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May 2011 Briefing - Critical Care

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Critical Care for May 2011. 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.

Operative Time of Day Not Tied to Transplant Survival

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- The operative time of day does not significantly affect one-year survival of thoracic transplant recipients, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Effect Estimates May Be Inflated in Biomarker Studies

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Biomarker effects are often overestimated in highly cited studies compared to the effects reported in subsequent meta-analyses of the same associations, according to a review published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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PDE4 Inhibitors Improve Some COPD-Related Symptoms

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), oral phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitors improve lung function and reduce the likelihood of exacerbations with little impact on quality of life or symptoms, according to a study published online May 11 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Education Increases Support for Family-Witnessed CPR

TUESDAY, May 31 (HealthDay News) -- Presentation of an evidence-based family-witnessed resuscitation (FWR) education program to cardiopulmonary resuscitation providers may modify their opinions and increase their support for FWR, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Racial and Ethnic Disparities Exist in U.S. Stroke Care

MONDAY, May 30 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and ethnic minorities experience disparities in many aspects of stroke care as compared to whites, according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association published online May 26 in Stroke.

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Most Intracerebral Hemorrhage Patients Develop Anemia

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Anemia develops in the majority of patients who are hospitalized for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), and transfusion of packed red blood cells (PRBC) is associated with improved outcome, according to a study published in the May issue of Neurosurgery.

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Majority of U.K. Hospitals Offer Child Head Trauma Care

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Although the majority of U.K. hospitals have an established pathway for managing head injuries in children, many hospitals are lacking on-site services to care for a critically ill child, according to a study published online May 23 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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Pediatric Medical Emergencies Increase in the U.K.

THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- The number of children presenting to emergency departments in the United Kingdom increased between 1997 and 2007 to 2008, although the majority of medical conditions presented remain the same, according to a study published online May 23 in the Emergency Medicine Journal.

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Frequent Bronchoconstriction Tied to Airway Remodeling

THURSDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Experimentally induced bronchoconstriction may promote airway remodeling in patients with asthma, according to a study published in the May 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Bacterial Meningitis Rates Have Decreased in the United States

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of bacterial meningitis in the United States has decreased since 1998, but there has been no change in the fatality rate, according to a study published in the May 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Contact With Drug Industry Linked to Positive Attitudes

WEDNESDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- The extent of contact that medical students have with the pharmaceutical industry is associated with positive attitudes about marketing, according to a review published online May 24 in PLoS Medicine.

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Vascular Disease May Increase Stroke or Death Risk in A-Fib

TUESDAY, May 24 (HealthDay News) -- Vascular disease, such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) or prior myocardial infarction (MI), is an independent risk factor for stroke or death in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published online April 19 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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End-of-Life Cancer Care Differs in the U.S. and Canada

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- End-of-life care for patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) differs in the United States and Ontario, Canada, according to a study published online May 18 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Severe Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Pneumonia Deaths

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia, severe vitamin D deficiency, but not antimicrobial peptide levels, is associated with increased 30-day mortality, according to a study published in the May issue of Respirology.

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FDA: SimplyThick Should Not Be Used in Premature Infants

MONDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified parents, caregivers, and health care providers not to administer SimplyThick to infants born prior to 37 weeks, as the product may cause necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening gastrointestinal condition.

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Many Medical Students Lack Confidence in Medical Law

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of medical students lack confidence in their knowledge and skills across many areas of medical law, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

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Awareness of Terminal Cancer Doesn't Impact Survival

THURSDAY, May 19 (HealthDay News) -- Patients' awareness that they have terminal cancer and use of a palliative care facility are not associated with reduced survival time, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Tele-ICU Tied to Lower Mortality, Shorter Hospital Stay

TUESDAY, May 17 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a tele-intensive care unit (ICU) intervention is correlated with reduced mortality risk, length of hospital stay, preventable complications rates, and improvements in best practice adherence, according to a study published online May 16 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Surgical Catheter Complications Affect Health Outcomes

MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Catheter-related complications for surgical procedures are relatively uncommon, but they are correlated with an increased length of stay and urinary tract infections, according to a study published in the May issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Pirfenidone May Slow Lung Decline in Patients With IPF

MONDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Use of pirfenidone may reduce the deterioration in lung function seen in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to a study published online May 14 in The Lancet.

