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New System Aims To Simplify Patient Transfers In Emergency

In an emergency, hospitals need to be able to quickly and safely transport patients to other facilities, along with all the specialized equipment, such as ventilators and intravenous medications, that patients need. That can be a monumental task, particularly in the heat of a crisis.

“Before, in an emergency, nurses and doctors would have to commit a great deal of time to figuring out who needed what resources and what needed to be done,” said Ronald Cohen, MD, clinical professor of neonatal and developmental medicine at the School of Medicine.

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford now has a new electronic medical records system that helps make this transfer process safer and more efficient in the event of a major crisis, such as an earthquake or power outage. Caregivers have prompt access to a fully automated report that categorizes patients in terms of their specific needs, such as what types of intravenous medication they receive, whether they’re on ventilators or whether they need an intensive care unit bed.

Organ Donation: 6 Myths That Might Change Your Mind About Giving The Gift Of Life

Did you know that one organ donor can save up to eight lives? And that could be extremely helpful given the fact that in New York State alone, over 10,000 people are waiting for organ transplants, according to LiveOnNY (formally the New York Organ Donor Network). More than 8,000 people await kidneys; over 1,300 need livers; and more than 300 need hearts.

On average, 18 people die every day while waiting for organ transplants in the US, and every 10 minutes, another name is added to the waiting list. In New York, someone dies every 15 hours waiting for an organ transplant. So what is keeping these patients from receiving the organs they need? Dawn Francisquini, RN BSN, Transplant Senior Specialist, Stony Brook University Department of Transplant, says it could be some of the myths her team tries to bust every day.

First Fully-Implantable Micropacemaker Designed For Fetal Use

A team of investigators at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California have developed the first fully implantable micropacemaker designed for use in a fetus with complete heart block. The team has done preclinical testing and optimization as reported in a recent issue of the journal Heart Rhythm.

The micropacemaker has been designated a Humanitarian Use Device by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The investigators anticipate the first human use of the device in the near future.

“Up until now, the pacemaker devices that have been used in an attempt to treat this condition in a fetus were designed for adults,” said Yaniv Bar-Cohen, MD, pediatric cardiologist at CHLA and lead author on the paper. “We have lacked an effective treatment option for fetuses.”

Wearable Device Helps Vision-Impaired Avoid Collision

People who have lost some of their peripheral vision, such as those with retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, or brain injury that causes half visual field loss, often face mobility challenges and increased likelihood of falls and collisions. As therapeutic vision restoration treatments are still in their infancy, rehabilitation approaches using assistive technologies are often times viable alternatives for addressing mobility challenges related to vision loss.

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Schepens Eye Research Institute used an obstacle course to evaluate a wearable collision warning device they developed for patients with peripheral vision loss. They found the device may help patients with a wide range of vision loss avoid collisions with high-level obstacles. Their findings are featured on Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS).

Women With Ovarian Cancer Gain Extra Months With Addition Of Drug To Standard Chemotherapy

Medical researchers are always looking for ways to prevent or cure cancer. Given the complexity of this disease, reaching these milestones has been difficult.

Nevertheless, improvements in treatment outcomes are an important stepping-stone along the way. For women with ovarian cancer, a particularly deadly form of gynecologic cancer, even improvements in treatment outcomes have been elusive. In a study presented today at a meeting of women’s cancer specialists, overall survival for women who received standard chemotherapy treatment plus bevacizumab was a median five months longer than for women who received the standard chemotherapy treatment alone.

The preliminary findings were reported at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer.

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