Critical Care Newsline — October 16, 2008

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Critical Care Newsline, the electronic newsletter from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, contains information selected just for you by AACN’s clinical practice experts. In each issue, you’ll find links to resources, research abstracts (individual sites may require registration and a fee to access complete articles) and Web sites that will keep you informed on issues affecting nurses and the nursing profession.


Oct. 16, 2008

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1. CALL TO ACTION National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses
2. NEWS “The Nursing Shortage and the Crisis in Healthcare” on PBS Oct. 24
3. EVIDENCE Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals
(Free Full Text)
4. NEWS Reducing Infections in the ICU: AHRQ Grant Targets Central Line Infections
5. RESOURCE NIH Launches Web Site on Clinical Studies for Children
6. NEWS October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month
7. EVIDENCE How Do Intensivists Characterize Delirium? (Abstract)
8. Clinical Practice Resources
9. AACN Resources
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1. CALL TO ACTION National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses
If you are one of the 55,000 registered nurses who received the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses in June, here’s your reminder to respond. AACN encourages you to fill out this very important survey because the data is vital to making decisions about nursing by federal, state and local governments and by the nursing profession. You can complete the survey online or on paper. The survey, nursing's national census, is conducted by the federal government every four years. Decision-makers use the results to determine workforce projections, funding, credentialing, education and training.

2. NEWS “The Nursing Shortage and the Crisis in Healthcare” on PBS Oct. 24
The Emmy Award-winning PBS news magazine, NOW, will explore the impact of the nursing shortage on patients in this special television program Oct. 24. Hosted by award-winning veteran journalist David Brancaccio, “The Nursing Shortage and the Crisis in Healthcare” will examine the root causes of the crisis, and explore innovative efforts to reverse the trend. Check your local TV listings for times. The show can also be accessed through On-Demand television, audio podcasting, video podcasting and streaming video on the NOW Web site.

3. EVIDENCE Compendium of Strategies to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections in Acute Care Hospitals
(Free Full Text)
The American Hospital Association has joined with four other healthcare organizations to release a compendium of strategies that will help prevent the most dangerous infections that occur in hospitals. Distilled from the latest guidelines and scientific evidence, the compendium identifies what hospitals can do to prevent staph and C difficile infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, bloodstream infections caused by central-line catheters, and urinary tract and surgical site infections. In addition to the AHA, the partnership includes the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, Infectious Diseases Society of America, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and The Joint Commission.

To view the related Web cast, click here.

4. NEWS Reducing Infections in the ICU: AHRQ Grant Targets Central Line Infections
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has awarded nearly $3 million for a three-year contract to help reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections in hospital intensive care units. The grant program will involve hospitals in 10 states, with at least 10 hospitals in each state participating. The program includes tools to help healthcare professionals identify opportunities to reduce potential healthcare-associated infections and implement policies to make care safer. When the safety program was tested in more than 100 Michigan intensive care units, infection rates dropped dramatically; over three months, more than 50 percent of the participating hospitals saw their ICU infection rates drop to zero. To date, the Michigan pilot program has saved more than 1,500 lives a year and reduced healthcare costs by over $200 million.

For more on this topic, read AACN’s Practice Alert on Preventing Catheter Related Bloodstream Infections.

5. RESOURCE NIH Launches Web Site on Clinical Studies for Children
The National Institutes of Health has launched a Web site dedicated to children and clinical studies. The site describes why research in children is important, how studies are conducted and what measures are taken to protect participants' safety and privacy. The resource is designed to help parents and others learn more about how clinical studies are conducted in children, so they can make well-informed decisions about whether to enroll their child in a study.

6. NEWS October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month
Congress recently passed a resolution declaring October as Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Awareness Month. SCA can strike persons of any age, gender, race and even those who seem in good health. To help commemorate this first-ever SCA Awareness initiative, the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association invites you to take two minutes to watch a new public service announcement with Tom Brokaw of NBC News, view a normal and abnormal heartbeat and download these fact sheets to increase your knowledge about SCA.

7. EVIDENCE How Do Intensivists Characterize Delirium? (Abstract)
In a recent Canadian study, researchers found that intensivists diagnose delirium based on the presence or absence of an obvious medical etiology. Results were based on survey responses from 130 intensivists. The surveys contained clinical scenarios which described cognitively abnormal patients, some with underlying medical conditions and some without. Participants were asked to submit their diagnosis for each case. When an etiological cognitive dysfunction diagnosis was obvious, 83-85% responded with the medical diagnosis to explain the cognitive abnormalities; only 43-55% used the term "delirium." In contrast, patients without an underlying medical problem were identified as having delirium by 74% of survey respondents.

Test your skill level and bridge any knowledge gaps about delirium with the free, newly released Palliative and End-of-Life Care Self Assessment. The content features the self assessment plus resources for palliative care and end-of-life symptom management, airway management, dyspnea, delirium and pain management.

8. Clinical Practice Resources

EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE

Distinct Hemodynamic Patterns of Septic Shock at Presentation to Pediatric Intensive Care (Abstract)

Experience of Families During Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (Abstract)

Kawasaki Disease in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit: A Case-Control Study (Abstract)

GUIDELINES
Delirium: Prevention, Early Recognition, and Treatment. In: Evidence-based Geriatric Nursing Protocols for Best Practice

PATIENT SAFETY ISSUES
OTC Cough and Cold Medicines- Product Labels Being Modified To State “Do Not Use" In Children Under 4 Years of Age
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