Nursing Home

Elderly Care
Neglect Continues to Run Rife in U.S. Assisted Living Residences

Nursing home residences in Minnesota, Arkansas, and Ohio are all facing accusations of neglect just in the last week.

Staff at Bethel Care Center in St. Paul, Minnesota has been blamed for not noticing a resident’s detached ventilator tube for an hour, which resulted in the resident’s death.

Longmeadow Nursing Care in Camden, Arkansas has reported an outbreak of scabies, a highly contagious skin infection cause my microscopic mites.

A 76-year-old resident with dementia died at Hilty Memorial Home in Pandora, Ohio after suffering severe hypothermia just 30 feet from the door of the home.

Whether conditions will change for the better remains to be seen. Around 70 percent of current nursing home costs in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid, and those costs can run up to $100,000 per year, per resident.

Diabetes

Studies
Diabetics are More Prone to Infection

A study conducted at the University of St. George’s London has found an increased risk of suffering serious infection among diabetes patients. Type 2 diabetes patients in particular face double the risk of hospitalization with infection.  

Dr. Iain Carey, of the Population Health Research Institute, at St George’s, University of London highlighted bone and joint infections, endocarditis (heart valve inflammation), and sepsis as specific concerns. Other increased risks include Hepatitis B, staphylococcus, and malaria.

Dr. Carey said, “Better management of diabetes patients, through improvements in control of their blood sugar levels for example, or more rapid recognition of infections by patients and carers, may help prevent future infections.”

Diabetes and prediabetes affect more than 100 million Americans each year, and that number continues to climb.

Mesh

Devices Abroad
Pelvic Mesh Pulled from Australia, Mesh Alternative Developing in Israel

The countries of Israel and Australia have taken the controversial issue of pelvic mesh into their hands.

Enough women who use the mesh for urinary incontinence complained of extreme pain and other debilitating effects from pelvic mesh, causing Johnson & Johnson to pull their mesh product from the Australian market. There is now a class action suit in the Australian Federal Court against J & J and their mid-urethral vaginal sling.

In Israel, the FDA has approved marketing of the NeuGuide device for patients suffering from uterine prolapse. NeuGuide is a metal alloy anchor secured to the cervix to provide pelvic floor stabilization in those who have not had a hysterectomy.

A clinical trial tested 15 participants, all but one of whom reported no adverse effects the following year.

Opioids

Regulations
FDA Places Restrictions on Children’s Cough Syrup

Nine types of children’s cough syrup will undergo new labeling after the FDA announced new measures to protect kids from ingesting opioid ingredients like codeine and hydrocodone.

The labeling, stipulating use for adults ages 18 and over, will include a Boxed Warning. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., stated in a press release: “It’s become clear that the use of prescription, opioid-containing medicines to treat coughs and colds in children comes with serious risks that don’t justify their use in this vulnerable population.”

Opioids commanded last year’s headlines when the president publicly referred to opioid abuse as a national health emergency and public crisis. House Republicans and Democrats have created the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force to mitigate the crisis and hopefully provide more funding for resources.

Cancer

Studies
Blood Tests Aimed at Detecting Early Stage Cancers

Two blood tests are in the spotlight for their improved abilities to detect early-stage cancer. CancerSEEK and TEC-Seq were developed with early detection in mind, and the results are so far very promising.

CancerSEEK can detect eight common cancers and the tumor-infected organs, including ovary and breast cancers. The TEC-Seq approach, or targeted error correction sequencing, was able to correctly detect 83% of patients with Stage IV ovarian cancer.

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers are responsible for developing TEC-Seq. One of those researchers, graduate student Jillian Phallen, distinguished TEC-Seq from other approaches in that it predicts mutations to look for in the blood, as well as monitoring disease.

CancerSEEK is currently being used in a study to trace the health results of 10,000 individuals over five years.