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Safe Prescribing
 
Between 1997 and 2007 the use of prescription opioids more than quadrupled. Similarly, drug overdose deaths significantly increased for the 11th consecutive year in 2010. Although emergency physicians manage 28% of all acute care visits in the United States, only 5% of all opioid prescriptions are written by emergency physicians. As leaders in health care we want to do our part in reversing this alarming public health trend.
 
California ACEP has endorsed and is promoting safe prescribing guidelines and resources. Together we can increase awareness of this problem by health care providers and patients.
 
 
PECARN Head Trauma Prediction Rules
 
Between 20% and 60% of children presenting to emergency departments with head injury undergo head CT in the U.S., even though less than 1% of children with GCS of 14 – 15 have an injury that requires any kind of intervention. Using the PECARN head injury prediction rule can significantly improve the value we deliver to our patients by reducing unnecessary CT scans in children, thereby reducing radiation exposure and decreasing costs.
 
California ACEP has developed a toolkit to facilitate adoption of the evidence-based PECARN algorithm. The toolkit specifically addresses “shared decision making” as a vital part of PECARN, and spells out how observation can be a safe alternative to CT scanning in low-risk patients. We encourage all emergency providers to utilize the California ACEP PECARN toolkit so all pediatric patients with minor head injuries can benefit from the landmark PECARN study.
 
Human Trafficking
 
Human Trafficking is both a criminal act and a human rights violation that affects individuals and communities worldwide, including in urban, suburban, and rural areas. As a health care issue, trafficking affects people of every age, gender, race, nationality, class, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and immigration status. The physical and psychological trauma caused by human trafficking is undeniably enormous; its impact on the health of patients, communities, and society at -large is only just the beginning to be determined.
 
The Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Human Trafficking Initiative and the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Violence Intervention and Prevention have worked in partnership to create the first edition of the Human Trafficking: Guidebook on Identification, Assessment, and Response in Health Care Setting. This guidebook provides an overview of human trafficking, describes its clinical manifestations, and offers guidance for health care professionals regarding identification, assessment, care, and follow-up.
 
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Aimee K. MoulinCongratulations to California ACEP's new President Dr. Aimee Moulin!

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