March 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 March 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.

ER Visits for Ischemic Stroke, TIA Down Over Past Decade

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer people are being treated in U.S. emergency departments for ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack, which experts read as a sign that current stroke prevention methods are working. Such visits declined 35 percent for adults 18 and older, and 51 percent for those 55 to 74, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Smell Test Helps Identify Brain Injury in Soldiers

TUESDAY, March 31, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Testing soldiers' sense of smell can help diagnose those with traumatic brain injury, according to new research published online March 18 in Neurology.

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AAP: Use Only Metric Dosing for Children's Medications

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The best way to measure liquid medications for children is in metric milliliters, according to a committee from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Accidental medication overdoses send more than 70,000 children to U.S. emergency departments each year, according to background information with the statement, which was published online March 30 in Pediatrics.

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2015 Match Sees High Proportion of Unmatched Seniors

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- About 6.1 percent of U.S. allopathic medical school seniors in the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) were not placed into first-year residency positions, with a higher percentage of unmatched seniors than in 2014, according to a report published by the American Medical Association.

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Recommendations for Point-of-Care Ultrasound in Peds ER

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) physicians should be trained in point-of-care ultrasonography, according to a policy statement published online March 30 in Pediatrics.

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Physicians Should Be Aware of Signs of Burnout

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Burnout can be prevented if physicians are aware of the warning signs, according to an article published by the American Medical Association.

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Perception of Crisis Mode Tied to Patient Info Exchange Issues

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital staff members who perceive their unit is trying to do too much too quickly are more likely to also perceive problems in exchanging patient information across units, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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FDA Approves New Treatment for Anthrax

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Anthrasil, Anthrax Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with inhalational anthrax in combination with appropriate antibacterial drugs.

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Outcome Not Affected by Family Presence During Resuscitation

WEDNESDAY, March 25, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- There are no significant differences in outcomes or processes of care for U.S. hospitals with policies allowing for family presence during resuscitation (FPDR) compared with hospitals without this policy, according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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Meds Not Stents in Patients With Intracranial Arterial Stenosis

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Using stents rather than medication alone to keep narrowed arteries open in the brain may actually increase patients' risk of stroke, according to the results of a new trial. The report was published in the March 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Majority of ER Doctors Admit Ordering Tests Defensively

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all emergency department doctors recently surveyed said they order magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scans their patients may not need, mainly because they fear malpractice lawsuits. These findings were published online March 23 in Academic Emergency Medicine.

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One in Nine Needs Emergency Revisit for Kidney Stones

TUESDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The need for repeat high-acuity care affects one in nine patients discharged from initial emergency department visits for kidney stones, according to a study published online March 16 in Academic Emergency Medicine.

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Bariatric Surgery May Help Reduce Asthma Exacerbations

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Bariatric surgery cuts the risk of an emergency department visit or hospitalization for asthma exacerbation in obese patients by half, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Universal Alcohol Interlock Could Cut Many Crash Deaths/Injuries

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Installation of an alcohol interlock device in all new U.S. vehicles is estimated to be cost-effective in preventing alcohol-related crash fatalities and injuries, according to a study published online March 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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Intervention Improves Hand Hygiene Compliance in Nurses

FRIDAY, March 20, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A multifaceted intervention can improve hand hygiene compliance among emergency nurses and technicians, according to a study published in the March issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.

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CDC: Decline in TB Rates in the United States Slowing Down

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- As health officials in Kansas struggle with an outbreak of tuberculosis (TB) at a local high school, federal officials reported Thursday that the annual decline in U.S. cases is slowing. The report was published in the March 20 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Over Two Dozen Test Positive for TB at Kansas High School

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- More than 300 students and staff at Olathe Northwest High School were tested last week after a reported case of tuberculosis (TB) at the school. The testing identified 27 more people with TB infection, the Kansas City Star reported.

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CDC: Patients Frequently Choose ERs Further From Home

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer than half of all emergency department visits occur at the emergency department closest to a patient's home, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Interventions Up Blood Culture Ordering in Pediatric Pneumonia

WEDNESDAY, March 18, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Interventions can increase blood culture ordering in children hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), with no effect on length of stay (LOS), according to a study published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

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More Than 16 Million Americans Have Gained Coverage Under ACA

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The Obama Administration reported Monday the largest drop in the number of Americans without health insurance since the Johnson administration expanded health coverage through Medicare and Medicaid 50 years ago.

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Gender-Specific Variation in Medical Specialties

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Medical specialties vary by gender, with obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics dominated by female residents and specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology dominated by males, according to a report published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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AAMC 2015 Report on Residents

HCPs Lack Knowledge and Awareness of Sex Trafficking

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Health care providers demonstrate significant knowledge gaps regarding sex trafficking (ST), according to research published online March 16 in Pediatrics.

