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      The new science of death: ‘There’s something happening in the brain that makes no sense’ / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 April - 04:00 · 1 minute

    New research into the dying brain suggests the line between life and death may be less distinct than previously thought

    Patient One was 24 years old and pregnant with her third child when she was taken off life support. It was 2014. A couple of years earlier, she had been diagnosed with a disorder that caused an irregular heartbeat, and during her two previous pregnancies she had suffered seizures and faintings. Four weeks into her third pregnancy, she collapsed on the floor of her home. Her mother, who was with her, called 911. By the time an ambulance arrived, Patient One had been unconscious for more than 10 minutes. Paramedics found that her heart had stopped.

    After being driven to a hospital where she couldn’t be treated, Patient One was taken to the emergency department at the University of Michigan. There, medical staff had to shock her chest three times with a defibrillator before they could restart her heart. She was placed on an external ventilator and pacemaker, and transferred to the neurointensive care unit, where doctors monitored her brain activity. She was unresponsive to external stimuli, and had a massive swelling in her brain. After she lay in a deep coma for three days, her family decided it was best to take her off life support. It was at that point – after her oxygen was turned off and nurses pulled the breathing tube from her throat – that Patient One became one of the most intriguing scientific subjects in recent history.

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      The Guardian view on A&E waiting times: a warning from emergency doctors | Editorial / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 17:30

    Rishi Sunak promised speedier care, but specialists believe long waits for hospital beds are costing thousands of lives

    On one half of Rishi Sunak’s NHS pledge to voters, there has been some modest progress in recent months. Waiting lists for pre-planned hospital treatment and outpatient appointments in England fell from 7.8m to 7.6m between September and December last year. Given the intense pressures on the health system from multiple directions, this improvement is a remarkable achievement by the trusts that brought it about – even while the overall situation remains dire, with waiting lists predicted to remain longer than before the pandemic until 2030 at the earliest.

    But the prime minister’s commitment was not limited to waiting lists. The pledge he made in January last year, as one of five priorities on which he said voters should judge him, was that “NHS waiting lists will fall and people will get the care they need more quickly”. New calculations by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) show that, with regard to the broader aim of delivering speedier treatment, his government is falling shockingly short .

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      England A&E wait times led to needless deaths of up to 14,000, data suggests / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 04:00

    RCEM calculates 268 people are likely to have died each week in 2023 while waiting up to 12 hours for a bed

    Almost 14,000 people died needlessly last year in England while waiting in A&E for up to 12 hours for a hospital bed, a new estimate suggests.

    Calculations by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) based on a large study of excess deaths and waiting times show that 268 people are likely to have died each week in 2023 because of excessive waits in emergency departments.

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      Stanford hospital erupts in protest after vaccine plan leaves out residents

      John Timmer · / ArsTechnica · Friday, 18 December, 2020 - 22:10 · 1 minute

    Images of people protesting while wearing medical garb.

    Enlarge / Protests by medical staff took place both inside and out of the hospital. (credit: Ars Technica)

    One of the more challenging aspects of the initial round of vaccinations is deciding who gets the first doses of a limited supply. The need to have a functional medical system in the face of an out-of-control pandemic has meant that most places have prioritized doctors and nurses who provide most face-to-face patient care. But an apparent failure to prioritize those caregivers at Stanford Medical Center has caused many of its doctors to stage protests today.

    Ars received a copy of an open letter sent by the Chief Medical Residents to the Stanford administration that outlines the problems that sparked these protests.

    In the US, a residency occurs after the completion of medical school, and is a requirement for the practice of medicine. Residents typically operate under the supervision of a physician in a training program at teaching hospitals, and they learn to practice a specialized branch of medicine, such as internal medicine or pediatrics. In many cases, residencies are followed by fellowships, which are used to develop further specializations. Because these positions are both temporary and required for practicing medicine, however, those occupying them have little political weight within hospitals.

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