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22 | 08 | 2017
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Senior adults can see health benefits from dog ownership

 

  • Study also shows that seniors who form strong bonds with their pets tend to exercise longer and more often

 

COLUMBIA, Mo., USA (April 20, 2016) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults of all ages should engage in 150 or more minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Among adults 60 years of age or more, walking is the most common form of leisure-time physical activity because it is self-paced, low impact and does not require equipment. Researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that older adults who also are pet owners benefit from the bonds they form with their canine companions. Dog walking is associated with lower body mass index, fewer doctor visits, more frequent exercise and an increase in social benefits for seniors.

 

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Patients at high risk for psychiatric symptoms after a stay in the intensive care unit

Baltimore, Maryland, USA (April 20, 2016) - Results of a multi-institutional national study of nearly 700 people who survived life-threatening illness with a stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) suggest that a substantial majority of them are at high risk for persistent depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder -- especially if they are female, young and unemployed. The study, led by Johns Hopkins University researchers, found that two-thirds of study participants who survived a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and spent time in the ICU self-reported symptoms of at least one of these psychiatric disorders, and one-third of those patients with at least one psychiatric symptom said they experienced all three at the same time.

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Researchers use optogenetics to produce pain relief by shutting off neurons with light

Brighter prospects for chronic pain

Montreal, Quebec, Canada (April 20, 2016) - The potential of light as a non-invasive, highly-focused alternative to pain medication was made more apparent thanks to research conducted by scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre. Researchers bred mice with a light-sensitive trait in peripheral neurons that were known to be responsible for pain transmission. The mice were genetically modified so that these neurons, called Nav 1.8+ nociceptors, express proteins called opsins, which react to light, a process known as optogenetics.

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Palliative care viewed as a stigma, despite improving quality of life

  • Study indicates education, rebranding could help spread benefits

Ottawa, ON, Canada (April 18, 2016) - The term palliative care carries a stigma for patients and their caregivers, who regard it as synonymous with impending death. Education, and possibly a name change, will be necessary to be able to integrate palliative care into routine advanced cancer care, according to new research in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

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Most Americans pray for healing; more than one-fourth have practiced 'laying on of hands'

  • People pray for others' health more than for their own, Baylor study finds

Waco, Texas, USA (April 18, 2016) - N early nine of 10 Americans have relied upon healing prayer at some point in their lives, praying for others even more than for themselves, according to a study by a Baylor University epidemiologist.

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Six-step hand-washing technique found most effective for reducing bacteria

  • Study to compare CDC's 3-step hand hygiene with WHO's 6-step process

Arlington, VA, USA (April 8, 2016) - New research demonstrates that the six-step hand-hygiene technique recommended by the World Health Organization is superior to a three-step method suggested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in reducing bacteria on healthcare workers' hands. The study was published online today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

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Medtronic “Micra”

FDA approves first leadless pacemaker to treat heart rhythm disorders

Atlanta, Ga., USA ( April 6, 2016 ) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first pacemaker that does not require the use of wired leads to provide an electrical connection between the pulse-generating device and the heart. While the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System works like other pacemakers to regulate heart rate, the self-contained, inch-long device is implanted directly in the right ventricle chamber of the heart.

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Parkinson's disease meds increase risk of compulsive gambling, shopping, binge eating

MAYWOOD, Ill. , USA (April 5, 2016) - Drugs commonly prescribed to treat Parkinson's disease have been linked to impulse control disorders such as pathological gambling, compulsive buying, hypersexuality and binge eating in some patients, report neurologists from Loyola Medicine and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 29 March - 1 April 2016

 

  • Seven new medicines, including one advanced therapy, recommended for approval

 

London, UK (April 1, 2016) - The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended seven new medicines, including one advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP), for approval at its March meeting.

