December 2015 Briefing - Emergency Medicine

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Emergency Medicine for December 2015. 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.

AMA: Burnout Is Top Issue for Physicians in 2015

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physician burnout is the top issue for physicians in 2015, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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After Nonfatal Overdose, Most Patients Prescribed More Opioids

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with a nonfatal opioid overdose are almost always prescribed opioids after overdose, according to a study published online Dec. 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Criteria for Determining Brain Death Differ by Hospital

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There is still considerable variation in hospital policies for the determination of brain death, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in JAMA Neurology.

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History of CABG Linked to Reperfusion Delays in STEMI

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), those with a history of coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) are more likely to have reperfusion delays, according to a study published in the Dec. 28 issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

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Higher Hospital Prices in U.S. 'Monopoly Markets'

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Prices at hospitals in monopoly markets are 15 percent higher than those at hospitals in areas with at least four providers, according to research published recently at the Health Care Pricing Project website.

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Increase in Child Asthma Has Ceased Overall, but Not for Poor

MONDAY, Dec. 28, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- From 2001 to 2009 there was an increase in childhood asthma prevalence, which plateaued and then started to decline in 2013, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Pediatrics.

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FDA Lifts Ban on Blood Donations by Men Who Have Sex With Men

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have sex with men who have abstained from sex for one year will now be allowed to donate blood in the United States. The new policy, announced Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, reverses a three-decades-old ban on donations from this group of men that traces back to the start of the AIDS epidemic.

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Specific, Consistent ICD-10 Coding Key to Timely Payments

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In order to prevent denials, it is important to code correctly within the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), with specificity matching documentation, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Many Ignore Warning Symptoms Before Sudden Cardiac Arrest

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) frequently have warning symptoms, usually chest pain and dyspnea, in the month prior to the event, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Reperfusion Delay Cuts Benefit of Intra-Arterial Tx for Stroke

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute ischemic stroke caused by intracranial arterial occlusion, for every hour of reperfusion delay there is a decrease in the benefit of intra-arterial treatment (IAT), according to research published online Dec. 21 in JAMA Neurology.

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Affordable Care Act Has Improved Access to Care, Affordability

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of the Affordable Care Act has improved access to care and affordability of care for many adults, according to a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs.

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Over Half of U.S. States Ill Prepared for Disease Outbreaks

FRIDAY, Dec. 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of U.S. states are poorly prepared to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, according to a new report released Dec. 17 by the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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FDA Approves LifeVest Wearable Defibrillator for Children

THURSDAY, Dec. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The LifeVest wearable defibrillator has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children at risk for cardiac arrest who can't have a defibrillator implanted. The device is already approved for adults.

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Nonoperative Management Feasible for Pediatric Appendicitis

THURSDAY, Dec. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For children with uncomplicated acute appendicitis, choosing nonoperative management is an effective treatment strategy, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in JAMA Surgery.

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Greater Effort Needed to Prevent Epilepsy-Related Mortality

THURSDAY, Dec. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The importance of preventing epilepsy-related mortality is highlighted in an article published online Dec. 16 in Neurology.

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Roughly Half of U.S. Hospitals Require Staff Flu Vaccination

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of U.S. hospitals don't require health care providers to get a seasonal flu vaccine, according to a study published online Nov. 27 in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

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Industry Outpacing NIH in Funding Research

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There's been a sharp rise in the number of industry-funded clinical trials and a significant decline in those financed by the U.S. government in recent years, according to findings published in the Dec. 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Risk of CV Events Up After Shingles Diagnosis in Seniors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke risk appears to more than double in the first week following a shingles diagnosis, with myocardial infarction (MI) risk also climbing, though not by quite as much, according to research published online Dec. 15 in PLOS Medicine.

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Greater Racial, Ethnic Diversity of Doctors Found in Ob-Gyn

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Among adult medical specialists, greater racial and ethnic diversity is found among obstetrician-gynecologists (ob-gyns), according to research published in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Omalizumab Highly Effective for Severe Allergic Asthma

TUESDAY, Dec. 15, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Omalizumab appears to be highly effective for the management of severe allergic asthma, according to a review of "real-life" effectiveness studies published online Dec. 8 in Allergy.

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New Model of Inpatient Care Can Improve Outcomes

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Implementation of a new model of care can improve outcomes of care in medical and surgical units, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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Paracentesis Underutilized in Patients With Cirrhosis, Ascites

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For patients admitted with diagnoses of cirrhosis and ascites, paracentesis is associated with decreased in-hospital mortality but is underutilized, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Seven Behaviors Suggested to Improve 'Art of Medicine'

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Seven behaviors should be implemented to improve the art of medicine, which can help improve relationships with patients, according to an article published in Family Practice Management.

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Accuracy of Clinical Diagnosis in TIA Called Into Question

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) lesions is similar in patients clinically diagnosed with transient neurological attack (TNA) and transient ischemic attack (TIA), calling into question the accuracy of clinically diagnosing TIA, according to research published in the December issue of the Annals of Neurology.

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Presence of Medical Students in ER Slightly Ups Length of Stay

THURSDAY, Dec. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The presence of medical students in the emergency department is associated with increased length of stay (LOS) but the slight increase is not likely to be clinically relevant, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Percentage of Graduates Entering GME Stable Over Past Decade

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Despite an increase in the number of U.S. medical school graduates, over the past decade the percentage entering graduate medical education (GME) training has remained stable, according to a research letter published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Warfarin + Sulfonylureas May Increase Risk of Hospitalization

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Taking warfarin at the same time as glipizide or glimepiride may increase the risk of hospitalization, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in The BMJ.

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Depression Not Uncommon Among Resident Physicians

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than one in four doctors-in-training may be depressed, which could put their patients at risk, according to a study published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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Med Ed Can Be Improved for High-Value, Cost-Conscious Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of effective transmission of knowledge, facilitation of reflective practice, and a supportive environment can educate physicians to deliver high-value, cost-conscious care, according to a review published in the Dec. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, a theme issue on medical education.

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CDC: Fewer Americans Struggling With Medical Bills

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer American families are struggling to pay medical bills, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit Feasible for Acute Stroke Care

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile stroke treatment unit (MSTU) is feasible for providing acute stroke treatment, according to a study published online Dec. 7 in JAMA Neurology.

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U.S. Health Care Spending Increased in 2014

TUESDAY, Dec. 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The expansion of insurance coverage and increases in retail prescription drug spending contributed to an increase in total national health care expenditures in 2014, according to a report published online Dec. 2 in Health Affairs.

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Endurance Athletes May Suffer Dangerous Metabolic Effects

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Participation in the endurance competition known as the Ultraman is associated with dramatic alterations in body composition, muscle health, hormones, and metabolism, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

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Glove-Related Hand Urticaria May Be Rising in Health Care Workers

FRIDAY, Dec. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Health care workers are at high risk of glove-related hand urticaria, an occupational issue that may be increasing, according to a research letter published online Nov. 27 in the British Journal of Dermatology.

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AMA: Case Before Supreme Court Threatens Patient Privacy

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A case before the Supreme Court is potentially threatening patient confidentiality, according to the American Medical Association (AMA).

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IV Diuretics Deemed Safe in Outpatient Heart Failure Care

THURSDAY, Dec. 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Intravenous (IV) diuretics appear to be safe and effective for outpatient volume management in heart failure, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in JACC: Heart Failure.

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Depression Ups Readmission Odds for COPD Exacerbation

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Depression is independently associated with increased risk of readmission for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published online Nov. 24 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

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Burnout Rates on the Rise for Physicians

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Burnout is a growing problem among American doctors, according to research published in the December issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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