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August 2008 Briefing - Emergency Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Emergency Medicine 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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New Pain Guidelines Released

THURSDAY, Aug. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has released new medical treatment guidelines for the care of workers with chronic pain syndromes, representing the latest chapter in Occupational Medicine Practice Guidelines, available online. A print version of the guidelines will be available in September.

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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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CDC: Carbon Monoxide Poisonings on the Rise

MONDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department visits for non-fatal, unintentional, non-fire-related carbon monoxide exposures have significantly increased in the United States, according to a report published in the Aug. 22 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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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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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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Older Patients Less Likely to Be Taken to Trauma Center

TUESDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency medical service providers are less likely to transport elderly trauma patients to a designated trauma center than younger patients, according to research published in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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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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Quick Tirofiban Use Beneficial in Myocardial Infarction

FRIDAY, Aug. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The early use of tirofiban, a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa blocker, following some myocardial infarctions is associated with improved ST-segment resolution before and after primary coronary angioplasty, according to research published in the Aug. 16 issue of The Lancet.

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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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Zimbabwe Health Care in Shambles Due to Atrocities

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The recent violence and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe have resulted in the breakdown of the country's health system, according to an editorial published online Aug. 12 in BMJ, which says the international medical community should condemn the atrocities, support human rights and help rebuild the country's health infrastructure.

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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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Delayed Peptide Measure Linked to Heart Failure Treatment Delay

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A longer delay in measuring immunoreactive B-type natriuretic peptide (iBNP) in patients with acutely decompensated heart failure after they arrived in emergency departments was associated with a delay in treatment, according to research published in the Aug. 12 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Infant Poisoning May Be Due to Over-the-Counter Drugs

TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial number of children under 2 years of age presenting at the emergency department with an apparent life-threatening event have an abnormal toxicology screen positive for over-the-counter medications, according to an article in the August issue of Pediatrics.

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False-Positive Rate High for Rapid Oral HIV Test

TUESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A rapid oral HIV test administered to patients in the emergency department has a high rate of false positives, according to study findings published in the Aug. 5 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Editorial

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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Work Time Regulations Adversely Affect British Care

FRIDAY, Aug. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The European Working Time Regulations -- which reduced the maximum working week to 56 hours in 2007, will further reduce it to 48 hours in 2009, and require a minimum of 11 hours rest in any 24-hour period -- have adversely affected clinical care, and the quality of life and training for junior medical staff in the United Kingdom, according to an editorial published online July 31 in BMJ.

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