Jails Contracting Medical Services See Increased Deaths & Study of Race-Based Algorithm Shows Racial Disparities

Jails Contracting Medical Services See Increased Deaths & Study of Race-Based Algorithm Shows Racial Disparities

This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up … 

U.S. Prepares for Halloween During the Pandemic

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As Halloween fast approaches, kicking off the end-of-the-year major holiday season, here’s a roundup of news articles detailing different ways to prepare and handle the holiday safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • The Washington Post offers a do and don’t guide to how to safely celebrate the holidays. 
  • Reuters details a list of different ways people are planning to handle Halloween and what professional organizations advise to do safely. 
  • NPR answers the question of whether or not it’s safe to hand out candy for Halloween and ways you can lower the risk of spreading infection if you choose to participate.
  • The Wall Street Journal talks to different people to see how they’re planning to hand out treats to kids this year and how people are still safely proceeding with costume contests

Review Shows Jails Relying on Health Care Contractors Have Higher Death Rates

Many jails have turned to contracting out their health care services for inmates to health care contractors. A review performed by news reporting agency Reuters found that during the period of 2016 to 2018, jails that contracted out these services had higher death rates than those jails that had their health care run by government agencies.

Death rates ranged from 18% to 55% higher in jails using one of the leading five health care contracting companies. 

Race-Based Algorithm Skews Kidney Disease Decisions Against Black Patients

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A recent study reviewed the use of a controversial algorithm used to determine treatment recommendations and the severity of kidney disease based on a patient’s race. The study found that the algorithm would give Black people with kidney disease a healthier score as compared to a patient who was white and had the same kidney disease data.

This means that those patients would be labeled as having a less severe form of kidney disease and therefore would not be recommended certain treatments, like kidney specialist referrals or kidney transplants.

When those same Black patients were graded by the algorithm as if they were white, then more than one-third of them would have been diagnosed with more severe cases of kidney disease. Sixty-four of those patients would have been moved onto a waitlist for a kidney transplant.

Researchers note that the study highlights just one element of the complex system of racial disparities in health care.

U.S. Pediatricians Discuss Ways to Address Childhood Trauma from Police-Related Violence

Nursing News Icon mental health

A session of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual meeting focused on encouraging pediatricians and related health care professionals to address childhood trauma due to police brutality.

The session focused on studies that showed that exposure to police violence negatively affected children’s education and emotional health. It also focused on ways pediatricians are uniquely positioned to help address the issue of childhood trauma related to police-related violence. 

Medical Studies Roundup

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Here’s a brief roundup of recent medical studies and their findings for you to stay up to date with the ever-evolving field of medical research.

  • A study published in the journal Nature Medicine estimates that about 130,000 deaths could be prevented by February if a universal mask mandate was effectively implemented.
  • The most recent updated review on the use of convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 patients has shown that the limited data currently available does not support its use as a treatment for the infection.
  • Researchers who analyzed flu cases of over 9,000 women hospitalized from 2010 to 2019 for confirmed flu found that only one-third of the women had received a flu vaccine. 
  • An overall average of only 30% of U.S. adolescents get the recommended vaccinations for their age. However, the average for each state varies widely. 
  • Pregnant women with hypothyroidism may increase the risk of ADHD in the child by 28%.
  • A study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine estimates that adults with down syndrome are 4x more likely to be hospitalized and 10x more likely to die from COVID-19. 
  • The American Journal of Preventive Medicine published a study showing that states with fewer restrictions on reproductive rights had lower infant mortality rates and lower odds of infants being born prematurely or having a low birth weight.

Race for the Vaccine: Coronavirus Vaccine Updates

Here are the most recent updates from the past week on COVID-19 vaccine development. 

Covid-19 vaccine status tracker stages

Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 4

AstraZeneca resumes its late-stage vaccine trial in the U.S. after pausing it on September 6.


Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 4

Johnson & Johnson prepares to resume its own late-stage U.S. vaccine trial sometime this week after pausing it last week.


Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 3

The Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine has shown to trigger a similar immune response in both older and younger adults. 


Covid-19 vaccine tracker - phase 3

An independent study from the UK shows that the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine follows its programmed genetic instructions accurately. 


Covid-19 vaccine tracker - regulatory review

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a redacted version of its federal contract with the company Moderna, which is one of the companies part of Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. initiative to develop a vaccine. 


Covid-19 vaccine tracker - manufacturing stage

Dr. Anthony Fauci estimates that a COVID-19 with safe and effective results may be available by the end of 2020. 


Michelle Paul

Michelle Paul is an RN Content Specialist at Clipboard Health. She has worked with a variety of patient demographics, ranging from young adults in foreign countries, to elderly residents in skilled nursing facilities, to healthy blood donors in her community. Her experience in content creation gives her a unique perspective on communication within the healthcare field.