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February 2021
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Joint Commission issues Quick Safety on dangers of surgical smoke

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on December 15 issued a new Quick Safety that focuses on the dangers presented by surgical smoke. Surgical smoke is a byproduct created by the thermal destruction of tissue with lasers, electrosurgical systems, radio frequency devices, hyfrecators, ultrasonic scalpels, power tools, and other devices. Studies…

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By: Judy Mathias
January 4, 2021
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Estimates of COVID-19 infections in US healthcare workers

Editor's Note In this study, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers used a computer model to predict the number of COVID-19 infections in US healthcare workers. The estimate was based on the number of healthcare workers in China and Italy, which experienced peaks in COVID-19 cases before the US. The researchers estimated…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 17, 2020
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APIC urges healthcare workers, public to get vaccinated

Editor's Note Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) President Connie Steed, MSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC, on December 16, issued a statement urging healthcare workers and the public to get vaccinated with the COVI-19 vaccines when they are available. APIC supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 17, 2020
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Preop screening for COVID-19 in asymptomatic patients using chest CT, RT-PCR

Editor's Note This study from the Netherlands found that the added value of using chest CT in addition to RT-PCR to screen patients for COVID-19 before surgery was limited. Of 2,093 preoperative patients without COVID-19 symptoms analyzed, 1,224 were screened by CT and RT-PCR and 869 by chest CT only.…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 15, 2020
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Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reaches 141 of 145 first-day locations

Editor's Note The first batch of the Pfizer/BioNTech's newly authorized COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use reached 141 of 145 targeted locations on the first day of its national rollout, a Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman told Reuters. Four island territories—American Samoa, Guam, North Mariana Islands, and the US…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 15, 2020
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COVID-19 patient readmissions, mortality after initial hospital discharge

Editor's Note In this study of COVID-19 patients in the nationwide Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system, researchers from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, found that 27% of survivors of hospitalization were readmitted or died by 60 days after discharge. Of 2,179 index hospitalizations for COVID-19: 678 (31.1%) were…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 15, 2020
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HHS purchases 100 million additional doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine

Editor's Note The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on December 11 that it would purchase 100 million additional doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine, which was developed by Moderna with scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is scheduled for a December…

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By: Judy Mathias
December 15, 2020
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Illuminating infection risks in urology—A spotlight on COVID-19

Now that facilities are returning to performing urology cases, what should staff be aware of regarding COVID-19 and urology in general? This was the question Lane Jacobs, an expert in global product solutions for Boston Scientific, Marlborough, Massachusetts, asked Cori L. Ofstead, MSPH, president and chief executive officer, Ofstead &…

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By: Judith M. Mathias, MA, RN
December 15, 2020
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Interim leadership: A challenging but rewarding career alternative

Demand for interim executive leadership services in 2018 increased by 113%, according to a 2019 Nurse Leader article. “We are experiencing a gap for qualified and trained nursing leaders at all levels, but especially the chief nursing officer level,” says Ila Minnick, MS, BSN, RN, president, Interim Leadership Associates. “Because…

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By: OR Manager
December 15, 2020
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Editorial

A November 2020 survey from National Nurses United, the largest union of RNs in the US, rang some alarm bells about the preparedness of healthcare facilities bracing for influenza season along with COVID-19 case surges. Among the more than 15,000 nurses surveyed by the union, 30% named staffing shortages as…

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By: Elizabeth Wood
December 15, 2020
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