January 2008 Briefing - Nursing

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

Young Children Rapidly Excrete Vaccine Mercury

THURSDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A recent prospective observational study of mercury concentration in blood, urine and stool of neonates and infants recently vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccines showed that ethyl mercury had a short half-life in these children and was primarily excreted rapidly in feces. This differs from oral methyl mercury from fish, which has a longer half-life in humans and toxicity at low concentrations, researchers report in the February issue of Pediatrics.

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Brief Lifestyle Counseling Effective in Diabetes

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- An intervention involving brief lifestyle counseling by health care providers leads to increased physical activity and weight loss among patients with type 2 diabetes, according to an article published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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PJ-34 Treatment Reduces Lung Injury in Ventilated Rats

THURSDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Inhibition of poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerase (PARP) by intravenous administration of PJ-34 can reduce ventilator-induced lung injury and protect kidney function in rats, researchers report in the February issue of Anesthesiology.

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Gastric Banding Increases Odds of Diabetes Remission

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 2 diabetes who undergo gastric banding lose more weight and have a higher rate of remission than those treated with conventional diabetes therapy using lifestyle changes to lose weight, according to a report published in the Jan. 23 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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'Ugly Duckling' Sign for Malignant Melanoma Evaluated

TUESDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The ugly ducking sign -- the idea that a mole that looks different from an individual's other moles may be a melanoma -- appears to have a high sensitivity for the detection of malignant melanomas, according to an article published in the Archives of Dermatology in January.

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Physical Activity Beneficial for Chronic Low Back Pain

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Physical activity may be useful in reducing disability in patients with chronic low back pain, according to a review article published in the January/February issue of the Spine Journal.

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FDA: Do Not Give Cold Medicines to Children Under 2

FRIDAY, Jan. 18 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Public Health Advisory this week recommending that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines should not be given to children younger than 2 years of age because of the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening adverse effects associated with their use.

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Allopurinol Link to Rare Cutaneous Reactions Examined

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Allopurinol use is associated with an increased risk of two rare but life-threatening severe cutaneous adverse reactions and the risk increases with higher doses, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Nutrition Interventions Reduce Growth Stunting and Death

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Interventions to improve maternal and child nutrition, such as promotion of breast-feeding and supplementation of food and micronutrients, could significantly reduce growth stunting and childhood mortality in developing countries, according to an article published online Jan. 17 in The Lancet.

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Pay-for-Performance Can Result in Better Care

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- When patients see only doctors who are participants in a quality-based incentive program, there are measurable improvements in the quality of care they receive compared to those who see doctors not participating in such a scheme, according to research published in the December issue of Health Services Research.

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Adequate Nutrition Key to Achieving Human Potential

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Lack of adequate nutrition in early childhood appears to have serious lifelong consequences, including stunted growth, reduced economic productivity and a possible increased risk of chronic disease, reports an article published online Jan. 17 in advance of publication in The Lancet.

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Patients Are Waiting Longer to Receive Emergency Care

THURSDAY, Jan. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who present at emergency departments -- including those requiring emergent attention for acute myocardial infarction -- are waiting significantly longer to see a physician. The most likely reason is overcrowding, according to a report published online Jan. 15 in Health Affairs.

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Referrals from Field Reduce Coronary Intervention Times

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Heart attack patients can receive primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedures more quickly when they are referred directly from the field to a specialized PCI center by specially trained paramedics, researchers report in the Jan. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Drug Interferes with Platelet Effects of Clopidogrel

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The proton pump inhibitor omeprazole reduces the ability of clopidogrel to inhibit platelet reactivity in patients undergoing coronary stent implantation, according to research published in the Jan. 22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Documenting Smoking Status Only Modestly Beneficial

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Primary-care practices that document patient smoking status during vital-signs assessments are somewhat more likely to offer simple advice to quit. But the intervention does not lead to more intensive counseling, researchers report in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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End-Of-Life Care Guidelines Issued for Providers

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- When caring for patients at the end of life -- when they have a worsening condition that will eventually cause death -- clinicians should assess and treat them for pain, dyspnea and depression, recommends the American College of Physicians in a clinical practice guideline published in the Jan. 15 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Diabetes Care Superior with Nurse-Practitioners

TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Among family practices, the quality of diabetes care is significantly higher in those that employ nurse-practitioners compared with offices employing physicians only or physician's assistants, according to study findings published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Daily Stopping of Sedation in ICU Patients Promising

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Among mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients, a daily period of interruption of sedation paired with a spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) leads to fewer days spent on the ventilator, shorter intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital stays, and reduced mortality compared to patients treated with daily SBTs alone, reports an article published in the Jan. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Clinical Rule Predicts Severe Illness in Infants

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A clinical algorithm consisting of seven signs and symptoms is useful for predicting severe illness in infants and could be used in developing countries to identify the infants who most need to be hospitalized, according to an article published in the Jan. 12 issue of The Lancet.

