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How Phone Calls Could Boost Survival for Heart Failure Patients

A phone call from a nurse may be the lifeline needed to help improve survival for heart failure patients.

New research from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles finds that check-in calls may help save lives.

“There's a lot of new technology and new ideas about how to manage people who have heart failure remotely, but we demonstrated that low-tech and old-fash...

Sepsis Raises Odds for Heart Failure After Hospital Discharge

Having sepsis -- a life-threatening response to infection -- may put patients at risk for future heart failure and rehospitalization, according to a new study.

Sepsis is an extreme immune response to an infection in the body. It can cause that infection to spread throughout the body and lead to organ failure and possibly death.

“We know that infection may be a potential tr...

1 in 3 U.S. Public Health Workers Feels Threatened During Pandemic

One-third of public health workers have endured threats, anger and aggression from the public during the pandemic, and that has come at a steep cost to their mental health, a new study finds.

“The negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers have been documented and the research on psychological impacts is building,” said lead study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 25, 2023
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  • What's 'Code Blue'? New Study Finds Some Hospital Staff Mistake Emergency Codes

    Hospital emergency codes are used to swiftly alert staff to something requiring a quick response, but a recent study suggests many health care workers can't accurately identify them.

    To learn more, researchers focused on five Georgia health care facilities. The study included 304 ...

    Appendicitis Often Spotted Later in Black Patients

    While appendicitis is a common emergency, Black people experiencing its symptoms more often have a delayed diagnosis.

    But that doesn’t happen in lower-quality hospitals that serve more Black patients, according to new research. There, Black people are diagnosed more quickly.

    “There is clearly a benefit to patients being treated in predominantly minority-serving hospitals when th...

    Hundreds of Hospitals Could Close Across Rural America

    Hundreds of rural hospitals across the United States are teetering on the edge of closure, with their financial status increasingly in peril, a new report reveals.

    More than 200 rural hospitals are at immediate risk of closure because they aren’t making enough money to cover the rising cost of providing care, and their low financial reserves leave them little margin for error,

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 16, 2023
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  • Nearly 1 in 4 Hospital Patients Have Harmful Event During Their Stay

    THURSDAY, Jan. 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) – Nearly one quarter of hospitalized people experience a harmful event during their stay, a new study finds.

    However, most of the bad outcomes are not preventable because they’re related to known side effects from medications or risks of surgery. The findings were published Jan. 11 in the

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 12, 2023
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  • Emergency Care Vs. Urgent Care: What's the Difference?

    If you’re sick or have been injured, you might not know whether the emergency room or urgent care is the right place to be treated.

    The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) offers some general advice, so you don’t have to wonder where to go when immediate medical attention is needed.

    “The emergency department is the best option for concerning symptoms, severe illnes...

    Ransomware Attacks on U.S. Hospitals Have Doubled Since 2016

    Ransomware attacks on America’s health care systems have more than doubled in recent years, disrupting needed medical care and exposing the personal information of millions, a new study reports.

    These attacks — in which computer systems are locked down by hackers until the victim agrees to pay a ransom — hit all levels of health care, from your doctor’s or dentist’s office ...

    Pennsylvania Man Found Guilty of Massive Fraud Involving Bogus Dog Cancer 'Cures'

    A Pennsylvania man who persuaded desperate pet owners that he could help cure their dogs’ cancer was convicted by a federal jury of wire fraud and interstate shipment of misbranded animal drugs.

    Jonathan Nyce, 73, of Collegeville, Pa., was charged in February 2020 in a years-long scheme to defraud pet owners by falsely claiming to sell canine cancer-curing drugs, according to U.S. Attor...

    New Insight Into How Dry Eyes Can Weaken Corneas

    Researchers studying dry eye disease in mice have found that the condition can alter how the cornea heals itself. They have also identified potential treatments.

    “We have drugs, but they only work well in about 10% to 15% of patients,” said senior researcher Dr. Rajendra Apt...

    What Is Glaucoma, and How Can You Prevent It?

    A comprehensive eye exam could be the key to determining if you have glaucoma, a silent thief of sight.

    Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that affect the optic nerve, and the leading cause of preventable blindness, according to The Glaucoma Foundation.

    But most people are unaware of their risk...

