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Sen. Bernie Sanders Leaves Hospital; Doctors Confirm He Had Heart Attack

By Margaret Farley Steele
HealthDay Reporter

SATURDAY, Oct. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Senator Bernie Sanders left a Las Vegas hospital on Friday after being admitted with chest pains on Tuesday; his presidential campaign is now saying the 78-year-old suffered a heart attack.

Sanders experienced chest pain at a campaign event and received two stents to open a blocked artery. He has cancelled public events for the time being, The New York Times reported.

Sanders waved to onlookers and gave a fist pump as he left Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center and was taken away in a waiting vehicle. Later, after dropping off bags at his hotel, he was seen taking a walk in a nearby park with his wife, Jane.

“After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work,” Sanders said in a statement.

His doctors in Las Vegas, Arturo Marchand and Arjun Gururaj, said the senator’s “hospital course was uneventful with good expected progress,” the Times added.

Although his campaign is not saying when he will resume a normal schedule, on Thursday it was announced that Sanders does plan to take part in the next Democratic debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 near Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist and chief academic officer at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, said that stenting should allow Sanders to resume normal activities.

“We don’t know all the details, but this is a common, safe procedure, and with contemporary stents, it generally comes with a short recovery time,” said Nissen, who wasn’t involved in Sanders’ care. “The purpose of modern medicine is to let people continue pursuing their passions, and for this procedure, patients can generally get back to that relatively quickly.”

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said Sanders suffered the classic signs of heart attack and was promptly sent to emergency services.

“All heart attacks present differently. In women, for example, they typically present as a sudden shortness of breath. Mr. Sanders had the textbook symptoms of chest pain that was successfully treated,” Bhusri noted.

Continued

“If not recognized and treated early, the outcome would have been more ominous,” Bhusri added.

According to the American Heart Association, stents help keep coronary arteries open and reduce the chance of a heart attack. Doctors insert the stent — a tiny mesh tube — into the clogged artery with a balloon catheter. When they inflate the balloon, the stent expands and locks in place. This allows blood to flow more freely.

Did Sanders’ hectic schedule contribute to his heart attack? One expert isn’t sure, but said the politician’s example should be a wake-up call to many Americans.

“Lack of sleep, exercise, and increased stress can certainly lead to acute coronary events,” said Dr. Benjamin Hirsh, who directs preventive cardiology at Northwell Health Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

“Whether or not these factors contributed to Bernie Sanders’ heart condition, we continue to learn vital lessons from this and other similar stories,” he said. “Coronary disease is on the rise, regular medical evaluation is necessary, and prioritizing healthy living is essential to keep your heart safe.”

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Benjamin Hirsh, M.D.,  director, preventive cardiology, Northwell Health Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital, Manhasset, N.Y.; Steven Nissen, M.D., cardiologist and chief academic officer, Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute; Satjit Bhusri, M.D., cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City;The New York Times

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Sen. Bernie Sanders Leaves Hospital; Doctors Confirm He Had Heart Attack

SATURDAY, Oct. 5, 2019 — Senator Bernie Sanders left a Las Vegas hospital on Friday after being admitted with chest pains on Tuesday; his presidential campaign is now saying the 78-year-old suffered a heart attack.

Sanders experienced chest pain at a campaign event and received two stents to open a blocked artery. He has cancelled public events for the time being, The New York Times reported.

Sanders waved to onlookers and gave a fist pump as he left Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center and was taken away in a waiting vehicle. Later, after dropping off bags at his hotel, he was seen taking a walk in a nearby park with his wife, Jane.

“After two and a half days in the hospital, I feel great, and after taking a short time off, I look forward to getting back to work,” Sanders said in a statement.

His doctors in Las Vegas, Arturo Marchand and Arjun Gururaj, said the senator’s “hospital course was uneventful with good expected progress,” the Times added.

Although his campaign is not saying when he will resume a normal schedule, on Thursday it was announced that Sanders does plan to take part in the next Democratic debate, scheduled for Oct. 15 near Columbus, Ohio.

Dr. Steven Nissen, a cardiologist and chief academic officer at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, said that stenting should allow Sanders to resume normal activities.

“We don’t know all the details, but this is a common, safe procedure, and with contemporary stents, it generally comes with a short recovery time,” said Nissen, who wasn’t involved in Sanders’ care. “The purpose of modern medicine is to let people continue pursuing their passions, and for this procedure, patients can generally get back to that relatively quickly.”

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said Sanders suffered the classic signs of heart attack and was promptly sent to emergency services.

