THREE BAY AREA HOSPITALS MAKE TOP 50 LIST
The latest U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals list includes three bay area facilities ranked in the top 50 in various categories. The H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa ranked 18th in the nation for cancer care; All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg was nationally ranked in cancer and cardiology/heart surgery; and Tampa General Hospital, which earlier this year was named the best hospital in the bay area by the magazine, was nationally ranked in seven specialties: orthopedics, urology, nephrology, geriatrics, gynecology, diabetes/endocrinology and cardiology/heart surgery. The rankings showcase 720 hospitals in 94 metro areas. No. 1 in the nation was Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore; All Children's recently became part of the Johns Hopkins Health System. Hospitals are ranked based on such quality of care measurements as nurse-to-patient ratio, medical technology available, number of specialty procedures done, death rates and patient safety. To find out how your preferred hospital performed, go to www.usnews.com/besthospitals or get the Best Hospitals Guidebook after Aug. 30.
EKGs may not help teen athletes
Screening young athletes with electrocardiograms to prevent sudden cardiac death may be ineffective, a new study has found. Researchers at Stanford University selected 18 EKGs, eight from patients with normal hearts and 10 from patients with any of six different abnormalities that commonly underlie sudden cardiac death. The scientists showed the EKGs to 53 experienced pediatric cardiologists to see if they could make the correct diagnosis, properly restrict or allow athletic activity, and order appropriate follow-up tests. The cardiologists correctly identified only 68 percent of truly abnormal cases — 32 percent of teenagers with abnormal EKGs were never detected. And of the cases the doctors did identify as abnormal, 30 percent were actually normal. Twenty-six percent of patients who should have been allowed to exercise were not, and 19 percent of patients who should have been restricted were not. The report appears online in The Journal of Pediatrics.
Times staff, wire reports