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Hospitals Face Severe Disruption From Swine Flu

Swine flu may hospitalize 1.8 million patients in the U.S. this year, filling intensive care units to capacity and causing “severe disruptions” during a fall resurgence, scientific advisers to the White House warned. 

Swine flu, also known as H1N1, may infect as much as half of the population and kill 30,000 to 90,000 people, double the deaths caused by the typical seasonal flu, according to the planning scenario issued by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. 

Registered Nurses Have Lower Mortality Risk

Nurses have a lower risk of dying from several different conditions compared with individuals in the general population, according to the findings of a large study of registered nurses.

However, the researchers also found that the risk of melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer, climbed with the number of years a nurse spent in her profession.

U.S. Healthcare System Pinched By Nursing Shortage

The U.S. healthcare system is pinched by a persistent nursing shortage that threatens the quality of patient care even as tens of thousands of people are turned away from nursing schools, according to experts.

The shortage has drawn the attention of President Barack Obama. During a White House meeting to promote his promised healthcare system overhaul, Obama expressed alarm over the notion that the United States might have to import trained foreign nurses because so many U.S. nursing jobs are unfilled.

Healthcare Staffing Companies Flourish

Healthcare staffing companies, which have had a strong run over the past few quarters, will continue to benefit from the persisting shortage of travel nurses and physicians, positioning them to outpace the growth of the entire staffing industry in 2008 and 2009. 

With current staff aging and replacements hard to come by, the healthcare staffing industry is facing a shortage of travel nurses and physicians. 

Hospitals Not Prepared For Swine Flu

Nurses at more than one-fourth of hospitals in nine states report that their hospitals aren't doing enough to isolate existing swine flu patients, according to a new survey. That's one of several problems hospitals are likely to encounter when dealing with a cresting swine flu epidemic.

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