Today’s NewsStand — March 18, 2020

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the web.

Iowa news

Iowa lawmakers grant governor expanded power as they suspend legislative session. Here are 6 key measures they adopted.

As Iowa takes drastic steps to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, lawmakers have given Gov. Kim Reynolds extraordinary powers to deal with the outbreak. The governor signed legislation Tuesday to keep government services running and granting herself expanded powers to mitigate the spread of the virus and ease the disruptions it has caused in daily life. (Des Moines Register)

Officials: Vaping poses serious health risks

As vaping, an alternative way to inhale nicotine products, has become more and more popular among various age groups, the number of acute lung injury and respiratory illnesses has also increased. According to the Iowa Department of Public Health, as of March 11, there have been 60 confirmed and probable cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping since Aug. 30, 2019. Of those cases, 46 reported using illicit THC vapes. (The Messenger)

Des Moines hospital official warns: ‘We do not have enough of supplies’ to combat coronavirus

Doctors from two of the larger Des Moines-area hospitals are warning of the need for more medical supplies or equipment as they cope with the coronavirus outbreak. Dr. Yogesh Shah, chief medical officer at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines, warned Monday that his facility needs more medical supplies to respond to the coronavirus, including ventilators and masks. Dr. Hijinio Carreon, chief medical officer at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center, said his facility will need more ventilators. The Des Moines hospital is one of the state’s largest. (Des Moines Register)

National news

Health groups vulnerable to cyberattacks as coronavirus crisis ramps up

Hackers are zeroing in on government health agencies and hospitals, who are already struggling to keep pace with the coronavirus pandemic, as a way to make money and cause disruptions in the midst of a global crisis. These concerns were highlighted Monday when Bloomberg News reported that the Department of Health and Human Services, one of the agencies on the front lines of the outbreak, had been breached by hackers. (The Hill)

Struggling rural health care systems to get tested by COVID-19 outbreak

Dr. Brent Waters sees a bit of everything at his medical office in Blackshear, Georgia. Patients come to his clinic for worries ranging from colds and the flu to chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension as well as bumps, bruises and cuts. But Waters said lately his office has been fielding more than 20 calls a day from people concerned they have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus. (Georgia Recorder)

Doctors, hospitals, nurses seek $1 billion to combat COVID-19

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the AMA, American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association wrote that the emergency funds should come “during this critical window of time when we are able to best prepare and respond to this outbreak. (American Medical Association)