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December 2009 Briefing - Emergency Medicine

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Emergency Medicine for December 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.

Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.

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Higher Surgery Risks in Elderly Demand Special Attention

FRIDAY, Dec. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Common and emergency surgery carries elevated risks of mortality and complications in the elderly, and clinicians should counsel patients on these risks and make every effort to mitigate them, according to a pair of studies in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Abstract - Massarweh
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Abstract - McGillicuddy
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Study Finds Stent, Laparoscopy Superior to Open Surgery

THURSDAY, Dec. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Instead of performing emergency open surgery on a colon cancer patient with an obstructing tumor, placement of a metal stent can open a bowel pathway until the tumor is removed via less invasive laparoscopy, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Surgery.

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H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of cases of people infected with H1N1 influenza continues to decline and the vaccine supply is now plentiful, not enough people have been inoculated, a top U.S. health official said during a Dec. 22 press briefing held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Bystander Resuscitation Found to Rarely Cause Injury

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who receive bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) based on directions are unlikely to sustain an injury as a result, even if they are not in arrest, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in Circulation.

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Head Count of Epidemiologists Has Dropped Since 2006

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2006 there has been a 10 percent decline in the number of epidemiologists working in state health departments, according to a study published in the Dec. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pelvic Fracture May Increase Trauma Patients' Risk of Death

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In trauma patients, pelvic fracture is significantly associated with death, but its effect should be considered in relation to other variables, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Medical Expulsive Therapy Uncommon in Stone Disease

MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Though the use of medical expulsive therapy (MET) increased for urinary stones in a recent period, it remained a seldom-used treatment, according to research published in the December issue of Urology.

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Antidepressants Not Found to Increase Heart Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women taking antidepressants, whether they are tricyclic medications or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are not at increased risk of coronary heart disease compared to their counterparts not taking the drugs, but there is a modestly higher risk of mortality and stroke, according to a study in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Reduction Technique Effective for Shoulder Dislocation

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- For the reduction of an anterior shoulder dislocation, the new FARES (Fast, Reliable, and Safe) method is significantly more effective, faster, and less painful than conventional methods, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Sudden Loss of Kidney Function May Up Risk of Death

FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a sudden loss of kidney function have a higher death rate after being discharged from the hospital even if their kidney function returned to normal, according to a study published online Dec. 17 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Most Stroke Survivors Take an Antithrombotic Agent

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A large proportion of stroke survivors used antithrombotic agents during a recent period, according to research published in the January issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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Stroke Education Program Improves Student Knowledge

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- A stroke education program for middle-school students in a largely Hispanic population, which has a higher incidence of stroke than other groups, improves knowledge of stroke signs and treatment, according to a study published online in Health Promotion Practice.

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Diverting Non-Urgent Cases Cuts Emergency Wait Times

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department wait times can be significantly reduced if non-urgent follow-up cases are diverted to a satellite clinic instead of being treated in the emergency department, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Nurses' Training Can Reduce Patient Handling Injuries

THURSDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses are less likely to cause injury to patients through incorrect handling if they are given contextual training on safe handling procedures, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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More Computed Tomography May Mean More Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans will cause thousands more cases of cancer in the future, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that the dose and cancer risk of CT scans varies widely from case to case.

Abstract - Berrington de Gonazález
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Contraindications to Beta Blockers Linked to Deaths

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Contraindications to early beta-blocker use become more common with increasing age and are associated with a higher risk of hospital death in patients with acute coronary syndromes, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Emergency Room Reliance Examined in Adolescents

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Emergency department reliance (EDR), the percentage of health care visits occurring in the emergency department (ED), may provide information on whether children who are frequent ED users lack sufficient access to primary care, according to research published online Dec. 14 in Pediatrics.

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Popular Children's Song Slips From Hit Parade on CPR Chart

TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Pacing the compressions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the children's song Nellie the Elephant, successfully achieved an approximation of the recommended 100-compressions-per-minute rate, but not the required depth of compression, according to a study published Dec. 13 in BMJ.

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SSRIs Linked to Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are associated with an increased risk of upper gastrointestinal bleeding, which warrants caution when prescribing these drugs in patients at elevated risk for this type of bleeding, according to research published in the December issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Post-Myocardial Infarction Bleeding Risk Examined

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- For patients receiving antithrombotic drugs post heart attack, the risk of hospitalization for bleeding increases as the number of drugs increases, according to a study in the Dec. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Lower Speed Limit Reduces Casualties in London

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In London, the introduction of 20 mph speed zones has significantly reduced road injuries and deaths, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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H1N1 Mortality Found to Be Unexpectedly Low in England

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In England, mortality from the H1N1 pandemic is lower than expected, but disease patterns suggest that the vaccination program should be extended beyond high-risk groups, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in BMJ.

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Treatment After Stenting Affects Thrombosis Risk

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients who undergo percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug-eluting stents, 24 months of treatment with aspirin and clopidogrel is associated with a lower risk of very late thrombosis than a shorter treatment regimen, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 has sickened nearly 50 million Americans -- which is one in six people -- and killed almost 10,000, mostly children and young adults, a federal health official said in a Dec. 10 press briefing.

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Atrial Fibrillation Type Affects Outcomes for Heart Condition

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute coronary syndromes who develop new-onset atrial fibrillation have worse short-term outcomes, while a history of atrial fibrillation is associated with higher long-term mortality, according to a study in the Nov. 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

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Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Pandemic Flu Could Lead to Shortages in Blood Supply

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Preparation for an influenza pandemic should include evaluating how the event could affect a nation's blood supply, since shortages could have potentially fatal outcomes, according to research published online Dec. 9 in Transfusion.

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Most Early Cases of H1N1 Across China Were Mild

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most cases of H1N1 influenza seen in China during the early summer were mild, and initiating oseltamivir within 48 hours of symptom onset could reduce the duration of viral shedding, according to research published online Dec. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Celecoxib Benefits Not Seen in Acute Renal Colic Patients

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with ureteral stones and acute renal colic, the use of celecoxib was not associated with time until stone passage or decreased pain, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

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Oxygen Useful in Treating Cluster Headache Pain

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaling high-flow oxygen may provide relief from the pain of cluster headaches within 15 minutes, according to research published in the Dec. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA Issues Recommendations to Prevent Excess CT Radiation

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Following news that 206 patients at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles were overexposed to radiation during computed tomography (CT) perfusion imaging over an 18-month period, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued interim recommendations to help prevent similar incidents.

Press Release
Initial Notification
Issue a Voluntary Report to the FDA's MedWatch

Bruising Pattern Can Predict Likelihood of Child Abuse

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Bruising characteristics based on age can be used to predict whether a child's injuries are likely to be due to physical abuse or an accident, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in Pediatrics.

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Deaths Linked to Undiagnosed Infection in Young Women

MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Undiagnosed Clostridium infection is associated with toxic shock deaths in women of childbearing age who have undergone various obstetrical or gynecological procedures, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Door-to-Balloon Alliance Has Reached Treatment Target

THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The national quality campaign, the Door-to-Balloon Alliance, has succeeded in reaching the goal of 75 percent of patients presenting with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention within 90 minutes of arrival at hospital, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Hospital Report Cards Seldom Lead to Improved Cardiac Care

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Issuing public report cards on hospitals did not result in significant improvements in cardiac care, according to a Canadian study in the Dec. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was released early online to coincide with its presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 14 to 18 in Orlando, Fla.

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H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza rates are declining across the United States, but many experts say there will probably be another surge this winter, a federal health official announced Dec. 2.

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Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards

TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Physician's Briefing
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