Lost Hospital — Linda Vista Community Hospital1

The future influences the present just as much as the past.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

One of the goals of Hospital Stay is to familiarize individuals with many of the processes and procedures involved in health care today. With that in mind, there are many opportunities to learn from past health care practices, especially as we create the roadmap to where our system stands in modern times.

A new series by Not So Much Foundation called “Lost Hospital” focuses in part on the health care institutions of yesterday. Featured here is Linda Vista Community Hospital, formerly located on St. Louis Street in Los Angeles, California (Boyle Heights).

The hospital was first built in 1904 (originally named Santa Fe Coastlines Hospital) for Santa Fe Railroad employees. In its early days the hospital did well, much like the Boyle Heights neighborhood around it. In 1924, the Hospital expanded to accomodate an increased patient census. In 1937, the Hospital changed its name to Linda Vista Community Hospital. … Read more →

Analyzing Finger Length in Men0

A new study from Concordia University concludes that the length between a man’s second and fourth finger indicates higher levels of prenatal testosterone, risk-taking, and potential financial success. These findings, published in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences, suggest that men with such physical characteristics (also known as “alpha males”) may take greater risks in relationships, in athletic competitions, and in financial investments.

According to Gad Saad, Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption: “Previous studies have linked high testosterone levels with risky behaviour and financial success. We investigated the relationship between prenatal testosterone and various risk proclivities. Our findings show an association between high testosterone and risk-taking among males in three domains: recreational, social and financial.” … Read more →

Search Engines and Suicide0

Google has launched a link-up with Samaritans, a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland, displaying the charity’s helpline number in response to UK search queries relating to suicide.

Any individual who enters the word “suicide” or the phrase “commit suicide” will now see a red telephone icon at the top of their search results. This icon includes contact details for Samaritans. … Read more →

The Dark Side of Teen Texting0

Researchers at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, concluded that teenagers who text over 120 times a day are more likely to have had sex or to have used drugs or alcohol than kids who don’t send as many messages.

Dr. Scott Frank, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve, studied teenagers who engaged in “hyper-texting” (sending more than 120 text messages per school day) and/or “hyper-networking” (spending more than three hours on social networking sites during a school day) in a Midwest, urban county in the United States. … Read more →

The Price of Poor Privacy Practices0

A recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute estimates that poor privacy practices and the accompanying data breaches cost hospitals about $6 billion each year.

Based upon interviews with 65 health care organizations, this break down in efficiency results from a facility’s failure to encrypt, loss or theft of devices, and disposal of unshredded documents. The study was sponsored by ID Experts, which sells services to protect against and respond to data breaches. Some other findings included:

  • A full 60% of the organizations included in the study had more than two data breaches over the previous two years, at a cost of $2 million per organization.
  • The average breach involved 1,769 lost or stolen records.
  • Senior personnel at the organizations surveyed felt unprepared to prevent or quickly detect breaches. Some 58% of the organizations “have little or no confidence” in the ability of their organization to detect all patient data loss or theft.
  • Patients were the first to detect data breaches, report 41% of the organizations.
  • Most of the respondents have either put in place an electronic medical records system or are in the process of doing so. And 74% of those with an EHR system say it has made data more secure. Another 12% said the system made no difference in security, 10% say it made data less secure and 4% were unsure.[audio:http://hospitalstay.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/05-Been-Caught-Stealing-1.mp3|titles=Been Caught Stealing]

Additional Source:  The Wall Street Journal Health Blog

The Looming Deadline of Hospital Retrofitting in California0

A recent article appearing in California Watch contends that state authorities and hospital officials have failed to notify the general public about serious structural weaknesses at more than a dozen hospital buildings, including facilities in the Bay Area and Southern California.

California is focused on nearly 700 hospital buildings that were identified in the 1990s as potentially dangerous. The State’s licensing authority can revoke a hospital’s license – thereby shutting it down – if the facility does not retrofit certain buildings by the statutory deadline (2013 or 2015, and in some instances 2020). The article is critical of state oversight because it does not force hospitals to determine the risk of collapse.