“All heart attacks present differently. In women, for example, they typically present as a sudden shortness of breath. Mr. Sanders had the textbook symptoms of chest pain that was successfully treated,” Bhusri noted.

“If not recognized and treated early, the outcome would have been more ominous,” Bhusri added.

According to the American Heart Association, stents help keep coronary arteries open and reduce the chance of a heart attack. Doctors insert the stent — a tiny mesh tube — into the clogged artery with a balloon catheter. When they inflate the balloon, the stent expands and locks in place. This allows blood to flow more freely.

Did Sanders’ hectic schedule contribute to his heart attack? One expert isn’t sure, but said the politician’s example should be a wake-up call to many Americans.

“Lack of sleep, exercise, and increased stress can certainly lead to acute coronary events,” said Dr. Benjamin Hirsh, who directs preventive cardiology at Northwell Health Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.

“Whether or not these factors contributed to Bernie Sanders’ heart condition, we continue to learn vital lessons from this and other similar stories,” he said. “Coronary disease is on the rise, regular medical evaluation is necessary, and prioritizing healthy living is essential to keep your heart safe.”

More information

To learn more about stents, visit the American Heart Association.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Safety of Vaping Cannabis Oil Challenged as Hospital Cases Continue

Vaping is marketed to both tobacco and marijuana smokers as the safer alternative to smoking. But as hundreds of cases of vaping-related illnesses pop up across the country, state and federal health officials are gaining traction in their messaging about the unknown dangers of vape products.

“Vaping products contain more than just harmless water vapor. They are marketed as a ‘safe’ alternative to smoking, but the long-term health effects of vaping are still unknown,” the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment notes on its website.

As vaping receives criticism from government officials, much of the heat has been directed at nicotine vaping — allowing marijuana vaping products to escape largely unscathed. However, vaporizing marijuana products now covers a larger span than just the plant’s flower, with THC and CBD oil vape cartridges rising in popularity thanks to their convenience — and that’s where recent reports of danger come in.

On September 4, the New York Times reported that one of the two deaths linked to vaping-related illnesses occurring in recent weeks happened after a person consumed a legally purchased cartridge containing THC oil from an Oregon dispensary. Oregon health officials declined to name the brand or store associated with the product that the now-deceased individual was vaping, according to ABC News, adding that they’re still figuring out what, exactly, led to the person’s death.

“We don’t yet know the exact cause of these illnesses — whether they’re caused by contaminants, ingredients in the liquid or something else, such as the device itself,” said Dr. Ann Thomas of the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division said in a release. But the problem isn’t just in Oregon.

Marijuana Deals Near You

Just one day later, September 5, the Washington Post reported that Food and Drug Administration officials found oil derived from vitamin E in numerous samples of cannabis oil that had been consumed by some of those that have fallen ill across the country, including cases in New York, where marijuana sales are still illegal. After testing nicotine products that could have been linked to the recent health issues, the FDA found nothing unusual, according to the Post.

According to the CDPHE, vitamin E oil can be used as a thickening ingredient in vaping liquids. The Post article notes that health officials warn that inhalation can lead to the “kinds of respiratory symptoms that many patients have reported: cough, shortness of breath and chest pain.”

As states with both regulated and illegal cannabis sales grapple with seemingly toxic vaping products, Colorado cannabis industry representatives point to the state’s regulatory framework as a reason that products are more trustworthy here.

“Manufacturers in Colorado have pumped out hundreds of millions of cartridges in the market with literally no adverse effects like those in the papers that you’re reading,” says Kevin Gallagher, founder of the Colorado Cannabis Manufacturers Association, a trade organization for cannabis extraction and infusion companies.

According to Gallagher, any legitimate concentrate manufacture shouldn’t have to worry about vitamin E if they’re not cutting corners. “Do due diligence on where you are sourcing your ingredients. If you are cutting your vape cartridges with anything other than cannabis-derived entities, you’d better do your darn research,” he warns.

The CDPHE says it is aware of the discovery of vitamin E oil in vaping samples across the country, but still views the vitamin E link as a lead, and not a definitive answer.

“We continue to work with the CDC and FDA to look at all possible links to the illness, including nicotine, THC, CDB, synthetic marijuana and other compounds. At this point, a potential link to vitamin E oil is preliminary, and it would be premature to issue warnings before we know the cause of the illness,” Elyse Contreras, an environmental epidemiologist for CDPHE, says in a statement to Westword.

The department has not yet determined the exact product that caused the two confirmed cases of vaping-related illnesses in Colorado, but is advising against purchasing cannabis e-cigarette products off the street or modifying or adding to products that were bought legally in a store.