    Smartwatch Study Finds No Unusual Heart Effects From COVID Boosters

    COVID vaccine boosters appear to be perfectly safe for your heart, data gathered from nearly 5,000 smartwatch wearers shows.

    Researchers tracked the heart health of thousands of Israeli smartwatch users, including more than 2,000 who received a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID vaccine.

    The result: no lasting effect on a person's heart after they got the vaccine, compared to others who...

    When Rural Hospitals Close, Nearby Hospitals Suffer

    When rural hospitals shut down people need to go elsewhere, and a new study finds that nearby hospitals bear the strain of that patient overflow.

    "Previous studies have shown that rural hospital closures can have negative health consequences for the communities they serve," said researcher Daniel George, an associate p...

    Stop Screening Asymptomatic Hospital Patients for COVID, Experts Say

    A nationwide group of infection control experts recommends U.S. health care facilities stop testing patients for COVID-19 before hospital admission or scheduled surgeries if they have no virus symptoms.

    The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) statement says facilities should rely instead on enhanced layers of infection prevention.

    “The small benefits that could c...

    The 'Great Resignation' Is Taking a Toll on U.S. Health Care

    The nationwide shortage of health care professionals -- a so-called "Great Resignation" of providers -- is impacting patient care in ways large and small, a new HealthDay/Harris Poll shows.

    One in four Americans (25%) have noticed or personally experienced the impact of staffing shortages in health care, second only to staff shortages in the retail sector (35%), the poll found.

    America's ERs Are Jammed, Affecting Patients on Other Wards

    A crowded, overwhelmed emergency department raises the risk of death and suffering for patients throughout a hospital, a new study warns.

    “The more the emergency room was crowded, the more people were dying throughout the hospital,” said lead researcher Charleen Hsuan, an assistant profe...

    America's ER Docs Warn of Surge in Patients Due to 'Tripledemic'

    Emergency rooms are clogged with people who are waiting for inpatient beds or other care and it's causing a crisis, according to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

    ACEP is one of more than 30 medical, patient advocacy and public health and safety groups who have sent

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 11, 2022
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  • Amid a Surge in RSV Cases, Hopes for a New Vaccine

    Infants and children sick with RSV are flooding pediatricians' offices and children's hospitals across the United States, due to an early surge of the common childhood virus this year.

    But within one or two “sick seasons,” doctors expect to have on hand long-sought tools to help blunt the impact of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

    As many as four new RSV vaccine candidates cou...

    People With Untreated HIV Being Hit Hardest by Monkeypox

    While monkeypox cases are declining in the United States, a new government report shows that patients with weakened immune systems, especially those living with HIV, have been hit particularly hard by the virus.

    Even after taking antiviral medication for monkeypox, those with untreated HIV were more ...

    Quieter ORs May Make for Happier Kids After Surgery

    The key to better child behavior after surgery may be a more peaceful operating room.

    “The period before, during and after surgery is a particularly unpredictable time for parents,” explained Nguyen Tram, a research scientist at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

    "By implementing some small measures in the OR, we found we were able to markedly improve some of thi...

    Your Hospital Room Could Affect Outcomes After Surgery

    "Location, location, location" works in real estate, and a new study argues that the location of your hospital room could save your life after surgery.

    Patients are more likely to die after surgery if they are placed in certain types of rooms to recover, researchers from the University of Michigan School of Medicine found.

    Specifically, the researchers said patients can expect to ha...

    Even Without Symptoms, COVID Infection Raises Risks for Trauma Patients

    Having COVID-19 could cause further trouble for patients being treated for physical trauma — even if they have no symptoms of the virus.

    Researchers studying cases of trauma patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and those who were negative found those with the virus had significantly higher rates of heart a...

    U.S. Hospitals Under Strain as ER Wait Times Lengthen

    Two new studies paint a bleak picture of emergency departments across the United States.

    There are not enough beds to go around and pronounced staffing shortages. As a result, folks may languish in emergency room hallways for hours and

  • Denise Mann HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 11, 2022
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  • Patient Care Delayed at Large Hospital Chain After Ransomware Attack

    A ransomware attack at one of the country's largest hospital chains disrupted care at hospitals from Seattle to Tennessee last week.

