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Helpful information on the world of beauty and aesthetics supplies.
MRSA infection rates increase tenfold in children
The trend of prescribing clindamycin for children with Staphylococcus aureus may build up resistance to treating the infection, a new study says. Clindamycin use among children hospitalized with S. aureus increased threefold during the past decade, according to a study published online May 17 in Pediatrics. In 1999, the antibiotic was used to treat 21% of S. aureus cases. In 2008, 63% of such infections were treated with the drug. The antibiotic became popular because it effectively treats methicillin-resistant S. aureus and it can be taken orally, unlike vancomycin, which is only available intravenously, said senior study author Jason Newland, MD. But he said the problem is that physicians are using clindamycin to treat cases of methicillin-susceptible S. aureus, which can be effectively treated with different antibiotics. Clindamycin "is used a lot. And we've learned that [S. aureus] has an incredible ability to become resistant over time. ... We don't want to overuse clinda [Read more]
Cardiovascular risk problematic for diabetics
Both the health care system and individual patient circumstances are cited with impeding efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease among patients with diabetes, a new study found. But doctors can help prevent heart disease -- the leading cause of diabetes-related death -- by working with patients to change behavior, says the study in the March-April Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. Lead study author Jesse Crosson, PhD, recommends that physicians work with patients to develop a care plan and set achievable health goals. Physicians' efforts are most effective when the patient feels like the choices being made are part of a collaborative process, said Crosson, assistant professor of family medicine and director of the New Jersey Primary Care Research Network at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Researchers interviewed 34 primary care physicians in California, Indiana, Michigan and New Jersey from April 2006 [Read more]
Assisted suicide laws cited in 95 deaths in Washington, Oregon
Ninety-five terminally ill patients died in 2009 after taking lethal doses of medications prescribed by their physicians under death-with-dignity laws in Washington and Oregon, according to health department reports released in March. Thirty-six of those deaths occurred in Washington in the 10 months after the state's physician-assisted suicide law took effect March 5, 2009, said a report from the state health department. Nearly 60% of Washington voters approved a 2008 ballot measure that made physician-assisted suicide legal. That state's law, like Oregon's, makes doctor-aided dying available to patients who have been judged terminally ill by two doctors. Patients must make an oral request and a witnessed written request. Another oral request must be made 15 days later. The characteristics of the Washingtonians who used the death-with-dignity law were similar to their counterparts in Oregon, said Linda Ganzini, MD, MPH, who has extensively researched Oregon's experience with [Read more]
Tort reform faces constitutional challenge in Washington
Washington Supreme Court justices on Feb. 25 heard oral arguments in a case that will decide the fate of a tort reform measure aimed at curbing unnecessary medical liability litigation. The 2006 law requires patients to notify defendants of any intentions to sue at least 90 days before filing a medical liability action. Dental patient Nancy Waples has asked the high court to declare the measure unconstitutional, alleging that it sets a higher bar for medical liability cases and violates her equal protection rights. An appeals court rejected those arguments in 2008, when it dismissed a negligence suit Waples filed against her dentist because she failed to file the required prelitigation notice. Physicians noted that the Legislature passed the reform to preserve access to care by promoting settlements and tempering rising medical liability costs. Those are legitimate state goals that the courts should not second-guess, according to a friend-of-the-court brief filed by the Washin [Read more]
Health communication project did not increase physician-patient interaction
A program designed to strengthen physician-patient communication and improve health outcomes may not be as effective as originally thought, according to a study in the March/April Annals of Family Medicine. The Ask Me 3 program encourages patients to ask three questions during each physician visit: What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this? But researchers found that the initiative did not lead to patients asking these specific questions or more questions in general. In addition, the program did not improve patients' adherence to prescription medications or lifestyle recommendations (www.annfammed.org/cgi/content/abstract/8/2/151/). For the study, researchers randomly assigned 20 physician practices, which were part of the American Academy of Family Physicians' National Research Network, to an intervention group or a control group. The practices included 41 doctors. For the intervention group, AM3 posters were placed on waiting roo [Read more]
Cosmetic surgery rates show signs of rebounding
Independent surveys on cosmetic surgery and treatments in the United States, by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, reached similar conclusions: Despite the recession, demand for cosmetic procedures is strong and poised to grow stronger. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, in a survey released March 9, said an estimated 10 million procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2009, down 2% from 2008. The society said surgical procedures declined 17%, but nonsurgical procedures grew 1%. Injections of botulinum toxin type A (commonly known as BOTOX®) accounted for 2.5 million procedures, about a quarter of all cosmetic procedures. BOTOX® injections alone beat all surgical procedures combined by more than 1 million. Overall, nonsurgical procedures outnumbered surgical procedures by a ratio of 85-to-15. Breast augmentation led all surgical procedures at more than 311,000, but that was down from 355,000 in 20 [Read more]
Insurance premium rate hikes delayed, revoked
Officials in Iowa and Washington, D.C., have halted health insurance premium increases for individuals and small businesses, following a wave of intense criticism from the Obama administration and members of Congress concerned with how much Americans are being asked to pay for coverage. The District's Insurance, Securities and Banking Commissioner, Gennet Purcell, announced March 9 that she had canceled a previously approved 35% rate hike by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. The increase had been approved in October 2009 and went into effect Jan. 1. After one member complained about his policy's premium increase, the department looked again at the insurer's application for raising rates and identified an "administrative error" that changed calculations enough to mean that the plan did not require such a large increase, a news release from Purcell's office said. She ordered CareFirst to reinstate the rates it charged before Jan. 1 and refund any overpayments, plus 5% interest. Th [Read more]
Health disparity gap widening for minority children
Minority children have higher mortality rates, less access to physicians and fewer immunizations than do white children, according to a report in the April Pediatrics. Researchers analyzed 111 studies published between 1950 and the first week of March 2007 that examined racial/ethnic disparities for U.S. children up to age 18. The review found gaps in health care persisted or worsened for the nation's four major minority groups identified for the study: African-Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians/Pacific Islanders and Latinos. Latino children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia had higher adjusted risks of death than their white counterparts, according to the report conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Pediatric Research (pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2010-0188v1). Asthma prevalence and incidence of HIV/AIDS were highest among African-American children. Pacific Islander children with cancer had significantly grea [Read more]
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