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Announcing the Healthcare-Associated Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Challenge Champions

Hospital Systems Saving Lives through Innovative Prevention Efforts

Atlanta, Ga., USA (March 29, 2016) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today recognized eight hospitals and healthcare systems as Healthcare-Associated Venous Thromboembolism (HA-VTE) Prevention Champions for their success in implementing innovative and effective ways to prevent venous thromboembolism in healthcare settings.

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Antipsychotic drugs linked to increased mortality among Parkinson's disease patients

 

  • Penn and VA-led study analyzed medical records of fifteen thousand Parkinson's patients

 

PHILADELPHIA, USA (March 22, 2016) - At least half of Parkinson's disease patients experience psychosis at some point during the course of their illness, and physicians commonly prescribe antipsychotic drugs, such as quetiapine, to treat the condition. However, a new study by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan Medical School, and the Philadelphia and Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers and suggests that these drugs may do significantly more harm in a subset of patients. The findings will be published in the March 21, 2016 issue of JAMA Neurology.

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First-ever global university subject rankings for Nursing released

 

  • University of Pennsylvania ranked world’s best university for Nursing

 

London (March 22, 2016) - The sixth edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, released today on TopUniversities.com, features a record-breaking 42 disciplines, making it the largest-ever ranking of its kind. The University of Pennsylvania has been ranked as the world’s best university for the study of Nursing, in what is the first ever global rankings of its kind.

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No joke: Blondes aren't dumb, science says

 

  • New national study refutes damaging stereotype

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio, USA (March 21, 2016) - The "dumb blonde" stereotype is simply wrong, according to a new national study of young baby boomers. The study of 10,878 Americans found that white women who said their natural hair color was blonde had an average IQ score within 3 points of brunettes and those with red or black hair.

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New tool to improve blood pressure measurement

 

  • Scientists at Oxford University have developed a new way of estimating our true underlying blood pressure that overcomes common problems in a clinical setting which can lead to misleading results.

 

Oxford, UK (March 21,2016) - Scientists at Oxford University have developed a new way of estimating our true underlying blood pressure that overcomes common problems in a clinical setting which can lead to misleading results. Their work is published in the journal Hypertension.

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CDC Releases Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain

 

  • Recommendations to improve patient care, safety, and help prevent opioid misuse and overdose

 

Atlanta, GA, USA (March 15, 2016) - As part of the U.S. government’s urgent response to the epidemic of overdose deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today is issuing new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain, excluding cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, United States, 2016 will help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients.

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Children in intensive care recover faster with little to no nutrition

 

Leuven, Belgium (March 15, 2016) - Critically ill children are artificially fed soon after their arrival in intensive care. This common practice is based on the assumption that it will help them recover more quickly. An international study coordinated at KU Leuven, Belgium, has now disproven this theory. The study shows that receiving little to no nutrition during the first week in intensive care makes children recover faster.

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Side effects of antidepressants, the second most prescribed drug in America, weaken bone growth, a crucial factor for implant success

Antidepressants linked to tooth implant failure, new study finds

 

BUFFALO, N.Y. (March 8, 2016) - Antidepressants, commonly used to treat anxiety, pain and other disorders, may play a role in dental implant failure, according to a new pilot study by University at Buffalo researchers. The research found that the use of antidepressants increased the odds of implant failure by four times. Each year of antidepressant use doubled the odds of failure. While these drugs are often used to manage mood and emotions, a side effect decreases the regulation of bone metabolism, which is crucial to the healing process.

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Launch of PRIME – Paving the way for promising medicines for patients

 

  • New scheme supports European Commission priorities

 

London, UK (March 7, 2016) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) launches today its new PRIME (PRIority MEdicines) scheme to strengthen support to medicines that target an unmet medical need. The scheme focuses on medicines that may offer a major therapeutic advantage over existing treatments, or benefit patients with no treatment options. These medicines are considered priority medicines within the European Union (EU).

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Improving patient safety through more proactive risk management

 

  • Revised good pharmacovigilance practices module on risk management systems released for public consultation

 

London, UK (February 29, 2016) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has published today a revision of module V of the good pharmacovigilance practices (GVP) on risk management systems for public consultation until 31 May 2016.

