December 2015 Briefing - Critical Care

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Critical Care for December 2015. 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.

AMA: Burnout Is Top Issue for Physicians in 2015

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physician burnout is the top issue for physicians in 2015, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Criteria for Determining Brain Death Differ by Hospital

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There is still considerable variation in hospital policies for the determination of brain death, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in JAMA Neurology.

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Higher Hospital Prices in U.S. 'Monopoly Markets'

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Prices at hospitals in monopoly markets are 15 percent higher than those at hospitals in areas with at least four providers, according to research published recently at the Health Care Pricing Project website.

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Daily INR Measurement Best for Hospitalized Patients on Warfarin

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For hospitalized patients, international normalized ratio (INR) monitoring less frequently than daily is associated with increased odds of warfarin-associated adverse events, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Distinct Syndrome of Acute Flaccid Paralysis Identified

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Acute flaccid paralysis with evidence of spinal motor neuron involvement represents a unique syndrome, according to research published in the Dec. 22/29 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Lifts Ban on Blood Donations by Men Who Have Sex With Men

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have sex with men who have abstained from sex for one year will now be allowed to donate blood in the United States. The new policy, announced Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, reverses a three-decades-old ban on donations from this group of men that traces back to the start of the AIDS epidemic.

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Few Get Rx to Help Quit Smoking After COPD Hospitalization

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A minority of patients discharged with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) receive pharmacologic treatment for tobacco use, and treatment is not associated with smoking cessation, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Specific, Consistent ICD-10 Coding Key to Timely Payments

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In order to prevent denials, it is important to code correctly within the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), with specificity matching documentation, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Affordable Care Act Has Improved Access to Care, Affordability

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has improved access to care and affordability of care for many adults, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs.

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Over Half of U.S. States Ill Prepared for Disease Outbreaks

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of U.S. states are poorly prepared to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, according to a new report released Dec. 17 by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Digital Imaging-Based Screening Can Cut ROP Exams

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Digital imaging-based retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) detection strategies can reduce the number of ROP examinations per infant, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Pediatrics.

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Nursing Conditions Tied to Hospital Cardiac Arrest Survival

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Better work environments and decreased patient-to-nurse ratios on medical-surgical units are associated with higher odds of patient survival after an in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA), according to a study published in the January issue of Medical Care.

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Industry Outpacing NIH in Funding Research

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There's been a sharp rise in the number of industry-funded clinical trials and a significant decline in those financed by the U.S. government in recent years, according to findings published in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Roughly Half of U.S. Hospitals Require Staff Flu Vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of U.S. hospitals don't require health care providers to get a seasonal flu vaccine, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Dose-Linked Pulmonary Complications After FFP Infusion

TUESDAY, Dec. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 20 percent of patients administered fresh frozen plasma (FFP) to reverse warfarin anticoagulation develop pulmonary complications, with highest risk seen with more than three units of FFP, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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New Model of Inpatient Care Can Improve Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a new model of care can improve outcomes of care in medical and surgical units, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Paracentesis Underutilized in Patients With Cirrhosis, Ascites

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients admitted with diagnoses of cirrhosis and ascites, paracentesis is associated with decreased in-hospital mortality but is underutilized, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Accuracy of Clinical Diagnosis in TIA Called Into Question

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) lesions is similar in patients clinically diagnosed with transient neurological attack (TNA) and transient ischemic attack (TIA), calling into question the accuracy of clinically diagnosing TIA, according to research published in the December issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Central Venous Pressure-Guided Hydration Beneficial in CKD, CHF

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and congestive heart failure (CHF) undergoing coronary procedures, central venous pressure (CVP)-guided hydration is associated with reduced risk of contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN), according to a study published online Dec. 9 in JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Seven Behaviors Suggested to Improve 'Art of Medicine'

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Seven behaviors should be implemented to improve the art of medicine, which can help improve relationships with patients, according to an article published in Family Practice Management.

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Percentage of Graduates Entering GME Stable Over Past Decade

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Despite an increase in the number of U.S. medical school graduates, over the past decade the percentage entering graduate medical education (GME) training has remained stable, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Depression Not Uncommon Among Resident Physicians

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in four doctors-in-training may be depressed, which could put their patients at risk, according to a study published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Med Ed Can Be Improved for High-Value, Cost-Conscious Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of effective transmission of knowledge, facilitation of reflective practice, and a supportive environment can educate physicians to deliver high-value, cost-conscious care, according to a review published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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CDC: Fewer Americans Struggling With Medical Bills

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer American families are struggling to pay medical bills, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit Feasible for Acute Stroke Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile stroke treatment unit (MSTU) is feasible for providing acute stroke treatment, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in JAMA Neurology.

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U.S. Health Care Spending Increased in 2014

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The expansion of insurance coverage and increases in retail prescription drug spending contributed to an increase in total national health care expenditures in 2014, according to a report published online Dec. 2 in Health Affairs.

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Poor PCI Outcomes Up for Very Old With STEMI

FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Very old patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) have increased rates of PCI failure, bleeding complications, and mortality, but successful PCI still benefits mortality risk across all age groups, according to a study published in the Dec. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Glove-Related Hand Urticaria May Be Rising in Health Care Workers

FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Health care workers are at high risk of glove-related hand urticaria, an occupational issue that may be increasing, according to a research letter published online Nov. 27 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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AMA: Case Before Supreme Court Threatens Patient Privacy

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A case before the Supreme Court is potentially threatening patient confidentiality, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Addition of Immunosuppression No Benefit in IgA Nephropathy

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, the addition of immunosuppressive therapy to intensive supportive care does not improve outcomes, according to a study published in the Dec. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Levels of Ebola Virus in Blood Could Help Predict Mortality

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The levels of Ebola virus in a patient's blood can strongly predict the mortality risk, according to a study published online Dec. 1 in PLOS Medicine.

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Burnout Rates on the Rise for Physicians

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Burnout is a growing problem among American doctors, according to research published in the December issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Transfusion, Mortality Link Varies With Hemoglobin Levels

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For critically ill patients, the impact of transfusion on mortality varies with hemoglobin (Hgb) levels and with the presence of comorbid heart disease, according to a study published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Physician's Briefing