The most current cost estimate for bringing all of California’s hospital buildings into seismic compliance is $110 billion, without financing charges, according to the RAND organization. … Read more →

Night Fights in Spain0

According to a recent study conducted by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA), there are some disturbing trends about Spain’s young adults (under the age of 25). “Reports about young people being attacked or injured in fights when they go out at night are becoming increasingly common,” according to Amador Calafat, lead author of the study and a researcher at IREFREA.

According to the research, 5.2% of young people carry weapons when they go out at night, 11.6% have been attacked or threatened, and 23% have got into a fight at some time.

The research, published in the latest issue of the Journal Psicothema, analyses this Spanish phenomenon by focusing on night-time, recreational activities among 440 participants in the Balearic Islands, Galicia and Valencia. The participants regularly went out at night and consumed alcohol or other substances. “Having been threatened or hurt with a weapon was associated with having frequent arguments related to the use of alcohol and drugs,” Calafat explained. “In order to prevent night-time violence, alcohol consumption among young people should be controlled by offering water and soft drinks at affordable prices, steering away from ‘happy hour’-type alcohol offers, and strictly ensuring that alcohol is not sold to underage drinkers,” the study concludes.[audio:http://hospitalstay.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/15-Kung-Fu-Fighting-Studio.mp3|titles=Fighting]

Additional Sources:  Medical News Today

Still Waiting for a Pill to Instill Empathy — Studying Psychopaths0

There are no medications that can instill empathy, and some experts in the area of mental health believe that psychopathy stems from a specific neurological disorder which is biological in origin and present from birth. Robert D. Hare, an expert in the field and author of the “Psychopathy Checklist” estimates that about one percent of the population are psychopaths. [audio:http://hospitalstay.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/01-Crazy-Gnarls-Barkley-cover-2.mp3|titles=Crazy]

In a recent study published in Psychological Science, two groups of prisoners, psychopaths and nonpsychopaths, were challenged with a series of problems based on three specific rules: (1) descriptive rules (such as, “If a person is from California, then that person will be patient”); (2) social contracts (”If you borrow my motorcycle, then you have to wash it”), and (3) precautions (”If you work with tuberculosis patients, then you must wear a surgical mask”).

The study concluded that while psychopaths performed comparably to nonpsychopaths on descriptive reasoning problems, they significantly underperformed in the area of social contract and precautionary problems. The authors of the study concluded that these findings may suggest psychopaths have specific reasoning impairments, manifesting itself in chronic cheating and impulsive risky behavior. According to the study co-author Elsa Ermer: “This work suggests that psychopaths don’t understand cheating in the normal way, so they might not realize when they’re cheating other people or when other people would react badly to cheating.” … Read more →

Can’t Beat Beets0

A new study from researchers at Wake Forest University concludes that drinking beet juice can help slow the onset of dementia in adults.  In the publication Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry, the researchers contend that beet juice can increase blood flow to the brain.

According to Daniel Kim-Shapiro, director of Wake Forest’s Translational Science Center: “There have been several very high-profile studies showing that drinking beet juice can lower blood pressure, but we wanted to show that drinking beet juice also increases perfusion, or blood flow, to the brain. There are areas in the brain that become poorly perfused as you age, and that’s believed to be associated with dementia and poor cognition.”

The elevated concentration of nitrates found in beets (as well as other vegetables) causes good bacteria in the mouth to turn nitrate into nitrate.  This helps open blood vessels, thereby increasing blood flow and oxygen throughout the body. This is the first study to link consumption of  beet juice with increased blood flow to the brain.  “I think these results are consistent and encouraging – that good diet consisting of a lot of fruits and vegetables can contribute to overall good health,” according to Gary Miller, associate professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science (and a project researcher).

[audio:http://hospitalstay.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/08-Vegetable.mp3|titles=Vegetable]The National Institutes of Health contributed funding for this research.