WHO says Ebola
outbreak could strike 20,000 people
The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa could infect more than 20,000
people, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday in a bleak
assessment of the deadly disease.
The United Nations health agency issued a strategic plan to combat the
outbreak in four West African nations where it said the actual number of
cases could already be two to four times higher than the reported 3,069. The
death toll stands at 1,552.
"This roadmap assumes that in many areas of intense transmission the actual
number of cases may be 2-4 fold higher than that currently reported. It
acknowledges that the aggregate case load of Ebola Virus Disease could
exceed 20,000 over the course of this emergency," the WHO said.
The deadly outbreak that began in Guinea in March and has spread to
neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as to Nigeria requires a
massive and coordinated international response, the WHO said. A separate
outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of Congo identified as a different
strain, is not included in its toll.
"Response activities must be adapted in areas of very intense transmission
and particular attention must be given to stopping transmission in capital
cities and major ports, thereby facilitating the larger response and relief
effort," the WHO said.
The virus is still being spread in a "substantial number of localities",
aggravating fragile social and economic conditions and has already killed an
unprecedented number of health workers, the agency said.
A wider U.N.-led plan being launched by the end of September is "expected to
underpin support for the increasingly acute problems associated with food
security, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, primary and secondary
health care and education, as well as the longer-term recovery effort that
will be needed," the WHO said.
Visit Reuters for the story.
NIH to launch
human safety study of Ebola vaccine candidate
Initial human testing of an investigational vaccine to prevent Ebola virus
disease will begin next week by the National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
The early-stage trial will begin initial human testing of a vaccine
co-developed by NIAID and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and will evaluate the
experimental vaccineâ€™s safety and ability to generate an immune system
response in healthy adults. Testing will take place at the NIH Clinical
Center in Bethesda, MD.
The study is the first of several Phase 1 clinical trials that will examine
the investigational NIAID/GSK Ebola vaccine and an experimental Ebola
vaccine developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and licensed to
NewLink Genetics Corp. The others are to launch in the fall. These trials
are conducted in healthy adults who are not infected with Ebola virus to
determine if the vaccine is safe and induces an adequate immune response.
In parallel, NIH has partnered with a British-based international consortium
that includes the Wellcome Trust and Britainâ€™s Medical Research Council and
Department for International Development to test the NIAID/GSK vaccine
candidate among healthy volunteers in the United Kingdom and in the West
African countries of Gambia (after approval from the relevant authorities)
Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has
initiated discussions with Ministry of Health officials in Nigeria about the
prospects for conducting a Phase 1 safety study of the vaccine among healthy
adults in that country.
The pace of human safety testing for experimental Ebola vaccines has been
expedited in response to the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1,400 suspected
and confirmed deaths from Ebola infection have been reported in Guinea,
Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone since the outbreak was first reported in
â€śToday we know the best way to prevent the spread of Ebola infection is
through public health measures, including good infection control practices,
isolation, contact tracing, quarantine, and provision of personal protective
equipment,â€ť NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. â€śHowever, a vaccine will
ultimately be an important tool in the prevention effort. The launch of
Phase 1 Ebola vaccine studies is the first step in a long process.â€ť
The investigational vaccine now entering Phase 1 trials was designed by
Nancy J. Sullivan, Ph.D., chief of the Biodefense Research Section in
NIAIDâ€™s Vaccine Research Center (VRC). She worked in collaboration with
researchers at the VRC, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of
Infectious Diseases, and Okairos, a Swiss-Italian biotechnology company
acquired by GSK in 2013.
Phase 1 clinical trials are the first step in what is typically a
multi-stage clinical trials process). During Phase 1 studies, researchers
test an investigational vaccine in a small group of people to evaluate its
safety and the immune response it provokes. Phase 2 clinical trials of
investigational vaccines are designed to further assess safety and immune
response in larger numbers of volunteers. Under certain circumstances, the
vaccineâ€™s ability to prevent infection or disease (called efficacy) can be
determined in a Phase 2 trial. Phase 3 clinical trials are directed
predominantly at determining efficacy.
