Noise pollution in hospital impact quality and safety of healthcare

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 19 2018In an editorial published today in the BMJ, researchers from King’s College London and the University of the Arts London (UAL) argue that it is a worsening problem, with levels regularly exceeding international recommendations.”Even in intensive care units, which cater for the most vulnerable patients, noise levels over 100dB have been measured, the equivalent of loud music through headphones,” said lead author Dr Andreas Xyrichis.Noise in hospitals is known to hinder communication among staff, causing annoyance, irritation and fatigue, and detrimentally impact the quality and safety of healthcare. High noise levels and noise-induced stress impact negatively on staff performance and wellbeing, compromising caring behavior and contributing to burnout.The team highlight that it can also impact a patients’ ability to rest, heal and recover, since it has been linked to the development of ICU psychosis, hospitalization-induced stress, increased pain sensitivity, high blood pressure and poor mental health.”We know hospital noise has disruptive consequences for sleep – machine sounds in particular have a greater negative effect on arousal than human voices. Post-hospitalization recovery is also compromised. For example, coronary care patients treated during noisy periods were found to have a higher incidence of rehospitalization compared to those treated during quieter periods,” explained Andreas.Patients report that hospital noise can have a cumulative effect on their hospital experience. Patients who are in hospital for several nights are left feeling trapped and stressed, leading to requests for premature discharge from hospital and heightened risk of trauma and readmission.The team from King’s and UAL believes that the following areas urgently need to be addressed to ensure significant progress in this slow-moving field: Source:https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ Noise is often incorrectly associated with high sound pressure levels (SPLs). Dripping taps for example, may register low SPLs yet still be considered noisy. Prioritizing SPL reduction does not ensure improved noise perception. Therefore, a new approach is needed, one that views the hospital soundscape as a positive and malleable component of the environment. There are a number of potential sources of noise in hospitals. Alarms, televisions, rattling trolleys, and ringing phones, as well as staff, visitor, and patient conversations. However, not all of them are perceived as noise by patients – for example, some find the sound of the tea trolley pleasing, associating it with receiving a warm drink. Research has also shown that some ICU patients welcome ringing telephones as a sign that they are not alone. So far ways to measure patients’ perceptions of noise are limited, and more research investment is needed in this area. Patients and families need clear information about likely noise levels during admissions, so they are better prepared in advance, and can consider simple solutions such as headphones with their own choice of audio content. Education for staff is also needed, to encourage a culture that considers noise reduction an integral part of safe high quality healthcare.center_img Related StoriesResearch finds link between air pollution and coronary heart disease in ChinaLiving environment, air pollution may be linked to increased risk of hypertensionInternational tourists are more susceptible to harmful effects of air pollution”Measures to tackle this problem have included ear plugs, noise warning systems, acoustic treatment panels, educational initiatives and noise reduction protocols, which have provided some benefit,” said Andreas.”However, so far, patients have been seen as passive recipients of hospital noise rather than active participants in its creation. It is essential that future solutions should have greater patient participation as a key feature.”Guides about potential ward sounds could also enhance patients’ understanding of their surroundings and increase relaxation. Sound masking – the addition of background, broadband sound optimized for particular environments to reduce noise-induced disturbance – has also been used widely in open-plan offices for many years and has recently shown promise for improving sleep in hospitals.”last_img read more