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Real-Time Decision Support Tool Aids ER Pneumonia Patients

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For emergency department patients with pneumonia, a real-time electronic clinical decision support tool could be beneficial, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

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Handoff Tool Alone Insufficient to Handle Nighttime Clinical Issues

MONDAY, March 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A handoff tool, which has been widely adopted in hospitals, seems not to be sufficient for addressing nighttime clinical issues, according to research published in the March issue of the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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HHS Wants to Help Restore Joy of Medicine

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is listening to physicians and wants to address the regulatory burdens they face, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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The BMJ, CDC Partner to Report on Cold-Related Deaths

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of cold-related deaths in rural areas of the western United States is much higher than in other regions of the country, according to a new report published online March 12 in The BMJ.

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Getting Heard May Be Key to Getting New Job

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Your voice may be the key to landing a new job, researchers report in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

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Health Officials Warn of Blinding Cases of Syphilis on West Coast

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Health care providers on the West Coast need to look out for syphilis that can cause blindness, public health officials say.

Health Highlights: March 11, 2015

Powdered Alcohol Approved by U.S. Regulators

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. regulators have approved a controversial powdered alcohol product called Palcohol, which is meant to be mixed into drinks.

Health Highlights: March 11, 2015

Clinical Trial Data Often Not Reported in Timely Manner

THURSDAY, March 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers are not promptly reporting the results of clinical trials to ClinicalTrials.gov, according to an article published in the March 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Physicians Should Plan Exit Strategy in Advance

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians should begin planning their exit strategy three to five years in advance, according to the American Medical Association.

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Persistent EHR Nonadoption Could Mean Lower Payment

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Persistent nonadopters of electronic health records (EHRs) tend to be older, and are employed in smaller practices, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Frustrated by Regulations, Doctors Increasingly Miserable

WEDNESDAY, March 11, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide Physician Misery Index is 3.7 out of 5, with the vast majority of physicians reporting that the business and regulation of health care has worsened the practice of medicine, according to a report published by Geneia.

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Surgery Seldom Needed for Fracture of Proximal Humerus

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- When an older patient breaks the upper arm, surgery is often no better than simply immobilizing the limb, according to a new study. The study was published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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AAMC: Significant Shortfall of Physicians Projected for 2025

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The expected shortfall of physicians is projected to reach about 46,000 to 90,000 by 2025, according to a study conducted by IHS Inc. for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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Susac Syndrome Is Possibility in Cases of Acute Confusion

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For young patients presenting with acute confusion, Susac syndrome should be considered, according to a case report published online Feb. 10 in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases.

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FDA Approves New CPR Devices

MONDAY, March 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A new cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) system designed to increase the chance of survival in people experiencing cardiac arrest has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Changes Being Made to Med School Applicant Assessment

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In accordance with the changes in graduate medical education to better prepare doctors for a changing health care system, changes are being made to medical school applicant evaluation, according to an article published Feb. 19 by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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National Hospital Rating Systems Rarely in Agreement

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- National hospital rating systems are rarely in agreement, according to a study published in the March issue of Health Affairs.

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Confidence Gap Between Male and Female Med Students

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Female medical students perform at the same or higher level as men, but they lack confidence compared with men, according to a letter published in the March 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Two Cases Shed Light on Rare Algae-Related Wound Infection

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The cases of two men who got injured while participating in freshwater activities in Missouri and Texas are giving insight into a freshwater algae that can infect wounds. Reporting in the March 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers say it's the first time that the algae -- a species common in rivers and lakes called Desmodesmus armatus -- has been conclusively linked to wound infections.

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FDA Launches First App to Identify Drug Shortages

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- A mobile phone application (app) has been released to identify current drug shortages, resolved shortages, or discontinuations of drug products, according to a press release published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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One-Third of U.S. More Than Hour Away From Stroke Center

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- One-third of Americans can't be transported by ambulance to a stroke center within one hour, according to research published online March 4 in Neurology.

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Rush University Adds Patient Scores to Doctor Profiles

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Rush University Medical Center's website has started adding the results of patient surveys to individual physician profiles, according to a report published by the medical center.

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CDC: Heroin Overdose Mortality Nearly Tripled 2010 to 2013

WEDNESDAY, March 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The age-adjusted rate for deaths involving opioid analgesics has leveled in recent years; however, the rate for deaths involving heroin has almost tripled since 2010, U.S. health officials reported Wednesday.

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Research Measures Perceptions of Physician Compassion

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients prefer physicians who convey a more optimistic message, and perceive in them a higher level of compassion, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in JAMA Oncology.

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Resistance to Common Antimicrobials Increasing

TUESDAY, March 3, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Resistance to commonly used antimicrobials is increasing in Salmonella and Campylobacter, according to a report published Feb. 26 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

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U.S. Nurse Who Contracted Ebola Sues Employer

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- An American nurse who contracted Ebola is suing her employer.

Health Highlights: March 2, 2015

High Prevalence of HCV in Baby Boomers Presenting to ER

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of unrecognized chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) is high among baby boomers presenting to the emergency department, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in Hepatology.

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Hospital Design Has Little Effect on Patient Satisfaction

MONDAY, March 2, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Hospital design has little effect on patient satisfaction, according to a study published online Feb. 5 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

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