The NIAID/GSK Ebola vaccine candidate is based on a type of chimpanzee cold
virus, called chimp adenovirus type 3 (ChAd3). The adenovirus is used as a
carrier, or vector, to deliver segments of genetic material derived from two
Ebola virus species: Zaire Ebola and Sudan Ebola. Hence, this vaccine is
referred to as a bivalent vaccine. The Zaire species of the virus is
responsible for the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
In parallel, NIH has partnered with an international consortium that
includes the British-based Wellcome Trust, as well as Britainâ€™s Medical
Research Council and Department for International Development to test the
same NIAID/GSK monovalent vaccine candidate.
The Oxford trial is expected to launch in mid-September pending ethical and
Visit NIH for the release.
mild cases of MERS among patients' families
Fewer than half of Saudi Arabian patients in a study passed the Middle East
Respiratory Syndrome virus to household members, and many of those who
developed secondary infections contracted mild cases of MERS, global
researchers reported on Wednesday.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine,
confirmed observations that the virus can cause mild disease, but overall
transmission rates are low.
"If less than half of infected patients transmit the virus to contacts, such
as in this study, we can be pretty sure that this virus will not be able to
start an epidemic in humans," co-author Christian Drosten of the Institute
of Virology at the University of Bonn Medical Center said in an email.
MERS, thought to originate in camels, causes coughing, fever and pneumonia,
and kills about a third of its victims. The study confirms that the virus is
extremely lethal, "suggesting that up to 30 percent of first-generation
cases will die," Drosten said.
Understanding how Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is transmitted has
been a quest for doctors trying to quell the outbreak that emerged in the
Middle East in 2012 and has infected more than 850 people and killed 333
The paper was co-written by Ziad Memish, former deputy health minister of
Saudi Arabia, who was sacked over his handling of the outbreak.
Based on the findings, Drosten said, the focus of research should be on
containing animal-to-human transmission, perhaps by vaccinating dromedary
The study involved testing 280 family members and close contacts of 26 MERS
patients. The researchers used sensitive diagnostic tests to detect silent
or mild infections. They identified 12 probable cases, suggesting a
secondary transmission rate of about 4 percent.
There are no drugs to treat MERS and no vaccines capable of preventing it.
The virus is closely related to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS,
which killed around 800 people worldwide after it appeared in China in 2002.
Visit Fox News for the study.
Affiliated Chapters, Fellows, and Committee Volunteers for outstanding
leadership and service
This year, at AHRMM14, AHRMM recognized and celebrated the tremendous work,
outstanding leadership, and professional commitment of AHRMM's committee
volunteers, Fellows, and Chapter Recognition Program participants during the
Annual Leadership & Achievement Reception. Review the listings below and
congratulate these individuals and organizations on a job very well done.
AHRMM recognized new and lifetime AHRMM Fellows for reaching the highest
level of education and achievement in both the Association and in the supply
chain field and for being an inspiration to many peers. Congratulations to
this year's new, renewed, and lifetime fellows.
New Fellow: David Early, CPM, FAHRMM, CMRP
Renewed Fellows: Lt. Col Terry K Cox, FAHRMM; William P Stitt, FAHRMM, CHL,
CRCST; Jeffrey F Solarek, CMRP, FAHRMM, CPM; Mickey Sparrow, CMRP, FAHRMM;
Dr. Jerry VanVactor, DHA, CMRP, FAHRMM
Lifetime Fellow: S. Patrick Tabor, FAHRMM, FACHE;
For more information on AHRMM's Fellow Program visit
AHRMM recognized more than 20 chapters for their participation in the 2014
Chapter Recognition Program. The Program recognizes and rewards service to
the healthcare supply chain community on the regional, state, and local
Bronze Chapter Affiliates: Central Pennsylvania Chapter of AHRMM; Chicago
Metro Chapter of AHRMM; Healthcare Supply Chain Network; North Carolina
Association of Healthcare Resource and Materials Management; Society for
Arkansas Healthcare Purchasing and Materials Management.
Silver Chapter Affiliates: Georgia Society for Healthcare Materials
Management; Health Care Resource Management Association of Greater New York;
New England Society for Healthcare Materials Management.
