Antibiotics stewardship reduces rate of hospital readmission for children

Among 176 children treated for nonchronic complex care issues and without underlying medical conditions, none were readmitted within 30 days if the physician accepted the recommendation of the pharmacist-physician antibiotics stewardship team, reported Jason Newland, MD, of Children’s Mercy Hospital-Kansas City in Missouri, and colleagues.

In comparison, among the 88 children whose doctors rejected the recommendations, 3.4% required readmission, they said at the annual IDWeek conference.

Newland noted that the difference was statistically significant

The pattern was similar among children who had chronic complex care issues. Of the 149 children whose doctors accepted the recommendations regarding use of antibiotics, there was no 30-day readmission. However, among the children whose doctors said No to the recommendations, the readmission rate was 2.6%, Newland said.

“We are only talking about two or three new admissions,” he acknowledged, “but there was none” in the groups where the recommendations were explained and were accepted by the doctors.

Pranita Tamma, MD, who moderated the IDWeek press briefing where the study results were presented, told MedPage Today that “antimicrobial stewardship programs generally consist of a physician and a pharmacist who oversee, guide, and educate clinicians in their institutions about the appropriate use of antibiotics. The goal of every stewardship program in the U.S. is to ensure that every patient who requires an antibiotic receives the right drug, the right dose, by the right route, and for the right duration of time.”

Dr. Pranita Tamma noted for the press briefing – “Ultimately, we believe that this improves the care of children while decreasing the unintended consequences of antibiotic overuse, including allergic reactions, severe diarrheal illnesses, hearing loss, kidney and liver damage, and, of course, antibiotic resistance.”

Hear, hear.

Air Force turned $500 million of aircraft into $32,000 worth of scrap metal — WTF?


Click to enlarge — In case you wondered what just one Air Force boneyard looks like?

A U.S. government watchdog agency is asking the Air Force to explain why it decided to destroy 16 aircraft initially bought for the Afgan air force and turn them into $32,000 of scrap metal instead of finding other ways to salvage nearly $500 million in U.S. funds spent on the program.

John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, asked Air Force Secretary Deborah James to document all decisions made about the destruction of the 16 C-27J aircraft that were stored at Kabul International Airport for years, and what the service planned to do with four additional planes now in Germany…

The U.S. government spent $468 million to buy and refurbish 20 older C-27A airplanes from Alenia, a unit of Italy’s Finmeccanica SpA , but later canceled the program because a lack of spare parts was severely limiting their availability for military use.

Instead, the Pentagon decided to buy four larger C-130 planes built by Lockheed Martin Corp to do the work…

In an interview last year with NBC News, Sopko said it was unclear if the incident was criminal fraud or mismanagement, but the waste was not an isolated incident in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon’s inspector general has also investigated the issue, which the non-profit group Project on Government Oversight (POGO) calls “a shining example of the billions wasted in Afghanistan.”

No immediate comment was available from the Air Force or the Pentagon.

You know, the definition of corruption in government isn’t limited to direct theft, stealing from the till – so to speak. When you have a bureaucracy with job descriptions based on interchangeability between the Pentagon and the military-indiustrial complex – there is a whole range of corruption that starts with ordering trials of hardware we don’t need, building the hardware we don’t need and ends with destroying the crap we never needed – instead of at a minimum trying to find other military idiots who will buy this useless crap.

It feels like the volume of waste, theft and corrupt use of taxpayer dollars didn’t decrease a jot between the neocon thieves in the Bush Administration and the vaguely liberal dunces in the Obama Administration.

Thanks, Mike

New Mexico is Ground Zero for methane contaminating our air

One small “hot spot” in the U.S. Southwest is responsible for producing the largest concentration of the greenhouse gas methane seen over the United States – more than triple the standard ground-based estimate — according to a new study of satellite data by scientists at NASA and the University of Michigan…

In each of the seven years studied from 2003-2009, the area released about 0.59 million metric tons of methane into the atmosphere. This is almost 3.5 times the estimate for the same area in the European Union’s widely used Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research.

…Researchers used observations made by the European Space Agency’s…SCIAMACHY instrument. SCIAMACHY measured greenhouse gases from 2002 to 2012. The atmospheric hot spot persisted throughout the study period. A ground station…operated by…Los Alamos National Laboratory, provided independent validation of the measurement…

Research scientist Christian Frankenberg of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, first noticed the Four Corners signal years ago in SCIAMACHY data…

The study’s lead author, Eric Kort of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, noted the study period predates the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, near the hot spot. This indicates the methane emissions should not be attributed to fracking but instead to leaks in natural gas production and processing equipment in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin, which is the most active coalbed methane production area in the country.