San Francisco set to ban sales of ecigarettes

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019 San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors is slated to vote Tuesday to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in the city. The city is the corporate home of Juul Labs, the biggest producer of e-cigarettes in the country.The ordinances would make the sale of e-cigarettes illegal in brick-and-mortar stores and online when shipping to San Francisco addresses.San Francisco Mayor London Breed has 10 days to sign the legislation, which she has said she will do. The law will be enforced seven months from that date, in early 2020.San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton, who co-authored the legislation, sees it as part of a long-term battle against the effects of smoking.”We spent a few decades fighting big tobacco in the form of cigarettes,” Walton said. “Now we have to do it again in the form of e-cigarettes.”Under federal law, the minimum age to buy tobacco products is 18.  California and 15 other states, however, have raised that age to 21 or passed measures that will set it to 21 by 2021. Despite this, use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, has skyrocketed among teenagers nationally.Last year, 1 in 5 high school seniors reported vaping in the past month. That’s almost double the number from the year before. Even eighth graders are vaping in record numbers.These increases come after years of declines in teenagers smoking traditional cigarettes.Public health officials are concerned about the rising number of teenagers using e-cigarettes, as nicotine can harm a young person’s developing brain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that young people who vape may be more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes.Walton said he’s disgusted with the actions of Juul and similar companies, who he said are “putting profits before the health of young people, and people in general.”Despite the tobacco age limit, Walton noted that vaping devices are commonly confiscated from students in the city’s middle and high schools.The ordinance is accompanied by another that prevents the manufacture, distribution and sale of e-cigarettes on San Francisco property. The ordinance takes direct aim at Juul Labs, which leases space from the city on San Francisco’s Pier 70. The ordinance is not retroactive, so it would not remove Juul from the company’s current space, but it would prevent other e-cigarette makers from renting city property in the future. In a statement, Juul spokesman Ted Kwong wrote that, regardless, the company does not “manufacture, distribute or sell our product from this space.”Juul’s vaping device was introduced in 2015. It’s small, sleek and discreet, looking similar to a flash drive. The company now controls 70% of the vaping market.In a statement, Juul Labs said it shares the city’s goal of keeping e-cigarettes away from young people. The company said it has made it harder for underage buyers to purchase Juul off its website and has shut down Juul accounts on Facebook and Instagram.Related StoriesStudies show no evidence of fall in cigarette consumption due to WHO’s FCTCStudy finds increase in cigarette smoking among minority teens after college affirmative action bansCollege affirmative action bans may increase smoking rates among minority high school studentsBut, the company argues that “the prohibition of vapor products for all adults in San Francisco will not effectively address underage use and will leave cigarettes on shelves as the only choice for adult smokers, even though they kill 40,000 Californians every year.”Walton doesn’t buy that argument, however. He said that’s simply “trading one nicotine addiction for another.” What’s more, he’s concerned that for every adult that might benefit, dozens of young people could become addicted.San Francisco resident Jay Friedman said the complete e-cigarette ban goes too far. The software engineer smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, and smoking e-cigarettes has reduced his regular cigarette habit to two to three a day. He said he feels better physically.Friedman supported a ban on flavored tobacco that city voters passed last year. “I feel like it was good to get rid of the fruit flavors for kids,” he said, “but this feels like maybe a step too far.”If e-cigarettes are banned, he said, he would try to quit nicotine altogether. But, “there would be a point in a moment of weakness where I’d just end up buying a pack of smokes again and then it’s just a slippery slope from there.”Small businesses in San Francisco are concerned the ban will hurt their bottom line.Miriam Zouzounis and her family own Ted’s Market, a convenience store near downtown San Francisco. She said e-cigarettes are an “anchor” product: They draw people into the store.”When people come and want to purchase something at the store and we don’t have that exact item that they want, they’re not going to buy the rest of the items that they might on that trip: a drink or a sandwich,” Zouzounis said.She said sales from e-cigarettes account for at least $200 to $300 a day in sales. As a board member of the Arab American Grocers Association, she said she believes laws like this mostly affect businesses owned by immigrants.Abbey Chaitin is a 15-year-old lifelong San Francisco resident. She isn’t drawn to using e-cigarettes, she said, because she has seen peers become addicted to them.”I’ll see them in class fidgeting,” Chaitin said. “They need it to focus, to function.”And Chaitin predicted that, regardless of a ban, young people will still get their hands on e-cigarettes: “People my age can find a way around that if they really need to,” she said.Meanwhile, Juul is collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative to override the ban.This story is part of a partnership that includes KQED, NPR and Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation.last_img read more

