Infusion pumps, a widely varied class of devices which typically mete out precise, time-delayed doses through IVs and related means, have been associated with 56,000 adverse events and more than 500 deaths in the past five years, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren told journalists assembled at Health Journalism 2010 this morning. Shuren is head of the FDA’s devices center. The malfunctions are often caused by hardware and software issues, and can lead to overdoses and other harmful events.
NPR health blogger Scott Hensley, who was there for Shuren’s presentation, wrote that the FDA appears determined to take action to improve the pumps, which are almost ubiquitous in American hospitals.
The “widespread problems we are seeing warrant” prompt action, Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, head of the FDA’s devices center, told a meeting of the Association of Health Care Journalists in Chicago.
The agency will require design improvements, more thorough testing, and inspections of the infusion pump makers’ facilities before the devices are allowed on the market.
NewsPro has once again turned the spotlight toward health journalism and AHCJ, just in time for Health Journalism 2010 in Chicago. Find a PDF of the full issue here, or go to the issue’s online index.
In addition to profiles of AHCJ award winners, highlights include:
Read our post on last year’s issue here.
Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at Johns Hopkins University and founder of the Quality and Safety Research Group, will be the keynote speaker at Health Journalism 2010. He will appear at the awards luncheon on Saturday, April 24.
Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D.
Pronovost specializes in improving patient safety through methods that are scientifically rigorous but feasible at the bedside. In his new book, “Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals: How One Doctor’s Checklist Can Help Us Change Health Care from the Inside Out,” Pronovost tells of losing his father as the result of a medical error and his own journey from a researcher to an international leader in patient safety.
Pronovost joins a number of high-profile speakers. Conference participants will have the chance to attend newsmaker briefings featuring leaders from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration:
- Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Kathleen Sebelius, M.P.A., secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- Jeffrey Shuren, director, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration
A special track on assessing health reform is intended to help reporters understand the changes coming and better explain what’s ahead to their readers, viewers and listeners:
- Does comparative effectiveness research work?
- Outlook for the nation’s hospitals
- Is there a looming doctor shortage?
- What’s ahead for state and local governments
- The reporting challenge going forward
“Influenza! Lessons learned from a year of H1N1” will feature experts on public health, infectious diseases, preparedness and vaccines:
- Jeffrey Levi, Ph.D., executive director, Trust for America’s Health
- Anne Schuchat, M.D., director, CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases
- Litjen Tan, Ph.D., director of medicine and public health, American Medical Association; co-chair, National Influenza Vaccine Summit
- Moderator: Maryn McKenna, independent journalist, Minneapolis
See the complete conference schedule.
A list of expected sessions for Health Journalism 2010 has been released and it includes panels and classes on the most timely health topics.
The conference, April 22-25 in Chicago, will feature sessions about finding and using health data, as well as how to map it, on Thursday. Field trips to see research and clinical work in the Chicago area are also planned for that day.
Panels on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will help reporters who are interested in tracking stimulus spending, understanding medical studies, comparative effectiveness research, conflicts of interest in medical research, vaccines, health reform, veterans’ issues, seniors and nursing homes and much more.
Conference registration for journalists is just $150 ($99 for students) and AHCJ negotiated a hotel rate of $139 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, the conference hotel. A number of fellowships will be offered as well.
For those of you on Twitter, the hashtag #ahcj2010 has been designated for news about and from the conference. Follow AHCJ_Pia for all of the latest news from AHCJ.
Just announced: AHCJ’s annual conference will be at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, April 22-25. We’ve secured a $139 room rate for attendees. Local and national AHCJ committees are starting the planning process. Ideas for sessions or workshops are welcome – submit them online.
More details will be shared in the weeks ahead, but set these dates aside now for the best annual training event in health journalism.