The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) has released its “First State-Specific Healthcare-Associated Infections Summary Data Report”, which gives an overview of where the country stands in efforts to prevent central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI). The report is based on both national and state-specific CLABSI data collected by NHSN.The NHSN report looked at CLABSI data from January – June 2009. During that time, Vermont hospitals reported CLABSI rates that were among the lowest of the seventeen states that were included in the report, and that were significantly lower than the report’s standardized infection ratio baseline of 1.0. Vermont’s ratio for the period reported was 0.27.“This report is good news for Vermonters who depend on Vermont hospitals to provide quality health care services and treatment,” said Paulette J. Thabault, Commissioner of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration. “Vermont’s leadership in this area has been the result of extraordinary collaboration between consumer advocates, the Legislature, hospital infection preventionists, the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the Vermont Program for Quality in Health Care, and state agencies.”Jill Olson, Vice President of Policy and Operations at the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, echoed Thabault’s sentiment about the dedication and effort responsible for the positive results reported by NHSN. “Vermont’s results are a credit to the physicians and nurses who take care of Vermonters every day, and to the dedicated hospital infection preventionists who help bring medical evidence into practice at the bedside.” “This is real health care reform: quality and safety improvements for patients. Vermont’s excellent performance demonstrates the importance of transparency and public reporting in spurring quality improvement. It’s a proud day for consumer advocates, hospitals and BISHCA here in Vermont,” said Jeanne Keller, who represents a small business association, Business Resource Services, on the Hospital Report Card Advisory Panel.Vermont was the third state in the country to publicly report hospital-specific CLABSI rates, beginning in 2007, as part of health care quality improvement efforts overseen by BISHCA. Vermont hospitals have participated in the NHSN system since 2006, and Vermont was the first state to utilize the system for public reporting. The CLABSI report is part of BISHCA’s annual Hospital Report Card, which can be found on the BISHCA website. A copy of the NHSN report is also available on BISHCA’s site.According to the CDC, an estimated 248,000 bloodstream infections occur in U.S. hospitals each year. It is believed that a large proportion of these are associated with the presence of a central line – a flexible tube inserted near the heart or into one of the large veins or arteries, and used to administer medication or fluids, obtain blood tests, and directly obtain cardiovascular measurements. Because of where central lines are located, they can cause potentially dangerous bloodstream infections. Bloodstream infections can cause longer hospital stays, increased costs and increased risk of mortality. CLABSI can be prevented through proper management of central lines.About BISHCAThe Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration touches most Vermonters in some fashion, through its regulation and monitoring of a broad spectrum of financial and health industry activities. Regulated entities/areas include, for example: banks, licensed lenders, credit unions, insurance companies and their products, agents, securities firms, broker/dealers and investment advisors, HMO’s and hospital finances.Source: BISHCA. 5.27.2010
Free Fallin’, BASE jumpers highlight Bridge Day in the Gorge.In October of 1980, something incredible happened in West Virginia. Five men donning parachutes walked to the edge of the newly constructed 876-foot-tall New River Gorge Bridge. With policemen, Park Service, and safety professionals looking on in approval, they stepped into oblivion.From these humble beginnings, Bridge Day has grown to over 800 jumps per year and 100,000+ spectators who all come to participate in a celebration of the sport, spectacular fall scenery, and the local community. Although originally started as a way for the general public to walk on the bridge, BASE jumping has taken center stage.Jumpers plunge from diving boards and platforms on the side of the bridge and land in the Fayette Station river access area far below. Safety boats patrol the waters, and spectators can view the whole show from the bridge itself, trails along the rim, or the National Park observation deck at the New River Gorge Visitor Center. It remains one of the most popular legal options for BASE jumping in the U.S., and it shines as an example of how fringe sport enthusiasts and authorities can work together towards a mutually beneficial solution.Summersville local jumper Marcus Ellison has witnessed the spectacle many times since he was a child. There was something about watching people submit to the forces of gravity that resonated with him. At the age of 23, Ellison began skydiving with the intention of moving to the BASE side of the sport. Before he knew it, Bridge Day 2008 had arrived, and he was standing on a platform looking over the chasm with friends and family watching. It was his turn to jump.“It’s a moment of clarity and relaxation,” Ellison explains. “When your feet disconnect from what you are on, there is an unbelievable feeling of release and freedom. That is what I’m after: that instant when you disconnect.”Marcus has disconnected across the country, and has over 300 skydives and nearly 200 BASE jumps to his name. He is drawn to the sport for many reasons, but in no small part because of the dramatic places that it brings him to. His favorite jumps are in massive alpine environments, and are sometimes combined with skiing. This focus on the beauty of the surroundings makes BASE jumping a soulful sport that is more similar to other outdoors pursuits than many think. It doesn’t require the manpower, airline fuel, and permits that skydiving does, and it is almost always a quiet, under-the-radar activity with just a friend or two. Due to the infancy of the sport, the rules of BASE are still being written.Bridge Day is hardly a normal day for these jumpers. In spite of the fanfare, lines, and spectators, it is often the only opportunity every year to reconnect with friends from across the planet. It’s a perfect chance for first-time jumpers to meet and learn from the legends of the sport. Personalities like Red Bull athlete Miles Daisher, oil rig lifestyler Chris McDougall, and wildman Jeb Corliss can be seen in the lineup, and are quick to give high fives and trade stories with aspiring young athletes.Jason Bell, BASE Coordinator for Bridge Day, says that it is without a doubt the best day for skydivers to make their first BASE jump. “We have