December 31, 2015 |
Emergency rooms are increasingly a prime spot for patients seeking powerful pain medications, with doctors caught between the desire to help people in pain and the need to discourage addiction and even overdoses. Temple University Hospital reported Tuesday that it had found a straightforward way to limit prescriptions of these opioid drugs, such as Percocet, Dilaudid, and Vicodin: a set of guidelines that helps ER doctors determine when to say no. Among patients with dental, neck, back, or unspecified chronic pain for which opioids are not advised, the number getting prescriptions dropped below 30 percent immediately after the guidance was distributed in January 2013 - down from 52.7 percent beforehand.
September 23, 2015 |
On July Fourth, as thousands packed the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, prepared to party beneath the fireworks, a high-tech medical tent was ready to treat anyone who might need help. That tent and others will be back in action this weekend for the visit of Pope Francis, with at least one big difference: Medical staff will be ready for visitors who had significant medical problems long before they got there. Wherever Francis goes - Ecuador in July, Cuba this week - he is greeted by cancer patients, people in wheelchairs, and others who seek healing through his touch.
July 4, 2015 |
Two weeks before New Jersey legislators, without debate, voted overwhelmingly to have Cooper University Hospital take over paramedic services in Camden, a state panel of emergency medicine professionals recommended against the move. Two panel members say they and others objected to the plan because it never went through the normal state Department of Health process to vet such a major change. The Virtua health-care system, a competitor of Cooper, has had the job for 38 years. A dozen other members of the New Jersey EMS Council declined to comment, did not return reporters' calls or e-mails, or said they were not present for the vote at the group's quarterly meeting June 10. The advisory group, which includes physicians, emergency officials, and other experts, reports to the Department of Health.
March 6, 2015 |
Hundreds of Thursday flights were canceled and towns declared emergencies in advance of snowfall likely to be the signature event of a tenacious late-winter spell that has iced the region with record cold and nuisance storms. "It's been horrendous," Steve Lorenz, the Philadelphia Streets Department chief engineer, said Wednesday as he was preparing his crews to do battle yet again, this time with up to eight inches of snow possible by day's end. "In the last month, it feels like it's every other day," he said, adding that winter was making him a stranger in his household.
March 18, 2014
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts , Philadelphia, named Chris Bruner chairman of the board. He is managing partner of EY Philadelphia (formerly Ernst & Young Philadelphia) and succeeds Justin P. Klein, partner and practice leader of the securities group at Ballard Spahr L.L.P. Joanne Murray has been named vice president and president-elect of the Bucks Country Bar Association . She is an attorney at Antheil Maslow & Macminn L.L.P., Doylestown. CeaseFirePA , a Philadelphia gun-violence prevention organization, elected the following board members: Nick Certo , senior vice president, university and workplace banking, at PNC; Shawn Kraemer, a community volunteer; Phil Goldsmith , former city managing director, Philadelphia school board member and former CeaseFirePA board president; Jim Sayne , a retired senior systems architect at Unisys Corp.; Greg Davis , vice president at NFP Lincoln Benefits Group; Harriet Weiss, CEO of CRW Graphics, and Rick Bowes , a Philadelphia police officer.
February 26, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA - The mountainous, blackening snow piles, record power outages, winter-strafed roadbeds, and legions of defeated trees. All argue for the singular ferocity of the winter of 2013-14. Dr. Theodore A. Christopher has witnessed something else, and if the weather community isn't ready to rank this season on the severity scale, he is. "This is the worst," said Christopher, the director of emergency medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he has worked for 30 years.
January 18, 2014 |
A lot has changed since 1971, when David K. Wagner - trained as a pediatric surgeon and earning $12,000 a year on faculty plus $5.63 an hour moonlighting in the emergency room - started the nation's second training program in emergency medicine at the old Medical College of Pennsylvania. You no longer need to ring a bell for service. Or ride a hearse to the ER, as was common in rural areas. But overcrowding in what are now more professionalized emergency departments is again rampant - and growing - and health care is changing so rapidly that policies can't keep up. Emergency care in Pennsylvania is "in a near-continuous state of crisis," said Charles Barbera, an emergency doctor in Reading and president of the state chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
January 9, 2014 |
Shot on the streets of Philadelphia? You might be better off if help arrives in a patrol car than in an ambulance. From 2003 through 2007, gunshot victims taken to city trauma centers by police survived two-thirds of the time - the same rate as those taken by emergency medical squads, according to a new University of Pennsylvania study. But that was only what the raw numbers showed. Generally, shooting victims transported by police during that five-year period were more gravely wounded.
April 19, 2013 |
The bombs that made Boston look like a combat zone have also brought battlefield medicine to their civilian victims. A decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has sharpened skills and scalpels, leading to dramatic advances that are now being used to treat the 13 amputees and nearly a dozen other patients still fighting to keep damaged limbs. "The only field or occupation that benefits from war is medicine," said David Cifu, rehabilitation-medicine chief at the Veterans Health Administration.
April 5, 2013 |
DR. BON KU, a laid-back father of two, works the Jefferson emergency room. It's a rare night that he doesn't see a patient he saw only a few days or weeks before. That's because many of his patients live on the streets. He knows many of the city's homeless by name, many more by face and ailment. The guy on the corner, he treated for a bad cough. The guy down the street, pneumonia. Not that long ago, he noticed that another man he had treated for pneumonia had been admitted to the hospital.