Public Health News Roundup: June 27
CPR Quality Varies Among EMS Personnel
The quality of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) given to victims may vary depending on the EMS department or hospital administering it, according to the American Heart Association. “There have been huge advances in CPR and there’s no question that high-quality CPR saves lives,” said Peter Meaney, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of anesthesia and critical care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and author of a new statement on quality CPR for the AHA. “Right now,” said Meaney, “there is wide variability in the quality of CPR—and we can do better.” Each year in the United States, more than a half-million children and adults suffer cardiac arrest, but survival rates vary significantly: 3 percent to 16 percent for arrests outside of hospitals and 12 percent to 22 percent in hospitals, according to the study authors.
In its statement the AHA offered some recommendations to improve CPR quality:
- Minimize interruptions to chest compressions.
- Provide the right rate of compressions—100 to 120 per minute are optimal for survival.
- Give deep enough compressions—at least 2 inches for adults and at least 1/3 the depth of the chest in infants and children.
- Give no more than 12 rescue breaths a minute, with the chest just visibly rising, so pressure from the breath doesn’t slow blood flow.
The AHA recommends that to ensure quality improvement, providers, managers, institutions and systems of care should do debriefings, follow CPR delivery checklists, measure patient response measurements, provide frequent refresher courses and participate in CPR data registries. Read more on heart health.
Minority Children Less Likely to Receive ADHD Diagnosis
Minority children are less likely than their white counterparts to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Compared to white children, Hispanic children were 50 percent less likely, black children were 69 percent less likely and minority children overall were 46 less likely. The health care disparities start as early as kindergarten and last at least through the eighth grade, and the lack of access to medications and specialized learning programs puts them at a disadvantage in terms of learning and behavior. Researchers say the findings demonstrate the need for improved ADHD awareness and questioning by health care providers, school psychologists and teachers. Read more on health disparities.
NCI Issues Guidelines to Speed Up Clinical Trials
Opening a clinical trial can sometimes take years, which can slow down introduction of new or improved therapies. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has issued new recommendations to help get trials underway. Under the new guidelines, the target time to open a trial should be should be 210 days from the start date for the first two phases of clinical trials which assess safety and effectiveness in a small number of patients, and 300 days for phase III trials which include a much larger number of participants. According to NCI incorporating the new guidelines in some recent trials has sped up the start date for those trials. Read more on cancer.