This Viewpoint discusses the balance between the effective treatment of pain and preventing the abuse and misuse of opioids.
This Viewpoint identifies strategies for the appropriate and efficient emergency medical team assistance to other countries following natural disasters.
Unlike prescription drugs, medical devices are reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) using 2 alternative regulatory standards: (1) premarket approval (PMA), which requires clinical testing and inspections; or (2) the 510(k) process, which requires that the device be similar to a device already marketed (predicate device). The second standard is intended for devices that the FDA deems to involve low or moderate risk.
We analyzed the FDA's high-risk List of Device Recalls from 2005 through 2009. Using FDA data, we determined whether the recalled devices were approved by the more rigorous (PMA) process, the 510(k) process, or were exempt from FDA review.
There were 113 recalls from 2005 through 2009 that the FDA determined could cause serious health problems or death. Only 21 of the 113 devices had been approved through the PMA process (19%). Eighty were cleared through the 510(k) process (71%), and an additional 8 were exempt from any FDA regulation (7%). Cardiovascular devices comprised the largest recall category, with 35 of the high-risk recalls (31%); two-thirds were cleared by the 510(k) process (66%; n = 23). Fifty-one percent of the high-risk recalls were in 5 other device categories: general hospital, anesthesiology, clinical chemistry, neurology, or ophthalmology.
Most medical devices recalled for life-threatening or very serious hazards were originally cleared for market using the less stringent 510(k) process or were considered so low risk that they were exempt from review (78%). These findings suggest that reform of the regulatory process is needed to ensure the safety of medical devices.
Falls are a common adverse event during hospitalization of older adults, and few interventions have been shown to prevent them.
This study was a 3-group randomized trial to evaluate the efficacy of 2 forms of multimedia patient education compared with usual care for the prevention of in-hospital falls. Older hospital patients (n = 1206) admitted to a mixture of acute (orthopedic, respiratory, and medical) and subacute (geriatric and neurorehabilitation) hospital wards at 2 Australian hospitals were recruited between January 2008 and April 2009. The interventions were a multimedia patient education program based on the health-belief model combined with trained health professional follow-up (complete program), multi-media patient education materials alone (materials only), and usual care (control). Falls data were collected by blinded research assistants by reviewing hospital incident reports, hand searching medical records, and conducting weekly patient interviews.
Rates of falls per 1000 patient-days did not differ significantly between groups (control, 9.27; materials only, 8.61; and complete program, 7.63). However, there was a significant interaction between the intervention and presence of cognitive impairment. Falls were less frequent among cognitively intact patients in the complete program group (4.01 per 1000 patient-days) than among cognitively intact patients in the materials-only group (8.18 per 1000 patient-days) (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.28-0.93]) and control group (8.72 per 1000 patient-days) (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.78).
Multimedia patient education with trained health professional follow-up reduced falls among patients with intact cognitive function admitted to a range of hospital wards.
anzctr.org.au Identifier: ACTRN12608000015347