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June 2008 Briefing - Emergency Medicine

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

CDC: 2007-2008 Rotavirus Season Unusually Mild

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- The 2007-2008 rotavirus season began three months later than usual and has been significantly milder, suggesting that 2006 recommendations for infants to be vaccinated at ages 2 months, 4 months and 6 months with the RotaTeq vaccine may be having an impact, according to an interim report issued June 25 in the early release edition of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Exercise-Related Cardiac Arrest Survival Poor in Youth

MONDAY, June 30 (HealthDay News) -- Incidents of exercise-related sudden cardiac arrest in youths in the United States have generally resulted in poor survival during the past seven years, although a trend toward improved survival has developed recently, researchers report in the June issue of Heart Rhythm.

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Anesthesia Types Used in Combat Injuries Compared

WEDNESDAY, June 25 (HealthDay News) -- Total intravenous anesthesia, often including ketamine, did not produce better outcomes than volatile gas anesthesia in patients who underwent neurosurgery for combat-related traumatic brain injury, according to a report in the July issue of Anesthesiology.

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Radio Frequency Identification May Be Hazardous

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- Radio frequency identification can induce potentially hazardous electromagnetic interference in critical care medical equipment, according to research published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Outcomes of Drug-Eluting Versus Bare-Metal Stent Analyzed

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread use of drug-eluting stents has decreased the incidence of repeat revascularization but has not increased the risk of death or ST-elevation myocardial infarction compared to the use of bare-metal stents, according to a report published in the June 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Triage Must Comply with Emergency Treatment Act

TUESDAY, June 24 (HealthDay News) -- In an emergency department setting, how triage is conducted and who is qualified to conduct triage are two aspects that must comply with the Emergency Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), and compliance is an on-going process, according to an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Mechanism Explains Toxicity of Late tPA After Stroke

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- A protein activated by tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may explain why administering tPA more than three hours after a stroke can lead to hemorrhagic complications, according to the results of a study published online June 22 in Nature Medicine.

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Lack of Nursing Faculty Threatens Health Care Quality

MONDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- The shrinking pool of experienced nurses and nurse faculty is a direct threat to the quality of health care in the United States, according to an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Surveillance Systems Could Reduce Injuries in Children

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- The creation of a country-wide injury surveillance system for unintentional child and adolescent injuries could help monitor risk and identify ways to reduce injuries in the United Kingdom, according to an editorial published in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

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Article Examines Use of 'Key Opinion Leaders' in Drug Sales

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Influential doctors known as "key opinion leaders" are paid generous fees to influence their peers to prescribe a company's drugs and may in fact be considered salespeople by the industry, according to an article in the June 21 issue of BMJ.

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Combination Asthma Therapy Compared with Steroids Alone

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Salmeterol plus inhaled corticosteroids may decrease the risk for severe exacerbations, but does not appear to lower the risk of hospitalization, asthma-related deaths or intubations compared with inhaled corticosteroids alone, according to a new meta-analysis published in the July issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Teletriage May Reduce Misuse of Emergency Departments

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- A teletriage program based on standardized guidelines and protocols was potentially helpful in alleviating the chaos in emergency departments caused by misuse by non-emergent cases, according to an article published in the June issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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Non-Adherence Raises Mortality Risk for Epilepsy Patients

THURSDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- Epilepsy patients who regularly fail to take their anti-epileptic drugs have increased risks of mortality and serious clinical events, according to a study published online June 18 in Neurology.

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Aspergillosis Is Potentially Serious Hazard for Gardeners

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- A 47-year-old U.K. man died of aspergillosis after exposure to aspergillis spores in decaying plant matter, which he inhaled during the course of working on his garden, according to a case report published in the June 14 issue of The Lancet.

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Rate of Underinsured Adults Climbing in United States

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- The number of underinsured adults in the United States climbed steeply between 2003 and 2007, with the risks of being underinsured often affecting those with higher incomes, according to a report published online June 10 in Health Affairs.

