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February 2009 Briefing - Nursing

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Nursing 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.

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Guidelines for Prevention of Rheumatic Fever Updated

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Prevention of rheumatic fever relies on proper identification and treatment of the bacteria responsible, with penicillin being the preferred treatment, according to updated guidelines published online Feb. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Various Diet Compositions Effective for Weight Loss

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Diets where calories come from a range of fat, protein and carbohydrate combinations are similarly effective in promoting weight loss and reducing cardiovascular risk factors, researchers report in the Feb. 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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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.

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More Rapid Communication of Breast Biopsy Results Needed

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Uncertainty while awaiting a final diagnosis following a large-core breast biopsy is associated with an abnormal salivary cortisol profile, indicative of biochemical distress, according to research published in the March issue of Radiology.

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Diabetes May Increase Risk for Perinatal Depression

TUESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Women who develop diabetes either prior to or during pregnancy are more likely to experience perinatal depression, including postpartum depression, researchers report in the Feb. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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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.

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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.

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Standardized Admission Forms Get Residents' Approval

MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A standardized pediatric admission order set was widely approved by hospital residents, and it may offer a method of reducing medical errors and improving patient care, according to a report published online Feb. 13 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Procedure Significantly Improves Urinary Incontinence

MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A transobturator tape procedure resulted in nearly an 80 percent improvement in urge urinary incontinence, according to research published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Increased Cesarean Efficiency with Improvement Program

MONDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Cesarean delivery efficiency, measured by the time from decision to incision, significantly improved over two years with the implementation of a quality improvement program, according to research published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy Use On The Rise

FRIDAY, Feb. 20 (HealthDay News) -- During recent years, contralateral prophylactic mastectomy has become a more commonly used treatment in women with ductal carcinoma in situ, according to research published online Feb. 17 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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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.

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Young Adults Experience Significant Health Challenges

THURSDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults have a number of health challenges, including risk of obesity, high rates of injury and lack of insurance coverage, according to the report Health, United States: 2008, published Feb. 18 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Unemployment Higher Among Cancer Survivors

TUESDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer survivors, especially of the breast, gastrointestinal system and female reproductive organs, have an increased risk of experiencing unemployment, according to a review published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Agencies Must Do More to Prevent Foodborne Disease

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. agencies responsible for food safety must take steps to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness such as the current Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter products, according to a perspective published online Feb. 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Financial Incentives May Improve Smoking Cessation

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Offering workers financial incentives to stop smoking was associated with higher long-term smoking cessation rates, according to research published in the Feb. 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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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.

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Maternal Obesity Linked to Birth Defects

TUESDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to children whose mothers are normal weight, those with obese mothers may be at higher risk of congenital anomalies, according to study findings published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Racial Mix of Patients Affects Doctors' Work Conditions

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians working in primary care clinics that serve a patient population with higher proportions of minorities have fewer resources and more complex medical problems to treat compared with those that do not, according to an article published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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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.

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ASCO Guide Addresses High Costs of Cancer Care

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Communication between patients and their doctors regarding the high cost of cancer care may be improved with the Feb. 5 release of a new patient guide from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

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CDC Analyzes Salmonella Peanut Butter Outbreak

MONDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The widespread outbreaks of Salmonella infections that hospitalized 116 patients and may have contributed to the deaths of eight people were traced to peanut butter and peanut paste used in other products manufactured by Peanut Corporation of America at its factory in Blakely, Ga., according to a report published in the Feb. 6 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Vasopressin Improves Some Hysterectomy Outcomes

FRIDAY, Feb. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Intracervical injection of the peptide hormone vasopressin prior to vaginal hysterectomy reduces blood loss but increases postoperative pain, according to research published in the February issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Graded Exercise Program Improves Low Back Pain

THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A graded exercise intervention emphasizing stabilizing exercises reduces disability and improves physical health better than daily walks in patients with recurrent low back pain, researchers report in the Feb. 1 issue of Spine.

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Insurance Coverage for Children Gets Boost from Obama

THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Congress' reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance program (SCHIP) will ensure that the current level of enrollment -- approximately 7 million people -- will continue and a further 4.1 million enrollees will be added by 2013, according to an article published online Feb. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Hormonal Therapy Link to Breast Cancer Explored

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A decline in the use of combined hormone therapy appears responsible for a decreased incidence of breast cancer among women, according to research published Feb. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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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.

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Discharge Support Can Reduce Hospital Readmissions

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- A package of services designed to send patients home from the hospital well prepared can reduce the likelihood of readmission within 30 days, researchers report in the Feb. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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High Television Viewing Predicts Poor Dietary Habits

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Increased television viewing in middle and high school students predicts poor dietary habits in subsequent years, possibly due to increased advertising exposure, according to research published online Jan. 30 in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

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Physician's Briefing
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