February 2016 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 February 2016. 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.

Car Crash Risk May Nearly Double in Patients With Syncope

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Individuals with a history of syncope may be almost twice as likely as others to get into a car crash, according to a study published online Feb. 29 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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FDA Approves Emergency Use of CDC Test for Zika Virus

MONDAY, Feb. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for a diagnostic tool for Zika virus that will be distributed to qualified laboratories, according to a media statement issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Decreases in Readmission Rates From 2007 to 2015

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- From 2007 to 2015 there were decreases in readmission rates for targeted and nontargeted conditions, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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After-Hours CTs on the Rise in Some Emergency Departments

FRIDAY, Feb. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The number of after-hours computed tomography (CT) scans referred by Australian emergency departments increased substantially from 2011 to 2013, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.

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Suggestions for Optimizing Practice Feedback Effectiveness

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- In an article published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 15 suggestions are presented to optimize the effectiveness of practice feedback.

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Point-of-Sale Education Needed for Cannabis Tourists

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The rates of emergency department visits possibly related to marijuana use have increased disproportionately for out-of-state visitors compared with Colorado residents, according to a research letter published in the Feb. 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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CDC: Flu Season Continues to Be Mild; Vaccine Is Effective

THURSDAY, Feb. 25, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- This flu season continues to be mild, while the flu vaccine is working better than the one used last season, with an overall efficacy of 59 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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First Rapid Test for Zika Virus Detection Developed in Texas

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The first rapid detection test for the Zika virus has been developed by teams at two Texas hospitals.

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Macrolide Antibiotics Not Linked to Ventricular Arrhythmia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For older adults, macrolide antibiotics are not associated with a higher risk of ventricular arrhythmia within 30 days compared with nonmacrolide antibiotics, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Rose From 1996 to 2013

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Benzodiazepine prescriptions and overdose deaths increased considerably from 1996 to 2013, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Cutting Radiation Exposure Still Yields Acceptable CT Quality

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- An initiative to employ indication-specific computed tomography (CT) protocols and adjustment of scan parameters to decrease radiation exposure still delivers an acceptable level of diagnostic imaging quality, according to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.

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Prednisolone Deemed Safe, Effective First-Line Acute Gout Rx

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with acute gout, prednisolone has similar analgesic effectiveness to indomethacin, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Low Risk of Recurrent VTE for Upper Extremity DVT, SVT

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with upper extremity deep and superficial vein thrombosis (UEDVT and UESVT) have low risk of recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) but high mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 11 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Maternal Cardiac Dysfunction Precedes Recurrent Preeclampsia

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women with previous early preeclampsia have signs of diastolic dysfunction and different left ventricular characteristics in the nonpregnant state before a second pregnancy with recurrent preeclampsia, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in Hypertension.

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Only Half of Kidney Stone Patients Compliant With Tx

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Just over half of kidney stone patients are adherent to preventive pharmacological therapy, and adherent patients have lower levels of health care utilization, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Three Classes of Antibiotic-Associated Encephalopathy ID'd

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Antibiotic-associated encephalopathy (AAE) can be classified into three unique clinical phenotypes, according to research published online Feb. 17 in Neurology.

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Feedback From High-Profile Messenger Can Cut Antibiotic Rx

FRIDAY, Feb. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Feedback from a high-profile messenger can reduce antibiotic prescribing on a national scale, according to a study published online Feb. 18 in The Lancet.

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Mortality 18.5 Percent for Ebola Management in U.S., Europe

THURSDAY, Feb. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Ebola virus disease (EVD) who received care in the United States and Europe show mortality of 18.5 percent, according to a study published in the Feb. 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Outcomes Explored for ER Return Visit Hospital Admissions

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with emergency department visits who are initially discharged and are then admitted at a return visit have better clinical outcomes that those hospitalized at the index emergency department visit without a return visit, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Many Med Schools Appear Unwelcoming Regarding Disability

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most medical schools need to post, update, or clarify technical standards (TSs), required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), that detail what a school will do to accommodate a student with a disability, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in Academic Medicine.

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Nonmedical Stimulant Use Up Among Adults, Not Teens

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Nonmedical stimulant use has increased among adults in recent years, according to a study published online Feb. 16 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

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Zika Infection Confirmed in U.S. Resident Back From Costa Rica

MONDAY, Feb. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A case of Zika virus infection has been confirmed in a traveler who returned to the United States from Costa Rica, according to a research letter published online Feb. 10 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Lean Six Sigma Practices Speed Medical Report Dispatches

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Lean Six Sigma practices can improve the dispatch time of medical reports sent from a hospital to a primary care provider, according to research published online Feb. 8 in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice.