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EMA confirms recommendations to minimise risk of brain infection PML with Tysabri

 

  • More frequent MRI scans should be considered for patients at higher risk

 

London, UK (February 26, 2016) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has completed its review of the known risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) with the multiple sclerosis medicine Tysabri (natalizumab), and has confirmed initial recommendations1 aimed at minimising this risk.

PML is a rare brain infection caused by John Cunningham (JC) virus. This virus is very common in the general population and is normally harmless; however, it can lead to PML in persons whose immune system is weakened. The most common symptoms of PML are progressive weakness, speech and communication difficulties, vision changes, and sometimes changes in mood or behaviour. PML is a very serious condition that may result in severe disability or death.

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EMA confirms recommendations to minimise ketoacidosis risk with SGLT2 inhibitors for diabetes

 

  • Healthcare professionals should be aware of possible atypical cases

 

London, UK (February 26, 2016) - The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has confirmed recommendations1 to minimise the risk of diabetic ketoacidosis in patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors (a class of type 2 diabetes medicines).

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes caused by low insulin levels. Rare cases of this condition, including life-threatening ones, have occurred in patients taking SGLT2 inhibitors for type 2 diabetes and a number of these cases have been atypical, with patients not having blood sugar levels as high as expected.

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EMA

Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 22-25 February 2016

 

  • Six medicines, including two orphan medicines, recommended for approval

 

London,  UK (February 26, 2016) - The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended six new medicines for marketing authorisation at its February 2016 meeting. The CHMP recommended granting marketing authorisations for two medicines for the prevention and treatment of bleeding in patients with haemophilia B, Alprolix (eftrenonacog alfa) and Idelvion (albutrepenonacog alfa). Both these medicines have an orphan designation.

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Why smiles (and frowns) are contagious

 

Cambridge, MA, USA (February 11, 2016) - Smile! It makes everyone in the room feel better because they, consciously or unconsciously, are smiling with you. Growing evidence shows that an instinct for facial mimicry allows us to empathize with and even experience other people's feelings. If we can't mirror another person's face, it limits our ability to read and properly react to their expressions. A Review of this emotional mirroring appears February 11 in Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

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Antiseptic baths to prevent infections deemed effective for long-term use

 

  • Chlorhexidine bathing in ICU not a contributing factor in increased drug-resistant MRSA

 

Arlington, VA, USA (February 2, 2016) - Long-term use antiseptic soap in bathing critically ill patients to prevent healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) did not cause high levels of resistance in bacteria on the patients' skin, according to a new study published online in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).

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Multiple Sclerosis

Study details source of mental problems associated with MS

 

Rochester, NY, USA (January 26, 2016) - A study out today sheds new light on multiple sclerosis (MS), specifically damage in the brain caused by the disease that may explain the slow and continuous cognitive decline that many patients experience. The findings, which appear in the Journal of Neuroscience, show that the brain's immune system is responsible for disrupting communication between nerve cells, even in parts of the brain that are not normally considered to be primary targets of the disease.

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Stop spoon dosing

 

  • Changing dosing instructions from teaspoon to milliliter could reduce the risk of dosage errors by 50 percent

 

Ithaca, NY, USA (January 21, 2016) - You grab for the cough syrup for some relief from that nasty lingering cold, what do you measure the dose with? Many of us use teaspoons or table spoons to measure out doses for ourselves and our children but this results in dosage errors! This new study finds that errors in estimating doses can be mitigated by changing the serving measurements on the dosage facts panel from teaspoons to milliliters.

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Common dementia drug found to improve Parkinson's symptoms

 

Bristol, UK (January 12, 2016) - Scientists have discovered that a commonly prescribed dementia drug could hold the key to helping prevent debilitating falls for people with Parkinson's. The research, published today in The Lancet Neurology (1), shows people with Parkinson's who were given the oral drug rivastigmine were 45% less likely to fall and were considerably steadier when walking, compared to those on the placebo.