Endtoend blood testing device shows capacity to draw sample and provide diagnostic

first_img Separation line Researchers from the Biomedical Engineering Department at Rutgers University have developed an end-to-end blood testing device that integrates robotic phlebotomy with downstream sample processing. This platform device performs blood draws and provides diagnostic results in a fully automated fashion at the point-of-care. By reducing turnaround times, the device has the potential to expedite hospital work-flow, allowing practitioners to devote more time to treating patients. The research has been published in a paper in the June 2018 issue of Technology. Explore further Diagnostic blood testing is the most commonly performed clinical procedure in the world and influences the majority of medical decisions made in hospital and laboratory settings. However, manual blood draw success rates are dependent on clinician skill and patient physiology, and results are generated almost exclusively in centralized labs from large-volume samples using labor-intensive analytical techniques.To address these issues, the team of researchers at Rutgers University created a device that includes an image-guided venipuncture robot, to address the challenges of routine venous access, with a centrifuge-based blood analyzer to obtain quantitative measurements of hematology. In the paper, results are presented on a white blood cell assay, using a blood mimicking fluid spiked with fluorescent microbeads. Studies were conducted on the integrated device—from blood draw to analysis—using blood vessel phantoms, demonstrating both high accuracy and repeatability of the cannulation and resulting white blood cell assay.”This device represents the holy grail in blood testing technology,” stated Martin Yarmush, M.D., Ph.D., the paper’s senior author. “Integrating miniaturized robotic and microfluidic systems, this technology combines the breadth and accuracy of traditional laboratory testing with the speed and convenience of point-of-care testing.””When designing the system, our focus was on creating a modular and expandable device”, stated Max Balter, Ph.D., first author of the paper. “With our relatively simple chip design and analysis techniques, the device can be extended to incorporate a broader panel of assays in the future”. Citation: End-to-end blood testing device shows capacity to draw sample and provide diagnostic results (2018, June 6) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-end-to-end-blood-device-capacity-sample.htmlcenter_img More information: M.L. Balter et al, Automated end-to-end blood testing at the point-of-care: Integration of robotic phlebotomy with downstream sample processing, TECHNOLOGY (2018). DOI: 10.1142/S2339547818500048 Provided by World Scientific Publishing This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Electronics giant Philips posts mixed results in Q3

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Dutch electronics giant Philips, which is focusing its business on medical equipment and services, on Monday posted higher third quarter sales but profits dipped due to currency headwinds. Citation: Electronics giant Philips posts mixed results in Q3 (2018, October 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-electronics-giant-philips-results-q3.html © 2018 AFP Electronics giant Philips posts 27% drop in Q1 profits Sales rose 4.0 percent to 4.3 billion euros ($4.9 billion) year-on-year and orders for the Amsterdam-based group’s medical diagnostic and treatment machines grew 11 percent.Net profit in the three months to September fell to 292 million euros from 423 million euros a year earlier.”While I am pleased with the continued strong 11 percent order intake growth in the quarter, operational improvements were partly offset by foreign exchange headwinds,” Philips chief executive Frans van Houten said.Philips chief financial officer Abhijit Bhattacharya told a teleconference Philips was particularly hit by falls in the Turkish lira and Argentine peso.Best known for the manufacture of light bulbs, electrical appliances and television sets, Philips has gradually pulled out of these activities in face of fierce competition from Asia.It focuses now more on high-end medical and health technology, such as computer tomography and molecular imaging, as well as household appliances.The group, which sold its first light bulb a few years after it was founded in 1891, moved to list its Philips Lighting division, now known as Signify, in mid-2016 which joined the Amsterdam stock exchange, the top-tier AEX, in March this year.Philips reiterated its objective of increasing sales by 4.0-6.0 percent in the 2017-2020 period.The group however said in view of growing tensions in international trade, it planned to promote local production further, for instance in China, to try to avoid the fallout from tit-for-tat trade wars between Beijing and Washington.”It’s good to know that Philips distributes production activities in a uniform way around the world, with about one-third in Europe, one-third in China and one-third in the US,” Philips spokesman Ben Zwirs told AFP.”This creates flexibility.”last_img read more