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Flexible Working Hours Aid Healthy Lifestyle

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- People who perceive themselves as having jobs with sufficiently flexible working hours tend to have lifestyle behaviors that support better health, according to a report published in the December issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

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Researchers Debate Merits of Prescription Heroin for Addicts

FRIDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In the management of patients with heroin addiction, prescription heroin may or may not be an ideal strategy, according to a "Head to Head" debate published in the Jan. 12 issue of the BMJ.

Pro: Rehm and Fischer
Con: McKeganey

Estimated 151,000 Iraqi Lives Lost to Violence in 2003-2006

THURSDAY, Jan. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Since the United States invaded Iraq in March 2003, violence has become a leading cause of death among Iraqi adults, the primary cause of death in men aged 15 to 59, and accounted for an estimated 151,000 Iraqi deaths during the three years following the invasion, according to a report released online Jan. 9 in advance of publication in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Dietitians Can Help in Achieving Weight Loss Goals

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Weight loss classes conducted by a registered dietitian are more helpful than frequent weigh-ins to keep weight loss plans on track, according to research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

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Interventions Help Reduce Weight Gain in Schizophrenics

TUESDAY, Jan. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Medication-related weight gain and insulin resistance in schizophrenic patients can be attenuated with metformin and lifestyle interventions, alone or in combination, researchers report in the Jan. 9/16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Healthy Behaviors Persist After Educational Intervention

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals who became more active and ate healthier diets after participating in an intensive health education program continued to exhibit these newfound healthy behaviors 1.5 years after the program ended, suggesting that educational interventions can be effective in enacting long-term behavioral change, according to an article in the January issue of Preventing Chronic Disease, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Oral Antibiotics Effective for Severe Pneumonia in Children

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- An outpatient regimen of high-dose oral amoxicillin is equivalent to hospitalization and treatment with parenteral antibiotics in a sample of Pakistani children with severe pneumonia, findings that could impact current World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines advocating hospitalization of children with severe pneumonia, according to an article published in the Jan. 5 issue of The Lancet.

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Surgery Not First Choice to Treat Sleep Apnea

FRIDAY, Jan. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Despite the fact that surgery is becoming widespread in some countries as the first line of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, this is not supported by research findings and should only be done as part of a clinical trial, in which patients are fully informed of the risks, according to an article published in the Jan. 5 issue of BMJ.

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CDC: Carbon Monoxide Deaths More Common in Winter

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- More deaths from carbon monoxide occur in the winter months, likely due to increased use of gas-powered furnaces and other alternative heating sources, according to an article published Dec. 21 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Use of Ratios in Drug Labeling Outdated, Linked to Errors

THURSDAY, Jan. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians administering epinephrine in a simulated case of anaphylaxis made more dosing errors and took longer to administer the drug when the concentration of epinephrine was labeled as a ratio instead of in straightforward mass units, according to an article published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Delayed Shocks for In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest Common

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Despite guidelines advocating rapid defibrillation for cardiac arrest caused by ventricular arrhythmias, a large study reports that in 30 percent of in-hospital cardiac arrests, defibrillation is delayed more than two minutes, reducing a patient's chance of surviving to hospital discharge, according to research published in the Jan. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Training May Aid Plasticity in Rats with Spinal Injury

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In rats with partial spinal cord injury, reaching training promotes recovery of the trained task by enhancing plasticity in the central nervous system, but may impede the ability to perform an untrained task, according to research published in the January issue of Brain.

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Similar Weight Loss for Carb- and Fat-Adjusted Diets

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although obese patients on a very-low-carbohydrate, high-fat (VLCHF) diet and a high-carbohydrate, low-fat (HCLF) diet experience similar degrees of weight loss, the HCLF diet results in a more favorable blood lipid profile, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Physician's Briefing