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Long-term opioid use associated with increased risk of depression

 

ST. LOUIS, MO, USA (January 12, 2016) - Opioids may cause short-term improvement in mood, but long-term use imposes risk of new-onset depression, a Saint Louis University study shows. The study, "Prescription Opioid Duration, Dose, and Increased Risk of Depression in 3 Large Patient Populations," was published online Jan. 11 in the Annals of Family Medicine. Jeffrey Scherrer, Ph.D., associate professor for family and community medicine at Saint Louis University, and his co-authors speculate that findings may be explained by long-term opioid use of more than 30 days leading to changes in neuroanatomy and low testosterone, among other possible biological explanations. The link was independent of the known contribution of pain to depression, and the study calls on clinicians to consider the contribution of opioid use when depressed mood develops in their patients.

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Vonvendi

FDA approves first recombinant von Willebrand factor to treat bleeding episodes

 

Silver Spring, MD, USA (December 8, 2015) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Vonvendi, von Willebrand factor (Recombinant), for use in adults 18 years of age and older who have von Willebrand disease (VWD). Vonvendi is the first FDA-approved recombinant von Willebrand factor, and is approved for the on-demand (as needed) treatment and control of bleeding episodes in adults diagnosed with VWD.   

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 16-19 November 2015

 

  • Ten medicines, including a first-in-class orphan medicine for narcolepsy, recommended for authorisation in the EU

 

London, UK (November 20, 2015) - The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended ten medicines for marketing authorisation at its November 2015 meeting. The CHMP recommended granting a marketing authorisation for Wakix (pitolisant) for the treatment of narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a rare, long-term sleep disorder which affects the brain’s ability to regulate the normal sleep-wake cycle, and may occur with or without cataplexy (sudden severe muscle weakness or loss of muscle control). Wakix, a first-in-class medicine, has an orphan designation. For more information, please see the press release in the grid below.

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Experts speaking at the 23rd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2015) in Barcelona, Spain, today revealed compelling evidence of the link between excess body weight and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC)

Increased risk of large bowel cancer for each 1 cm rise in waist circumference

 

 

Barcelona, ES (October 26, 2015) - Experts speaking at the 23rd United European Gastroenterology Week (UEG Week 2015) in Barcelona, Spain today revealed compelling evidence of the link between excess body weight and risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). John Mathers, Professor of Human Nutrition from the Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University in the UK presented data showing an overall increase of 18% in relative risk of CRC per 5 unit increase in BMI.

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Wives take problems to heart, husbands get frustrated

Study finds women want support - men not so much

 

New Brunswick, NJ,USA (October 26, 2015) - Husbands and wives married for a long time don't look at marital problems in the same way. When a marriage has troubles, women worry. They become sad. They get frustrated. For men, it's sheer frustration and not much more. In a new Rutgers and University of Michigan study, published in the Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, the sociologist who found that 'A Happy Wife, Means a Happy Life' looked at sadness, worry and frustration - among the most common negative emotions reported by older adults - and discovered that men and women in long-term marriages deal with marriage difficulties differently.

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Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 19-22 October 2015

Advanced therapy medicinal product for melanoma receives positive opinion

 

London, UK (October 23, 2015) - The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended an advanced therapy medicine for marketing authorisation at its October 2015 meeting.

Imlygic (talimogene laherparepvec) is a medicine for the treatment of adults with melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery and that has spread either to the surrounding area or to other areas of the body without affecting the bones, brain, lung or other internal organs. Imlygic is a first-in-class advanced therapy medicinal product (ATMP) derived from a virus that has been genetically engineered to infect and kill cancer cells. For more information on Imlygic, please see the press release in the grid below.