    The attack on CommonSpirit Health, the

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 10, 2022
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  • Extremely Low Incidence of COVID Hospitalization After Vaccine, Boosters: Study

    Getting vaccinated and boosted greatly reduces the odds for hospitalization if you get infected with COVID-19, according to a large new study conducted at U.S. Veterans Health Administration facilities.

    "This is remarkable, good news about the power and effectiveness of receiving COVID-19 boosting for all groups," said co-author Dr. Dawn Bravata, a research scientist at the Regenstrief In...

    Hurricanes Threaten Many U.S. Coastal Hospitals With Serious Flooding

    As Hurricane Ian slams Florida, a new study finds that many hospitals positioned near the Gulf and East Coasts are vulnerable to severe flooding from such storms.

    Ian struck the West Coast of Florida Wednesday and careened toward the East Coast. It's then expected to veer north.

    Researchers found that even relatively weak hurricanes pose a serious threat of flooding to hospitals alo...

    High-Tech Socks Could Prevent Falls in At-Risk Patients

    Every year, anywhere from 700,000 to 1 million people fall while in U.S. hospitals, and this often triggers a downward health spiral.

    Little has been shown to make a dent in those numbers. Until now.

    Enter Smart Socks, which are wired with sensors that send an alert...

    High Blood Pressure Doubles Odds That COVID Will Be Severe

    Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure — and that alone more than doubles their odds of being hospitalized if they are infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, a new study revealed.

    This was true even in people who were fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19, according to researchers at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los ...

    Black Nursing Home Residents More Likely to Need Hospital Care

    Black residents in U.S. nursing homes are much more likely than white residents to be repeatedly transferred to hospital care, a new study reports.

    Black nursing home residents are likely to be transferred to the hospital and back at least four times in a given year, according to data gathered under a U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid quality improvement initiative.

    So are nurs...

    U.S. Hospitals Are Getting Safer for Patients, Study Finds

    U.S. hospitals became much safer places for patients over the past decade, with medical errors and adverse events declining significantly across the nation, federal government data show.

    Between 2010 and 2019, patient safety dramatically improved among the four types of conditions for which people are most often hospitalized: heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia and major surgical proc...

    When Hospital Patient & Doctor Speak Same Language, Outcomes Improve

    It's already hard enough to understand all your doctor's technical talk -- now imagine speaking a whole other language on top of that.

    Hospital patients who don't speak the same language as their doctor get worse care and are more likely to die, a new Canadian study shows.

    Research done in Ontario -- a linguistica...

    Even When Stroke Centers Are Near, Black Americans Often Lack Access

    Even though Black people may be more likely to live near a hospital with a certified stroke center, those who need the specialty care are still more likely to receive it at a hospital with fewer resources.

    And this can hurt the...

    Odds for Emergency Room Visits Rise With Pot Use

    Toking up increases your risk of landing in the hospital, a new study reports.

    Recreational marijuana use was associated with 22% greater odds of needing to visit an emergency room or be hospitalized, Canadian researchers found.

    The study showed physical injuries, lung ailments and ga...

    How Much Will That Hip Replacement Cost? Many Hospitals Still Aren't Saying

    Since January 2021, hospitals have been required to list online the prices for 300 common medical services, but new research has found that only 32% of hospitals have been fully compliant when it comes to knee and hip replacements.

    "Although pricing informat...

    Pandemic Has U.S. Hospitals Overwhelmed With Teens in Mental Crisis

    The COVID-19 pandemic and the isolation it imposed took a dramatic toll on kids' mental health, increasing the demand for services in an already overburdened system.

    As a result, many kids found themselves being "boarded" in emergency departments as they awaited care, according to a new study conducted at Boston Children's Hospital. The average wait was nearly five days without specialize...

    U.S. Hospitals Are Facing Shortage of Dye Needed for Life-Saving Scans

    U.S. hospitals are running low on contrast dye injected into patients undergoing enhanced X-rays, CT scans and MRIs.

    The fluid, which makes the routine but potentially life-saving scans readable, helps doctors identify clots in the heart and brain. The shortage is expected to last until at least June 30, t...

    Nurses Key to Spotting Postpartum Depression in New Moms

    Nurses can be trained to detect postpartum depression in new mothers and could be crucial in spotting the condition early, researchers report.

    Postpartum depression affects about 15% of new moms and can cause persistent sadness, fatigue, feelings of hopelessness and wort...

