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Surgical Risk Calculator Aims For Accurate Pre-Op Assessment

August 27, 2013 10:31 am | by Yona Gidalevitz | Comments

In order for a patient to make an informed decision on whether surgery is appropriate, doctors and patients must be on equal ground regarding the specific risk factors involved. The ACS Surgical Risk Calculator is a free-to-use tool, compiled from statistical data collected from just under 1.5 million patients, that allows surgeons to adjust risk factors for a more personalized risk estimate.


Outcomes Mixed For Brain Surgery In Epilepsy

August 26, 2013 5:55 am | by Cole Petrochko | Comments

Long-term follow-up in children undergoing hemispherectomy for refractory epilepsy showed that most were seizure-free and able to walk independently, but deficits in many areas of daily function were common, researchers said. Among 115 children with a mean of 6.05 years of follow-up, 70 were seizure-free and 96 were able to walk without assistance, according to Ajay Gupta, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and colleagues.


Doctors Investigate Indian Baby For Spontaneous Combustion

August 23, 2013 9:32 am | by Gillian Mohney | Comments

A 3-month-old Indian baby is the center of a medical mystery as doctors are trying to determine if the infant suffered from spontaneous human combustion, according to the New York Times. The infant is being treated at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital in Chennai, India, after his parents claimed he caught on fire four separate times.


MRIs May Have Fueled Increase In Mastectomy

August 21, 2013 10:01 am | by Charles Bankhead | Comments

Older breast cancer patients had significantly higher odds of undergoing mastectomy if their evaluation included MRI, use of which increased exponentially during the study period, investigators reported. Breast MRI was associated with an increase of more than 20 percent in the likelihood of mastectomy versus breast-conserving surgery in women 65 and older.


Hospital Settles Suit Over Safety Data For Embattled Pediatric Program

August 20, 2013 10:27 am | by Elizabeth Cohen | Comments

The University of Kentucky has settled its case with the state over the release of safety data for its embattled pediatric heart surgery program, which was closed last year following patient deaths. The dispute stems from a request last year by a local radio reporter for information about the program.


Surgery Not A Must In Blunt Kidney Injury

August 19, 2013 9:20 am | by Michael Smith | Comments

Patients with the most severe blunt trauma to the kidney may be managed without surgery, researchers reported. In a 12-year retroactive analysis of people with grade IV or V blunt renal injury who were hemodynamically stable, nonoperative management was successful in more than 90 percent of patients treated without surgery.


Heart Stents Continue to Be Overused

August 15, 2013 11:19 am | by Anahad O'Connor | Comments

Every year, more than half a million Americans undergo procedures to have a narrowed coronary artery propped open with a small metal mesh tube, or stent. In an emergency, when someone is having a heart attack, the operation can be lifesaving. But far too often, studies show, stents continue to be implanted in patients who stand to gain little if any benefit.


Hospital Changes Mind On Teen's Heart Transplant

August 14, 2013 9:53 am | by Sydney Lupkin | Comments

The family of Anthony Stokes, the 15-year-old boy who was denied a place on the heart transplant waiting list because of "non-compliance," now say doctors at a George hospital have changed their minds. Anthony has an enlarged heart and has been given six months to live, but Anthony's family said doctors told them that they wouldn't put him on the transplant list because of his history of "non-compliance."


New Laws, Rising Costs Create Surge Of Supersizing Hospitals

August 13, 2013 9:52 am | by Julie Creswell and Reed Abelson | Comments

Hospitals across the nation are being swept up in the biggest wave of mergers since the 1990s, a development that is creating giant hospital systems that could one day dominate American healthcare and drive up costs. The consolidations are being driven by a confluence of powerful forces, not least of which is President Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act.


Kentucky Surgeon Draws Scrutiny After Babies' Deaths

August 12, 2013 9:49 am | by Elizabeth Cohen | Comments

The University of Florida's health system is reviewing the application of a heart surgeon from Kentucky who came under scrutiny after a CNN investigation into the deaths of babies in his care. Dr. Mark Plunkett was the chief heart surgeon at Kentucky Children's Hospital before he resigned to take a position with University of Florida Health.


Preventable Cardiac Surgical Errors Often A Result Of Teamwork Failures

August 7, 2013 9:06 am | by Michael Smith | Comments

Better communication is the key to improving patient outcomes after cardiac surgery, according to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association. "Preventable errors are often not related to failure of technical skill, training, or knowledge," investigators wrote, "but represent cognitive, system, or teamwork failures."


Nurse Charged With Assisting Dad's Suicide

August 6, 2013 9:13 am | by Susan Donaldson James | Comments

Barbara Mancini, the Philadelphia nurse who is being charged with assisting in the suicide of her 93-year-old father, is pinning her hopes on Pennsylvania's attorney general to drop felony charges that could send her to jail. Mancini, 57, is alleged to have given her ailing father, Joseph Yourshaw, a lethal dose of morphine to hasten his death.


Best To Split Up Carotid Opening, Heart Surgery

August 5, 2013 9:18 am | by Chris Kaiser | Comments

Patients who underwent carotid artery stenting followed a few weeks later by open heart surgery (a "staged" procedure) had a lower risk of the composite primary endpoint of all-cause death, stroke, or myocardial infarction (MI) than those who underwent staged carotid endarterectomy followed by open heart surgery (CEA-OHS) or those who had CEA-OHS performed on the same day (a "combined" procedure).


Ventilation Method Cuts Postop Problems

August 1, 2013 12:55 pm | by Todd Neale | Comments

A lung-protective method of ventilation improved outcomes for patients who had an intermediate-to-high risk of pulmonary complications before undergoing major abdominal surgery, a randomized trial showed. Compared with standard ventilation, ventilation using positive end-expiratory pressure and a lower tidal volume significantly reduced the occurrence of major pulmonary or extra-pulmonary complications in the first postoperative week.


Teen Kidney Recipients Have Worse Outcomes

July 31, 2013 9:40 am | by Michael Smith | Comments

Kidney recipients in their mid-teens are at the greatest risk for losing the graft, researchers reported. Additionally, in a retrospective database analysis, black teens, ages 14 through 16, were at the highest risk of having the new kidney fail, according to Kenneth Andreoni, MD, of the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues.



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