Texas Hospitals Are Adopting New Routines To Curb Maternal Deaths

first_imgGABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUTDell Seton adopted protocols to reduce opioid overdoses among new moms.Two-thirds of Texas hospitals offering maternity services are taking part in a statewide initiative aimed at reducing maternal mortality.Texas health officials this week kicked off a project called “TexasAIM,” an effort to get hospitals to use a set of protocols referred to as “safety bundles.” The goal is to standardize how doctors in Texas deal with pregnant women who are at risk of common complications during pregnancy or shortly after giving birth.The state plans to tackle hemorrhage, hypertension and opioid abuse first. All three are among the leading causes of maternal deaths in the state.“Our goal is to have as many hospitals participate that want to participate,” says Dr. Manda Hall, the associate commissioner for community health improvement at the Texas Department of State Health Services.So far, Hall says, 168 hospitals have joined TexasAIM – that’s out of the 242 hospitals in the state that offer maternity services.“We know that there is an opportunity here to really make a difference here in Texas as it relates to maternal mortality and severe maternal morbidity,” she says. “So, we are very happy to see the number of hospitals that are here today and participating.”During a meeting in Austin on Monday, hospital leaders from across the state met to discuss how they plan to implement the protocols and what it would look like in their own hospitals.“What it looks like in one hospital may look different in another hospital and that’s OK,” Hall says.That’s especially true because some hospitals already have been using these safety bundles.“We didn’t wait for TexasAIM to come along,” says Dr. John Harkins, a professor at UT Austin’s Dell Medical School and physician with Seton hospitals. “We’ve had these because it is evidence-based, and being an academic teaching center, we were able to get these up and running.”And Harkins says he’s already seeing results.“From my own experience, these things work great,” he says. “They save lives.”A lot of what doctors do is repetitive, Harkins says, and these safety bundles create yet another routine – but this one is backed by science.“Physicians at times are loathe to adopt standardization,” he says. “And you hear things like that, ‘You know, well, each patient you have to treat it like an art, and they are all different’ and that kind of stuff. But in certain things, it’s not an art; it is a science.”Harkins also says there are examples out there in the world of strict routines being safer.“Airline pilots go through the exact same protocols and checklists every single time they land a plane,” he says. “They do the exact same thing every time because they know that that is the safest way to get things done.”Texas health officials say there is evidence that creating protocols in hospitals has curbed maternal deaths in other states. For instance, one of the big drivers behind California’s effort to reduce maternal mortality rates was using new protocols in hospitals. In just four years, the state cut its rate by half. Sharelast_img read more

Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15PFinlay

first_img 15P/Finlay, discovered by William Henry Finlay in 1886, is a short-period comet with an orbital year of 6.5 years and a semi-major axis of nearly 3.5 AU. Its effective radius is estimated to be about 900 meters. The comet’s perihelion passage in December 2014 at one AU from the sun was an excellent opportunity for astronomers to study its activity. When 15P/Finlay experienced an outburst on Dec. 16, 2014, Ishiguro and his team decided to commence a three-month observational campaign of this comet with the aim of deepening the understanding of cometary outbursts. For this purpose, they employed six ground-based telescopes that are part of the Optical and Infrared Synergetic Telescopes for Education and Research (OISTER) inter-university observation network. Their efforts were fruitful and resulted in recording another outburst on January 15, 2015.”We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6–15.7,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The imagery taken by the team revealed a dramatic change in the comet’s activity, starting with the picture acquired on January 16. The images show that the inner coma brightened on this day and dust ejecta appeared soon; afterward, they were stretched toward the anti-solar direction.The astronomers also found that the appearance of the dust cloud on January 23 is similar to the image taken on December 23, in which the comet was enclosed by a widely expanded envelope. According to the team, this envelope dimmed quickly, leaving behind a near-nuclear dust cloud similar to that from the pre-second outburst.The researchers estimated that during the January 15 outburst, gas consisting mostly of C2 and CN expanded at a speed of about 1,110 km s−1, which is slightly faster than the speeds of other comets at about 1 AU from the sun.”The excess in speed can be explained by the large distance from the nucleus (about 100 million km), where the gas flow velocity continues to increase,” the paper reads.The study also reveals that during the blast, the dust ejecta accelerated up to a speed of 570 km s−1, which is comparable to the ejection speeds of two other outbursts similar comets. “These consistent speeds would have resulted in the similar appearances of these outburst ejecta,” the team noted.The total mass of dust ejecta was calculated to be between 100,000 and one million metric tons.Finally, based on their own observations complemented by previous studies on the nature of cometary outbursts, the scientists concluded that such turbulent events of 15P/Finlay and similar comets occur more than 1.5 times a year and inject dust particles into interplanetary space at a rate of approximately 10 kg s−1 or more. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Astronomers observe outburst of comet 15P/Finlay (2016, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-astronomers-outburst-comet-15pfinlay.html (Phys.org)—A Jupiter-family comet, designated 15P/Finlay, has experienced two large-scale outbursts during its perihelion passage at the end of 2014 and the start of 2015. The latter was observed by a team of astronomers, led by Masateru Ishiguro of the Seoul National University in South Korea, offering a rare glimpse into the physical properties of cometary nuclei. The results of these observations are published Sept. 3 on the arXiv pre-print server. Journal information: arXiv Time-series false color images of 15P taken with RC–band (wavelength 0.64 µm) from (a) UT 2014 December 23 to (f) UT 2015 February 18. The FOV of each panel is 11.6′× 8.0′. All images have standard orientation in the sky, that is, north is up and east is to the left. The anti-solar vectors (r−⊙) and the negative heliocentric velocity vectors (−v) are indicated by arrows. A dozen point–like sources appeared in (p) were not erased by a star subtraction technique because of the short duration of exposures. Credit: Ishiguro et al., 2016.center_img Scientists investigate change in activity of comet 17P/Holmes Explore further More information: 2014-2015 Multiple Outbursts of 15P/Finlay, arXiv:1609.00792 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1609.00792AbstractMultiple outbursts of a Jupiter-family comet, 15P/Finlay, occurred from late 2014 to early 2015. We conducted an observation of the comet after the first outburst and subsequently witnessed another outburst on 2015 January 15.6-15.7. The gas, consisting mostly of C2 and CN, and dust particles expanded at speeds of 1,110 +/- 180 m/s and 570 +/- 40 m/s at a heliocentric distance of 1.0 AU. We estimated the maximum ratio of solar radiation pressure with respect to the solar gravity beta_max = 1.6 +/- 0.2, which is consistent with porous dust particles composed of silicates and organics. We found that 10^8-10^9 kg of dust particles (assumed to be 0.3 micron – 1 mm) were ejected through each outburst. Although the total mass is three orders of magnitude smaller than that of the 17P/Holmes event observed in 2007, the kinetic energy per unit mass (104 J/kg) is equivalent to the estimated values of 17P/Holmes and 332P/2010 V1 (Ikeya-Murakami), suggesting that the outbursts were caused by a similar physical mechanism. From a survey of cometary outbursts on the basis of voluntary reports, we conjecture that 15P/Finlay-class outbursts occur >1.5 times annually and inject dust particles from Jupiter-family comets and Encke-type comets into interplanetary space at a rate of ~10 kg/s or more. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more