With many COVID-19 deaths unreported in the United States, researchers estimate the actual death toll of the pandemic is closer to 1 million than the 574,043 reported from March 1, 2020, to May 3, 2021. Looking at excess mortality data, researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation calculated 905,289 COVID-19 deaths occurred in the U.S. during that period. That is 58% higher than the official numbers.
Needlesticks result from malfunctioning safety syringe
June 4, 2021
Due to “needle safety device failures” — some of which led to needlesticks — the FDA is recommending healthcare providers stop using certain syringes and needles manufactured by Guangdong Haiou Medical Apparatus Co., Ltd. (HAIOU). The FDA is recommending the action as it evaluates the products. So far, HAIOU has not initiated a voluntary recall.
The problem of longstanding violence against healthcare personnel has been overshadowed by the pandemic, but it is receiving more attention from OSHA. A federal administrative law judge has determined that a Bradenton, FL, behavioral healthcare center and its management company exposed workers to more than 50 attacks in a 2.5-year period, OSHA announced.
CDC: Employees protected at work, in their communities
June 4, 2021
Preliminary results from an ongoing multisite case-control study of healthcare personnel in 25 states indicate the two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are 94% effective in real-world conditions involving work and the community, the CDC reported. The study is underway at 33 sites, with 75% of enrolled healthcare workers employed at acute care hospitals.
The CDC’s recommendation the vaccinated public can shed their masks and not socially distance in many situations was condemned by some observers who said it will cause confusion, noncompliance, and a possible spike in cases. In wanting to convey a message of progress and optimism while rewarding and encouraging vaccination, the CDC seemed to some critics to be suggesting the pandemic was over, with images of people throwing masks in the air like new graduates circulating on social media.
Houston Methodist Hospital is one of the first institutions in the nation to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers and other employees. Many see such mandates as the wave of the future, but others advise caution and patience to let staff make a willing choice about a controversial vaccine.
The CDC is undertaking a major program to immunize staff and patients at dialysis centers against COVID-19. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices considered dialysis healthcare personnel a priority population for vaccination.
The Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act of 2021 recently passed the U.S. House of Representatives and is now in the Senate.It would direct the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to require violence prevention programs in hospitals and other healthcare settings.
Healthcare workers are experiencing a collective grief experience during the pandemic. The inability to participate in grief and farewell rituals could lead to cases of prolonged grief disorder, a clinically diagnosable condition of unresolved grief that is impairing.