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The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Cambridge, MA, with the support of prominent leaders in American health care, has initiated The 5 Million Lives Campaign to dramatically reduce incidents of medical harm in US hospitals, including the development of pressure ulcers. The campaign's goal is to ask hospitals to rapidly improve the care they provide to protect patients from 5 million incidents of medical harm over a 24-month period, ending December 9, 2008.


The IHI plans to enlist 4000 hospitals in this campaign, challenging them to adopt 12 improvements in care, one of which is to reliably use science-based guidelines for the prevention of pressure ulcers, a serious and common complication of hospitalization.


The campaign will be sponsored principally by America's Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans and will build on the success of the IHI's 100,000 Lives Campaign, in which 3100 participating hospitals reduced inpatient deaths by an estimated 122,000 in 18 months.


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Researchers at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine and the Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center have found that the Wound Care Laser 930-nm gallium-aluminum-arsenide diode laser, manufactured by biolitec, Inc, East Longmeadow, MA, offers potential in the management of neuropathic foot and leg ulcers of patients with diabetes. The resulting photo stimulation of laser therapy, they said, will stimulate the patient's own cells and tissues to participate in the wound healing process. These findings may constitute an alternative treatment without adverse effects, they said.


The 11-pound laser, which has an integrated computer, has been cleared for the debridement of wounds. Results of trials in mice and humans indicate that using the laser as an adjunct treatment could also expedite the healing of ulcerative wounds that are frequent complications of diabetes. The company presented the laser at the BIOS 2007 conference in January in San Jose, CA.


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Diversified Clinical Services, and Wound Care Centers, Inc, of Jacksonville, FL, will now operate under the common ownership of WCS Clinics, Inc. The consolidation is being funded by private equity firms, The Jordan Company, LP, Edgewater Capital, and Bolder Capital, and their respective affiliates.


Combined, the 2 wound care management companies represent more than 260 hospital contracts covering 40 states. They contract with hospitals to establish and manage comprehensive wound care programs, providing top clinical expertise, research data systems, and experienced staff to treat the increasing number of patients with nonhealing wounds. The companies estimate that approximately 7 million people in the United States are in need of these services.


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Longport Technology, Inc, Glen Mills, PA, has gained additional Food and Drug Administration marketing clearance for its EPISCAN high-resolution ultrasound scanner. The EPISCAN I-200 is indicated for use by clinicians or under the direction of physicians for imaging and analysis in research environments, and clinical settings. Clinical applications cleared for specific transducers that operate with the EPISCAN scanner include wound management and assessment, detection and prevention of pressure ulcers, detection of deep tissue injury, burn depth assessment, superficial musculoskeletal diagnosis, skin lesion assessment, and aesthetics.


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