Today’s NewsStand

Today’s NewsStand

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|April 8, 2021

Iowa news

UnityPoint Health, LifeServe partner for whole blood transfusions for trauma patients

UnityPoint Health-Iowa Methodist Medical Center, in partnership with LifeServe Blood Center, has begun providing whole blood transfusions to severely injured patients. Iowa Methodist, the only Level 1 trauma center in central Iowa, is the first hospital in Iowa to provide whole blood transfusions to these patients. In traumatic injuries, when a patient experiences blood loss, they lose individual components, both oxygen-carrying cells and clotting factors to stop bleeding. Studies have shown that in trauma situations, a transfusion of whole blood may be more beneficial than individual component therapy. For the past several decades, blood transfusions have been separated into three component therapies: red cells, plasma and platelets, because most patients only require a part of a whole blood donation. (Business Record)

Volunteers of Humboldt ambulance service are tops in Iowa

There were more than 900 occasions during 2020 when someone in or around Humboldt needed the help of trained emergency medical personnel. The ambulance service of Humboldt County Memorial Hospital responded to every one of those 916 instances with a mainly volunteer crew. Think about that for a second: Ambulances responded 916 times and most of those times the crew members aboard were folks who took time away from their lives, families and jobs to go help someone they probably didn’t know. It’s no surprise than that the hospital’s ambulance unit recently received the Volunteer Service of the Year for 2020 award from the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Association. The service received that honor three times previously – in 2000, 2002 and 2012 – which shows how consistently good the unit is. The ambulance crew has 31 members. There are four full-time employees. That means the majority of the crew, 27 people, are volunteers. (The Messenger)

Fire destroys UnityPoint office building in Cedar Rapids

An office used by UnityPoint Health — mostly vacant because employees are working from home in the pandemic — was destroyed by fire Wednesday evening, company and fire officials said. Crews responded to the two-story building at 3851 River Ridge Drive NE when an automatic fire alarm went off at 6:07 p.m. Arriving firefighters found about half the top floor was engulfed in flames, officials said. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department said two employees were in the building at the time of the fire but escaped. Bbout an hour after crews arrived, the roof began to sag and officials said crews were expected to remain on the scene well into the night. (The Gazette)

National news

In the race to stay ahead of COVID-19 variants, the US lags globally

The vaccines going in our arms today could become less effective later as the virus keeps mutating, a dilemma that demands scientists meticulously track variants to protect us. But the US lags well behind many other countries in employing the essential tool for keeping abreast of variants – gene sequencing – increasing the risk that a new variant could spread undetected. So far this year, the US ranks 33rd in the world for its rate of sequencing, falling between Burkina Faso and Zimbabwe, according to COVID CoV Genomic, led by researchers at Harvard and MIT. The top three nations – Iceland, Australia and New Zealand – sequenced at a rate between 55 and 95 times greater. (USA Today)

Most US infections are now caused by a contagious virus variant, the CDC says

A highly infectious variant of the coronavirus that was first identified in Britain has now become the most common source of new infections in the US, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday — a worrisome development that comes as officials and scientists warn of a possible fourth virus surge. Federal health officials said in January that the B.1.1.7 variant, which began surging in Britain in December and has since slammed Europe, could become the dominant source of coronavirus infections in the US, leading to a wrenching increase in cases and deaths. (The New York Times)

Nursing home residents get first hugs in a year, as visits resume

After a grueling year of COVID-19-induced loss and loneliness in America’s nursing homes, many residents finally are reuniting with their loved ones for hugs, hand-holding and indoor visits, thanks to recently revised nursing home guidelines from the federal government. Although the revisions represent the most dramatic steps toward reuniting residents with their family and friends since guests were first shut out of nursing homes in March 2020, many infection prevention protocols remain in place. Visitors must wear masks, the number of simultaneous visitors is capped, and the amount of time they can stay is limited. (AARP)

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