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August 2008 Briefing - Critical Care

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Critical Care for August 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Lancet Supports WHO Report on Health Inequality

FRIDAY, Aug. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The final report by the World Health Organization's Commission on Social Determinants of Health contains a strong mandate for reducing global inequalities in health care, according to an editorial published in the Aug. 30 issue of The Lancet.

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Modest Troponin I Elevation in ICU Points to Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In intensive care patients without acute coronary syndrome, even small increases in troponin I levels were associated with increased in-hospital mortality, according to research published in the Sept. 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Meta-Analysis Compares Tight Glucose Control to Usual Care

TUESDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Tight glucose control in critically ill adults does not decrease hospital mortality or new need for dialysis, but was associated with a significant reduction in septicemia, according to research published in the Aug. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Novel Treatment for Platelet Deficiency Approved

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Nplate (romiplostim) is the first bone marrow stimulator to gain FDA approval for the condition, which leaves patients at risk of life-threatening bleeding and easy bruising.

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Swedish Stroke Incidence Shows Favorable Trends

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke incidence in northern Sweden declined during a recent 19-year period, with rates falling for first and recurrent strokes in women with diabetes and men without diabetes, according to research published online Aug. 21 in the journal Stroke.

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Even 'Little' Strokes Can Lead to Major Problems

THURSDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The theme for the upcoming World Stroke Day -- which will be observed on Oct. 29 -- is "Little strokes, big trouble," according to an editorial in the September issue of Stroke.

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Outlook Mixed on US Presidential Candidates' Health Plans

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- The health care plans proposed by John McCain and Barack Obama would have uncertain effects on health care coverage in America, but potential problems with each plan are evident, according to a perspective piece in the Aug. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Seniors Likely to Find Medicare Health Web Site Unusable

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even older adults with computer skills may have difficulty using the Medicare.gov Web site to determine eligibility for services and enroll in a drug plan, according to a research letter published in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Silver-Coated Tubes Reduce Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Silver-coated endotracheal tubes can reduce the occurrence of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in patients requiring mechanical ventilation, according to a report in the Aug. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Serum Vitamin D Status Linked to Hip Fracture

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In postmenopausal women, low serum 25(OH) vitamin D concentrations are associated with a significantly higher risk for hip fracture, researchers report in the Aug. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Public Has Divergent Views on End-of-Life Care

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The general public and trauma professionals don't always agree about care preferences in cases of life-threatening or fatal injury, and such differences should be taken into account in practice guidelines for comprehensive end-of-life care for trauma victims, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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Gender and Advanced Heart Failure Outcome Not Related

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Overall, outcomes for men and women with advanced decompensated heart failure (ADHF) are similar with some differences based on heart failure etiology, according to an article published in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Drugs Can Slow Lung Function Decline in Pulmonary Disease

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Salmeterol and fluticasone propionate can slow the rate of decline in lung function in patients with moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers report in the Aug. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Studies Show Stroke Risk from Abdominal Fat, Smoking

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Abdominal fat and smoking are strongly associated with an increased risk of stroke, according to the results of two case-control studies published online Aug. 14 in the journal Stroke.

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Intrabone Transplant of Cord Blood in Leukemia Beneficial

MONDAY, Aug. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Intrabone transplantation of cord blood cells from an unrelated donor into patients with acute leukemia leads to good engraftment of donor cells and beneficial outcomes, according to study findings published online Aug. 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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VA Survey of Relatives Measures End-of-Life Quality

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Palliative care consultations and hospice referral were associated with higher family satisfaction following the death of a loved one, according to research published in the Aug. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Trial Participation for Newborns Raises Questions

FRIDAY, Aug. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Although newborns deserve medical treatments based on clinical research, recruiting infants to more than one study carries important scientific and ethical implications, according to a commentary in the Aug. 9 issue of The Lancet.

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Over 1 Billion U.S. Doctor, Hospital Visits Logged in 2006

THURSDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, patients made an estimated 1.1 billion visits to physician offices and hospital emergency and outpatient departments in the United States, which was an average of four visits per person, according to health care statistics released Aug. 6 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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International Issue of Torture Complicity Analyzed

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- More than 100 countries condone the use of torture and have often recruited the medical community as participants without consequence, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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