Norovirus – It’s back!

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

Since early spring many of us have not been affected by the Norovirus however there have been several outbreaks of the Norovirus in long-term care communities in the past 2 weeks.  This is an excellent time for each of us to review what our current infection control practices are for preventing the spread of infection.  It is also a good …

Risk/Benefit Analysis – Darvocet

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

The pain medication Darvocet is identified on the Beers list (a list of medications not generally recommended for use in the elderly) however we continue to see physician orders for this medication in senior communities.  Darvocet is on the Beers list as this medication may increase the risk of falls in the elderly.  Most recently, the FDA has issued a …

Alternative to Coumadin?

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

The Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, North Carolina performed a study of 14,000 patients and found that a new once-a-day pill called Rivaroxaban prevents strokes as effectively as the current treatment of Coumadin.  The median age of the patients involved in the clinical trial was 73 years old and often had other co-morbidities.  The medication Coumadin inhibits blood clotting …

Influenza Exposure – Chemoprophylaxis Treatment

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

The following excerpt from Clinical Geriatrics – A Clinical Journal of the American Geriatrics Society discusses the use of anti-viral medications for the treatment of post-influenza exposure.  This information is being shared for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement by HealthCap Risk Management.  Secondary Prevention—Chemoprophylaxis Chemoprophylactic drugs are not a substitute for vaccination. However, effective secondary …

The CDC and Fall Prevention

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

As providers we tend to use the CDC website for information on infection control practices but were you aware that the CDC is actively working with the Administration on Aging (AoA), the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and several other agencies to address falls in the elderly?  This collaboration is focused on …

Burn Hazards/Heated Surfaces

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

As the cold weather approaches, many facilities may unknowingly be exposing residents to the risk for burns simply by turning on the heat!  Were you aware that skin exposure to a heated surface that is > 140 degrees for 3 seconds will cause a first-degree burn?  This temperature corresponds to the threshold between maximum pain and numbness as well as …

Routine Vaccination of Persons Aged >60 Years

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

  ACIP recommends routine vaccination of all persons aged >60 years with 1 dose of zoster vaccine. Persons who report a previous episode of zoster and persons with chronic medical conditions (e.g., chronic renal failure, diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pulmonary disease) can be vaccinated unless those conditions are contraindications or precautions. Zoster vaccination is not indicated to treat …

Hospital Readmission Study Expands Statewide

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

The State of Michigan began a pilot project last year aimed at reducing hospital readmissions. This month the project is expanding to all of Michigan’s 144 hospitals according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. The goal of the project which is being coordinated by Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality and The Michigan Peer Review Organization (MPRO) is …

Secure & Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010 – 11th Congress 2D Session S.3397 –

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

The “Secure & Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010” passed the Senate on Wednesday September 29, 2010. The act was amended to provide for take-back disposal of controlled substances in certain instances. What is the Act and how does it affect you? To summarize: “Secure & Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010” as it applies to long-term care states: “Long-term …

UNAVOIDABLE PRESSURE ULCERS

Angie Szumlinski Uncategorized

Have you checked the NPUAP (National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel) website lately? A press release was sent out on March 3, 2010 regarding unavoidable pressure ulcers. The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel’s recent consensus conference panelists agreed that patients who choose not to participate in their own pressure ulcer prevention could develop unavoidable pressure ulcers. They also agreed that there …