The risk of complications and early death after commonly performed abdominal surgical procedures appears to be higher among older adults, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Surgery . “Approximately 2 million older Americans undergo abdominal surgical operations each year,” the study’s authors note.
The US military has awarded Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital a multimillion-dollar contract to pay for the face transplants of veterans who have survived catastrophic war injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Department of Defense is hoping they will be able to complete face transplants on six to eight patients over the next 18 months, which would nearly double the nine known procedures completed worldwide.
Howard Fendrich, AP The National Football League is partnering with Boston University brain researchers who have been critical of the league's stance on concussion. The league now plans to encourage current and former NFL players to donate their brains to the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which has said it found links between repeated head trauma and brain damage in boxers, football players and, most recently, a former NHL player.
A Kansas mother is praising a neighbor as "Superman" after her 6-year-old daughter told her he somehow found the strength to lift a car off her. The girl escaped with minor injuries after being pinned under the vehicle. Harris said he doesn't know how he managed to lift the Mercury sedan off the child, but when he tried later that day to lift other cars, he couldn't.
Holbrook Mohr, AP An extremely rare infection has been passed from an organ donor to at least one recipient in what is thought to be the first human-to-human transfer of this amoeba. Four people in three states received organs from a patient who died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in November after suffering from neurological problems, said Dave Daigle, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention.
According to a Loyola University Health System study, a simple bedside exam performed by a physician or surgeon after brain surgery can be superior to a CT scan, especially in predicting which patients would need to return to the operating room to treat complications such as bleeding. Patients typically receive CT scans following open brain surgery to remove tumors, repair aneurysms or treat injuries, but CT scans can cost hundreds of dollars and expose patients to radiation.
The Illinois Supreme Court did not rule Thursday on whether the state’s medical malpractice law will survive. “It is not unusual for an opinion that is on the anticipated list to be withdrawn before filing,” a spokesman for the high court said. The next batch of Supreme Court opinions is expected in mid-January.
Scientists say they have made a synthetic blood-clotting agent that could help wounded troops and patients by cutting bleeding time in half and offer surgeons a limitless supply with a longer shelf life than fresh donor platelets, Science Translational Medicine reports. The materials that make up the composition of the fake platelets are already used in treatments approved by the U.
Randolph E. Schmid, AP People in sunny, outdoorsy states say they're the happiest Americans, and researchers think they know why. A new study comparing self-described pleasant feelings with objective measures of good living found these folks generally have reason to feel fine. The places where people are most likely to report happiness also tend to rate high on studies comparing things like climate, crime rates, air quality and schools.
Johnson & Johnson recently announced that its Ethicon unit will buy privately held medical technology company Acclarent, Inc. for $785 million in cash. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the deal. Acclarent makes minimally invasive devices used in sinus surgery. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of next year.
Average life expectancy in the United States has reached almost 78 years, a record high, federal health officials said recently. Women can expect to live to 80.4 years on average and men to 75.3 years, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But even though Americans can expect to live longer than their parents, life expectancy in the United States is still lower than in many other industrialized countries, including Canada and Japan.
At www.cnn.com you can see their top picks for the most innovative medical developments of 2009. Here are the top 5: 5. NeuroStar’s Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy system. Used for treatment of depression, the unit pulses magnetic fields into a patient’s prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain that regulates mood, to stimulate those neurons and increase the number of mood-enhancing chemicals that can be produced.
A man who broke into an 89-year-old woman's Knoxville home was scared off when a monitoring company answered her medical alert call. The woman activated a medical alert device on her neck and the voice of an operator responded over the intercom. She told police the intruder ripped the device off her, causing a slight abrasion and a cut finger, but he fled taking nothing.
Although physicians support the use of electronic health records, concerns about potential privacy breaches remain an issue, according to two research articles published in the January 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Informatics Association (JAMIA). One published study is based on views of more than 1,000 family practice and specialist physicians in Massachusetts who were asked whether they thought electronic health information exchange (HIE) would drive down costs, improve patient care, free up their time and preserve patient confidentiality.
Doctors may now have more reason to refer their chronic kidney disease patients to surgery for a blocked carotid artery. A University of Western Ontario study suggests that a carotid endarterectomy can reduce the risk of stroke in kidney disease patients by 82 percent. Additionally, researchers concluded that the risk of death was not increased for patients who underwent the surgery.