A recent study in JAMA (2007;298: 1763–1771) described the incidence and distribution of invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in 9 US communities in 2005. Of 8987 observed cases of MRSA infections, most were health care associated: community-onset infections accounted for 27%, hospital-onset infections for 14%, and community-associated infections for 1%. Incidence rates were highest among persons 65 years and older, blacks, and men. In 2005, the standardized mortality rate was 6.3 per 100 000. The investigators concluded that MRSA infections affect certain populations disproportionately, and that although it is a major public health problem primarily related to heathcare, it no longer is confined to intensive care units, acute care hospitals, or health care institutions.

Emergency defibrillators, commonly found in public places such as airports, have helped save thousands of adult cardiac arrest victims. According to the American Academy of...

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