February 2009 Briefing - Critical Care
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Critical Care for February 2009. 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.
Risk Score May Help Predict Atrial Fibrillation
FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A newly developed risk score based on readily available clinical factors can predict an individual's absolute risk of developing atrial fibrillation, allowing high-risk individuals to be targeted for prevention, according to research published in the Feb. 28 issue of The Lancet.
Drug-Resistant Meningitis Present in North America
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Ciprofloxacin-resistant meningitis has appeared in North America, although the bacteria remain susceptible to other antibiotics, according to a report in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Insurance Essential for Good Health, Well-Being
TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Having health insurance is vital for health and well-being, and when rates of uninsurance are high, even insured people are more likely to struggle to obtain necessary care, according to a new report from the Institute of Medicine released online Feb. 24.
US Health Spending May Have Hit $2.4 Trillion in 2008
TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Health spending in the United States was estimated to be $2.4 trillion last year, and is expected to account for an unprecedented share of the economy this year, according to a report published online Feb. 24 in Health Affairs.
Long-Term Epilepsy Risk High After Traumatic Brain Injury
MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In children and young adults with traumatic brain injury, the risk of epilepsy persists for 10 years or longer, according to a report published online Feb. 23 in The Lancet.
Heat Increases Respiratory Hospital Admissions in Elderly
MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Increasing temperatures in Europe in the spring and summer are associated with an increase in hospital admissions for respiratory problems in the elderly, which may become worse with global warming and an aging population, researchers report in the Mar. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Hormone Reverses Asthma Changes in Mouse Model
MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The antifibrotic peptide hormone relaxin reverses lung fibrosis and airway hyperresponsiveness in a mouse model of asthma, according to the results of a study published online Feb. 12 in Endocrinology.
PCI Shows Benefit in Elderly With MI, Cardiogenic Shock
FRIDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with myocardial infarction and cardiogenic shock who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention, elderly patients showed similar one-year survival and other outcomes as younger patients, according to research published in the February Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.
Gunshot Victims May Lie About Source of Their Injuries
FRIDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency-department personnel should be alert to the possibility that some patients may conceal the fact that their injuries were caused by gunfire, according to a letter published in the Feb. 21 issue of The Lancet.
Proposed Changes to Health Care Would Reduce Costs
THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Simultaneous gains in universal health coverage, improved health outcomes and slowed spending growth would have a major impact on the development of public policy, according to a perspective published in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Transparency, Globalization Growing in Clinical Research
THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- All clinical trial data and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration database should be publicly available, and global clinical research should be conducted in relevant populations for potential applications of the intervention, according to two articles published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Pharmacogenetic Algorithm Improves Warfarin Dosage
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A pharmacogenetic dosing algorithm for warfarin is better able to predict the stable therapeutic dose, providing a basis for a larger clinical trial to test the efficacy of these algorithms, according to research published in the Feb. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting Best for Certain Patients
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), and not percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), results in lower incidence of cardiac or cerebrovascular events in patients with three-vessel or left main coronary artery disease, and should therefore remain the standard of care, according to research released online Feb. 18 in advance of publication in the Mar. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Implementing a Quality Improvement Faculty Path
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- A new career pathway in academic medicine, termed clinicians in quality improvement, is a justified concept to achieve and recognize excellence in patient safety, according to a commentary published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Incidence of ICU MRSA Infections Declining
TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Incidence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) central line-associated bloodstream infections has decreased over recent years in most intensive care units (ICUs), according to research published Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Ads Featuring 'Drug Facts Box' Help Educate Consumers
TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Replacing the brief summary in direct-to-consumer ads with a "drug facts box" may result in improved consumer knowledge and judgment about medication benefits and side effects, according to study findings released online Feb. 17 in advance of publication in the Apr. 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
No Signs of Epidemic in Current Influenza Season
MONDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The mortality rate due to pneumonia or influenza is below the epidemic threshold for the flu season so far, according to a report published in the Feb. 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Thrombolysis Window May Be Longer Than Thought
THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute stroke may have a diffusion-perfusion mismatch after nine hours of stroke onset, particularly those with proximal arterial occlusion, suggesting the treatment window for stroke may be extended in some cases, according to the results of a study published in the March issue of Radiology.
