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History-making surgeon is a Saskatchewan transplant
The Star Phoenix
The leader of the surgical team that recently performed the world’s first skull and scalp transplant was raised in Regina and went to medical school at the University of Saskatchewan. “This was a pretty magical moment in my surgical career,” said Michael Klebuc, team leader at the Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. In a 15-hour operation involving about a dozen doctors and 40 other health workers, patient Jim Boysen, was given a cap-shaped, 10-by-10-inch skull graft and a 15-inch-wide scalp graft starting above his forehead, extending across the top of his head and over its crown. The surgery was a collaboration between Houston Methodist Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
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2015 AASPA CME Meeting & Surgical Update
We hope you will join us Oct. 1 – 4, 2015 at the Hilton Suites Chicago/Magnificent Mile, Chicago, Illinois, for our 15th Annual AASPA CME Meeting.

Join fellow surgical PAs, PA educators, PA students, pre-PA students and surgical industry leaders at the 15th Annual Surgical CME, preceding the Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons!

This exciting, hands-on surgical meeting will be held at the fabulous Hilton Suites Chicago in the heart of incredible Chicago.

If you are looking for a qualified surgical PA, this is the ideal venue to fill that position. For industry exhibitors looking for "high touch face time" with surgical PAs, this is the ideal meeting for you!

Register now for the 2015 FCCS — Fundamental Critical Care Support
Management principles for the first 24 hours of critical care. Two-day course — 16 hours of CME and Certificate of Completion and card.
    Course Purpose
  • To better prepare the nonintensivist for the first 24 hours of management of the critically ill patient until transfer or appropriate critical care consultation can be arranged.
  • To assist the nonintensivist in dealing with sudden deterioration of the critically ill patient.
  • To prepare house staff for ICU coverage.
  • To prepare critical care practitioners to deal with acute deterioration in the critically ill patient.
Course will be held before the 15th Annual AASPA CME Meeting at the Hilton Suites Chicago/Magnificent Mile.

Register today!


Inside three major hospitals' decision to limit low-volume surgeries
Healthcare Dive
Three large medical centers recently announced plans to limit low-volume surgeries — slated to go into effect before the end of this year — representing the first coordinated effort to place limits on hospitals and surgeons. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine and the University of Michigan Health System will be participating in the new program, whose rules cover 10 procedures. These surgeries have been repeatedly shown in research studies to have a higher risk when performed at low-volume hospitals, and include bariatric surgery, esophagus surgery, lung cancer surgery and joint replacement.
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To operate or not: Surgical choices and end-of-life care
General Surgery News
The reality is that making an incision, even a small one, is an assault on a patient’s body. For older patients who may already be sick or dying, such an assault can alter their healthcare trajectory in a negative way, resulting in more harm than help. “More and more, we are treating patients who are very old and sick, and likely won’t benefit from surgery,” said Peter K. Kim, M.D., a surgeon at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. “But whether or not to perform surgery is frequently a gray area.
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Is breast cancer being overtreated?
HealthDay News via Health Magazine
Researchers surveyed more than 1,900 women treated for breast cancer. They found that nearly half had considered having a double mastectomy, but only about one in five underwent the procedure. Among the women who did have both breasts removed, 36 percent believed it would improve their chance of survival, according to the study presented at this week’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Chicago. Previous research has shown that among breast cancer survivors at average risk for a second cancer, removing the cancer-free breast does not significantly improve survival, the researchers said.
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Bacteria linked to hyperammonemia in lung transplant patients
By Chelsea Adams
New research shows a rare, but often fatal complication among lung transplant patients is likely caused by bacteria normally found in the urinary tract. Researchers say it's unclear why the bacteria sometimes spread to other areas of the bodies of transplant recipients and cancer patients where they cause infection and ultimately death.
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Research offers a new approach to improving HIV vaccines
Infection Control Today
In a scientific discovery that has significant implications for preventing HIV infections, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have identified a protein that could improve the body’s immune response to HIV vaccines and prevent transmission of the virus. The study shows how a protein called polyglutamine-binding protein 1 (PQBP1) acts as a front-line sensor and is critical to initiating an immune response to HIV. When the PQBP1 encounters the virus, it starts a program that triggers an overall protective environment against infection and enhances the production of virus-specific antibodies. The research, which identified PQBP1 as a target for improving HIV vaccines, was published in the journal Cell.
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Eyes sealed shut: Seamless closure of surgical incisions
Medical Xpress
Prof. Abraham Katzir, Head of the Applied Physics Group at Tel Aviv University's School of Physics and Astronomy, has spent much of his career honing a technique he devised called "laser welding," by which incision edges are heated in a precisely controlled manner for optimal wound closure. Now a study recently published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics explores a radical new application of this technique — sealing corneal transplants.
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Why surgeons make catastrophic mistakes
Pacific Standard
One recent estimate found that catastrophic surgical mistakes, including implanting the wrong thing, or performing the wrong procedure, occur in one out of every 12,000 surgeries in the United States. To figure out why, a team of researchers from the Mayo Clinic in New York decided to analyze botched surgeries at their own clinic in the way investigators do military airplane accidents. The researchers used an aviation accident-investigation tool called the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System, which helped them pinpoint which human errors are most common in surgeries gone wrong. Their work suggests hospitals should look for ways to reduce the mental lifting that surgery team members must do during a procedure, the researchers write in a paper published last week in the journal Surgery.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New mastectomy strategy could reduce second surgery rate for breast cancer patients (Medical Daily)
How distractions cause stress and impede your ability to function (By Michael S. Haro, Ph.D.)
Work-life balance in healthcare: Addressing the system (By Catherine Iste)
Surgery may improve quality of life in unrelenting diverticulitis (Medscape (free login required))
Meniscus preservation is key first step of cartilage repair (Healio)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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