Although marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, questions remain about the safety of vaporizing plant matter and oil. Smoking is the devil we know, but public health officials want tobacco and marijuana users to show caution with vaping.

“There has not been enough research to know if using a vaporizer is safer than unfiltered smoking of marijuana,” reads a section of the state health department’s frequently-asked-questions guide to marijuana and methods of use. The section points to studies that have produced mixed results, with some showing potentially less-hazardous effects of vaping marijuana when compared to smoking, while others point to concerning side effects that health officials have seen in these vaping-related illnesses across the country.


Toke of the Town

How to Make Your Child’s Hospital Stay Safer, Less Stressful

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 — More than 3 million kids are hospitalized in the United States every year. Whether it’s for a planned test or surgery or an injury or other emergency, knowing how to be involved in your child’s care can help you get through what’s often a stressful event.

The single most important thing you can do is be an active member of your child’s health care team, taking part in every decision, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Learn as much as you can about your child’s condition and needed tests and treatments from the medical staff and other reliable sources. Ask if the doctor’s recommendations are based on the latest scientific evidence.

Get to know all the members of the care team, especially the lead physician, and make sure each has all of your child’s important health information — from allergies to what vitamins and prescription drugs, if any, he or she takes.

If you have a choice, use a hospital with a lot of experience in the procedure or surgery your child needs — research shows that this leads to better results.

While your child is in the hospital, don’t be afraid to speak up if you see something out of the norm or even if health care workers neglect to wash their hands, an important way to prevent the spread of infections.

Ask why each test or procedure is being done, how it can help and when results will be available so that you’re not stressed over how long it’s taking. If your child is having surgery, make sure that you, your child’s doctor and the surgeon all agree and are clear on exactly what will be done. On the other hand, be prepared to answer the same questions over and over — it may seem tedious but it helps prevent mistakes.

Before your child goes home, ask the team to go over his or her care plan, including any needed medication and/or restrictions on their activities. Speak up if you have any questions. Take notes or ask a loved one to do it for you.

More information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has more tips on preventing hospital errors to help parents safeguard their children.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

World’s Smallest Surviving Baby Leaves Hospital

May 31, 2019 — The world’s smallest baby to ever survive — born at just 8.6 ounces — is now healthy and at home with her family, after spending 5 months in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at a hospital in San Diego, CA.

Baby Saybie” was born almost 17 weeks early, in December 2018, according to a news release from Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. (Saybie is not her real name, as her family asked to remain anonymous.) Doctors say her mother had to have an emergency C-section 23 weeks into her pregnancy, after severe complications put her life at risk.

Despite being born just 9 inches long, and only weighing as much as a large apple, the hospital says, Saybie hardly faced any of the medical challenges that most babies do when they’re born that early.

“It’s pretty much unheard of. Extremely rare,” says Paul Wozniak, MD, a neonatologist at Sharp Mary Birch. “She avoided most of the usual catastrophic things that can set a baby back, or lead to the baby‘s death. She was really a rarity. Quite a fighter.”

According to CDC data, more than half of all babies born at 23 weeks do not survive. Nearly 4,000 U.S. babies were delivered at 23 weeks from 2007 to 2016.

Severely premature babies, especially those born before 32 weeks (a typical pregnancy is 40 weeks), have higher rates of death and disability. In 2015, about 17% of infant deaths were babies born prematurely, the CDC says. Those that survive often have breathing problems. Some get cerebral palsy, have developmental delays, and can have vision and hearing problems.

Wozniak says Saybie most likely thrived as much as she did because she was born at the right place, and she had a great family who visited all the time, along with good genes and good luck.

One of Saybie’s primary nurses, Michelle Gill, RN, agrees that Saybie’s parents played a huge part in her recovery. “I think it was a combination of everything — especially her parents being there all the time. They’re part of the team. If they weren’t involved, I don’t think she would have thrived the same way.”

Gill says Saybie’s parents had to wait a long time to hold their baby, but they stayed strong. “I was there the night Daddy held her for the first time,” she says. “I kind of pushed him to do it because he was very nervous. I was there to tell him we’d be there the whole time and, if at any point, he’s uncomfortable, we can put her back. I remember the look on his face the moment he held her. He was so happy. And about an hour later, he had one hand under her butt, the other one under the head. I said ‘You’re a natural!’ ”

Saybie is now thriving at home, since leaving the hospital in mid-May. Wozniak says that her parents still keep in touch with the staff and that at last check, she was up to 6 pounds, 2 ounces and doing well.

Sources

News release, Sharp HealthCare.

Paul Wozniak, MD, neonatologist, Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns.

Michelle Gill, RN, Sharp Mary Birch NICU.

