PITTSBURGH - The VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is opening an investigation into the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and whether a recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease could have been prevented. The outbreak resulted in 29 cases of Legionnaire’s between January 2011 and November 2012 at the University Drive VA Medical Center in the Oakland area of Pittsburgh. The goal of the OIG investigation is to determine whether VA could have foreseen the problem and avoided it through adequate water supply maintenance. More
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FEBRUARY ISSUE
Navy and Marines Crack Down on Alcohol Misuse with Widespread Screening WASHINGTON - If Navy leadership has anything to do with it, the misleading stereotype of the drunken sailor or hard-drinking Marine will fade into the past. Although Navy officials note that their alcohol-abuse problems are no greater than the general population and might be less, the Marines began twice-yearly mandatory breathalyzers for personnel on Jan. 1, with the Navy set to begin regular alcohol screening shortly thereafter. The move is intended as a way of preventing alcohol-related problems, medical and otherwise, before they happen. More
VA's Shorter Hospital Stays Didn't Create Higher Readmissions WASHINGTON - When it comes to hospital stays, longer is not necessarily better in reducing 30-day readmission rates. That’s according to a review of records for the more than 4 million patients hospitalized at 129 acute care VA hospitals from 1997 to 2010. The study, published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine by investigators from VA’s Health Services Research & Development service, found that, while LOS decreased by 27% in adjusted analysis over the time period, the relative readmission rates did not rise. In fact, they decreased by 16%. More
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
DoD Now Will Fund Abortions in Pregnancies from Rape, Incest WASHINGTON - A controversial new law expands the circumstances when DoD funds can be used to pay for abortions to include pregnancies caused by rape or incest. Previously, DoD-funded abortions were only permitted when the life of the mother was deemed to be in danger. More Please and participate in this month's U.S. Medicine readership poll: Should DoD be required to pay for abortions in cases of rape and incest as well as danger to the life of the mother?
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." ~Nelson Mandela
Editor-in-Chief, Chester ‘Trip’ Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA
I have been reflecting on the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States - the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The right to own weapons is a fundamental part of our collective history as Americans. I am grateful to the framers of our Constitution for seeing the wisdom of a free people having the right to bear arms and adopting the Second Amendment, as part of the Bill of Rights, on Dec. 15, 1791.
Of course in the 18th century, our leaders had no concept of assault weapons capable of firing hundreds of armor-piercing rounds in a minute and magazines that can hold 10, 30 or even 100 rounds that can be fired and then replaced in seconds with a new high-capacity magazine. More