Public Health News Roundup: March 11
Obese Drivers at Greater Risk of Dying in a Car Crash
Obese drivers are up to 78 percent more likely to die in a car crash than normal-weight drivers, according to a recent study by researchers at the UC Berkeley’s Safe Transportation and Research Education Center. Researchers reviewed data on accidents recorded in the managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, and found that drivers with a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the obesity range (over 30) were more likely than other drivers to die in a car crash even if they were wearing a seat belt and an airbag deployed. The researchers say that other health problems the obese drivers had could have been a factor in their deaths, but say that cars may not be designed people who are overweight. The study was published in the Emergency Medicine Journal. Read more on injury prevention.
AHRQ Releases Patient Safety Strategies
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality recently released 10 patient safety strategies for hospital and other health care facilities that the agency says can save lives:
- Preoperative checklists and anesthesia checklists to prevent operative and postoperative events
- Checklists to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections
- Interventions to reduce urinary catheter use, including catheter reminders, stop orders, or nurse-initiated removal protocols
- Interventions including head-of-bed elevation, to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia
- Hand hygiene
- The do-not-use list for hazardous abbreviations
- Interventions to reduce pressure ulcers
- Barrier precautions to prevent healthcare-associated infections
- Use of real-time ultrasonography for central line placement
- Interventions to improve prevention of blood clots
Read more on safety.
Study Finds Soccer Programs Increase Exercise among Low-Income Kids
A study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health finds that an after-school soccer program and literacy program has been successful in increasing physical activity among elementary school children. The researchers found that the program increased moderate-to-vigorous physical activity by an average of 3.4 minutes per weekday and 18.5 minutes on Saturdays among students with a body mass index at or above the 85th percentile, when compared with students at control schools who did not host the program. The program did not significantly increase physical activity among children who were not overweight or obese. Read more on obesity.