling hours are preparation for the future, when they will be unsupervised. This training is compared to getting ready for a marathon. “With enough experience comes resilience and the ability to perform under expected, sometimes challenging conditions,” Thomas Nasca, chief executive of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, stated when announcing the proposed change. The proposal is rightly coming under criticism from both physicians and...
Trump Administration Travel Ban Faces Legal Challenges

Trump Administration Travel Ban Faces Legal Challenges

President Trump signed an executive order in late January to bar, for at least ninety days, almost all permanent immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria and Iraq. It has many supporters and critics in New Jersey and has spawned numerous lawsuits in federal courts across the country. These lawsuits involve non-profit advocacy groups as well as state attorneys general (including New York’s) challenging the order. There has been some initial success with some travelers who were trapped at airports being allowed to leave. But as far as mounting a successful overall challenge in the long run, the plaintiffs may have a difficult time. Generally, the President has much discretion when it comes to immigration and border controls. One possibly successful argument was discussed by David J. Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, in a New York Times opinion piece. In it Bier states: The order is illegal because more than fifty years ago Congress outlawed discrimination against immigrants based on their national origin. There were earlier prohibitions against immigration based on where potential immigrants came from. In the late 19th century, federal law excluded all Chinese, nearly all Japanese and later all Asians in the “Asiatic Barred Zone.” In 1924 Congress enacted a “national-origins system” favoring Western Europeans and excluding most Eastern Europeans, almost all Asians and Africans. A law that might invalidate the administration’s order is the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of their national origin. It provided those living in each country an equal shot at filling...
Going to a Hospital Could be a Crapshoot. Should it?

Going to a Hospital Could be a Crapshoot. Should it?

You may have great faith in your local New Jersey hospital. Perhaps you, a family member or friend was treated there and did well. But if you need treatment for something new, is that hospital the right place for you? The federal government and health insurance companies have statistics on the nation’s hospitals and how well they treat different conditions, but you can’t have access to them. Your choice of hospital is a leap of faith. Should you have more information to make a better, more informed decision as to where you should be treated and by whom? For the first time, a comprehensive study comparing how hospitals treat a variety of medical conditions was released in December, reports the New York Times. Researchers found those treated at the country’s worst hospitals were three times more likely to die and 13 times more likely to have medical complications than if they were treated in one of the best hospitals. The study found there is wide variation in outcomes from hospital to hospital and from region to region. Researchers looked at 22 million hospital admissions and information from the federal Medicare program and private insurance companies. They analyzed the data and used two dozen measures of medical outcomes. They adjusted the results for how ill the patients were, their age and income. Wide differences were found among hospitals, including that many of the better hospitals were not uniformly good. For instance, one may do very well with heart patients but have many poor outcomes for orthopedics. Like businesses, government agencies or law firms, not all hospitals are the same. Some...
Xarelto Lawsuit Faces Procedural Challenge; NJ Involved

Xarelto Lawsuit Faces Procedural Challenge; NJ Involved

In big lawsuits, procedure can be as controversial as substance. Take, for instance, the dozens of claims currently pending against New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiffs say that the company’s blood-thinning drug, Xarelto, caused catastrophic injury and death to innocent patients. The company, of course, denies that. But before the parties even begin to reach the issue at hand, they’ve had to duke it out over time-consuming procedural technicalities. Johnson & Johnson Loses Procedural Fight in Pharmaceutical Injury Lawsuit Despite protest by the defendants, the federal court system recently ruled that the plaintiffs could consolidate their pretrial claims against Johnson & Johnson. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) officially approved what is known as a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) procedure, which allows a single court to hear many different cases from across the country when they involve issues that are similar but complex. Approving the MDL makes sense for a few reasons. For starters, the factual scenarios are of like kind in each case, as are the medications and the injuries they allegedly caused. Consolidation also avoids inconsistent rulings and redundant discovery. Consolidating similar claims is almost always good for the judicial system, too. Less litigation eases the burden on already overtaxed courts. But Johnson & Johnson strenuously opposed the consolidation effort. Why? Well, as a practical matter, consolidation does make life a little easier for the people seeking justice against the drug companies. The defendants don’t want that. Johnson & Johnson also hoped to have the cases adjudicated in New Jersey, where they’re headquartered. The plaintiffs, meanwhile, wanted an Illinois judge renowned for his experience in...
Nonprofit Group Releases Startling New Jersey Road Report

Nonprofit Group Releases Startling New Jersey Road Report

There’s a new report on roadway safety in New Jersey, and the numbers paint an unflattering picture for The Garden State. Unsafe road conditions and driver negligence continue to pose a substantial threat of fatality to innocent drivers. A By-the-Numbers Analysis of New Jersey Car Crashes TRIP is a national nonprofit organization, dedicated to transportation safety research since 1971. Operating out of Washington, D.C., they’ve taken a hard look at a wide range of New Jersey auto accident data from the last few years. Their results are compiled in a just-released report, entitled: New Jersey Transportation by the Numbers. Here’s a look at just a few of those numbers: $11.8 Billion — The total annual cost of New Jersey’s roadway deficiencies $1,951 — The average per-driver cost of those deficiencies 589 — The average number of people killed in New Jersey car crashes 2,945 — People killed in New Jersey car crashes during the last five years 35% — Percentage of New Jersey’s major roads still in “poor condition” Additionally, TRIP notes the following observations about auto accidents in New Jersey: Rural, non-Interstate roads in New Jersey have a much higher fatality rate than any of the state’s other roads. Traffic crashes cost New Jersey residents billions of dollars every year (a combination of lost household and workplace productivity, insurance costs, and related expenses). Poor roadway conditions play a significant role in accident causation, but vehicle defects and driver negligence continue to pose even greater danger. Poor Road Conditions, Driver Negligence Remain Threats for NJ Traffic Fatality TRIP’s report calls for congressional funding to help improve New Jersey’s roadways...
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