CDC.gov: “Preterm Birth.”

CDC Wonder: “Linked Birth / Infant Death Records, 2007-2016 Results.”

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });
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Former President Jimmy Carter Out of Hospital

By EJ Mundell

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Former President Jimmy Carter has been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home from surgery for a broken hip.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter also had a health scare yesterday. According to a tweet from the Carter Center, she “felt faint and was admitted overnight to the hospital for observation and testing. She left the hospital with President Carter this morning.”

Both Carters were treated at the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Ga.

Carter, 94, was headed out for turkey hunting when he fell earlier this week at his home in Plains, Ga., the Center announced Tuesday.

The Carter Center said the former president had been released from hospital on Thursday “and will continue to recuperate at home. He will undergo physical therapy, as part of his recovery from hip replacement surgery.”

Carter “plans to teach Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church this weekend,” the Center added.

Carter, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, is the oldest living former U.S. president.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Drucker isn’t involved in Carter’s care, but he said his chances for an uncomplicated recovery are good.

“President Carter’s recovery is very dependent on where the injury occurred,” noted Drucker, who directs the Center for Joint Reconstruction at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City.

But, “even taking his age into effect; he could make a relatively good recovery depending on where the break occurred and if the president has any pre-existing conditions, like osteoporosis or arthritis in the joint,” Drucker said.

One point in Carter’s favor: “The president enjoys a very active lifestyle,” Drucker said.

Still, he “will require physical rehabilitation — the key to success is getting the president up on his feet as soon as possible,” Drucker said.

Dr. Robert Glatter is an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He agreed that “it’s important that patients receive surgery as soon as medically possible, since the chance for complications including blood clots increases with delay in repair.”

“Surgical hardware is used to stabilize the fracture,” Glatter explained, and there’s “an excellent chance for a safe and speedy recovery.”

The broken hip is another health setback for Carter, who has already battled his way back from cancer. In 2015, when he was 90, it was announced that the former president had melanoma that had spread to his brain.

But treatment with the powerful immunotherapy drug Keytruda appears to have cured Carter of the tumor.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Robert Glatter, M.D., emergency physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City;  David Drucker, M.D., director of the Center for Joint Reconstruction, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; Carter Center, tweet, May 16, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

Former President Jimmy Carter Leaves Hospital After Surgery for Broken Hip

THURSDAY, May 16, 2019 — Former President Jimmy Carter has been released from the hospital and is now recovering at home from surgery for a broken hip.

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter also had a health scare yesterday. According to a tweet from the Carter Center, she “felt faint and was admitted overnight to the hospital for observation and testing. She left the hospital with President Carter this morning.”

Both Carters were treated at the Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Ga.

Carter, 94, was headed out for turkey hunting when he fell earlier this week at his home in Plains, Ga., the Center announced Tuesday.

The Carter Center said the former president had been released from hospital on Thursday “and will continue to recuperate at home. He will undergo physical therapy, as part of his recovery from hip replacement surgery.”

Carter “plans to teach Sunday school at Maranatha Baptist Church this weekend,” the Center added.

Carter, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, is the oldest living former U.S. president.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Drucker isn’t involved in Carter’s care, but he said his chances for an uncomplicated recovery are good.

“President Carter’s recovery is very dependent on where the injury occurred,” noted Drucker, who directs the Center for Joint Reconstruction at Staten Island University Hospital, in New York City.

But, “even taking his age into effect; he could make a relatively good recovery depending on where the break occurred and if the president has any pre-existing conditions, like osteoporosis or arthritis in the joint,” Drucker said.

One point in Carter’s favor: “The president enjoys a very active lifestyle,” Drucker said.

Still, he “will require physical rehabilitation — the key to success is getting the president up on his feet as soon as possible,” Drucker said.

Dr. Robert Glatter is an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He agreed that “it’s important that patients receive surgery as soon as medically possible, since the chance for complications including blood clots increases with delay in repair.”

“Surgical hardware is used to stabilize the fracture,” Glatter explained, and there’s “an excellent chance for a safe and speedy recovery.”

The broken hip is another health setback for Carter, who has already battled his way back from cancer. In 2015, when he was 90, it was announced that the former president had melanoma that had spread to his brain.

But treatment with the powerful immunotherapy drug Keytruda appears to have cured Carter of the tumor.

More information

There’s more about hip fractures at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

‘Superbugs’ Hang Out on Hospital Patients

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — If you weren’t already worried enough about what germs lurk in hospitals, a new study shows ‘superbugs’ are common on patients and the things they touch.

Even worse, these bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics, the researchers added.