    1 in 4 Hospital Physicians 'Mistreated' by Patients, Visitors

    Nearly 1 in 4 hospital doctors are mistreated at work by patients, visitors and other doctors, and female doctors are nearly two times more likely than male doctors to face this abuse, a new study reveals.

    "All members of the health care team share the r...

    Thyroid Could Play Key Role in Hospital Stays

    People with hypothyroidism who are undertreated are at increased risk for longer hospital stays and higher rates of readmission, a new study warns.

    In people with hypothyroidism, the thyroid gla...

    Patients Hospitalized With COVID Face Similar Risks, Regardless of Variant

    If you're unlucky enough to need hospitalization for COVID-19, it won't really matter which variant you're infected with: The same level of care is required for patients with either Delta or Omicron, a new study reveals.

    This is true even though people infected with the Omicron variant of...

    Prescription Steroids Can Pose Dangers for Sickle Cell Patients

    People with sickle cell disease who take corticosteroids to treat asthma or inflammation may suffer severe pain and even need to be hospitalized, researchers report.

    This reaction to corticosteroids can be particularly severe among older people, women and patients not taking the drug hydroxyurea to treat their sickle cell symptoms. These were the most likely to be hospitalized, the study ...

    PTSD Often Haunts Family Members of Hospitalized COVID Patients

    It remains one of the most painful images of the pandemic: Families who were not allowed to be by their loved ones' bedside as they waged a lonely battle against COVID in a hospital ICU, with some forced to say goodbye via a smartphone or tablet held by a compassionate nurse who didn't want a patient to die alone.

    Now, new research suggests that many of those relatives went on to dev...

    Genetic Sign of Aging Linked to Risk of Fatal COVID

    It's known that certain chronic health conditions up the odds of death from COVID-19. Now, new research identifies another risk factor.

    Shorter telomeres are associated with an increased likelihood of death from COVID-19, particularly in older women, researchers say.

    Telomeres are protective caps on the end of chromosomes (DNA) that shorten with age. Previous research has linked

    WHO Says Acute Hepatitis Cases in Children Now Reported in 11 Countries

    The World Health Organization said it is investigating an outbreak of acute hepatitis among children that now involves 11 countries, including the United States.

    Among the 169 reported cases, at least one child has died from this inflammation of the liver and 17 children needed liver transplants, the WHO said Saturday in a

  • By Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • April 25, 2022
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  • Putting Hospitalized COVID Patients on Their Belly May Not Be a Good Idea After All

    Placing hospitalized COVID-19 patients on their stomach is helpful if they're on a mechanical ventilator, but a new study suggests it's not a good idea for patients who are not intubated.

    "Awake" COVID patients - as opposed to ventilated patients who are kept sedated - did not benefit from lying ...

    Hospital Work During Pandemic Was Like a War Zone: Study

    Health care workers battling the pandemic may be suffering moral traumas at a rate similar to soldiers in a war zone, a new study suggests.

    The pandemic has brought a stream of stories about overtaxed health care workers, facing repeated COVID surges, resource shortages and public resistance to the vaccines that can keep people out of the hospital. Workers' distress is often called burnou...

    As Pandemic Evolved, U.S. Hospitals Learned Quickly How to Care for Patients

    While hospitals and clinics are known for being slow to turn new evidence into actual practice, they picked up the pace during the pandemic.

    A research team led by scientists from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and the University of California, San Francisco, collected data from more than 50 academic medical centers across the United States, finding that hospitals overcame ba...

    New Way to Blast Kidney Stones Can Be Done in Doctor's Office

    A noninvasive ultrasound technique is capable of quickly pulverizing kidney stones, an early study shows - in what researchers call a first step toward a simpler, anesthesia-free treatment for the painful problem.

    The study reports on the first 19 patients who've had kidney stones treated with the ultrasound "bursts." So far, it's been able to completely, or nearly completely, break up st...

    Had COVID or Gotten Vaccine? Hospitalization Is 'Extremely Uncommon'

    Been vaccinated? Already had COVID? New research shows that your chances of winding up in the hospital if you get a breakthrough infection are practically nil.

    In the study, scientists looked at more than 106,000 hospitalized primary care patients, aged 18 and older, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who had tested positive for COVID-19 and/or were vaccinated against the disease.