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IMAGE: C. difficile bacteria fluoresces under UV light. Credit: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAre hospitals doing all they can to prevent C. diff infections?
Not yet, new study finds

 

  • Survey of nearly 400 hospitals finds half lack programs to cut use of antibiotics that can encourage dangerous gut infection

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich., USA (April 24, 2015) - Nearly half of American hospitals aren't taking key steps to prevent a kind of gut infection that kills nearly 30,000 people annually and sickens hundreds of thousands more - despite strong evidence that such steps work, according to a new study. While nearly all of the 398 hospitals in the study use a variety of measures to protect their patients from Clostridium difficile infections, 48 percent haven't adopted strict limits on the use of antibiotics and other drugs that can allow the dangerous bug to flourish, the researchers report.

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Eleven new medicines, including one orphan, recommended for approval

Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 20-23 April 2015

 

London (April 24, 2015) - Eleven new medicines were recommended for approval at the April 2015 meeting of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).
The CHMP recommended granting a marketing authorisation for Opdivo (nivolumab), for the treatment of adults with advanced (unresectable or metastatic) melanoma. For more information on Opdivo, please see the press release in the grid below.

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Pict.: Surfaces in hospital rooms such as tray tables, bedrails, call buttons and grab bars can be reservoirs for bacteria. A new UV light method for cleaning hospital rooms could help stop the spread of dangerous bacteria, and in turn, save lives. Texas A&M Health Science CenterUV light robot to clean hospital rooms could help stop spread of 'superbugs'

 

BRYAN, Texas, USA (April 14, 2015) - Can a robot clean a hospital room just as well as a person? According to new research out of the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, that is indeed the case. Chetan Jinadatha, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine and chief of infectious diseases at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple, is studying the effectiveness of a germ-zapping robot to clean hospital rooms, which could hold the key to preventing the spread of "superbugs" - in turn, saving countless dollars and, most importantly, lives. 

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New study puts 40 patients through 12-week course

Tango dancing benefits Parkinson's patients

 

Montreal, QC, Canada (April 13, 2015) - Dancing the Argentine tango could have potential benefits for people at certain stages in the development of Parkinson's disease (PD), according to findings in a new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. The study looked at changes in patients' motor abilities following a 12-week tango course, and is also the first study to assess the effect that tango has on non-motor symptoms. 

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Acetaminophen reduces both pain and pleasure, study finds

Your pain reliever may also be diminishing your joy

 

Columbus, Ohio, USA (April 13, 2015) - Researchers studying the commonly used pain reliever acetaminophen found it has a previously unknown side effect: It blunts positive emotions. In the study, participants who took acetaminophen reported less strong emotions when they saw both very pleasant and very disturbing photos, when compared to those who took placebos.

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International Congress of Ayurveda: Relief from exploding health costs. The International Congress of Ayurveda, the biggest ever in Europe, brought together 400 participants from 40 countries, including medical doctors, health-administration professionals and three top-ranking representatives of the Indian government. The Congress ended on April 12th in Roermond, Holland after two days of discussing ways in which Ayurveda, the worlds most ancient medical system, can turn back the exploding costs of healthcare through natural treatments and disease prevention.International Congress of Ayurveda

Relief from exploding health costs

 

Roermond, Netherlands (April 11, 2015) - The International Congress of Ayurveda, the biggest ever in Europe, brought together 400 participants from 40 countries, including medical doctors, health-administration professionals and three top-ranking representatives of the Indian government. The Congress ended on April 12th in Roermond, Holland after two days of discussing ways in which Ayurveda, the world's most ancient medical system, can turn back the exploding costs of healthcare through natural treatments and disease prevention.

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Combining nortriptyline and morphine provides better pain relief than using either drug alone, according to a new study

Easing the pain

 

(April 7, 2015) - The combination of two well-known drugs will have unprecedented effects on pain management, says new research from Queen's. Combining morphine, a narcotic pain reliever, and nortriptyline, an antidepressant, has been found to successfully relieve chronic neuropathic pain - or a localized sensation of pain due to abnormal function of the nervous system - in 87 per cent of patients, and significantly better than with either drug alone.

