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Consider this

Pneumonia: Still a contender

A serious infection or inflammation of the lungs, pneumonia can have up to 30 causes, and when coupled with influenza, presents a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Pneumonia remained the number one cause of death in the United States until 1936, when aggressive antibiotic treatment brought it under control. A recent revision to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) attributes a larger percentage of pneumonia deaths to the underlying conditions of which the pneumonia was a result, decreasing the total deaths attributed to pneumonia by 30%. Before the revision, pneumonia and influenza ranked as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Today, pneumonia and influenza are the nation's seventh leading cause of death.


Fast stats

Other national statistics indicate that:


[white diamond suit] 63,548 pneumonia-related deaths occurred in 2000; males have higher mortality rates than females.


[white diamond suit] The age-adjusted death rate in African Americans was 10% higher than in the Caucasian population in 2000.


[white diamond suit] Between 1988 and 2000, the hospital discharge rate for pneumonia increased by almost 22%.


[white diamond suit] In 2003, pneumonia and influenza will represent a $29.7 billion cost to the U.S. economy.



Source:The American Lung Association, "Trends in Morbidity and Mortality: Pneumonia, Influenza, and Acute Respiratory Conditions." Available on-line:


Ones to watch

Donna Delicio. RN, Cranford, N.J., recently completed the Johnson & Johnson-Wharton Fellows Program in Management for Nurse Executives.



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The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) named Karen Haase-Herrick, RN, MN, Seattle, Wash., its President-elect for 2003.


AONE also named several new board members, including:Linda K. Daum, RN, MBA, McAllen, Tex.;Cheryl Hoying, RN, PhD, Columbus, Ohio;Veronica Hychalk, RN, MS, CNA, St. Johns, Vt.;Kathleen D. Sanford, RN, MA, DBA, FACHE, Bremerton, Wash.; and Mary Crabtree Tonges, RN, PhD, FAAN, Chapel Hill, N.C.


The Multiple Sclerosis Nurses International Certification Board awarded Norma Harrington, LSW, MSCN, Dorchester, Mass., with the Multiple Sclerosis Certified Nurse credential.



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Mary Ann Thode, RN, Oakland, Calif., was appointed President of the Kaiser Permanente northern California region.


The American Academy of Nursing inducted Deborah Ward, RN, NP, PhD, Seattle, Wash.


If you or someone you know earns professional recognition, send your submission to [email protected].


Parting advice

When the pharmacy closes

If your facility lacks 24-hour pharmacy service, having a pharmacist prospectively review the medication orders can prove extremely difficult, if not impossible. Thus, when the pharmacy closes, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requires facilities to develop a system for medication order review that minimizes the impact of skipping this key safety step.


At a minimum, this system must include:


[white diamond suit] a retrospective pharmacist review of the medication order as soon as the pharmacy reopens or a pharmacist becomes available


[white diamond suit] a review against a database of information by another qualified health care professional prior to administration, unless a computerized physician/prescriber order entry system exists


[white diamond suit] a review by a qualified off-site pharmacist to answer staff drug information questions


[white diamond suit] ongoing analysis that monitors the incidence of medication errors as compared to when the pharmacy is open.



Patricia A. Staten, RN, MS


Associate Director


Standards Interpretation




Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.


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