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'Dead' hearts give life to transplant patients
By Alan Kelsky
A trio of breakthrough heart transplants made history in October as surgeons in Australia transplanted "dead" hearts into three patients. Two of the three patients are recovering nicely, the third had more recent heart transplant surgery and is recovering in the intensive care unit.
The initial success for all three surgeries was credited to the perfusion-based machine that is able to sustain dead hearts. Hearts from cadavers that had not beaten for up to 20 minutes were reanimated and transplanted into waiting patients.
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Are cameras in the OR a HIPAA violation?
More and more surgical facilities are boosting OR efficiency by mounting closed caption cameras in their ORs. The cameras link to a master camera-feed monitor that charge nurses can watch, so they can alert the turnover team when surgery is nearing completion, dispatch extra help or equipment, and let providers know when rooms are ready for the next case.
But do the cameras pose a threat to patient privacy and violate HIPAA? That could depend on the monitor's location: a secure control room (good) or behind the control desk where the charge nurse sits (not as good).
A safer anesthetic
Could an alternative to propofol be on its way? Drawbridge Pharmaceuticals, an Australian company, hopes to bring an anesthetic called Phaxan to market in the next few years. The brand is new, but the fundamental science behind the new drug isn't. Phaxan is a reformulation of a once-popular, but long-gone, anesthetic called Althesin.
"Althesin was a very well-loved drug that was marketed by Glaxo everywhere except the United States between 1972 and 1984," says anesthesiologist and surgeon Colin Goodchild, Ph.D., Drawbridge's co-director and chief medical officer. "It still has the highest safety profile of any anesthetic that's ever been synthesized."
9 medical apps for orthopedic surgeons to keep up with literature
We all have our favorite journals we follow in order to keep up to date with the latest medical literature. And while many journals have their own mobile versions, keeping up with each publication separately can be a tedious and time consuming task. We’ve reviewed several apps recently that can help you streamline that process, saving time and making you more efficient. Here we’ll share a few great resources we’ve come across that can help keep orthopedic surgeons up to date.
Emergency cardiopulmonary bypass creates potential for saving the nearly dead
The call came into the Pittsburgh 9-1-1 communications center at 7:42 a.m. for a young female unconscious and not breathing, found lying outside on a stairwell. Pittsburgh EMS Medic 5 was advised en route that bystanders thought the patient was deceased, but when law enforcement arrived a few minutes later, they detected a weak pulse and rapidly moved the woman inside to get her to a warmer environment.
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New cardiac monitor process reduces alarm fatigue in hospitals
By Lynn Hetzler
A hospital monitor alarm can save a patient's life, as a single beep or high-pitched wail spurs doctors and nurses into action. However, the chorus of alarms that go off in the typical hospital ward can be mind-numbing to healthcare workers. The constant din of alarms can desensitize them, leading to "alarm fatigue" where audible alerts fail to catch the attention of workers.
Costly, unproven stem cell therapy for neurological disorders questioned
Robert Vondracek has had multiple sclerosis for 20 years. His speech is starting to slur and he's been having more trouble getting around, and when he heard about a controversial stem cell therapy that might help, he got excited.
"I heard about the stem cell treatments being done right here in Phoenix," said Vondracek, 61. "It shocked me because it was not approved in this country, I didn't think."
Surgeon suggests combo approach when training for robotic bariatric surgery
General Surgery News
Performing a hybrid approach to bariatric surgery, which combines robotic and laparoscopic surgeries, is an effective way to introduce robotic procedures to surgeons new to the modality, according to a surgeon who spoke recently at the 2014 annual meeting of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders.
“It’s a great way to get people started in robotic surgery [to do hybrid procedures],” said Erik B. Wilson, M.D., who spoke about whether robotic surgery will result in better results than laparoscopic surgery for bariatric and metabolic procedures.
Perioperative surgical home lowers costs, optimizes care
Judging by the experience of two large hospitals, the perioperative surgical home (PSH) model of care can create substantial cost savings, an important benefit as the idea seeks to be widely adopted.
The PSH model is a patient-focused multidisciplinary approach whose goal is to optimize health care value, with anesthesiologists at the head of a multidisciplinary, comprehensive care team.
How to become a better femtosecond laser cataract surgeon
At the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons meeting, Ocular Surgery News gathered an international panel of experts to discuss their experiences with femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery, with the objective of improving the procedure. The first part of that wide-ranging discussion, moderated by William B. Trattler, M.D., is featured in this issue of OSN.
CMS extension could spell trouble for meaningful use program
By Scott E. Rupp
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the meaningful use attestation period by another month to Dec. 31 of this year. The deadline had been Nov. 30. The extension is for eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals to attest to meaningful use for the 2014 Medicare EHR program reporting period.
The extension was enacted as a way to allow more time for hospitals to submit their meaningful use attestation data for incentive payments and avoid the 2016 Medicare payment adjustments.
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