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WICU on a Roll

They were eating cake, recently, in the Weinberg intensive care unit. That’s because for one entire year, there were no bloodstream infections on the unit. Why should that be cause for celebration? In an ICU, patients are particularly vulnerable to hospital-acquired (catheter-related) bloodstream infections. They’re often immuno-compromised and their multiple lines of access are open doors, beacons for bugs. Nurse manager Donna Prow attributes the infection-free 12 months to a protocol that nurses follow religiously each time a line is put in a patient. Plus, she says, “I have a stable RN staff and five nurse practitioners.”

Wanted: Red Cells

Platelets, a blood component routinely needed to support cancer therapy, are collected at the Hemapheresis and Transfusion Support Service (HATS). Now, in its blood donor center located on the first floor of the Outpatient Center, the HATS department is about to put in place an automated system that will make it possible to collect double bags of red blood cells, or red blood cells along with platelets.

Red cells, the most commonly transfused blood component, are needed for patients who suffer significant blood loss through trauma or surgery, undergo chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants, and have other hematological conditions. At Hopkins Hospital, of course, red cells are in demand. With the new technology, HATS aims to collect 10 units of red cells a day, on average. Employees are urged to donate. All donations stay within Hopkins Hospital. Info: Louanne Morell, 410-955-TIME.

ABX Rules

Johns Hopkins’ ABX Guide, one of six different infectious-disease applications now on the market and available for personal digital assistants (PDAs), was recently named a “must have” by Pharmacy Practice News. The ABX Guide was developed here several years ago to capitalize on the growing popularity of PDAs and the need for rapid and accurate medical information for clinicians and other health care workers.

The comprehensive infectious disease treatment and management tool provides information on more than 150 diseases, 170 drugs and 75 pathogens. The editor in chief is John Bartlett, director of Infectious Diseases. The ABX Guide now has approximately 234,000 registered users. Info:

Korean Web Site

Reaching out to Baltimore’s burgeoning Korean-speaking community, Johns Hopkins International recently launched a new Korean-language Web site ( Included on the site are services to assist patients traveling from overseas, such as language interpretation and appointment scheduling, as well as information for physicians, including an online version of International Physician Update—in Korean. A media section helps Korean journalists identify stories and experts. The Korean Web site joins JHI’s already established sites in English and Spanish. JHI also provides welcome pages in Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese, Japanese, Greek and Italian.



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