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New study confirms

Mortality and blood pressure directly linked to relationship quality

 

(April 7, 2015) - While other studies have shown that stress and negative marital quality can influence mortality and blood pressure, there has not been research that discussed how it might affect married couples over time. Using systolic blood pressure as a gauge, researchers assessed whether an individual's blood pressure is influenced by their own as well as their partner's reports of chronic stress and whether there are gender differences in these patterns.

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Scientists develop first perfume which smells better the more you sweat

 

Belfast, UK (April 1, 2015) - The first-ever perfume delivery system to ensure the more a person sweats, the better they will smell, has been developed by scientists at Queen's University Belfast.  Researchers in the Queen's University Ionic Liquid Laboratories (QUILL) Research Centre have developed a unique new perfume delivery system which releases more of its aroma when it comes into contact with moisture, meaning a person smells nicer when their sweat levels increase.

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Study finds each hour spent watching TV daily increases the risk of developing diabetes by 3.4 percent

 

Pittsburgh, PA, USA (April 1, 2015) - Each hour spent watching TV daily increases the risk of developing diabetes by 3.4%, concludes a study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes). The study, on the effects of sedentary or 'sitting' time on diabetes risk, is by Dr Bonny Rockette-Wagner (lead author) and Dr Andrea Kriska (senior author) from the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA, and colleagues.

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Five new medicines, including one orphan, recommended for approval

Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 23-26 March 2015

 

London (March 27, 2015) - The CHMP has recommended granting a marketing authorisation for Lenvima (lenvatinib) for the treatment of adults with progressive, locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid carcinoma, whose disease has progressed despite receiving radioactive iodine. Lenvima was reviewed under EMA’s accelerated assessment program. This program provides for an expedited review of medicines that, if approved, would significantly improve the treatment of this serious condition. The medicine also received an orphan designation in 2013 because the condition it is intended to treat was considered a rare disease. For more information on Lenvima, please see the press release in the grid below.

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3rd International One Health Congress in Amsterdam

Closer collaboration between human and animal Health

 

  • Infectious diseases that can be passed between animals and people, such as influenza, rabies, Ebola virus and West Nile virus
  • Diseases that are common to animals and people, such as  arthritis, cancer, diabetes and allergies

 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands (March 16, 2015) - A panel of experts in both human and animal healthcare called for greater collaboration in combating the increasing threat of animal-transmitted infectious diseases and to more effectively innovate under the umbrella of One Health to prevent and treat chronic diseases that are common to animals and people. This call to action came at a satellite symposium held today at the 3rd International One Health Congress in Amsterdam*. The event was sponsored by the animal health company Zoetis.

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EMA Committee review reassures Member States over safety of flu vaccine

No evidence that Fluad vaccine caused deaths in Italy

 

London (December 3, 2014) - The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has concluded that there is no evidence that Fluad, a flu vaccine manufactured by Novartis, has caused serious events including deaths in Italy.  These reports led the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) to suspend the use of two batches of Fluad as a precautionary measure on 27 November 2014.

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, 20-23 October 2014: Six new medicines recommended for approval

 

London, UK (October 24, 2014) - Six new medicines have been recommended for approval at the October meeting of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), two of which are for orphan conditions. The European Medicines Agency has recommended granting a marketing authorisation under exceptional circumstances for Scenesse (afamelanotide) for the treatment of erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), a rare genetic disease which causes intolerance to light. Scenesse is the first medicine for patients with this condition. This type of authorisation is granted to medicines where comprehensive data on the medicine cannot be collected, for example, because the condition is too rare, or because the collection of full information is not possible or is unethical.

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Proper dental care linked to reduced risk of respiratory infections in ICU patients

 

CHICAGO, Ill., USA (October 22, 2014) – New research shows vulnerable patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) who received enhanced oral care from a dentist were at significantly less risk for developing a lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), like ventilator-associated pneumonia, during their stay. The study was published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

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Leading Pan-European Nurses Association (EDTNA) accredits Sanofi Patient Education Game

 

Paris, France (October 20, 2014) - The accreditation committee of the European Dialysis and Transplant Nurses Association/European Renal Care Association (EDTNA/ERCA) approved the patient education tool called “Phosphorus Mission”, granting it a three-year accreditation status. EDTNA/ERCA describes “Phosphorus Mission” as an “excellent resource for the nephrology nurse” and “very good teaching and learning aid for patients” in its accreditation letter. 

