>> U.S. trends in respiratory illnesses
>> New tech: hearts and blood
>> After bison attack, video in ambulance helps with care
The Med & Mic™ 12.04.23 – 12.08.23
A medical news blog post
from the author of “Scoop, MD”
This Week In Health and Medical News
COVID, RSV, Flu on the Rise
The CDC has noted a major nationwide uptick in COVID-19. The largest increases have been in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. Also, emergency room data and wastewater sampling have reflected steep increases. The last wave of COVID was in late summer.
Respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, is near peak in southern states. Emergency room data also reflect accelerating flu activity, especially for children.
Giving flu and RSV vaccines together is safe in older adults and works just as well as when the vaccines are given a month apart, according to a study in Australia.
Based on data from more than 7,000 children, those who received at least two doses of COVID-19 vaccine were less likely to be hospitalized or go to the emergency room, according to the CDC.
(Sources: CBS News, A. Tin, 12.1.23, Healio, C. Stulpin, 12.1.23, Healio, R. Weldon, 12.7.23)
Artificial Heart Study
The FDA has approved the study of an artificial heart for heart failure patients awaiting transplant. The device, the size of an adult fist, uses similar technology as high-speed trains, involving magnets and pumps. It’s designed to be gentler on blood cells and have less wear and tear. The first human trials in three patients are expected in 2024. (Source: Cardiovascular Business, M. Walter, 12.1.23)
Finger-stick for Blood Analysis
The FDA has cleared a device that could collect blood for testing with a finger prick instead of by vein. A trained health care professional would still need to perform the collection. This method would be for certain common tests, such as cholesterol levels.
(Source: Reuters, M. Sunny, 12.7.23)
Most Stop Weight Loss Drugs
According to medical records and insurance data, 40% of people who filled prescriptions for the weight loss drug Wegovy in 2021 and 2022 are still taking it a year later. The figures are lower with other weight loss medications at 10-13%. While the study of nearly 2,000 adults does not identify why, researchers raise the possibility of limits in insurance coverage as a possible reason for discontinuation.
(Source: Reuters, N. Lapid, 12.6.23)
Man Gored by Bison Gets Telemedicine Help
A South Dakota rancher with life threatening injuries from a bison received telemedicine support as he was being transported 25 miles by ambulance to the closest hospital. The ambulance video technology helped the emergency staff prepare for his arrival with the needed supplies and equipment and a helicopter to a Sioux Falls hospital for surgery. In 84% of rural counties in the U.S., people live more than 25 minutes from an ambulance station.
(Source: CBS News, A. Zionts, 12.4.23)
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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis, or the advice of your own physician. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.