Designed specifically for critical care physicians, Critical Care SmartBrief is a complimentary twice weekly e-mail newsletter. Compiled from thousands of sources including news sites and blogs, it provides the latest litigation, research and policy news in the critical care community. Visit the archives to access previous issues. Mobile device versions are also available. Read the top stories shared by Critical Care SmartBrief readers.

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 Critical Care SmartBrief

Tool helps ID pediatric head trauma patients needing ICU care
Study data showed the Children's Intracranial Injury Decision Aid was effective at helping physicians determine which children with mild head trauma and intracranial injury needed ICU observation, researchers reported in JAMA Pediatrics. The five factors used in developing the tool were depressed skull fracture, midline shift, epidural hematoma, and Glasgow Coma Scale scores of 13 and 14. Medscape (free registration) (2/15)

Study finds improving survival among extreme preemies
The survival rates among extremely preterm infants increased from 30% in 2000 to 36% in 2011, and the rate of those who didn't develop neurological impairments at ages 18 to 22 months rose from 16% to 20% over the same period, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers said that survival improvements may be tied to wider steroid use among mothers and lower infection rates. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/15)

University gets grant for mobile Critical Care Recovery Program (2/14)

CMS projects accelerating health care cost growth
Overall health care spending is expected to rise over the next decade and account for 19.9% of the economy by 2025, with the pace of growth to rise 5.4% this year compared with growth of 4.8% for 2016, according to a CMS report. Prescription drug spending is projected to grow 6.4% annually over the next eight years, partly fueled by specialty drugs, while Medicare spending is also expected to increase as more Americans grow older. Reuters (2/15)

Republicans outline ACA replacement
Republicans met Thursday to discuss plans for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said legislation would be introduced after the House returns from a 10-day recess on Feb. 27. Lawmakers received a 19-page "policy brief" with details on an ACA replacement plan, including restructuring of Medicaid, elimination of penalties for the uninsured and employers that do not offer coverage, incentives for health savings accounts, and an age-based monthly tax credit that does not vary with income for those who purchase coverage. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (2/16)

Verma offers few specifics on her vision for CMS
CNN (2/16)

Dosing errors reduced with infusion pumps linked to EMRs
Data from ICU Medical showed integration of its Plum infusion pumps and Hospira MedNet safety software into hospital electronic medical records systems reduced potentially catastrophic dosing errors by 52% and increased compliance with drug libraries by 156% on average. The study was conducted at three community hospitals in the US. Drug Delivery Business News (2/15)

Wis. blood bank completes tracking pilot for pediatric blood products
BloodCenter of Wisconsin and Fresenius Kabi have completed a pilot initiative involving the use of radio-frequency identification technology called CompoTrace to track the movement and improve management of blood products for use by pediatric patients at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The pilot launched in October 2016 and ended Feb. 15. RFID Journal (2/17)

The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.
Charles Du Bos, writer and critic