Gold Chapter Affiliates: California Association of Healthcare Purchasing and
Materials Management; Mississippi Society for Supply Chain Management in
Healthcare; North Texas AHRMM; South Carolina Society of Hospital Materials
Management; Western Pennsylvania Chapter of AHRMM.
Diamond Chapter Affiliates: Arizona Healthcare Materials Management
Association; Greater San Antonio Healthcare Resource & Materials Management
Association; Healthcare Materials Management Society of New Jersey; Kansas
Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management; Mid-Atlantic
Society for Healthcare Materials Management; Minnesota Chapter of AHRMM;
Texas Gulf Coast Supply Chain; Western States Healthcare Material Management
New AHRMM Affiliated Chapter: Rocky Mountain Association for Healthcare
Resource and Materials Management
For more information on AHRMM's affiliated chapters visit
AHRMM also recognized and thanked Committees members for their tremendous
service, expertise, and dedication to the advancement of AHRMM members and
work of the Association. The following Committee Chairs accepted recognition
on behalf of their Committees. Annual Conference Education Committee Chair:
Florence Doyle; Chapter Relations Committee Chair: Kelly Wagner; Education
Committee Chair: Mary Beth Lang, CMRP; Fellow Review Committee Chair: David
Gibson, CMRP, FAHRMM; Issues and Legislative Committee Chair: Mike Duke;
Membership Committee Chair: Pete Keys; Sustainability Task Force Co-Chairs:
Amanda Llewellyn, CMRP, FAHRMM, FACHE and Kelly Wagner.
bariatric surgery portfolio; Unveils "Evidence Corner" At IFSO to address
obesity and metabolic diseases
Ethicon is introducing three new endocutter and energy products designed to
help address the unique challenges of bariatric procedures such as sleeve
gastrectomy and gastric bypass. The announcement was made at the 19th World
Congress of International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity & Metabolic
Disorders (IFSO 2014), where Ethicon is featuring the new ECHELON FLEX GST
System and a new 45cm ENSEAL G2 Articulating Tissue Sealer alongside the
HARMONIC ACE+7 Shears with Advanced Hemostasis, the first purely ultrasonic
device with a 7 mm vessel sealing indication.
Ethicon is also launching the "Evidence Corner" at IFSO 2014 (Booth 501) to
drive greater industry focus on the global health and economic challenges of
obesity and metabolic diseases. The goal is to provide a forum for the
exchange of ideas aimed at generating new evidence and insights that can
lead to new treatments for obesity and its associated diseases, and improve
access to care for patients worldwide. Surgeons and healthcare professionals
can meet with Ethicon's clinical and health economics teams to learn about
current research studies funded by Ethicon and submit their own ideas for
Tissue slippage during firing may cause poor staple formation and lead to
leakage, bleeding or "tissue milking" out of the end of the device,
requiring clinical intervention and additional reloads. The ECHELON FLEX GST
System, which includes the ECHELON FLEX Powered Plus Stapler and the
ENDOPATH ECHELON Reloads with Gripping Surface Technology (GST), is designed
to address these clinical issues through its unique design for better grip
that provides less tissue slippage.
The 45cm length of the ENSEAL G2 Articulating Tissue Sealer for bariatric
surgery is set to launch globally later in 2014. This advanced bipolar
energy device is the only such device designed to enable a perpendicular
approach to cutting and sealing vessels up to seven millimeters in diameter,
and lymphatics, through a 5mm port. Vessels sealed with a perpendicular
approach are more than 28% stronger than vessels sealed at a 45 degree
angle.VI Also, because the device can bend and provide greater control over
the angle of approach, it makes it easier for surgeons to access difficult
to reach parts of the anatomy and provides better access to tissue in deep
or tight spaces. The ENSEAL G2 Articulating Tissue Sealer increases the
ability to take the full vessel in a single bite.
The HARMONIC ACE+7, available in 36cm and 45cm for bariatric surgery, is the
only purely ultrasonic energy device with a 7mm vessel sealing indication.
In addition to bariatric surgery, the HARMONIC ACE+7 may be used in a wide
range of procedures and specialties including General, Colorectal, Bariatric,
Gynecology, Thoracic, and Urology.
