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Archive for February, 2009

Improving CPR Skills

Since its development in the 1950s, CPR has been the mainstay of cardiac arrest treatment and has consistently demonstrated improvement of outcomes when delivered promptly and correctly to arrest victims. The importance of CPR is emphasized in many forms of introductory field training in basic and advanced cardiac life support, and the American Heart Association (AHA) provides on-going CPR guideline updates as new and innovative research becomes available.

While the AHA updates its guidelines every five years, a question remains for EMS professionals: What can I do now to improve my care and survival rates from cardiac arrest without waiting for the next guidelines update? has recently released several suggestions on how to improve CPR skills. From training programs to actual technique, this guide is a must read for any EMS responder or health care professional.

Are your CPR skills at their best?

New Campaign for Surgical Checklists


According to a recent report on, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is trying to get all U.S. Hospitals to test the World Health Organization’s surgical checklist. While IHI doesn’t believe that a government mandate is required, it hopes that peer pressure from hospitals and national organizations that endorse the checklist will lead to universal adoption. The 19-point checklist includes items that surgical teams should check before anesthesia, before skin incision, and before the patient leaves the operating room. From Pulse Oximeters to introductions to the patient, this comprehensive checklist could change the face of healthcare in our nation.

According to an international study of hospitals in eight cities in advanced and developing countries, use of the checklist reduced surgical mortality rates by nearly half, and inpatient complications, by 38 percent. While the checklist probably wouldn’t reduce the death rate as much in the U.S. as in the less developed nations (Indian, Jordan, Philippines, Tanzania) where the protocol was tested, the study found that “all sites had a reduction in the rate of major postoperative complications.”

IHI has posted the checklist and supporting materials on its website. It’s also promoting the “sprint” to test the checklist by April 1 in its e-newsletter, which goes to most hospitals. More than 4,000 facilities participated in IHI’s 5 Million Lives safety campaign, and IHI is using the same network of 70 field offices that organized that campaign to get this one off the ground. Most of these offices use the resources of local organizations, such as state hospital associations and Medicare-contracted quality improvement organizations. According to IHI project director Fran Griffin, groups in 13 states have pledged to get every hospital in their state to try the checklist.

Research Study – Old World Diet, Reduced Rate of Alzheimer’s

Olive Oil

A diet rich in fish, olive oil, yogurt and veggies common in Mediterranean cuisine might help ward off mild cognitive impairment, according to a new study that also suggests such a diet lowers the risk of moving from such mild decline to Alzheimer’s disease, as reported by the Gannett News Service

The study, reported in the journal Archives of Neurology, looked at 1,393 people with healthy brains and 482 with mild cognitive impairment. Among its findings: Over an average of 4½ years of follow-up, 275 of the 1,393 participants who didn’t have mild cognitive impairment developed the condition. Those who had the highest adherence to a Mediterranean diet had a 28 percent lower risk of developing mild impairment than those who strayed farthest from the diet.

“We know from previous research that a healthy diet like this is protective for cardiovascular risk factors like cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes,” says Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas of Columbia University Medical Center in New York. “Now, this current study shows it may help brain function, too.”

Health care providers everywhere will be sure to look into the findings of this study over the course of the next few months, as the search continues for new dietary innovations to be made for the millions of people out there looking to fend off illness and live a better life.

Study Reports Faster Resting Heart Rate Linked to Heart Attacks in Women

According to a report developed by the British Medical Journal and the US National, Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a study was recently conducted to find out whether a faster resting heartbeat could predict the risk of heart attacks for women. Researchers looked at detailed health records for nearly 130,000 postmenopausal women with no history of heart problems. At the start of the study, women rested for five minutes, then had their pulse taken. They were the followed up for about seven years yielding surprising results.

According to the study results, the were ranked into groups depending on their heart rate. About 80 percent of women had a heart rate under 76 beats per minute. All the women in this range had roughly the same chance of having a heart attack. However, women in the top 20 percent (who had heartbeats faster than 76 beats per minute) had a slightly higher chance of having a heart attack.

Among women over the age of 65 with a heart rate of less than 62 beats per minute, there were about 37 heart attacks each year for every 10,000 women. In the group with a heart rate of more 76 beats per minute, 54 out of 10,000 women had a heart attack each year.

Researchers recommend healthy diets, no smoking, exercise, and regular Stress Testing after menopause to reduce the risk of developing heart problems that could lead to heart attack. As the result of this study, some health care professionals may receive floods of stress testing requests as women work to ensure their health and safety. is proud to offer Stress Testing Systems for your practice that are designed to deliver results using cutting edge technology and an ergonomic design that can work to boost your office efficiency. Update your practice. Get yours today.

Medical Monitoring