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CDC: Number of Uninsured Persons in U.S. Down Since 2013

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The percentage of uninsured persons is decreasing in the United States, according to a report published by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Use of Digoxin Down Among Patients With Heart Failure

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Only one-in-five patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) receive digoxin at discharge, according to a study published online Feb. 10 in JACC: Heart Failure.

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Sedatives Appear to Be Safe in Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome, treatment with high-dose intravenous sedatives is not associated with excess morbidity or mortality, according to a study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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Active Asthma Ups Risk of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Asthma is associated with increased risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and rupture, according to research published online Feb. 11 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

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Physicians Concerned By Increasing Cost of Generics

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pennsylvania physicians have called for state- and national-level medical associations to take an active role in addressing the issue of increasing generic drug prices, according to an article published by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

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Early Surgery Common for Uncomplicated Diverticulitis

THURSDAY, Feb. 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Elective colon resection is often performed after fewer than three previous episodes of uncomplicated diverticulitis, according to research published online Feb. 10 in JAMA Surgery.

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CDC Reports Increasing Influenza Activity, Severe Illness

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Following reports of severe influenza illness, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging rapid antiviral treatment for very ill and high-risk patients with suspected influenza.

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Hospital Cluster of H7N9 Influenza Infections Identified

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A hospital cluster of avian influenza A (H7N9) infection has been identified, according to a letter to the editor published in the Feb. 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Recurrent Erythema Seen With H. cinaedi Bacteremia

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 10, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Recurrent superficial cellulitis-like erythema is associated with Helicobacter cinaedi (H. cinaedi) bacteremia, according to a case report published online Jan. 30 in The Journal of Dermatology.

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Admission to VA or Non-VA Hospitals Impacts Outcome

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For older men, mortality and readmission for acute myocardial infarction (AMI), heart failure, and pneumonia vary with admission to Veterans Affairs (VA) and non-VA hospitals, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Hawaii County Declares State of Emergency Over Dengue Fever

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A spreading dengue fever outbreak led Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi to declare a state of emergency on Monday. He said the move was needed to reduce mosquito populations and protect people from mosquito bites, CBS News reported.

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Tasering Found to Cause Short-Term Cognitive Impairment

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Being shocked by a Taser stun gun can cause short-term cognitive impairment similar to dementia, according to a new study.

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Behavioral Interventions Can Cut Inappropriate Antibiotic Use

TUESDAY, Feb. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Use of certain behavioral interventions can reduce the rates of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing during ambulatory visits for acute respiratory tract infections, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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AMA Highlights Issues Relating to Medical Liability Reform

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Medical liability reforms are likely to be advanced and challenged in 2016, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Three-Fold Increased Suicide Risk After Concussion

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicide is increased after concussion, particularly after concussions on weekends, according to a study published online Feb. 8 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Central Retinal Vein Occlusion ID'd After Phendimetrazine Use

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A case of central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) two days after phendimetrazine use has been documented and published online Feb. 4 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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Doctors Offer Suggestions for Electronic Health Records

FRIDAY, Feb. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians recently met in Seattle to discuss the difficulties and benefits associated with electronic health records (EHRs) in a third town hall meeting on the subject, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Patient-Centered System Recommended for Medical Billing

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Simplification, consolidation, and real time point-of-care information could address the inefficiencies in the medical billing system, according to an Ideas and Opinions piece published online Feb. 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Video Games Offer Educational Methods for Med Students

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Video games can play a role in medical education, offering new methods for teaching medical students, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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Physicians Should Actively Address Tackling in Football

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 3, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should take a more active stand against tackle football, according to a perspective piece published in the Feb. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Tips Presented for Encouraging Treatment Adherence

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Tips for increasing patient adherence to treatment plans include patient engagement and addressing barriers to adherence, according to an article published in Medical Economics.

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Echo Underused During Critical Cardiovascular Hospitalizations

TUESDAY, Feb. 2, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Despite increasing rates of use, echocardiography (echo) may be underused during critical cardiovascular hospitalizations, according to a study published in the Feb. 9 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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