Designed specifically for critical care physicians, Critical Care SmartBrief is a complimentary twice weekly e-mail newsletter. Compiled from thousands of sources including news sites and blogs, it provides the latest litigation, research and policy news in the critical care community. Visit the archives to access previous issues. Mobile device versions are also available. Read the top stories shared by Critical Care SmartBrief readers.

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 Critical Care SmartBrief

Frequent surveillance reduces NICU MRSA infection duration
A study of 100 simulated NICU networks of 52 infants showed as the frequency of surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus increased from four weeks to one week, the mean number of MRSA-colonized infants decreased from 2.9 per episode to 0.6 per episode. The study in the Journal of Hospital Infection also showed a drop in the mean duration of MRSA colonization from 307 hours to 61 hours, though researchers noted reduced availability of isolation rooms. Becker's Hospital Review (5/23)

ICU admissions lower in states that expanded Medicaid
States that expanded their Medicaid programs as part of the Affordable Care Act had a 3.7% decrease in ICU admissions among Medicaid patients or those with no insurance, compared with states that did not expand their programs, researchers reported at the American Thoracic Society International Conference. Researcher Dr. Andrew Admon said the lower ICU admission rates may suggest that increased insurance coverage resulted in improvements in clinical outcomes, which could reduce hospital costs and strain on ICUs. MD Magazine online (5/22)

Pediatric triage protocols inadequate in classifying severely injured youths
Medscape (free registration) (5/24)

Palliative care training affects treatment decision-making
A survey of 102 surgeons, oncologists, intensive care specialists and palliative care physicians found those with less than 40 hours of palliative care training were more likely to recommend major surgery over less aggressive treatments, researchers reported in the journal Surgery. "We've seen a significant proportion of patients who go to the emergency room or intensive care unit with terminal malignancy die in the ICU," said study coauthor Dr. Richard Bold. Reuters (5/22)

Physicians say hospitals not prepared for major disasters, tragedies
A poll of 1,328 emergency room doctors conducted by the American College of Emergency Physicians found that 9 in 10 respondents indicated their hospitals are insufficiently prepared for mass tragedies or major disasters. The findings underscore the need for an increased focus on medical aspects of preparedness as Congress works on major disaster preparedness legislation called the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018, said ACEP President Dr. Paul Kivela. United Press International (5/22)

Algorithm forecasts survival of potential heart transplant patients
Researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles have developed a novel algorithm named Tree of Predictors that can forecast the survival rates of patients with heart failure who are potential heart transplant recipients. ToPs uses machine learning to collect information based on 53 data points to predict a patient's survival with or without undergoing a transplant. DOTMed (free registration) (5/23)

Neonatal transport is ready to carry preemies long distances
Oishei Children's Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., has started using a new neonatal transport vehicle that has an automatic lift to raise wheeled isolettes, which weigh more than 300 pounds, into the vehicle, along with room for a fourth transport care team member. Neonatal nurse practitioner Katy Perry said the ambulance has a generator to keep an isolette operational during long trips through Western New York and beyond. WBFO-FM (Buffalo, N.Y.) (5/22)

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Men are accused for not knowing their own weakness, yet, perhaps, as few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, where sometimes there is a vein of gold, which the owner knows not of.
Jonathan Swift, writer and cleric