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November 1, 2019

News This Week

The growing gap between science and patient care —

Why is it that medicine has innovated so much at the scientific level but is still far behind when it comes to patient care? The short answer: science doesn't push back the way people do. There is strong resistance to change in health care, but why? Perhaps simple stubbornness, or perhaps well-meaning staff are hesitant to change their ways in the fear of making mistakes. The former is more difficult to address, but we can begin to do so by promoting innovation through consensus, exception, and data.

The enlightening effects of blackouts —

"There’s a blackout, a planned blackout to cut the fire risk to your community [...], and now you are faced with a decision: do you keep your refrigerator full of vaccines running, or do you keep the community’s electronic health care records online? Your backup generator can’t do both." What would you do? The raging wildfire threats up and down the state of California post a slew of frightening questions. States of emergency bring up important decisions that must be made, especially in the case of health care facilities.

First African American to receive full face transplant —

This past July, Robert Chelsea became the oldest person, and first African American, to receive a full face transplant. After a 16-hour surgery, 45 physicians, nurses, and other supporting staff had finished a successful procedure. Chelsea is expected to make a full recovery and regain his ability to eat and drink normally. While a successful case, it highlights the disparities that African Americans face in organ donation availability: "While about 30% of those waiting for transplants are black, African Americans comprise just 13.5% of organ donors in the US."

Huge win for nurses, huge win for our country's health —

An important act was passed this week in hopes of addressing the national nursing shortage crisis, especially in medically underserved communities. It will ensure funding for recruitment, retention, and advanced education of nursing professionals through workforce development programs. It also provides funding and support for loan repayments, scholarships, and grants for nursing education and practice, bolstering nursing education at all levels. “As the proud husband of a nurse, I know full-well that nurses are the backbone of our nation’s health care system,” said Congressman Dave Joyce (OH-14). We agree, Dave.

The "Facebook Effect" and blood donation —

Would you be more likely to donate blood if you knew exactly when your blood helped save a life? That's the theory a Swedish blood bank has been testing after the success of a Johns Hopkins' study using a Facebook campaign to promote organ donor registration. Donors are thanked and and notified each time their blood is used, they can then share their experience on social media. Positive reinforcement, meet saving lives.

Uber driver goes out of way to help new mother —

We've all seen how medical conditions can be emotionally taxing for our patients, their families, and especially new parents. Uber driver, Glinda the Good Witch- whoops, Belinda Smith, noticed the passenger she picked up from Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital was in tears. She soon found out that her passenger, a new mother, needed to buy clothing for her child currently being treated for a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Belinda turned the young mother's day around by taking her on a shopping spree. We need more Belinda's in the world of Oz.

Clockin' Out ✌

"What do orthopedic nurses think about skeleton puns? ... They're humerus 🎃