Visit Ethicon for the release.
of dumping patients on Skid Row
The Los Angeles city attorney has sued a Glendale hospital, accusing the
facility of dumping patients on Skid Row, and officials on both sides are
working to reach a settlement.
The lawsuit filed by Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer on Wednesday in
L.A. Superior Court accuses Glendale Adventist Medical Center of dumping
homeless, mentally ill and disabled patients in a 50-block section of
downtown L.A. known for its rampant drugs and poverty. According to the
lawsuit, the hospital has been dumping patients for at least four years,
most recently on June 6.
â€śHomeless people suffering from mental illness who wander these dangerous
streets are particularly vulnerable to victimization and exploitation by
criminal predators,â€ť the lawsuit said.
Alicia Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Glendale Adventist Medical Center, said
the hospital â€śstrongly disagreesâ€ť with the allegations in the complaint and
is working with the city attorney to settle the matter.
Glendale Adventist Medical Center, which opened as the Glendale Sanitarium
in 1905, is part of Adventist Health, a system of 19 hospitals in
California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.
Patient dumping previously has been reported in downtown L.A.
In May, Pacifica Hospital of the Valley in Sun Valley agreed to pay $500,000
and adopt new patient-discharge policies after it was accused of dumping a
mentally disabled homeless patient on Skid Row.
Feuer, who also filed the lawsuit against the Sun Valley hospital, said the
money will go toward organizations with resources for homeless people,
including Integrated Recovery Network, Downtown Womenâ€™s Center, Union Rescue
Mission, Venice Family Clinic, Midnight Mission and L.A. Family Housing.
In January, Feuer announced a similar settlement in a patient-dumping case
with Beverly Community Hospital in Montebello, which paid $200,000.
Feuer previously reported that his office is in talks with the Hospital
Association of Southern California to establish uniform model-patient
discharge policies that could be used by all hospitals in the region.
Visit the Los Angeles Register for the story.
CEOs are thinking about the A/C bill
As Advocate Health Care moves ahead on a $92 million expansion of Good
Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, it's primarily concerned with adding
three stories of private patient rooms. But it's also focusing on the air
In an industry being pushed to reduce everything from overnight stays to
nursing staffs, energy efficiency is a largely untapped area for cutting
costs, experts say.
It's more than just switching out old light bulbs. NorthShore University
Health System is overhauling operating rooms to make them less power-hungry,
while Swedish Covenant Hospital uses structural beams channeling chilled
water to cool its new outpatient building and LED lighting in its garage.
Meanwhile, virtually all of the new hospitals built in the area in recent
years have been certified as â€śgreenâ€ť buildings.
Hospitals are among the most resource-intensive commercial buildings because
they must operate continuously and require energy for items as simple as
lights and as complex as surgical robots. They have strict requirements for
temperature, humidity and air quality, meaning they need sophisticated HVAC
systems, and they include nonclinical functions that have high energy
demands, such as food services and information technology.
For large hospital systems, annual energy costs can reach into the tens of
millions of dollars, no small amount in an industry of thin margins. Yet
most health systems still don't make green investments a priority, experts
say. The incremental savings of an efficient boiler, for example, aren't as
sexy as the revenue pop of a new magnetic imaging machine.
Inpatient facilities accounted for only 3 percent of square footage among
all U.S. commercial buildings but gobbled up 8 percent of energy
consumption, according to a 2003 U.S. Energy Information Administration
survey, the most recent figures available.
Lighting accounts for 43 percent of hospital electricity usage, according to
the federal data, so simply turning off unneeded lights is often the first
move. The next step up, in terms of complexity and cost, are upgrades that
would automate behavioral changes, like motion sensors that switch off
lights in unoccupied areas, or fans that slow airflow through unused rooms.
When price tags reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for
equipment like boilers and chillers, efficiency projects must compete for
funding against other initiatives at the health system, says Cecilia DeLoach
Lynn, director of facility engagement and metrics at Practice Greenhealth, a
Reston, VA-based healthcare industry coalition. â€śIt's still finding its way
to the top of the agenda,â€ť she says.
Once health systems decide to build new wings or replacement facilities,
efficiency concerns are part of the justification, though they are never the
main reason behind the projects.
