March 1, 2023
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Worker Shortage, Pandemic Make Drug Diversion Easier
Drug diversion can happen quickly as healthcare workers move from one facility to another, enabled by lax reporting systems and hospital disincentives to alert patients and raise liability issues. Diverters may slip through cracks in oversight by medical and nursing boards as they move to other facilities and are lost to follow-up.
Multistate Drug Diverter’s Plea Denied, Faces 29 More Years
When it comes to discussion and analysis of drug diversion, David Kwiatkowski is the elephant in the room. More aptly, he is in a Florida federal prison cell. A hepatis C virus carrier, Kwiatkowski was sentenced to 39 years in prison in 2013 for infecting a string of victims with HCV as he diverted drugs from multiple hospitals in eight states. Tracking back through this trail of tears, federal officials with the Department of Health and Human Services tallied 45 HCV-infected patients, two of whom died.
FDA Streamlining COVID-19 Shot to a Single Formula
Conceding the various vaccine doses and multiple boosters have caused considerable confusion, and some degree of pandemic apathy, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously voted to simplify and “harmonize” the process by switching to a single vaccine formula to be administered annually for most people.
Striking Nurses Receive More Staffing, Raises
Around 7,000 hospital nurses in New York City held a three-day strike that led to hospitals conceding to their demands for higher pay and improved staffing. Winning such a victory when staff shortages are widely reported could result in other hospitals following suit, as nurses demand fair treatment, full staffing, and equitable compensation after three years of fighting a pandemic.
Physicians Less Optimistic About Public Health
Burning the candle at both ends is catching up with physicians, some of whom expressed frustration with the way their medical facilities are addressing burnout, according to the results of a new survey.
Do Not Be the Man (or Woman) in Black
A few years ago, there was a great hue and cry about whether surgeons should still wear their time-honored skull caps. Now, it is the scrubs they wear, with researchers noting “an association between a physician’s attire and patient confidence in them, as well as patients’ ability to perceive clinician trustworthiness, intelligence, and empathy, with scrubs garnering favor.”