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The Lancet

Three people infected with Ebola predicted to fly from West Africa every month if no exit screening takes place

 

(October 20, 2014) - Three Ebola-infected travelers are predicted to depart on an international flight every month from any of the three countries in West Africa currently experiencing widespread Ebola virus outbreaks (Guinea, Liberia, or Sierra Leone), if no exit screening were to take place, according to new modeling research published in The Lancet. 

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Hospitalized patients don't wash their hands enough, study finds

 

Hamilton, ON, Canada (October 7, 2014) – Hospital visitors and staff are greeted with hand sanitizer dispensers in the lobby, by the elevators and outside rooms as reminders to wash their hands to stop infections, but just how clean are patients' hands?

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Oxycodone May Be More Dangerous than Other Addictive Pain Medication

 

Hoboken, NJ, USA (October 6, 2014) - While all prescription opioids can be abused, oxycodone may be more potent in its ability to promote changes in the brain relevant to addiction. A new study in the European Journal of Neuroscience revealed greater increases of dopamine in the brain following the delivery of oxycodone compared with morphine. The release of dopamine, a chemical messenger between neurons, is consistently tied with reward and motivation.

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use, 22-25 September 2014

Fifteen new medicines and three extensions of indication recommended for approval

 

London, UK (September 26, 2014) - The Committee recommended a marketing authorisation for Harvoni (sofosbuvir / ledipasvir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C in adults. Harvoni belongs to a new generation of antiviral products for chronic HCV infection that have high cure rates and have recently reshaped the treatment landscape for this disease. Please see the press release for more information.

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GIOTRIF® (afatinib)* approved in Europe for patients with EGFR mutation positive lung cancer

 

  • Patients with EGFR mutation positive lung cancer in the European Union can now benefit from a new targeted treatment option, GIOTRIF®, the first irreversible ErbB Family Blocker
  • Afatinib has been shown to delay tumour progression and improve disease related symptoms versus standard chemotherapy1
  • Afatinib approval marks the first registration of a targeted treatment from Boehringer Ingelheim’s oncology portfolio in the EU

 

Ingelheim, Germany, (September 25, 2013) – Boehringer Ingelheim announced today that the European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for afatinib monotherapy, for the treatment of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) TKI-naïve adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with activating EGFR mutation(s). Afatinib will be marketed in Europe under the brand name GIOTRIF®.

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Innovative, integrated technologies and a proven algorithm support better therapy outcomes

Personalized Diabetes Management 2.0 – Interactively connected for an optimized therapy

 

Vienna (September 15, 2014) - Today, healthcare systems around the globe face significant challenges that are creating concerns about the sustainability of the services and care provided and covered by the national health plans. In this context in particular the combination of increased prevalence of diabetes and an ageing population is exacerbating the burden on healthcare delivery and costs worldwide. To meet the increasing demand, governments and payers together with industry partners and healthcare professionals are looking at ways to make healthcare systems more sustainable and improve their citizens’ health via mobile health (mHealth) solutions. Experts reckon mobile healthcare as the biggest technology break-through of our time to address national challenges. Notably in daily management of diabetes such technological solutions seem to be a natural fit as mHealth delivers the virtual connection between different devices but also of people with diabetes and their caregivers.

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Research finds no association between wearing a bra and breast cancer

 

Philadelphia, PA, USA (September 5, 2014) — A population-based case-control study found no association between bra wearing and increased breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women, according to research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

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Liver injury caused by herbals, dietary supplements rises in study population

Supplements more likely than medications to lead to death or liver transplantation

 

Philadelphia, PA (September 4, 2014) - New research shows that liver injury caused by herbals and dietary supplements increased from 7% to 20% in a U.S. study group over a ten-year period. According to the study published in Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, liver injury caused by non-bodybuilding supplements is most severe, occurring more often in middle-aged women and more frequently resulting in death or the need for transplantation than liver injury from bodybuilding supplements or conventional medications."

