Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Nursing for March 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Safe Practice Scores Do Not Add Up to Fewer Patient Deaths
TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitals, higher self-reported scores for improvements in safe practices do not correlate with reduced mortality rates, researchers report in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Little Clinical Evidence to Support Bed Bug Treatments
TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) have been associated with dozens of human diseases and their bites are treated with a range of drugs, there is no clinical trial-based evidence for the efficacy of treatments, and there is little evidence that they are communicable disease vectors, according to a review published in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Home-Based Training and Therapy Extend Life in Elderly
MONDAY, March 30 (HealthDay News) -- Teaching elderly and infirm people how to safely perform daily activities and achieve personal functional goals can markedly extend their lives, according to a report in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Early-Pregnancy Smoking Cessation Beneficial
FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women who stop smoking before 15 weeks' gestation can reduce their risk of spontaneous preterm birth and small-for-gestational-age infants to the same level of pregnant non-smokers, according to research published online March 26 in BMJ.
NHLBI Discontinues Hypertonic Saline Trial
FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S.-Canadian trial to assess in-ambulance administration of a hypertonic saline solution to trauma patients in shock from severe bleeding has been halted due to lack of a survival benefit, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) announced on March 26.
Drinking Very Hot Tea May Raise Esophageal Cancer Risk
FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking tea before it has cooled down slightly is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, according to study findings published online March 26 in BMJ.
Most US Adults Should Reduce Sodium Intake
FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults are in groups at high risk of hypertension and should reduce their sodium intake to less than a teaspoon of salt a day, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report in the March 27 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Somatosensory Evoked Potential Monitoring Useful
THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- In patients undergoing lumbosacral spinal surgery, monitoring of upper-limb somatosensory evoked potential may help prevent position-related peripheral nerve injuries, according to a report published in the April issue of The Spine Journal.
Hundred Steps Per Minute May Be Good Fitness Goal
THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) -- Taking 3,000 steps in 30 minutes on most days of the week might be a good pace for people to follow to protect their health, according to research published online March 17 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Electric Current Leak Can Trigger Defibrillator Shock
WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- An electric current leak that is not noticeable under ordinary circumstances can trigger a serious shock in someone who has an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), according to a letter in the March 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Circumcision Lowers Risk of Sexually Transmitted Disease
WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of Ugandan men, circumcision reduced both the incidence of herpes simplex virus (HSV-2) and the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV), two co-factors in HIV/AIDs, according to a report in the March 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Cost Barriers Slow Adoption of Electronic Health Records
WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Citing cost barriers, relatively few U.S. hospitals have adopted electronic health records, posing a major obstacle for policy makers who say health information technology is critical to the improvement of health care quality and cost-effectiveness, according to an article published online March 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
U.S. Emergency Care Access Varies Widely
WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- While most people in the United States can get to an emergency department within a half-hour, there are geographic inequities that could impact medical outcomes in time-critical medical emergencies, such as heart attack, stroke or major trauma, according to a report in the Feb. 9 online edition of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.
Antibiotic Dressing Reduces Catheter-Related Infections
TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- An antibiotic-impregnated catheter dressing reduces catheter-related infections better than standard dressings in critically ill patients, according to a report in the March 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Pediatric Anesthesia Linked to Learning Disability Risk
TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple early exposures to anesthesia may be an important risk factor for developing learning disabilities later in childhood, researchers report in the April issue of Anesthesiology.
Instrument Contamination by Toner or Ink Not Significant
FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Contamination from ink or toner on printed count sheets and labels used to account for surgical instruments in the operating room does not pose a significant cytotoxic hazard, according to a report in the March issue of the AORN Journal.
Pressure Ulcer Prevention Important in Surgical Patients
THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Nurses should consider every surgical patient "at-risk" for pressure ulcers and devise an individualized plan to mitigate that risk, according to an article in the March issue of the AORN Journal.
Illegal Immigrants Pose Ethical Dilemma for US Nurses
THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- Even though under federal law illegal immigrants in the United States for less than five years are not eligible for Medicaid, emergency department nurses have a range of ethical and legal obligations that require them to protect the safety of all patients regardless of their citizenship status, according to an article published in the March issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.
Fall Model May Not Be Reliable for Emergency Department
THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- The risk model that helps identify those at risk of falls in an inpatient setting may not be reliable in predicting those at risk in the emergency department, researchers report in the March issue of the Journal of Emergency Nursing.
Hospital Quality Measure Inaccurate, May Increase Bias
WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A widely used hospital quality measure that compares mortality rates and takes into account the mix of cases is inaccurate and may increase the bias that case mix adjustment is intended to decrease, according to research published March 18 in BMJ Online First.
Information Could Help Ease Distress in Cancer Patients
MONDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- A structured system of providing information to cancer patients showed some signs of reducing their psychological distress, according to research published online March 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Specialist Nurses Help Grieving Parents Agree to Autopsy
FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Bereaved parents are more likely to consent to a request for post-mortem imaging for research purposes if they are approached by a specially trained nurse with experience in family and bereavement counseling, according to a study published online Mar. 12 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.
Transdermal Patches Pose Burn Risk During Scans
FRIDAY, Mar. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the risk of burns as a result of wearing medicated patches, such as those used for smoking cessation or pain relief, during MRI scans.
Obama Wants to Spend $630 Billion on Health Care Reform
THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Achieving health care reform is one of President Barack Obama's major challenges, and his newly released spending plan calls on Congress to commit $630 billion over the next decade to finance that reform, according to an article published online Mar. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Proton Pump Inhibitors May Reduce Benefits of Clopidogrel
TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Acute coronary syndrome patients who are prescribed clopidogrel in combination with a proton pump inhibitor are at increased risk of adverse outcomes compared with patients prescribed clopidogrel alone, according to a report published in the Mar. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Oseltamivir-Resistant Flu Viruses Increasing
TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The 2008 to 2009 influenza season will see a higher prevalence of oseltamivir-resistant viruses, and certain strains of the virus are highly pathogenic to high-risk patients, according to two studies published online Mar. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Another study reports that intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine is associated with more medical encounters than trivalent inactivated vaccine.
Vitamin K Doesn't Reduce Bleeding in Warfarin Patients
TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- In patients receiving warfarin, vitamin K does not reduce bleeding, according to study findings published in the Mar. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
US Motor Vehicle-Related Death Rates Vary Geographically
MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although the mortality rate related to motor vehicles remained almost unchanged from 1999 to 2005 in the United States, on closer inspection the data reveals wide variations from state to state, as well as by gender and ethnicity, according to a report published in the Feb. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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