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October 2016 Archives

No Progress In Improving Outpatient Care

A recent study has determined that the quality of outpatient care in the United States has generally not improved over the past 10 years. A growing awareness of the frequency of medical mistakes has led to numerous programs designed to improve patient safety and outcomes. These efforts have not produced appreciable results, according to survey data analyzed by the study's authors. The quality of American medical treatment is not getting better.

Medical Device Exposed Patients To Dangerous Infection

In October 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety communication regarding a heater-cooler device originally manufactured by Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH. The Stӧckert 3T Heater-Cooler System has been linked to an increased risk of infection with the Mycobacterium chimaera. These infections, referred to as non-tuberculosis mycobacteria (NTM) infections, can lead to serious health complications and even death. The Sorin Group has since partnered with another company and now does business under the name LivaNova.

Impaired Driving And Marijuana Law Reform

Earlier this year, the Illinois government made two changes to the law that may affect the incidence of drugged driving. First, possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana was changed from a criminal offense to a civil issue. Those possessing smaller quantities of cannabis are now subject to a fine of no more than $200. They no longer face criminal penalties, including jail time. The second change involves the definition of driving under the influence of marijuana. That crime is now defined as driving with 5 or more nanograms of THC in their blood, or 10 or more nanograms of THC in their saliva. The previous law allowed prosecutors to charge a driver with drug impairment if there was any amount of THC in their blood.

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