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Research from University of Leicester sniffs out smell of disease in feces

Scientists develop 'electronic nose' for rapid detection of C. diff infection

 

Leicester, UK (August 31, 2014) - A fast-sensitive "electronic-nose" for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C. diff, that causes diarrhoea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester. Using a mass spectrometer, the research team has demonstrated that it is possible to identify the unique 'smell' of C. diff which would lead to rapid diagnosis of the condition.

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ESC_LogoDrinking tea reduces non-CV mortality by 24 percent

 

Barcelona, Spain (August 31, 2014) - Drinking tea reduces non-cardiovascular mortality by 24%, reveals a study in 131 000 people presented at ESC Congress today by Professor Nicolas Danchin from France. Professor Danchin said: "If you have to choose between tea or coffee it's probably better to drink tea. Coffee and tea are important components of our way of life. Their effects on cardiovascular (CV) health have been investigated in the past with sometimes divergent results. We investigated the effects of coffee and tea on CV mortality and non-CV mortality in a large French population at low risk of cardiovascular diseases."

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 21-24 July 2014

 

London (July 25, 2014) - This page provides an overview of the opinions adopted at the July 2014 meeting of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) and other important outcomes.

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 23-26 June 2014

 

London (June 27, 2014) - This page provides an overview of the opinions adopted at the June 2014 meeting of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) and other important outcomes.

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Bacterial differences found in urine of healthy women and women with overactive bladder

Study debunks common myth that urine is sterile

 

Maywood, IL, USA (May 18, 2014) - Bacteria live in the bladders of healthy women, discrediting the common belief that normal urine is sterile. This finding was presented today by researchers from Loyola University Chicago at the 114th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston.

 

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Urine test could help clinicians spot blood clots in at-risk patients

 

San Diego, Cal., USA (May 18, 2014) - A new study by researchers from California and Canada indicates a simple urine test can indicate the presence of venous thromboembolism, a blood clot that has broken free from its point of origin and which travels through the bloodstream, eventually lodging in a vein. The test evaluates the levels of fibrinopeptide B (FPB), a small peptide that's released when a thrombosis forms and which is removed from the body through urine.

 

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Prioritized strategies to reduce prevalence of C. difficile in healthcare settings

New expert guidelines aim to focus hospitals' infectious diarrhea prevention efforts

 

Chicago, ILL, USA (May 6, 2014) – With rates of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) now rivaling drug-resistant Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as the most common bacteria to cause healthcare-associated infections, new expert guidance encourages healthcare institutions to implement and prioritize prevention efforts for this infectious diarrhea. The guidelines are published in the June issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

 

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Atypical form of Alzheimer's disease may be present in a more widespread number of patients

 

Jacksonville, Fla., USA (May 1, 2014) — Neuroscientists at Mayo Clinic in Florida have defined a subtype of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that they say is neither well recognized nor treated appropriately. The variant, called hippocampal sparing AD, made up 11 percent of the 1,821 AD-confirmed brains examined by Mayo Clinic researchers — suggesting this subtype is relatively widespread in the general population. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that 5.2 million Americans are living with AD. And with nearly half of hippocampal sparing AD patients being misdiagnosed, this could mean that well over 600,000 Americans make up this AD variant, researchers say.

 

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Increasing daily coffee consumption may reduce type 2 diabetes risk

 

Boston, MA, USA (April 24, 2014) — People who increased the amount of coffee they drank each day by more than one cup over a four-year period had a 11% lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those who made no changes to their coffee consumption, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. In addition, the study found that those who decreased their coffee consumption by more than a cup per day increased their type 2 diabetes risk by 17%.

 

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EU national authorities and EMA cooperating in response to criminal activities

European Medicines Agency update on stolen vials of Herceptin

 

London, UK (April 17, 2014) - This is an update from the European Medicines Agency on the latest information relating to the stolen vials of Herceptin (trastuzumab) in Italy. The vials, some of which were tampered with, were later re-introduced illegally into the supply chain in some countries.

