The Checkup: Talking to Children About Terminal Illness

“One of the most difficult things we ever have to do is to tell a child he or she has a very serious condition and may not survive it, or that a parent has a condition they may not survive,” said Dr. Alan Stein, a professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of…

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Personal Health: When the Benefits of Statins Outweigh the Risks

My column last April, “Weighing the Pros and Cons of Statins,” has so far elicited nearly 700 online comments, many of them from people who accused me of selling out to Big Pharma. Yes, statins are blockbuster drugs with sales in the billions, but that doesn’t mean they’re not safe and effective. In this column,…

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Partial oral antibiotic therapy safe and effective in infectious endocarditis

NEW ORLEANS (March 17, 2019) — Patients with an infection of the inner lining on the left side of the heart (endocarditis) who were switched from intravenous to oral antibiotic therapy had better long-term survival and fewer complications than similar patients who remained on conventional intravenous antibiotic therapy, according to research presented at the American…

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Novel heart pump shows superior outcomes in advanced heart failure

NEW ORLEANS (March 17, 2019) — Severely ill patients with advanced heart failure who received a novel heart pump—the HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device (LVAD)— suffered significantly fewer strokes, pump-related blood clots and bleeding episodes after two years, compared with similar patients who received an older, more established pump, according to research presented at…

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CardioMEMS sensor reliably safe, cuts hospitalizations by more than half

NEW ORLEANS (March 17, 2019) — In the year following placement of a CardioMEMS heart failure sensor—designed to wirelessly measure and monitor pulmonary artery pressures that can signal worsening heart failure—patients experienced a 58 percent reduction in hospitalization for heart failure, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.…

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Antibiotic envelope markedly cuts risk of cardiac device-related infection

NEW ORLEANS (March 17, 2019) — Encasing cardiac devices such as pacemakers or defibrillators in an «envelope» —a mesh sleeve embedded with antibiotics—reduces the risk of major device-related infection by 40 percent within one year with no increase in complications, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session. The…

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ACC/AHA guidance for preventing heart disease, stroke released

New Orleans, LA (Mar 17, 2019) — The choices we make every day can have a lasting effect on our heart and vascular health. Adopting a heart healthy eating plan, getting more exercise, avoiding tobacco and managing known risk factors are among the key recommendations in the 2019 Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease guideline from…

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Pharmacists have wider clinical role in casualty, concludes study

The first evaluation of pharmacists based in accident and emergency departments has concluded that with additional clinical skills, they are able to take on overall clinical responsibility for patients. Daniel Greenwood a PhD student from The University of Manchester studied the work of people they termed Emergency Department Pharmacist Practitioners (EDPPs) from 15 NHS Trusts…

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