HealthWise at 5 From 11.7 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/7/03

HealthWise at 5 From 11.7

  • Nurse Hours

Long hours for nurses are not only causing fatigue, but endangering patients' health, a new study says. The report issued by the Institute of Medicine says nurses who work longer than 12 hours in a shift often suffer from fatigue which leads to medical errors that can be harmful to patients.

Specifically, the report says fatigued nurses often forget to wash their hands, are less efficient, less energetic and more likely to give the wrong drugs to patients. So, the panel recommends that state regulators limit the workday for nurses to just 12 hours, that's 12 hours a day! That's still longer than most of us put in.

The panel says because of the nursing shortage, some hospitals now are scheduling nurses to work 16-hour shifts and that's what they'd like to see reduced. The report was done by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

  • Titanium Fix

A little girl who was born without several ribs went home from the hospital after an unusual procedure to fix the problem. Kaylee Holler was born nine weeks early, the missing ribs on the left side kept her from being able to breathe on her own. But doctors at Baptist Children's Hospital in Miami implanted a titanium mesh to cover the gap in Kaylee's chest wall.

Dr.Juan Sola says that they saw that the mesh would accomplish everything they needed in Kaylee's case. It would provide support and protect the lung at the same time. Kaylee will be on oxygen for about three months. And this scar won't be the last. The mesh won't grow with her, so eventually she'll need additional surgeries. So the plan now is that doctors will later move some rib tissue from the right side to permanently fill in the left.

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