over 100 first-timers every year, and due to setting, the system that we have developed, and the safety measures in place, it is a perfect way to get into the sport.”Rookies feel confident at Bridge Day for several reasons. First of all, it is the third tallest bridge in the U.S., and the more time that jumpers have to deal with the unexpected, the better. Jumping from a bridge also eliminates the danger of colliding with a cliff or other standing structures should the jumper spin and open the chute the wrong way. The primary landing area is a deep river, and rescue boats are constantly fishing jumpers out of the water. Finally, there are ambulances and other safety personnel and technology at the bottom, ready to deal with injury. On the logistical side, Bell and his team vet applicants through interview questions, and there are two gear checks for all jumpers before they are allowed to queue up for freefall.While it’s appealing to beginners, advanced athletes can also get excited about Bridge Day 2012, and its newest creation: The Human Catapult. A mechanical engineer by trade, Bell envisioned and designed a mechanism that is capable of launching jumpers 20 feet vertically and 50 feet horizontally over the edge of the bridge during Bridge Day. This addition will augment the already classic launch platform and diving board options for jumpers, and will be mixed in to the other two as participants jump on 20-25 second intervals.BASE jumpers often struggle with being labeled as adrenaline junkies and daredevils. Just like any sport, there are those who take it to its limits, but the vast majority are there for the experience and the camaraderie. “BASE jumping is what you want it to be,” says Ellison. “It can be the craziest, scariest, most sketchball thing you could ever do, or it can be the foundation for some of the most joyful moments of your life.”Jason describes his personal fascination with the sport, and touches on the fact that it is still an incredible and vivid experience, even after over 500 jumps. “From the powerful acceleration of the jump, to the peacefulness of flying the chute, and finally the satisfaction of landing back on earth, there is nothing else like it. You realize that it is an experience that very few people will have, and it’s almost as if you are privy to a secret.” •DateOCTOBER 20, 2012Hours9:00 AM – 3:00 PMLocationNew River Gorge Bridge,Fayetteville, W.Va.Website officialbridgeday.comTwitter@BridgeDayVideobit.ly/TjhUfiOther ActivitiesRappelling, highlining, car show, music, chili/cornbread cookoff
The USC baseball team is officially on the schneid.Following a 3-1 start to begin the year, USC has now dropped seven straight games, including all three games of its weekend series against No. 7 Cal State Fullerton.Including Sunday’s showing against the Titans, five of the losses have come by three runs or less, and four have been by one run.“I don’t think anyone who’s watching us play can say we aren’t competing,” said USC coach Frank Cruz.Sunday’s game was a pitchers’ duel with both starters lasting into the eigth. USC senior starter Logan Odom threw 104 pitches over seven and two-third innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits, while walking just one and striking out three.Odom was overshadowed by Titan starter Colin O’Connell, who threw eight shutout innings, allowing one unearned run on just three hits, all without walking a Trojan batter.Both pitchers were so dominant the game finished in one hour and 52 minutes — USC’s first sub-two hour game since March 4, 2007.“I felt good,” Odom said. “But it’s hard to feel good about a whole lot right now.”Both teams went down in order in the first two innings until a two-out hit, a steal and an error led to the first run of the game and a 1-0 Titan lead.Fullerton scored once more in the fourth with a leadoff triple and a sacrifice-fly, but that would be it for the scoring until the bottom of the eighth.With two down, junior first baseman Matt Foat singled to center and advanced to third when the ball got by the center fielder. Junior left fielder Brandon Garcia followed up with an RBI-groundout to short, and the Trojans were on the board.USC did threaten in the ninth, but at that point, it was too late.Junior preseason All-American first baseman Ricky Oropesa was up with two down and speedy freshman pinch-runner Omar Cotto Lozada on first as the tying run, but the Fullerton closer got Oropesa swinging on a full count to end the game.The first two games of the series were played on Friday and Saturday in Orange County, and the results there were no better for USC.USC was down 2-1 in the fourth when its took its only lead of the series.Oropesa doubled with one down and advanced to third on senior second baseman Joe De Pinto’s single. A passed ball allowed Oropesa to score and De Pinto to move up to second. A wild pitch moved De Pinto to third, and he gave the Trojans the lead on a Foat RBI grounder.But Fullerton put up a four-spot for the second straight game. In the fifth, junior starting pitcher Austin Wood allowed a leadoff walk and then balked, advancing the runner to second. From there, it all fell apart. After a double and an error, Wood was lifted following four-plus innings and four runs (three earned).Junior Ben Mount was brought in to minimize the damage, but it was not his day. He walked the first hitter, allowed a two-RBI single to the next and then allowed a run on a wild pitch before finally getting out of the inning with four on the board and the Trojans down 6-3.The Trojans went down in order in three of their final five innings, only once managing to put a runner in scoring position. Fullerton scored once more in the eighth to make the final 7-3.The opening game in Fullerton on Friday was even worse, as the Titans dominated in every way.Preseason All-American pitcher Noe Ramirez threw eight innings of one-hit ball, walking two and striking out eight. USC went down in order in six of its nine turns at bat, getting just four men on base the entire game.“Friday we played really, really bad,” Cruz said. “That was our worst game of the season so far.”The Titans jumped out in front early, plating four in the third against junior starter Andrew Triggs, all with two outs.USC didn’t even get its first hit until the fifth, leading to its only run of the game.But the Titans got the run right back in their half of the fifth, and put two more across in the sixth. Following USC’s second error of the game, Triggs was pulled after tossing five and one-third innings and seven runs, but only four earned.Fullerton got three more in the eighth behind a pair of wild pitches and allowing the Trojans’ third error of the game to make the 10-1 final USC’s worst loss of the season.“It’s tough right now,” De Pinto said. “But we gotta focus on ourselves and things will turn around.”The Trojans finally face some unranked competition this week when they travel up the coast to Santa Barbara to take on the Gouchos at 3 p.m. Tuesday.