Hospitals can sharply reduce the spread of the drug-resistant bacteria in their intensive care units by decontaminating all patients rather than screening them and focusing only on those found to be infected already, researchers reported Wednesday.
U.S. hospitals have been urged to be on the lookout for symptoms of bird flu among patients who have recently traveled to China, where a new strain of the virus has killed 17 people and infected more than 70.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:35 pm
Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.
And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.
"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."
Last year, a new drug called Zaltrap was approved as a kind of last-chance therapy for patients with colorectal cancer. Studies suggested Zaltrap worked almost exactly as well as an existing drug called Avastin. In fact, the main difference between the two drugs seemed to be the price.
"I was rather stunned," Dr. Leonard Saltz, who specializes in colorectal cancer, told me.
Zaltrap costs about $11,000 per month — about twice as much as Avastin, Saltz said.