September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month — Quick, Important Facts to Know

Every September, the public is alerted to the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease — and the many steps we can take to make life more tolerable for those who currently suffer from this devastating condition. Still, many people remain woefully unaware of the huge role Alzheimer’s plays in modern society. Below, we offer clarification with a few quick facts worth examining: Over 5.8 million Americans currently live with Alzheimer’s Although the condition typically strikes older individuals, early-onset versions remain surprisingly common. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, approximately 200,000 people under the age of 65 suffer this condition. The disease is more…

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Study Shows Poor Infection Control in Nursing Homes Linked to Lower Staffing Levels | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Infections in nursing homes kill 400,000 residents a year according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.   The authors contend that nearly one-sixth of the US nursing homes have significant deficiencies in infection control.  Over 100,000 patient encounters were reviewed.  The University of Pittsburgh Public Health program researchers analyzed records from 2000 through 2007 and found that infection control citations in 96% of US nursing homes were linked to lower nursing staff levels. Infections are leading cause of morbidity and mortality in U.S. nursing homes.  This study reminds us of the direct link between professional…

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100,000 Lives Lost Each Year Due to Dirty Hospitals and Nursing Homes | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Each year 100,000 patients in hospitals and nursing homes in this country die from infection they acquired after being in a health care facility.  This is the most common complication of hospital care and also one of the deadliest risks for patients according to government officials. In addition the loss of lives, the cost for our health care system is enormous. The estimated annual cost for hospital acquired infections is between $28 and $33 billion. What is even more shocking and tragic is that the consensus in the US medical community is that most of these infections are preventable.  How…

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MSRA Bacteria Found in Meat Samples In Detroit | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Kim Kozlowski of the Detroit News reports, “For the first time in the United States, scientists have shown that the antibiotic-resistant bacteria MRSA is sometimes found in meat and poultry available at the neighborhood grocery store,” according to the US Centers for Disease Control. (CDC) in a recent study in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. The study included 289 meat samples from 30 grocery stores in Detroit, Michigan. They reported “six samples — three chicken, two beef, and one turkey — tested positive for MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.” It is believed that the germs may be introduced by human food…

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Measles Exposure in DC Area | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

According to reports in the Washington Post, a woman infected with measles, a contagious disease which can be dangerous to some patients, was present in the District and Maryland after flying into Dulles International Airport. The 27-year-old woman from New Mexico arrived at Dulles reportedly on February 20th and left our area on February 22nd, from Baltimore-Washington International Airport. In between, she spent time in Georgetown and Columbia Heights.  The D.C. Department of Health advises individuals exposed to measles to figure out whether they have they received two doses of measles vaccine. Those who cannot confirm that, and anyone showing symptoms should…

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5 simple steps hospitals could, but often do not, use to prevent bloodstream infections | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law

Catheter-related bloodstream infections kill 30,000 hospital patients and infect a total of 80,00 patients in the U.S. each year.  So why aren’t more hospitals adopting the simple five-step approach to prevent these infections? The protocol: 1. Health care provider washes hands 2. Patient’s skin cleaned with antiseptic 3. Patient’s body covered with sterile drape 4. Health care provider wears sterile hat, mask, gloves, and gown 5. Sterile dressing over the catheter site When Michigan hospitals implemented these steps, their infection rate dropped by two-thirds.  Over 18 months, the hospitals not only saved lives, but saved $200 million, or about $30,000…

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Stop C. Difficile: Education and Hand Washing Saves Lives | DC Metro Area Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Clostridium difficile or “C. diff.”  killed more patients in England in 2006 than MRSA. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported a nearly twofold increase in C. diff infections from 1996 to 2003 in the U.S.The same hyper-virulent strain, dubbed ribotype 027, has invaded some hospitals in the U.S.C. diff. infections kill an estimated 5,000 people in the U.S. per year, the CDC reports. C. diff has been causing trouble for several years. The mortality rate from this disease is rising. What do we know about this enemy? Outside of hospitals and nursing homes, it is only found in the…

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Swine Flu Reaches Va, DC | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire Earlier this week, it was reported that there were six “probable” cases of swine flu in Maryland, but none in DC or Virginia.  Unfortunately, the flu has now extended to all three local jurisdictions, according to the Washington Post. “Last night, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) announced that Virginia had its first two confirmed cases as the virus spread through the Washington region,”  states the report.  Maryland officials have announced a few more cases of the flu and has shut down certain schools, including Rickville High School in Montgomery County.  A federal agent, who…

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Are We Safe? U.S. Has a Patchwork of Food Safety Inspection Systems | DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog

By Salvatore J. Zambri, Esquire Your chances of getting sick from tainted food may depend on how diligent your state inspection system is, according to an article in the New York Times this week.  “The longer it takes you to nail an outbreak, the more people are going to get sick,” said Dr. David Acheson, associate commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration. “And if it’s a pathogen that causes death, more people are going to die.”  Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s division of food-borne diseases, said the agency planned…

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