eNews June 7, 2022

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

AI system checks placement of trach tubes

Researchers at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA demonstrated the reliability of an AI system to check placement of endotracheal tubes on chest X-rays of ICU patients, reports Radiology Business. Working with 2,000 chest X-rays, they designed semantically embedded deep neural networks to automatically identify endotracheal tubes, tracheas and carinas (part of the lower trachea) on chest radiographs. To check placement of tube tips, the team computed a “safe zone” representing the area in which the tube tip should rest when it’s correctly placed (between 3 and 7 centimeters above the carina). Noting that an endotracheal tube was present in 385 of the 512 test cases, the researchers report their AI achieved 95% accuracy at identifying tubes and 86% accuracy at verifying correct tip placement.


Medicare errors shouldn’t be ‘criminalized’

The Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation issued a statement “on the issue of criminalization of medical error” following the conviction in May of a Tennessee nurse for gross neglect and criminally negligent homicide after a patient died as result of a medication error and failure to monitor. “This prosecution may lead to greater risk for patients when healthcare professionals’ fear of significant retribution causes errors to go unreported and unaddressed, thus allowing the unidentified error to continue to harm more patients in the future,” according to APSF.


Correction needed for respiratory device

A respiratory device that Baxter inherited through its $12.5 billion Hillrom acquisition prompted the company to issue an urgent medical device correction, reports Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry. The Deerfield, Illinois-based company said that its Volara device may cause oxygen desaturation (a drop in oxygen levels) or lung tissue damage due to over-expansion of the lungs (barotrauma) in the home care environment. These potential events may occur while using the Volara device in line with a ventilator with the required Volara ventilator adaptor or Volara patient circuit kit oscillation and lung expansion therapy.


Post-surgical complications accurately predicted

University of Florida Health researchers have confirmed their artificial intelligence system – called MySurgery Risk – is at least as accurate as physicians in predicting many complications after surgery, including prolonged mechanical ventilation. The system used massive amounts of anonymized data from patients’ electronic medical records, including medications, lab results and sociodemographic data, up to one year before surgery. It also collected data such as vital signs during surgical procedures. The algorithm predicted prolonged intensive care unit stays and mortality risk after procedures, and calculated the risk of eight major postoperative complications, including sepsis, acute kidney injury, and cardiovascular and neurologic issues.


Pulse oximetry overestimates O2 saturation

An analysis of 1,216 patients with oxygen saturation levels that were concurrently measured by pulse oximetry and arterial blood gas demonstrated that pulse oximetry overestimated arterial oxygen saturation among Asian, Black, and Hispanic patients compared with White patients, according to researchers who reported their findings in JAMA Internal Medicine. Separately, among 6,673 patients with pulse oximetry measurements and available covariate data, predicted overestimation of arterial oxygen saturation levels by pulse oximetry among 1,903 patients was associated with a systematic failure to identify Black and Hispanic patients who were qualified to receive COVID-19 therapy and a statistically significant delay in recognizing the guideline-recommended threshold for initiation of therapy.

Looking for inroads into big accounts?

Signing contracts with big accounts isn’t getting any easier, particularly for specialty dealers and independent reps. But GPOs, IDNs and regional purchasing corporations are simply too influential to be ignored. As a partner in corporate accounts consulting firm Healthcare Links, Maria Hames helps clinically oriented suppliers gain access to big accounts. She will share her experience and insights, and answer your questions, at the IMDA/HIRA Annual Conference in July. Register now for the annual conference, “Winning in Healthcare Today: Finding Opportunities Through Collaboration,” July 25-27 at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois.