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Austerity bites: Thousands die of thirst and poor care in British NHS‏

© Alamy
A floor sign at an NHS hospital reminds staff and public to wash their hands to stop the spread of infection
At least 1,000 hospital patients are dying needlessly each month from dehydration and poor care by doctors and nurses, according to an NHS study.

The deaths from acute kidney injury could be prevented by simple steps such as nurses ensuring patients have enough to drink and doctors reviewing their medication, the researchers say.

Between 15,000 and 40,000 patients die annually because hospital staff fail to diagnose the treatable kidney problem, a figure that dwarfs the death toll from superbugs like MRSA.

The report comes less than a year after the NHS watchdog NICE was forced to issue guidelines on giving patients water after it found that 42,000 deaths a year could be avoided if staff ensured the sick were hydrated.
Ambulance

Passenger train derailed in Kazakhstan, 44 injured

kazahstan train wreck
© ortcom.kz
An Almaty-Atyrau passenger train No.41 has run off track in Aytrau Oblast in western Kazakhstan on Saturday evening, April 19. Kazakhstan Transport Prosecutor's Office opened a criminal case in relation to the accident, Tengrinews reports citing the press office of the Ministry of Emergency Situations.

580 tickets were sold the train, but according to the Emergency Situations Department there was a total of 495 people on the train travelling to Atyrau during the accident, both passengers and train staff. 5 people were hospitalized with serious injuries after the accident. No one was killed.
Attention

Report shows Greek austerity responsible for more than 500 male suicides

greek austerity protest
© Reuters/Yorgos Karahalis
Protesters from the public sector scuffle with police during an anti-austerity rally outside the Finance Ministry in Athens February 28, 2014
Spending cuts in Greece have caused some 500 male suicides since their implementation, according to a new study. The research found a positive correlation between austerity and suicide rates after other possible links proved to be unrelated.

The 30-page study, titled 'The Impact of Fiscal Austerity on Suicide: On the Empirics of a Modern Greek Tragedy' and published in the Social Science and Medicine journal was authored by Nikolaos Antonakakis and Alan Collins from Portsmouth University.

"Suicide rates in Greece (and other European countries) have been on a remarkable upward trend following the global recession of 2008 and the European sovereign debt crisis of 2009," states the study's abstract.
Quenelle

California's bait and switch Obamacare plans causing 'medical homelessness'

affordable care act
© unknown
California Obamacare enrollees are struggling to find doctors who accept their newly purchased health insurance plans.

UCSF Dr. Kevin Grumbach calls the phenomenon "medical homelessness."

CBS San Francisco says that many of the health care clinics for low-income individuals that helped people enroll in Obamacare are now seeing those same people "coming back to the clinic begging for help."

"They're coming back to us now and saying, 'I can't find a doctor,'" Rotacare clinic staffer Mirella Nguyen told CBS San Francisco. "What good is coverage if you can't use it?"

The problem stems from Obamacare's "narrow networks" - extreme restrictions on access to doctors and hospitals in an effort to cut costs.

California single mother of two Thinn Ong experienced the pain of Obamacare's narrow networks when she realized that her $200-a-month Obamacare plan is not accepted by many of the doctors in her area.
Clipboard

Survey: U.S. voters fear federal government; consider them threat to liberty

© Venitism.blogspot.com
Thirty-seven percent (37%) of Likely U.S. Voters now fear the federal government, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Forty-seven percent (47%) do not, but another 17% are not sure.

Perhaps in part that's because 54% consider the federal government today a threat to individual liberty rather than a protector. Just 22% see the government as a protector of individual rights, and that's down from 30% last November. Slightly more (24%) are now undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

As recently as December 2012, voters were evenly divided on this question: 45% said the federal government was a protector of individual rights, while 46% described it as a threat to those rights.

Two-out-of-three voters (67%) view the federal government today as a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Just 17% disagree, while 15% are undecided.
Whistle

Cop caught tripping and shoving teen girls during high school game

After a soccer game at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas ecstatic high school students charged the field to celebrate their team's victory; yet not all were happy.

A police officer was caught on tape kicking, tripping, and shoving several young girls and boys as they stormed the field, with one forced to leave the field limping in pain.

After video surfaced and parents responded with outrage, Georgetown police responded saying they've forwarded the case for internal "investigation," also known as investigating one's self.

Eiffel Tower

Is France "arguably the laziest country in Europe"?

© BBC
Contrary to popular belief in Britain, the French do work and they do read work-related emails after 6pm.

That's the shocking news the French media would like to tell their counterparts in the UK after Lucy Mangan's blog post When the French clock off at 6pm, they really mean it in The Guardian last week sparked another round of "French-bashing" in the British press.

Ms Mangan's post cited an article in Les Echos, about a deal - which affects about 250,000 employees in the technology and consultancy sectors - allowing staff to "disconnect" from work calls and emails to ensure they have the appropriate rest time allowed under French employment law.

Other British newspapers picked up on the story. The Daily Mail claimed this "new legal agreement" proved that France was "arguably the laziest country in Europe".
Einstein

Idiots on parade: Portland's hysterical water bureau's tenuous grasp of science‏

© Hannak17 Blogspot
From ARStechnica and the stupid, it burns, department comes this ridiculous story of a bureaucrat gone off the rails. See the video that set off this pissing match below.
The city of Portland, OR will empty a 38-million gallon reservoir after a teenager allegedly urinated in it, according to the Associated Press. It's the second time in three years that Portland is flushing its Mount Tabor reservoir after a urine-related incident.

The reservoir is open-air and sits exposed to all of nature, leading many parties to question how necessary a draining would be, or how polluted 38 million gallons of water can really be by a single man's urine.

David Shaff, Portland's water bureau administrator, reserves a special disgust specifically for human urine. In 2011, when Shaff drained the reservoir following a urination, he reasoned to the Portland Mercury, "Do you want to be drinking someone's pee?... There's probably no regulation that says I have to be doing it but, again, who wants to be drinking pee?" This time around, Shaff wrote in a statement, "Our customers have an expectation that their water is not deliberately contaminated."

A half-liter of urine dumped in a 143 million-liter reservoir would get a urea concentration of about 3 parts per billion, according to Slate. (We calculated it would be a 50 nanoMolar solution.) Meanwhile, the EPA allows concentrations of arsenic in drinking water up to 10 ppb (never mind eating asparagus).
Question

Airplane stowaway may have survived in 'suspended animation'

Stowaway
© Screenshot, CNN
The 16-year-old boy who survived a flight across the Pacific Ocean stowed away in an airplane's wheel well has everyone wondering just how he achieved this remarkable feat.

The teenager climbed aboard Hawaiian Airlines Flight 45 at San Jose International Airport Sunday morning (April 20) and survived the five-and-a-half-hour flight to Maui with minimal oxygen at an altitude of 38,000 feet (11,600 meters) and temperatures of about minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 62 degrees Celsius). The boy remained unconscious for most of the flight, but was unharmed, The Associated Press reported.

The teenager probably survived by entering a state of suspended animation, in which the body's metabolism slows down and requires less oxygen and energy, medical experts say.

"It is a true miracle that a lot of physicians have postulated in the past," said Dr. Evelina Grayver, a cardiologist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

The boy most likely lost consciousness due to the low oxygen level as the plane ascended, and then, the low temperatures probably put his cells into a frozen state, Grayver told Live Science.

Not everyone believes the story, however. "Somebody surviving at 35,000 feet for five hours with no supplemental oxygen supply; I just don't believe it," aviation consultant Jim Nance told ABC News.
Heart - Black

Prison doctor fired for allowing Kentucky inmate to starve to death

kentucky prison
© Wikimedia
The Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Ky
A prison doctor has been fired and two other staffers are in the midst of being dismissed after an inmate at the Kentucky State Penitentiary starved himself to death, a case that has exposed lapses in medical treatment and in how hunger strikes are handled at the facility. Prison officials have asked prosecutors to investigate after The Associated Press began asking questions about the inmate's death.

James Kenneth Embry, 57 and with just three years left on a nine-year sentence for drug offenses, began to spiral out of control in the spring of 2013 after he stopped taking anti-anxiety medication. Seven months later, in December, after weeks of erratic behavior - from telling prison staff he felt anxious and paranoid to banging his head on his cell door - Embry eventually refused most of his meals. By the time of his death in January of this year, he had shed more than 30 pounds on his 6-foot frame and died weighing just 138 pounds, according to documents reviewed by the AP.

An internal investigation determined that medical personnel failed to provide him medication that may have kept his suicidal thoughts at bay and didn't take steps to check on him as his condition worsened. The internal review of Embry's death also exposed broader problems involving the treatment of inmates - including a failure to regularly check inmates on medical rounds and communication lapses among medical staff.
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