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Carotid Stenting Riskier Than Surgery in Women

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo carotid artery stenting may be at higher risk for stroke than those who undergo endarterectomy, but little difference is seen between men who undergo one of the two blockage clearing procedures, according to research published online May 6 in The Lancet Neurology.

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Firearm Homicide Rates Higher in Metropolitan Areas

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) usually have higher rates of firearm-related homicides than the national average, and the rate in youths exceeds the all-ages rate in most MSAs and cities, according to a report in the May 13 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Poor Cardiovascular Outcomes for U.S. Women

THURSDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, women have worse cardiovascular treatment and outcomes than men, according to the Women's Health in American Hospitals report released on May 3 by HealthGrades.

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Researchers Study Stem Cells in Human Lungs

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found evidence of identifiable human lung stem cells, which appear capable of self-renewal and may have potential for restoring tissue in damaged lungs; their findings have been published in the May 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Neonatal Vitamin D Deficiency Tied to Respiratory Disease

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Healthy neonates with vitamin D deficiency are at a higher risk of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in the first year of life, according to a study published online May 9 in Pediatrics.

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Exogenous Estrogen Use Linked to Cerebral Aneurysms

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Women who use oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy may be less likely to have a cerebral aneurysm, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

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Medical Education Participants Recognize Funding Bias

WEDNESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Although most medical professionals believe that commercial funding of continuing medical education (CME) introduces bias, most are not willing to pay higher fees to offset or eliminate such funding sources, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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No Benefit to Epoetin Alfa Bolus After PCI for STEMI

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) who undergo successful reperfusion may not benefit from a single intravenous bolus of epoetin alfa within four hours of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), according to a study published in the May 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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NSAIDs May Increase Cardio Risk in MI Patients

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with prior myocardial infarction (MI), even short-term treatment with most nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be associated with an increased risk of recurrent MI and death, according to a study published online May 9 in Circulation.

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Fourteen Percent of Ischemic Strokes Are Wake-Up Strokes

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Wake-up strokes constitute a substantial percentage of all strokes and cannot be easily distinguished from non-wake-up strokes, according to a study published in the May 10 issue of Neurology.

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CT Pulmonary Angiography Tied to Embolism Overdiagnosis

TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with pulmonary embolism (PE), computed tomographic pulmonary angiography (CTPA) is associated with overdiagnosis reflected by increasing incidence, limited change in mortality, and reduced case fatality, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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HRS: Survival High in Cardiac Arrest at Exercise Facilities

FRIDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) that occurs at an exercise facility, whether traditional (such as a gym) or nontraditional (such as a dance studio or bowling alley), is associated with a high rate of survival, according to research presented at the Heart Rhythm Society's Annual Scientific Sessions, held from May 4 to 7 in San Francisco.

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Aneurysmal Rupture Triggers Include Drinking Coffee

THURSDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Eight triggers that increase the risk of aneurysmal rupture have been identified, including drinking coffee and vigorous physical exercise, according to a study published online May 5 in Stroke.

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Caregiver English Skills Tied to Length of Hospital Stay

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric inpatients with infection requiring long-term antibiotic treatment whose primary caregiver has limited English proficiency are likely to have a longer length of stay (LOS) in the hospital, and fewer home health care referrals, according to a study published online May 2 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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β-Agonist Treatment of COPD May Reduce Mortality

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Older adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) initially treated by long-acting inhaled β-agonists may have lower mortality than those initially treated by long-acting anticholinergics, according to a study published in the May 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Race, Ethnicity May Influence ICU End-of-Life Care

WEDNESDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- Racial and ethnic differences that are independent of socioeconomic status may be present in end-of-life care in intensive care units (ICU), according to a study published in the May issue of Chest.

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Mortality Drops Despite Lack of Emergency Medical Team

TUESDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the absence of a pediatric medical emergency team (PMET), researchers at a Canadian hospital found a decrease in hospital mortality over time, a finding they attribute less to their lack of a PMET than to the limitations of before-and-after study designs; their research has been published in the May issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

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Young Americans Do Not Consider Stroke Health Threat

MONDAY, May 2 (HealthDay News) -- Most young Americans believe their current health behaviors will not affect their future risks of stroke and cardiovascular diseases, according to results of a survey released on May 2 by the American Stroke Association.

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