Karnataka MLA Ramalinga Reddy will withdraw resignation vote for Congress

first_imgKarnataka Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy says he will withdraw resignation, vote in favour of govtCongress MLA Ramalinga Reddy on Wednesday said he has decided to withdraw his resignation from the assembly. This comes a day before the floor test in Karnataka assembly.advertisement Press Trust of India BengaluruJuly 17, 2019UPDATED: July 17, 2019 23:50 IST Karnataka Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy.In some relief to the embattled coalition government in Karnataka, Congress MLA Ramalinga Reddy on Wednesday said he has decided to withdraw his resignation from the assembly and will vote in favour of the trust vote to be sought by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy.”I will take part in the assembly session tomorrow and vote in favour of the party. I will continue to remain in the party and serve as MLA,” he told PTI here.Reddy, a former minister, is among the 13 Congress and three JDS MLAs who have tendered their resignations while two independent legislators have withdrawn their support to the 14-month old Kumaraswamy government, leaving it tottering on the brink of collapse.The survival of the Congress-JD(S) government hangs precariously on the eve of the trust vote with the Supreme Court Wednesday holding that the 15 rebel Congress-JD(S) MLAs, who had moved it, cannot be compelled to participate in the proceedings of the ongoing assembly session.While most of the rebel MLAs have been staying in Mumbai, Reddy chose to be in the city amid reports that Congress was trying to pacify him.The party had also left him out while moving the Assembly Speaker for disqualification of the rebel MLAs, saying he was an “exception.”Reddy too had maintained he would remain in Congress and he has resigned only from the assembly.Hours ahead of the floor test on Thursday, Reddy said he would withdraw his resignation letter submitted to the Speaker on July 6.The other rebel MLAs camping in Mumbai said there was no question of stepping back on their resignations or attending the session.If the resignations of the 15 MLAs are accepted or if they stay away from the assembly, the ruling coalitions tally will plummet to 102, reducing the government to a minority.Also Read | President Ram Nath Kovind hails SC’s effort to provide judgments in 9 vernacular languagesAlso Watch | Karnataka crisis: Can Kumaraswamy govt survive?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanchari Chatterjee Nextlast_img read more

Citigroup disappointed by South Africa investment

first_imgJohannesburg: Citigroup Inc invested to expand in South Africa. Now all the New York-based bank needs is deals.“We have in the two last cycles appropriated additional capital to continue to grow our business, but we haven’t seen as big a deal flow to be able to execute against that,” said Citigroup chief country officer Peter Crawley. “We’re very much sitting on the side and battening down the hatches, planning for a difficult scenario. But hands on today, eyes on tomorrow.”President Cyril Ramaphosa’s slow progress in returning the continent’s most industrialised economy back to growth is stunting takeovers and bond issuance and causing equity-related deals to plummet to record lows. His administration is also grappling with how to deal with power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, which has debt equal to about 8% of gross domestic product.South Africa is one step away from falling out of the World Government Bond Index, with only Moody’s Investors Service assessing the nation’s debt as investment grade — a rating due for review in November. The economy has shrunk four out of the past nine quarters, weighing on business and factory confidence. Spending by households, which accounts for 60% of GDP, remains weak, while the government’s expenditure continues to outpace income. {{category}} {{time}} {{title}} Tags / Keywords: World 29 May 2019 South Africa’s Ramaphosa to announce new cabinet – presidency A number of foreign investors are “sitting on the sidelines” waiting for clarity on Eskom and Moody’s, Crawley said. More also needs to be done to appease foreign direct investors on property rights, he said, as the country debates how to give the majority black population greater land ownership. “Challenges are policy certainty and growth.”While the value of mergers and acquisitions in the first half of this year rose 25% to 2.25 billion rand (US$160mil) from the same period in 2018, there were no deals of over US$100mil in the second quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.— Bloomberg Related Newscenter_img Banking , Investment , Citigroup World 25 May 2019 S&P keeps South Africa in ‘junk’ status, sees post-election reforms Related News Business News 11 Jul 2019 London beats New York in drawing Saudi ETF investor billionslast_img read more