Contrast Echocardiography Improves Cardiac Evaluation
THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Using contrast echocardiography to assess patients' ventricular function significantly reduces the number of procedures, improves the accuracy of drug prescription and improves patient management, according to a report published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Dronedarone May Offer Benefits in Atrial Fibrillation
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with atrial fibrillation, the use of dronedarone -- which is similar in profile to amiodarone -- was associated with a lower rate of hospitalization for cardiovascular events or death, according to research published in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Stroke Risk in Women Needs More Research
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women account for the majority of stroke deaths in the United States, yet there are major gaps in awareness of risk factors specific to women, and in the knowledge of the causes and treatment of strokes in women, according to several reports published a special themed issue of Stroke released online Feb. 10 and dedicated to the epidemic of stroke among women.
Care Coordination Programs Don't Benefit Medicare Patients
TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- For Medicare beneficiaries with chronic illnesses, most care coordination programs have little impact on reducing hospitalizations and costs or improving quality of care, according to a report published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Medication Safety Alerts Frequently Ignored
TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Medication safety alerts, which are part of the decision support mechanism of electronic prescribing systems, are frequently overridden by clinicians and may not adequately protect patients, according to the results of a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Corticosteroid Use Associated with Pneumonia in COPD
MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term inhaled corticosteroid use in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with an increased risk of pneumonia, though without a significantly higher risk of pneumonia-related death, according to a review article published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
FDA OKs Drug Produced Using Genetically Engineered Goats
MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a product that is produced using genetically engineered animals, according to a release issued by the agency.
Smoking Stops Cell Growth Via Aging Protein
MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Cigarette smoke stops cell growth and impairs cell migration via a protein involved in premature aging, according to research published in the Feb. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Capn4 Linked to Metastasis and Invasion in Liver Cancer
FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Overexpression of calpain small subunit 1 (Capn4) appears to play a role in invasion and metastasis following liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma, according to research published in the February issue of Hepatology.
Rapid Treatment for Minor Strokes Reduces Hospital Use
FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid assessment and early treatment of transient ischemic attack (TIA) and minor stroke in a specialty outpatient clinic were associated with less subsequent hospital use and disability, according to research published online Feb. 5 in The Lancet Neurology.
Risk of Venous Thrombosis After Spinal Surgery Low
FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of deep venous thrombosis after spinal surgery is relatively low, and the condition can be prevented by using compression stockings or pneumatic sequential compression devices, according to a review in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.
Baby Formula with Melamine Linked to Urinary Tract Stones
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to infant formula contaminated with melamine was associated with kidney stones in children in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, though conventional signs and symptoms of nephrolithiasis were lacking, according to a study and two letters published online Feb. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
RSV Causes High Morbidity Among Children
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News)-- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a substantial cause of morbidity among U.S. children, affecting not just high-risk but also previously healthy children, according to a study published in the Feb. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Cardiac Imaging Use Must Consider Risks and Rewards
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The decision to use cardiac imaging tests should take into account the potential risks of malignancy due to radiation exposure, as well as the benefits of the test, according to an American Heart Association science advisory published online Feb. 2 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Resting Heart Rate Can Predict Women's Heart Death Risk
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A low-tech and inexpensive test to measure women's resting heart rate can predict the risk of myocardial infarction and coronary death, according to research published online Feb. 3 in BMJ.
Diabetes, Heart Disease Raise Coronary Event Risk in HIV
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Both diabetes mellitus and pre-existing coronary heart disease (CHD) are associated with an increased risk of a CHD event in individuals with HIV, indicating the need for diabetes screening in this population, according to research published online Feb. 2 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Sedatives Effective for Critically Ill on Ventilation
MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Dexmedetomidine is similar to midazolam in effectively sedating critically ill patients on mechanical ventilation for prolonged periods, but with less delirium and shorter time to extubation, according to research published online Feb. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, released early to coincide with the Society of Critical Care Medicine's annual meeting in Nashville.
Microcoils Effective to Guide Lung Nodule Removal
MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Computed tomography-guided placement of microcoils to guide video-assisted thoracoscopic surgical (VATS) excision of lung nodules is safe and effective with few complications, according to study findings published in the February issue of Radiology.