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October 2006 Briefing - Nursing

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Nursing for October 2006. 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.

One in Four Long-Term Smokers Will Develop COPD

MONDAY, Oct. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term smokers have a one in four chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a study published in the November issue of Thorax.

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U.S. Decline in Smoking May Be Stalled

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Data from a 2005 survey indicates that 20.9 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, a finding that could mean the number of adult smokers in the United States has not declined for the first time in eight years, according to a report in the Oct. 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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CDC Recommends Shingles Vaccine for Older Patients

FRIDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- People aged 60 and older should be vaccinated against the Varicella zoster virus to reduce the likelihood of developing shingles, according to a recommendation made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

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Flu Vaccine Found to Be Safe in Youngest Children

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The trivalent inactivated flu vaccine is safe for children aged 6 months to 23 months, with no serious adverse events, according to a large trial reported in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Racial Disparities Seen in Medicare Managed Care Plans

TUESDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Quality of care is worse for black Medicare managed-care enrollees than their white counterparts, largely due to different outcomes in the same plan, not plan selection, according to a new analysis in the Oct. 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Thromboprophylaxis Effective in Post-Acute Care of Elderly

MONDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- An evidence-based, multifaceted venous thromboprophylaxis intervention designed to increase clinicians' compliance with clinical guidelines significantly decreased the incidence of deep venous thrombosis in elderly post-acute care patients, according to a paper in the Oct. 23 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Popular Press Distorts Reality of Coma Patients

FRIDAY, Oct. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Although few news stories about coma contain gross inaccuracies, they are skewed toward younger victims of motor vehicle crashes and violence, according to study findings published in the October issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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Bacterial Meningitis Has Classic Presentation in Elderly

THURSDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly patients with community-acquired Streptococcus pneumoniae bacterial meningitis commonly present with classic symptoms and have a much higher incidence of morbidity and mortality compared to younger adults, according to research in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Study Highlights Problems of Polypharmacy in Elderly

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- More than 40 percent of seniors who take five or more medications may take inappropriate drugs and/or miss out on potentially beneficial ones, according to the results of a new cross-sectional study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

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Trigeminal Neuralgia Case Linked to Tongue Piercing

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) -- An 18-year-old woman who presented with a two-month history of neuropathic facial pain that she described as "electrical shocks" was found to have atypical trigeminal neuralgia due to a recent tongue piercing, according to a research letter published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Delivery of Pediatric Flu Shots Delayed in U.S.

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a statement warning parents in the United States that delivery of influenza vaccines will be delayed until at least November. The delay affects children aged 6 months to 3 years.

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U.S. Hospital Mortality Rates Improve, But Quality Varies

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Although mortality rates at U.S. hospitals are generally improving, the quality varies widely, with a typical Medicare patient having a 69 percent lower chance of dying in the best hospitals compared with the worst hospitals, according to a report published Oct. 16 by HealthGrades, an independent health care rating group.

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Computer Program Helps Wean Mechanical Ventilation

MONDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A computer-based weaning program can reduce the time critical patients spend on mechanical ventilation and, in turn, help shorten their stay in the intensive care unit, according to a report in the Oct. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Sleep Disturbance Undermines Health of Elderly Caregivers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly caregivers of relatives with Alzheimer disease often experience disturbed sleep, which in turn adversely affects their cardiovascular health, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of Sleep.

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Race, Sex, Age Impact Level-I Trauma Center Transfers

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Even after controlling for injury severity, non-clinical factors such as race, gender, age and insurance status significantly impact a patient's risk for hospital transfer to level-I trauma centers, researchers report in the October issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

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Low Elder Abuse Reporting Related to Physician Concerns

THURSDAY, Oct. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Concern over the patient-physician relationship and patient quality of life may each play a role in why physicians have a low rate of reporting suspected elder abuse, researchers report in the September/October issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Health of Bar Workers Improves After Smoking Ban

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Since Scotland banned smoking in public places, bar workers have shown improvements in respiratory function and inflammation, according to the results of a study published in the Oct. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Questionnaire May Predict Outcome After Hip Fracture

TUESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Use of a standard short-form questionnaire to assess cognitive dysfunction after hip fractures may help predict mortality and the ability to walk and perform daily living activities, according to the results of a study published in the October issue of the Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

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Prior ICU Occupants Pass on Antibiotic-Resistant S. aureus

MONDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) or vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) can increase the odds of infecting subsequent users of their rooms in intensive care units by 40 percent, according to a report in the Oct. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Progesterone May Improve Outcomes in Brain Injury

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Trauma patients with moderate brain injury who are treated with progesterone soon after hospitalization have higher survival rates and may have a better outcome than patients who don't receive progesterone, according to the results of a small phase II trial published in the October issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Cola Drinking Linked to Lower Bone Density in Women's Hips

FRIDAY, Oct. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Women who drink cola daily have a lower bone density in the hip than women who do not drink colas, researchers report in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The association was not seen in men, or in women who consumed other types of carbonated beverages.

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FDA Approves Fifth U.S. Flu Vaccine

THURSDAY, Oct. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to another influenza vaccine for use during the 2006-2007 flu season. The vaccine, FluLaval, will be distributed by GlaxoSmithKline and is the fifth flu vaccine to be approved for use in the United States.

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Ragweed Vaccine Shows Promise for Allergic Rhinitis

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A pilot study of a ragweed pollen vaccine has shown promising long-term results for treatment of allergic rhinitis, according to a report in the Oct. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Psychiatry Team Doesn't Improve Depression Outcome

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed patients who are treated by a primary care physician aided by a support team including a psychiatrist and nurse are more likely to be satisfied with care and to receive antidepressants, but these patients are no more likely to have an improvement in depression than patients whose doctors don't have the extra support, according to a report in the Oct. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Selective Magnesium Sulfate May Double Eclampsia Rate

TUESDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Two studies shed light on the best ways to use magnesium sulfate in the prevention of eclampsia, with some editorialists calling for an end to the use of this therapy for delaying preterm labor, according to research in the October issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Billing for Some Pediatric Phone Care Acceptable

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) outlines when clinicians might appropriately charge health care payors for telephone care and services. The statement is published in the October issue of Pediatrics.

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FDA Approves Nerve Toxin Antidote for Civilians

MONDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Duodote (atropine and pralidoxime chloride auto-injector) as an antidote for organophosphorous toxic nerve agents, including sarin and insecticides, in civilian patients. Duodote is manufactured by Meridian Medical Technologies, Inc. in Columbia, Md. In 2002, atropine and pralidoxime chloride were first approved for use in the military as a single injection to counter toxic nerve agents.

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Physician's Briefing