For Advocate the primary purpose noted in its application to the Illinois
Health Facilities and Services Review Board cites the need to convert Good
Samaritan to all private rooms. The application then notes that potential
energy consumption levels for the new tower would be 20 percent lower per
square foot than the rest of the hospital.
Meanwhile, Evanston-based NorthShore, which spends about $20 million
annually on utilities across its four hospitals, is focusing on â€śgreeningâ€ť
operating rooms at Skokie and Highland Park hospitals by reducing the number
of times per hour the air in the rooms gets cycled during nighttime hours.
It's also replacing all OR lights with LED bulbs, which use less power and
don't emit as much heat.
Swedish Covenant last year was granted LEED Gold Certification for its new
outpatient building, the second-highest sustainability rating from the U.S.
Green Building Council.
Visit Chicago Business for the article.
West Africans get
creative with Ebola "Lather Against Ebola" campaign
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast â€” A young man on camera names the person whoâ€™s
challenged him to dump the contents of a bucket over his head. But in a
twist on the ice bucket challenge, this man is soon drenched in frothy,
soapy water â€” part of a campaign to raise awareness about Ebola prevention
in West Africa.
Ivory Coastâ€™s â€śLather Against Ebolaâ€ť campaign, catchy songs and comedy are
being used by West Africans to educate people on how to avoid getting the
deadly disease. From Nigeria to Sierra Leone, songs and sketches have
supplemented traditional media and government campaigns to educate the
public about Ebola, which is spread through contact with the bodily fluids
of infected people and can be partly contained by simple measures like
The â€śLather Against Ebolaâ€ť campaign was inspired by the ice bucket challenge
that has generated tens of millions of dollars for the ALS Association,
which raises money for Lou Gehrigâ€™s disease research.
Ivorian blogger Edith Brou knew the ice bucket campaign was getting lots of
attention and wanted to make it more relevant in her home country. Despite
bordering Guinea and Liberia, two countries that have been hit hard by the
Ebola outbreak, Ivory Coast has yet to record a single case, and Brou wants
to keep it that way.
Those who accept the â€śLather Against Ebolaâ€ť challenge â€” searchable on
Twitter using its French name, #MousserContreEbola â€” are expected to douse
themselves with soapy water and hand out three bottles of hand sanitizer.
Those who reject the soaking are expected to distribute nine. Since it
launched on Aug. 18, dozens of participants have posted soap-soaking clips
to social media.
Liberian rappers Shadow and D-12 recorded several Ebola-related tunes. Their
hit song, â€śEbola in Town,â€ť was intended to counter early skepticism of the
threat posed by the disease, which has infected more than 1,000 people in
Liberia and killed at least 624. The disease has also his Guinea, Sierra
Leone and Nigeria. â€śNo touching! No eating something!â€ť the rappers warn
listeners, playing up the diseaseâ€™s dangers. What the song lacks in
specificity it more than makes up in catchiness.
Earlier this month, Liberian soccer star and former presidential candidate
George Weah added his own song, â€śEbola is Real,â€ť to the line-up. In Sierra
Leone, rapper Special Câ€™s song â€śEbola Does Not Discriminateâ€ť and music video
portray the dangers of hiding sick patients, a practice Sierra Leoneâ€™s
parliament outlawed last week because of its potential to spread the
And in Ivory Coast, the video for Israel Yorobaâ€™s new reggae-inspired song
â€śStop Ebolaâ€ť enlists children, market women and a coconut seller to get out
the simple message, while the singer dances in the streets of downtown
In Guinea, the government recently decided to back a group of comedians and
artists to stage traveling shows.
Local filmmaker Aziz Balde said this is the best way to educate ordinary
Guineans: â€śIn a country where two-thirds of the population is illiterate, we
the artists are the mouths of the people.â€ť (Associated Press)
Visit the Washington Post for the story.
Happy Labor Day
"Letâ€™s celebrate the labor that built up this great land. From field to
field to desk to desk. They built it hand in hand."
Healthcare Purchasing News
wishes you and your family and friends a wonderful, safe and healthy Labor
Day. We'll be back with healthcare news on Tuesday September 2.