Lives saved by reducing medical errors

A campaign to reduce lethal errors and unnecessary deaths in the nation's hospitals has saved an estimated 122,300 lives in the last 18 months, the campaign's leader said. “I think this campaign signals no less than a new standard of healthcare in America,” said Donald Berwick, a Harvard School of Public Health (Cambridge, Massachusetts) professor who organized the campaign.

About 3,100 hospitals participated in the project, sharing mortality data and carrying out study-tested procedures that prevent infections and mistakes. Experts say the cooperative effort was unusual for a competitive industry that does not like to focus publicly on patient deaths.

“We in healthcare have never seen or experienced anything like this,” said Dr. Dennis O'Leary, president of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois).

Berwick announced the campaign's results at a hospital conference in Atlanta.

The changes Berwick sought included the deployment of rapid-response teams for emergency care of patients whose vital signs suddenly deteriorated.

IsoRay withdraws application for Nasdaq listing

IsoRay (Richland, Washington) reported that it has withdrawn its application for a listing on the Nasdaq Capital Market. The application was withdrawn because IsoRay's stock did not meet the minimum bid requirement of $4 for more than 10 trading days, and thus did not meet the listing requirements for the Nasdaq Capital Market. IsoRay plans to reapply for a listing on Nasdaq once its common stock regains its former pricing level.

IsoRay, through its subsidiary,IsoRay Medical, is the sole producer of the Cesium-131 brachytherapy seed, used to treat prostate and other cancers. The Cesium-131 seed offers a significantly shorter half-life than the two other isotopes commonly used for brachytherapy, which results in a substantially faster delivery of therapeutic radiation, lower probability of cancer cell survival and reduction of the longevity of common brachytherapy side effects, IsoRay said.

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