Occupational Hazards

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August 2020
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Joint statement provides guidance for maintaining essential surgery during COVID-19 pandemic

Editor's Note Four national organizations have released a joint statement on maintaining essential surgical procedures as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) reported on August 13. The joint statement from the ACS, American Society of Anesthesiologists, AORN, and American Hospital Association, provides a list of principles…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 13, 2020
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Joint Commission releases sentinel event stats for first half of 2020

Editor's Note The Joint Commission on August 12 released its sentinel event statistics for the first half of 2020. From January 1 through June 30, the Joint Commission reviewed 437 sentinel events. The most frequently reported events were in the following categories: Care management, 165 Surgical or invasive procedures, 131…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 13, 2020
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Prevalence of COVID-19 infection in New York State HCWs

Editor's Note This study of healthcare workers (HCWs) in a tertiary New York State hospital finds that the rate of COVID-19 infection in HCWs is lower than what has been reported for the general public in the region. Of 3,046 HCWs, 1,699 had antibody testing, 617 had RT-PCR testing, and…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 12, 2020
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Gallup poll finds disinterest in receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Editor's Note A Gallup poll of US adults conducted from July 20 to August 2 finds that 35% of those surveyed would not be interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine when one is approved by the Food & Drug Administration. The survey also finds that 41% of non-white Americans would…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 12, 2020
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Filtration efficiency of face masks used during COVID-19 pandemic

Editor's Note This study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill evaluated 29 face masks for use by clinicians interacting with patients during the COVID-19 pandemic and  found that expired N95 respirators and sterilized, reused N95 respirators were acceptable alternatives when N95 respirators were not available. All other…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 11, 2020
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Decline in US COVID-19 deaths, cases

Editor's Note The US reported more than 376,000 COVID-19 cases and 7,200 deaths for the week ending August 9, marking the first decline in deaths after 4 weeks of increases, according to an August 10 Reuters analysis of Johns Hopkins data. COVID-19 cases in the US have now fallen for…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 11, 2020
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Changes in ED visits, hospital admissions during COVID-19 pandemic

Editor's Note From January through April 2020, emergency department (ED) visits decreased and hospital admissions increased in this study of five healthcare systems in five states. In the 24 EDs studied, the annual volume before the COVID-19 pandemic ranged from 13,000 to 115,000 visits per year. The largest decrease in…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 5, 2020
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Automated monitoring tool facilitates contact tracing of COVID-19 patients

Editor's Note The use of an automated web-based symptom monitoring tool as part of Maine's COVID-19 contact tracing program made the state's contact tracing and monitoring faster and more efficient. The tool was well received, with the majority of monitored contacts (96.4%) agreeing to the automated system. Contacts automatically received…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 4, 2020
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AI program can detect COVID-19 in 1 hour

Editor's Note The Curial AI test, an artificial intelligence (AI) program developed at the University of Oxford, UK, can identify COVID-19 within 1 hour of a patient arriving at an emergency department (ED), the July 31 Belfast Telegraph reports. The AI test analyzes patient data, such as blood tests and…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 4, 2020
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Risk of COVID-19 in front-line healthcare workers, general population

Editor's Note This study finds that front-line healthcare workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) had a three-fold increased risk of testing positive for COVID-19, compared to the general population. Those with inadequate PPE had a further increase in risk. The study also found that healthcare workers from Black, Asian,…

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By: Judy Mathias
August 3, 2020
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