Wildfires force two California hospitals to transfer patients

Two hospitals evacuated patients due to the wildfires in northern California.

Santa Rosa Medical Center transported about 130 patients to Kaiser Permanente San Rafael and other area hospitals.

The Santa Rosa hospital was not damaged but was closed, with scheduled appointments and surgeries cancelled. Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital also evacuated 70 patients to other area hospitals. “I want to take a moment to thank our dedicated Sutter Health team,” said Sutter Health President and CEO Sarah Krevans. “Many people came in to help, some even after evacuating their own homes. We will support all employees impacted by these fires.”

Gov. Jerry Brown declared an emergency in seven counties due to the fires.

Group develops Legionella-prevention protocol for cooling tower water systems 

Global public health organization NSF International has published a new protocol as to help prevent Legionella in building water systems. NSF P453: Cooling Towers — Treatment, Operation, and Maintenance to Prevent Legionellosis outlines proper maintenance and safety practices associated with evaporative cooling systems. It also addresses health concerns associated with commercial buildings, including health care facilities, whose residents may experience health issues such as Legionellosis from improperly maintained water systems.

The new protocol uses the water-safety plan approach recommended by the World Health Organization to assemble a team, identify potential hazards and establish control measures to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. The protocol can be used by facilities to establish a management plan for the treatment, operation and maintenance of cooling tower water systems.

HHS webinar will discuss hurricane, flood recovery

The Department of Health & Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is hosting a webinar next Wednesday to share lessons learned during response and recovery operations following hurricanes and flooding events during 2016.

Multiple Louisiana health and social service agencies will discuss how to navigate the different federal recovery programs, what challenges should be anticipated during recovery efforts, and what tips are available from other communities to help determine vulnerabilities and areas of focus for maximizing the recovery timeline.

The webinar will take place Oct. 18 from 2 to 3 pm ET.

FDA clears first 7T magnetic resonance imaging device

The Food and Drug Administration cleared the first seven tesla (7T) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device, more than doubling the static magnetic field strength available for use in the United States. 

The Magnetom Terra is for patients who weigh more than 66 pounds, and is limited to examinations of the head, arms and legs (extremities).