Nursing News

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.   

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.


Burnout impacts transplant nurses


  • More than half are emotionally exhausted, feel low personal accomplishment


DETROIT, MI, USA (October 6, 2015) - More than half of nurses who work with organ transplant patients in the United States experience high levels of emotional exhaustion, a primary sign of burnout, according to a study published by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital. In addition, 52% of the nurses surveyed reported feeling low levels of personal accomplishment in their life-saving work, according to findings published recently in Progress in Transplantation, a journal of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.

American placebo


  • New analysis of chronic pain drug trials shows increasing placebo responses over time, in the US only


MONTREAL, Canada (Oct. 6, 2015) - A new study finds that rising placebo responses may play a part in the increasingly high failure rate for clinical trials of drugs designed to control chronic pain caused by nerve damage. Surprisingly, however, the analysis of clinical trials conducted since 1990 found that the increase in placebo responses occurred only in trials conducted wholly in the U.S.; trials conducted in Europe or Asia showed no changes in placebo responses over that period.

Rutgers research provides clues to keeping brain cells alive in those with Alzheimer's

Drug used to treat cancer appears to sharpen memory


New Brunswick, NJ, USA (October 2, 2015) - Can you imagine a drug that would make it easier to learn a language, sharpen your memory and help those with dementia and Alzheimer's disease by rewiring the brain and keeping neurons alive? New Rutgers research published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that a drug - RGFP966 - administered to rats made them more attuned to what they were hearing, able to retain and remember more information, and develop new connections that allowed these memories to be transmitted between brain cells.

Results highlight adolescent bedtimes as a potential target for weight Management

Later bedtimes may lead to an increase in body mass index over time


DARIEN, IL, USA (October 1, 2015) - A new study suggests that going to bed late during the workweek from adolescence to adulthood is associated with an increase in body mass index over time. Results of hierarchal linear models involving a nationally representative sample of more than 3,000 participants show that going to bed during the workweek each additional hour later is associated with an increase in BMI of 2.1 kg/m2. Moreover, surprising to the researchers, the relationship between bedtime and BMI was not significantly changed or moderated by total sleep time, exercise frequency or screen time.

Multiple Sclerosis

New study removes cancer doubt for multiple sclerosis drug


London, UK (October 1,  2015) - Researchers from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) are calling on the medical community to reconsider developing a known drug to treat people with relapsing Multiple sclerosis (MS) after new evidence shows it does not increase the risk of cancer as previously thought.