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December 7, 2009

Infections in ICUs: 51% and Counting...

Last week the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that 51% of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) throughout the world have infections, a strong risk factor for in-hospital death. Now, why do these findings NOT surprise me at all?

In this study, ICU mortality rates were 11% for noninfected patients and 25% for infected patients. Hospital mortality followed a similar pattern: 15% versus 33%, respectively.

Infection rates were related to disease severity, degree of organ failure, and number of days spent in the ICU. The investigators report that the infection rate increased from 32% fo...

Posted By: beka serdans  

November 28, 2009

ICU RNs Make More Errors Than Floor RNs -- Really?

New critical care research was recently presented at a Chest 2009 Conference. One of the highlights was a study identifying the higher incidence of errors by ICU RNs as compared to floor RNs. I ...

Posted By: beka serdans  

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all my Readers in the United States:

" And though I ebb in worth, I'll flow in thanks. " ~John Taylor

Happy Thanksgiving !<...

Posted By: beka serdans  

November 22, 2009

Difficult Families...

Not a bad weekend except for the pouring rain we had in the City yesterday. Fall has clearly arrived temperature-wise, but Central Park remains on the green side!

We had several "difficult families" this week along with several unexpected deaths. When is death not expected in the ICU? One family demanded tha...

Posted By: beka serdans  

November 12, 2009

Leaving the Hospital AMA

This is a Part 2 of my blog about the 38 year old DKAer who decided to leave AMA within 7 hours after arrival to our ICU. According to a report from 2007, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) published new online stats about the number of cases in which patients left the hospital against medical advice. The top five reasons were:...

Posted By: beka serdans  

November 5, 2009

27th Admission to ICU Due to Non-Compliance

Well, it is raining outside. My windows are splattered and there has not been any hot water in the building for the past 24 hours. I'm to ready to scream! The following is an actual case report, but do note that I have changed the patient's name and other identifying factors in the process of writing this as I know this will be o...

Posted By: beka serdans  

October 26, 2009

One Question Blog -- Assault in Nursing?

After this weekend, the following question came to mind: Have you, as a nurse, been assaulted and/or threatened by a family member either physically or mentally?

If so, please share your experiences. How did you handle the situation immediately? Lock the workplace? How did those in charge in your setting han...

Posted By: beka serdans  

October 12, 2009

English ONLY - Change of Shift Report?

How many of you work with a culturally diverse group of nurses - from all countries including the Philippines, Jamaica, and Ireland ? (All coming to US in the 1980s, as you may recall, reducing the nursing shortage). In our Unit there seems to be a definite rift between the Filipino-speaking nurses and those who ...

Posted By: beka serdans  

October 2, 2009

Humor in Nursing

Ok, nursing is stressful as we all know, but a bit of humor can lighten the load.

Only we, nurses, will understand this humorous anecdote:

They found a dead nurse on the side of the road the other day.
How did they know it was a nurse?
...the bladder was ...

Posted By: beka serdans  

September 20, 2009

Ready for the H1N1 (Swine) Flu?

I don't know, but as the crisp fall air arrives, maybe this topic has been over-aired by the news media, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization? The last summer days can be felt along the FDR Drive Walkway along the East River. Feels good to be outside and away from work. I think I left a Psych ward the other morning and ...

Posted By: beka serdans  

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About This Blog

Beka is a critical care nurse who blogs on Medscape Nurses about issues related to bedside critical care as well as about larger healthcare concerns.Poll: Are you seeing more patients leave the hospital against physician advice (AMA ) ? Yes|No|

  • beka serdans

    Despite holding an MS degree and NP license , I remain an active ICU clinical bedside nurse. I love research and physics. My hobbies include gardening, hiking, traveling, photography, riding horses, writing, and serving as a patient dystonia advocate. I, also, run a nonprofit  keeping the media and patients on their heels when it comes to dystonia and Deep Brain Stimulation awareness and education. Next goal - Living healthy and within my means. Blogging at and turning towards private care nursing ! patients and fam8ileis are demanding better quality.

    Disclosure: Rebecca (Beka) Serdans, RN, MS, NP, has disclosed that she has served as an advisor or consultant to MerzUSA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,  Medical Dynamics,  and 5Fith Element Advertising.

The content of this blog does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Medscape.
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