“The results are indicative that emissions from established fossil fuel harvesting techniques are greater than inventoried,” Kort said. “There’s been so much attention on high-volume hydraulic fracturing, but we need to consider the industry as a whole…”

Phew! Where do we start?

The study includes time spent with Governor Bill the Democrat and Governor Susana the Republican. Both played kissy-kissy with our oil and gas industry. Sure, different levels of public blather; but, when push comes to shove, neither did a damned thing about oversight or regulation.

We shouldn’t be waiting for a Euro satellite or the coneheads up on the Hill to be telling us the air we breathe is being polluted. Everyone in the Four Corners knows it. Polluters, whether from the PNM power plants to gas and oil producers know it. They don’t care. And We The People – haven’t much of any elected officials really interested in acting on our behalf.

What could we have done? What can we do, now? How about a Green Party that actually tries to build political power instead of trotting out Ralph Nader every four years to tell us we’re screwed? Anyone concerned about quality of life already knows that. The rest of the population wallows in ignorance and ain’t reading Mother Jones. Most of our elected officials only respond to money and vested interests forking it over.

It’s time to stop the electoral posturing, put an end to political masturbation. That only perpetuates the absolute failure of any Green Party in the GOUSA. Our sister and brothers around the world enjoy our dissertations – and chuckle at how useless American environmentalists are at getting things done.

Aside from the Walt Disney theory of history which relies on electing a hero at the top – proven false most recently by the flop named Obama – reliance on the purportedly liberal wing of the two political parties we think is all we’re allowed is the broader example of being co-opted. Democrats respond to enviro fervor by saying, “Right on, y’all — vote for us and we’ll carry your banner to victory!” And then do nothing. Today’s Republicans do nothing by definition.

Nope. With continued polarization in this country – even if it’s based on the ignorance of perception – small victories, grassroots strength where possible, can provide the political power to make an independent difference. A Progressive swing vote in a gridlocked state legislature means a helluva lot more than buying TV time for this year’s self-chosen mellowed-out 60’s radical.

There are any number of city councils, state legislatures and eventually the bowels of Congress where program-based electoral campaigns can win the small victories which enable ecology gadflies to ally with other minorities to make a difference in how this state and this nation are run. And that includes the basic responsibility for oversight and regulation that restores our environment for future generations.

As the Koch Bros destroy the environment – they ain’t down with Civil Rights either

Charles and David Koch are notorious for amassing a business empire well-known for destroying the environment and hijacking the political process to ram their privatization and business agenda on the country. But what is equally egregious about their political activities are their efforts to dismantle years of civil rights progress.

Kochs’ union-busting efforts hurt African American mobility.

Though unions have been known to increase the economic mobility of African-American workers, Koch-funded organizations have been very active in destroying anything that’s left of them. Koch-backed organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the Cato Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and the Reason Foundation have long viewed public sector unions with disdain. In 2011, collective bargaining was ended in Wisconsin after the state legislature passed Act 10…

Koch brothers’ secret billionaire summit hosts professional racist.

According to the Nation, the Koch brothers hosted a secret summit on June 16 at the St. Regis Monarch Bay resort, in Dana Point, Calif. Besides a number of notable Republican politicians in attendance, one of the most controversial men giving “dinner remarks” was Charles Murray, a co-author of The Bell Curve, a book which argued that Blacks and Latinos have lower IQs than Asians and whites

Daddy was an admirer of Mussolini

He wrote admiringly of Benito Mussolini’s suppression of Communists in Italy, and disparagingly of the American civil-rights movement. “The colored man looms large in the Communist plan to take over America,” he warned. Welfare was a secret plot to attract rural blacks to cities, where they would foment “a vicious race war.” In a 1963 speech that prefigures the Tea Party’s talk of a secret socialist plot, Koch predicted that Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the President is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.”

Sounds familiar? The brothers have used their inherited wealth to buy PR that still fits daddy’s racist, rulng class ideology. The words are tweaked here and there. Most important, they decided they could wield more power owning politicians instead of trying to run for office themselves. Buying creepy organizations that peddle lies about legalism, climate change, nativism, white supremacy works to the same goals — without offending liberal members of their clan of wealth. After all, they give to respectable charities, too.

RTFA. I’ve noted less than half of what the Bridge Report has documented.

Thanks, Mike