“Hand hygiene narrative has largely focused on physicians, nurses and other frontline staff, and all the policies and performance measurements have centered on them, and rightfully so,” said study leader Dr. Lona Mody. She is a geriatrician, epidemiologist and patient safety researcher at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.

“But our findings make an argument for addressing transmission of [superbugs] in a way that involves patients, too,” Mody added in a university news release.

In the study, researchers tested 399 hospital patients and found that 14% had superbugs on their hands or nostrils right after admission. Superbugs were also found on items commonly touched by patients, such as the nurse call button, in nearly one-third of tests.

Another 6% of patients who didn’t have superbugs on their hands when first hospitalized tested positive for them later in their hospital stay, and one-fifth of the objects tested in their rooms had similar superbugs on them, the investigators found.

Health care workers’ hands are the main way these germs are transmitted to patients, according to the authors of the study published April 13 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The researchers noted that the presence of superbugs on patients or items in their rooms does not necessarily mean that these patients will become sick with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

But of the six patients in the study who developed an infection with a superbug called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), all had positive tests for MRSA on their hands and hospital room items.

The findings suggest that many superbugs found on patients are also found in their rooms early in their stay, suggesting that transmission to room surfaces is rapid.

Mody also noted that many patients arrive at the hospital through the emergency department, and may get tests in other areas before reaching their hospital room, so it’s important to learn more about superbugs in those areas, too.

Continued

According to study co-author Dr. Katherine Reyes, “This study highlights the importance of hand washing and environmental cleaning, especially within a health care setting where patients’ immune systems are compromised.” Reyes is an infectious disease physician at Henry Ford Health System, in Detroit.

“This step is crucial not only for health care providers, but also for patients and their families. Germs are on our hands; you do not need to see to believe it. And they travel. When these germs are not washed off, they pass easily from person to person, and objects to person, and make people sick,” Reyes said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: University of Michigan, news release, April 13, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

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Hospital Privacy Curtains Attract Some Scary Germs

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Privacy curtains in hospital rooms might offer patients some personal dignity, but they can also harbor dangerous, drug-resistant bacteria.

That’s the claim of a new study where researchers took more than 1,500 samples from privacy curtains in 625 rooms at six skilled nursing facilities in Michigan. The samples were collected from the parts of the curtains touched most often. Samples were also gathered from patients.

Sampling was done when patients were admitted, and again after 14 days and 30 days, and then monthly up to six months, when possible.

The findings showed that 22% of the samples from the privacy curtains tested positive for multidrug-resistant organisms, with contamination rates ranging from 12% to 28.5%, depending on the facility.

Of those samples, nearly 14% were contaminated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), 6% with resistant gram-negative bacilli, and about 5% with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

“We were surprised to see that multidrug-resistant organisms, especially VRE, shed by patients routinely contaminate their privacy curtains. These pathogens on privacy curtains often survive and have the potential to transfer to other surfaces and patients,” the study authors wrote.

In fact, the same resistant germs were detected on patients and their privacy curtain in nearly 16% of the sampling visits, the researchers found.

“Patient colonization with MRSA and VRE were each associated with contamination of the bedside curtain,” according to Dr. Lona Mody and colleagues at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Where six-month data could be collected, curtain contamination was often intermittent, the investigators found.

The findings were scheduled for presentation this week at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, in Amsterdam. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Based on the findings, the researchers said that drug-resistant germ contamination of privacy curtains is common, as is patient/curtain co-contamination.

“As privacy curtains are used all over the world, it’s a global issue,” Mody and colleagues explained in a meeting news release. “Further studies are needed to determine conclusively whether contaminated privacy curtains are a source of multidrug-resistant organism transmission to patients.”

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, news release, April 11, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Patient Tested for Ebola at Philadelphia Hospital

Feb. 6, 2019 — Preliminary results from a patient being tested for Ebola suggest that the patient has another condition, say officials at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

“Proper protocols and precautions will remain in place to ensure the safety of all of our patients and staff,” Dr. PJ Brennan, Penn Medicine’s chief medical officer, said in a statement, NBC News reported.

The Ebola testing was done out of “an abundance of caution,” according to the hospital. It did not provide more information about the patient or the treatment circumstances.

In Nebraska last month, an American man was monitored for possible exposure to Ebola following a trip to Africa. He didn’t have any symptoms during the 21-day monitoring period for the deadly infectious disease and was released, NBC News reported.

There have been more than 730 confirmed cases and at least 430 deaths in an Ebola outbreak in Congo that began last August, the World Health Organization says.

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Getting Flu Shot During Hospital Stay Is a Safe Bet