 

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Researchers have identified the point at which hospitals begin to fail, resulting in deaths of critically ill patients

Researchers identify the safety ‘tipping point’ at which hospitals fail

 

Cambridge, UK (March, 17 2014) - The Safety Tipping Point for hospitals occurs when they reach occupancy levels far below 100% according to a new study to be released shortly in US journal Management Science. The three academics involved investigated bed occupancy levels and death tolls in 256 clinical departments of 83 German hospitals during 2004/05 and identified a severe mortality tipping point at 92.5% occupancy.

 

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Guidelines on Hyponatraemia have been published

 

Weimar, Germany (March 4, 2014) - Guidelines for diagnosing and treating hyponatraemia, a salt imbalance occurring in up to 30% of hospitalised patients, have recently been published simultaneously in three journals: the full guidelines are available online without charge from "Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation", the official Journal of the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association (ERA-EDTA), from the "European Journal of Endocrinology", the official journal of the European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), and also from "Intensive Care Medicine", the official journal of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM). "This underlines the importance and impact of the guideline, which was developed in collaboration between these three societies", explains Prof. Dr. Raymond Vanholder (Ghent, Belgium), president of the ERA-EDTA. The joint guideline group has conducted a strict systematic literature review with the assistance of the Methodological Support Team of European Renal Best Practice (ERBP), the guidance body of ERA-EDTA, to collect the best available evidence on the diagnosis and management of hypotonic hyponatraemia. The new guidelines were developed on this robust basis of evidence.

 

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 17-20 February 2014

 

Ten new medicines recommended for approval

 

London, UK (February 21, 2014) - The CHMP has recommended granting a paediatric-use marketing authorisation (PUMA) for Hemangiol (propranolol) for the treatment of proliferating infantile haemangioma. This is the second time that the Committee has granted a positive opinion for a PUMA since the introduction of this type of marketing authorisation by the Paediatric Regulation, which came into force in 2007. Please see press release on the website for more information.

 

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Popular disinfectants do not kill HPV

 

Penn State, PA USA (February 12, 2014) - Commonly used disinfectants do not kill human papillomavirus (HPV) that makes possible non-sexual transmission of the virus, thus creating a need for hospital policy changes, according to researchers from Penn State College of Medicine and Brigham Young University.

"Because it is difficult to produce infectious HPV particles for research, little has been known about HPV susceptibility to disinfection," said Craig Meyers, Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Penn State College of Medicine.

 

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Mindfulness reduces pain and opioid misuse

Mind Over Matter: Beating Pain and Painkillers

 

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA (Feb. 4, 2014) – With nearly one-third of Americans suffering from chronic pain, prescription opioid painkillers have become the leading form of treatment for this debilitating condition. Unfortunately, misuse of prescription opioids can lead to serious side effects—including death by overdose. A new treatment developed by University of Utah researcher Eric Garland has shown to not only lower pain but also decrease prescription opioid misuse among chronic pain patients.

 

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Telemedicine Can Reduce Hospitalizations For Nursing Home Residents

 

Lebanon, NH, USA (February 4, 2014)  – Telemedicine used at nursing homes during hours when doctors are not typically present is a viable way to reduce avoidable hospitalizations, according to research published in February’s issue of Health Affairs.

Hospitalizations of nursing home residents are occurring more frequently, and result in complications, morbidity and expensive Medicare costs. When a medical issue arises on nights and weekends that cannot be addressed by the on-call physician not present at the facility, the doctor can either travel to the nursing home or recommend that the resident be sent to the hospital emergency room. Very often, the physician recommends the hospital emergency room.

 

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Researchers find blue light exposure may be a countermeasure for fatigue, during the day and night

Blue light may fight fatigue around the clock

 

Boston, MA, USA (February 3, 2014) - Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have found that exposure to short wavelength, or blue light, during the biological day directly and immediately improves alertness and performance. These findings are published in the February issue of Sleep. "Our previous research has shown that blue light is able to improve alertness during the night, but our new data demonstrates that these effects also extend to daytime light exposure," said Shadab Rahman, PhD, a researcher in BWH's Division of Sleep Medicine and lead author of this study. "These findings demonstrate that prolonged blue light exposure during the day has an an alerting effect."

 

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