A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Experts say COVID-19 vaccine will come with challenges and cautions after distribution

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Even after a vaccine is approved for the novel coronavirus and is widely distributed, it will still be important to follow public-health recommendations to thwart the spread of the virus, including basic hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing a mask. That’s partly because the vaccine only has to be 50 percent effective at preventing COVID-19, and the...

Dr. Kevin Kavanagh: The virus is winning, and COVID-19 will not be defeated by false narratives

Society is struggling on two fronts, both for social justice and at the same time to control a raging epidemic. The epidemic of COVID-19 may be with us for a long time — and those who try to minimize it are doing so by placing front-line workers and economically disadvantaged populations at risk. I have been asked by many if I am on the side of the far right, whose narrative trivializes the dangers...

Over-use, over-prescription of antibiotics bad in KY, which leads nation; how to avoid serious infections

An infection-control activist offers a dire warning about drug-resistant bacteria and offers tips on how to protect yourself from these deadly super-bugs in an op-ed piece for the Lexington Herald-Leader. “There is a war going on, reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse,” writes Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, who is also the board chairman of Health Watch USA. “The insidious agent is spread easily...

Study analysis of hospital safety estimates more than 200,000 preventable facility-related deaths each year

An analysis of two well-controlled studies estimates that the number of preventable hospital-associated deaths are over 200,000 each year, argues a commentary in the Journal of Patient Safety. In an online review, Dr. Kevin Kavanagh, the lead analyst, acknowledges that critics of such studies will say the data is flawed because they often include older and sicker patients. However, he adds they also...

Comparing Kentucky Hospitals: Combining several ratings provide method to see where facilities rank

A federal agency, magazines and a consulting group have compiled ratings that allow comparison of hospitals. Now Dr. Kevin Kavanagh of Somerset-based Health Watch USA has compiled the ratings, allowing comparison of hospitals across rating methods. “It needs to be stated on the front end that the hospital industry is not happy with the current quality measurements,” Kavanagh writes for...