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Early Stroke Risk High After Transient Ischemic Attack

FRIDAY, June 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have recently had a transient ischemic attack (TIA) and intracranial atherosclerosis are at high risk of having a subsequent stroke in the region of the blocked artery within 90 days, researchers report in the June issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Cardiac Device Implantation Overused in Very Ill Patients

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Advanced heart failure patients may be undergoing cardiac device implantation that does not help them and increases their risk of in-hospital mortality because they are too ill to benefit from the treatment, according to research published online June 3 in the American Heart Journal.

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Golf Cart-Related Injuries Have Soared Since 1990

THURSDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Since 1990, the number of golf cart-related injuries has steadily increased, and the high rate of injuries among children suggests that new guidelines are needed, according to a report published in the July issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

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CRP Has Poor Predictive Value for Later Heart Events

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) measurement at three time points in patients with acute coronary syndromes was unable to predict a composite of death, non-fatal myocardial infarction and unstable angina at one year, according to research published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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A Third of In-Hospital Deaths After CABG Were Preventable

WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one-third of in-hospital deaths following coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) were preventable and occurred regardless of hospitals' low all-cause mortality rates, according to a report in the June 10 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Peptide Level Points to Future Decompensated Heart Failure

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) assessment six months after hospital discharge for decompensated heart failure identifies a long-term risk of future decompensation even in low-risk individuals with non-ischemic dilated cardiomyopathy, according to research published in the June 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Hispanic Work-Related Deaths Higher Than U.S. Average

TUESDAY, June 10 (HealthDay News) -- The death rate due to work-related injuries was consistently higher for Hispanic workers than the general U.S. workforce from 1992 to 2006, according to a report in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's June 6 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Many Nurses Not Trained for Potential Bioterrorist Attack

MONDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Many perioperative nurses may feel unprepared for the challenges of a bioterrorism event, but a relatively brief self-study guide can help improve their sense of preparedness, according to research published in the May AORN Journal.

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Thrombus Aspiration Before Stenting Improves Outcomes

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Thrombus aspiration during angioplasty resulted in slightly lower cardiac death rates one year after the procedure than conventional angioplasty alone and lower rates of non-fatal reinfarction, according to research published in the June 7 issue of The Lancet .

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Mild Hypothermia Can Reduce Post-Ischemic Injury

FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Use of mild hypothermia following an ischemic injury appears to reduce permanent damage to tissue function if treatment is administered within hours of the event and, following treatment, the body is re-warmed slowly, researchers report in the June 7 issue of The Lancet.

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Study Says ICU Patients' Death Risk Higher with Certain Doctors

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- Critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs) in the United States are more likely to die if they receive care entirely from physicians trained in critical care medicine, even after taking illness severity into account, according to an article in the June 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

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One Billion Dollars Slated for Health Hazard Preparedness

THURSDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has allocated almost $1.1 billion to be made available to public health departments, hospitals and other health care organizations in order to help them better respond to public health and medical emergencies of a terrorist or naturally occurring nature.

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Injuries Common Among High School Baseball Players

TUESDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- Although baseball is relatively safe compared to other high school sports, injuries are common -- including serious injuries resulting from being hit with a batted ball -- and could be reduced by requiring players to use appropriate safety equipment, according to a report published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

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Adverse Events Lengthen Stays at Pediatric Hospitals

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse events experienced by hospitalized children may increase length of stay and costs, and pediatric-specific quality indicators are useful in calculating these effects, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics in June.

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Following Quake, China Responds to Medical Challenges

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- The massive earthquake in southwestern China on May 12 left more than 62,000 people dead, over 23,000 missing and an estimated 360,000 injured survivors, creating a multitude of medical challenges, according to an article in the May 31 issue of The Lancet.

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Nearly 14 Million Young U.S. Adults Lack Health Insurance

MONDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- In 2006, 13.7 million U.S. adults aged 19 to 29 lacked health insurance, according to a report published May 30 by The Commonwealth Fund.

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Physician's Briefing
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