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Liver Transplant For Bile Duct Cancer Improves Survival

December 15, 2010 5:16 am | Comments

In what is a rare occurrence for all but a handful of U.S. medical centers, Mayo Clinic in Arizona is treating a life-threatening cancer of the bile duct by performing a liver transplant — an aggressive protocol that is exhibiting dramatic increases in survival rates, offering new hope for patients with this complex disease.

Delaying Surgical Procedures Increases Infection Risk And Costs

December 15, 2010 5:15 am | Comments

Delaying elective surgical procedures after a patient has been admitted to the hospital significantly increases the risk of infectious complications and raises hospital costs, according to the results of a new study in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. The occurrence of infection following surgical procedures continues to be a major source of morbidity and expense despite extensive prevention efforts that have been implemented through educational programs, clinical guidelines and hospital-based policies.


DNA Test Predicts Curve Progression In Scoliosis Patients

December 14, 2010 11:11 am | Depuy Spine, Inc. | Comments

A new study shows the SCOLISCORE™ AIS Prognostic Test, a DNA test to determine the likelihood of curve progression in children with mild adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS), an abnormal curvature of the spine, is 99 percent accurate in predicting which children are least likely to progress to a severe curve (Cobb Angle of 40 degrees or more).


Pilot Duped Thousands With Fake M.D. Claim

December 14, 2010 5:31 am | Comments

Marilynn Marchione, AP He seemed like Superman, able to guide jumbo jets through perilous skies and tiny tubes through blocked arteries. As a cardiologist and United Airlines captain, William Hamman taught doctors and pilots ways to keep hearts and planes from crashing. He shared millions in grants, had university and hospital posts, and bragged of work for prestigious medical groups.

Teeth Pulled, Transplant Called Off

December 14, 2010 5:19 am | Comments

Carla K. Johnson, AP In Illinois, a pharmacist closes his business because of late Medicaid payments. In Arizona, a young father's liver transplant is canceled because Medicaid suddenly won't pay for it. In California, dentists pull teeth that could be saved because Medicaid doesn't pay for root canals.

High Levels Of Good Cholesterol Associated With Lower Alzheimer's Risk

December 14, 2010 5:09 am | Comments

High levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as "good" cholesterol, appear to be associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease in older adults, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Neurology , one of the JAMA/Archives journals. "Dyslipidemia [high total cholesterol and triglycerides] and late-onset Alzheimer's disease are highly frequent in western societies," the authors write as background information in the article.

Addicted Healers: Doctors Who Abuse Drugs

December 14, 2010 4:51 am | Comments

Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune Richard Ready had been a drinker most of his life, but by the time he became chief resident of neurosurgery at a prominent Chicago-area hospital, it was drugs, not alcohol, that kept him going. Ready took stimulants to keep alert through his daily rounds. He took heavy pain relievers to numb his emotions after his mother's death.

New Ways To Predict Risk Of Stroke, Death During Surgery

December 13, 2010 6:31 am | Comments

It's a medical Catch-22: carotid artery surgery can itself cause stroke, but so can asymptomatic carotid disease if left untreated. UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have now developed a clinical risk prediction rule using factors such as sex, race and health history to assess the danger the surgery poses, while a modified version will help patients make a more fully informed choice about whether to have the procedure.


Insurer Covers Baby's Surgery After Medicaid Denial

December 13, 2010 6:21 am | Comments

Ken Kusmer, AP An Indiana infant born with a rare condition that likely would kill him by age two, will receive a shot at a normal life after an insurance company said it will pay for an experimental procedure that the state's Medicaid program refused to cover. Seth Petreikis was born July 21 without a thymus gland that produces the T-cells the body uses to ward off infections, said his mother, Becky Petreikis of the Chicago suburb of Dyer, Indiana.


Life Expectancy Figures Slip

December 13, 2010 6:10 am | Comments

Stephanie Nano, AP U.S. life expectancy has dropped slightly — by about a month — after mostly inching up for many years, the government recently reported. The preliminary report indicates that a baby born in 2008 can expect to live to 77.8 years if current trends continue. That's down a bit from an all-time high of 77.

Ultimate Payback After A Breakup? Plastic surgery

December 13, 2010 6:01 am | by Ellen McCarthy, Washington Post Staff Writer | Comments

The reality show in which women compete for pre-wedding cosmetic surgery may be getting all the attention, but doctors who ply their trade sculpting bodies and faces know that just as many - if not more - of the patients walking through their doors are motivated not by a new union but a marital breakup.


Top Health Technology Hazards For 2011

December 13, 2010 5:43 am | Comments

Where do you start when trying to minimize the risks from healthcare technology? ECRI Institute, an independent nonprofit that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, helps hospitals answer this question with the release of its 5th annual list of Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2011 .

NFL Concussion Committee Hears From Helmet Makers

December 10, 2010 5:30 am | Comments

Howard Fendrich, AP Commissioner Roger Goodell was planning to briefly stop by the hotel where the NFL's head, neck and spine medical committee met Wednesday to hear from equipment makers, researchers, the military and NASCAR about how to improve helmet safety and cut down on concussions.Goodell wound up listening in for a few hours.

National Kidney Swap Program Sees Immediate Success

December 10, 2010 5:12 am | Comments

Holly Ramer, AP As grateful as she was when her sister-in-law offered in October to donate a kidney on her behalf, Kathy Niedzwiecki didn't believe for one second her prediction that it would happen before Christmas. "I'm always the cup half empty, she's always the cup half full. Always," Niedzwiecki said three days after she received a new kidney in the first success for a national pilot program that helps arrange so-called kidney exchanges.

Surgery Complications Linked To Chemotherapy Delays

December 10, 2010 4:56 am | Comments

Patients who have complications after colorectal cancer surgery are less likely to get chemotherapy, even when it is clearly recommended for their diagnosis, a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds. In addition, patients with complications were more than twice as likely to have their chemotherapy delayed for more than 120 days after diagnosis or two months after surgery, which is considered the appropriate timeframe for receiving chemotherapy.


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