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Depression too often reduced to a checklist of symptoms

 

Leuven, BE (October 23, 2015) - How can you tell if someone is depressed? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) – the ‘bible’ of psychiatry – diagnoses depression when patients tick off a certain number of symptoms on the DSM checklist. A large-scale quantitative study coordinated at KU Leuven, Belgium, now shows that some symptoms play a much bigger role than others in driving depression, and that the symptoms listed in DSM may not be the most useful ones. 

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Warning: Stereotypes may be harmful to patients' health

How stereotypes hurt

 

Los Angeles, CA, USA (October 20, 2015) - The threat of facing stereotypes in the health care environment can mean poorer health outcomes for anyone with a stigmatized social identity, according to a new study led by USC Davis School Assistant Professor Cleopatra Abdou.A national study led by a USC researcher found people who encountered the threat of being judged by negative stereotypes related to weight, age, race, gender, or social class in health care settings reported adverse effects. The researchers found those people were more likely to have hypertension, to be depressed, and to rate their own health more poorly. They were also more distrustful of their doctors, felt dissatisfied with their care, and were less likely to use highly accessible preventive care, including the flu vaccine.

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NIH-funded study shows early intervention has best outcomes

Team-based treatment is better for first episode psychosis

 

Bethesda, MD, USA (October 20, 2015) - New research shows that treating people with first episode psychosis with a team-based, coordinated specialty care approach produces better clinical and functional outcomes than typical community care. Investigators also found that treatment is most effective for people who receive care soon after psychotic symptoms begin.

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NICE draft guidance recommends vortioxetine (Brintellix) for treating major depressive episodes

 

London, UK (October 16, 2015) - In final draft guidance issued today NICE has recommended vortioxetine (Brintellix, Lundbeck) for some adults with major depressive disorder. The positive recommendation follows the submission of further evidence from the company that NICE requested in its previous draft guidance.

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Lithium safe, effective for children with bipolar disorder

 

  • Study in young patients confirms value of short-term use; results on long-term use forthcoming

 

Baltimore, MD, USA (October 12, 2015) - A multicenter study of young patients with bipolar disorder provides what may be the most scientifically rigorous demonstration to date that lithium -- a drug used successfully for decades to treat adults with the condition -- can also be safe and effective for children suffering from it.

The study, led by a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and published Oct. 12 in Pediatrics, affirms what clinicians who prescribe this drug have observed for years and suggests that doctors can now more confidently add lithium to the armamentarium of available treatments for this vulnerable population -- at least in the short term, the authors say.

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Advanced life support ambulance transport increases mortality

Advanced care, increased risk

 

Boston, MA, USA (October 12, 2015) - Patients with trauma, stroke, heart attack and respiratory failure who were transported by basic life support (BLS) ambulances had a better chance of survival than patients who were transported by advanced life support (ALS) ambulances, a study of Medicare patients in urban counties nationwide found. 

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Risk of suicide appears to increase after bariatric surgery

 

Chicago, IL, USA (October 7, 2015) - A study of a large group of adults who underwent bariatric surgery finds that the risk for self-harm emergencies increased after the surgery, according to a study published online by JAMA Surgery. Morbid obesity is an epidemic in affluent countries; approximately 6 percent of Americans are morbidly obese. Mental health problems are prevalent in morbidly obese patients and those undergoing bariatric surgery. Self-harm behaviors, including suicidal ideation and past suicide attempts, are frequent in bariatric surgery candidates. It is unclear, however, whether these behaviors are mitigated or aggravated by surgery, according to background information in the article.

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Commentary: Hospitals may sicken many by withholding food and sleep

 

  • Johns Hopkins experts say malnutrition and sleep deprivation should become part of the standard safety checklist across hospitals

 

Baltimore, MA, USA (October 6, 2015) - A Johns Hopkins surgeon and prominent patient safety researcher is calling on hospitals to reform emergency room, surgical and other medical protocols that sicken up to half of already seriously ill patients -- in some cases severely -- with preventable and potentially dangerous bouts of food and sleep deprivation.

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