My weekly news review for MassDevice.com bemoans the potential loss of our daily broadsheet as a source of health news. Here’s more evidence to support my case.
Over the past six months, 18 mothers and 19 newborns have become sick with a dangerous bacterial infection soon after being released from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, triggering a state investigation that uncovered serious problems with the hospital’s infection control practices.
Ten of the infected patients became so ill that they required hospitalization. Two of those had serious complications.
The most recent of the staph bacterial infections, a type resistant to many common antibiotics, was identified earlier this week.
State authorities have asked the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for help in determining what caused these infections, which are generally spread by skin-to-skin contact. Based on research from similar outbreaks in maternity wards in other cities, a CDC investigator said the cluster at Beth Israel Deaconess is probably related to someone – such as a healthcare worker, patient, or visitor – who brought the bacteria into the hospital, and the institution’s hygiene practices failed to stop it from spreading.
Doctors at Partners HealthCare may no longer accept gifts and meals from drug and device firms, or travel the country as paid members of company “speakers bureaus,” as the state’s largest hospital and physician network adopts tougher restrictions to counter industry’s influence over the drugs and treatments physicians prescribe…
Many Mass. General and Brigham physicians are top researchers, making drug and device companies eager to collaborate with them on developing new treatments for patients – relationships that Partners executives said they want to preserve. But it’s because of their status as “thought leaders” that these doctors also are attractive targets for helping companies spread their marketing messages through speakers bureaus and medical education.
More on the plight of The Boston Globe