The Med & Mic™ 01.03.22
Emergency Departments Overwhelmed
People flood emergency departments with COVID, flu, and medical issues they postponed over the holidays. Shortages of staff and inpatient beds compound the stress on hospitals.
“I am very worried that we are going to miss someone or something catastrophic,” says Dr. Melisa Lai-Becker, in a WBUR report.
The Omicron Surge and Schools
New York City: COVID positive public school students will receive at-home tests for a week to help guide a safer return to school.
Washington, D.C.: all public school students and staff must show a negative COVID test before coming back to school from winter break.
Atlanta: several school districts are beginning the year with remote learning.
An average of 378 children a day were admitted to the hospital for the week ending December 28. The risk of hospitalization was higher for unvaccinated children.
Masks, especially N95 and KN95 masks, provide another layer of protection.
Ideally, for activities involving vigorous exhaling, such as sports and choir, participants should be vaccinated.
Should kids be tested for COVID before returning to the classroom?
If they’ve had recent contact with someone who has had COVID or symptoms of COVID, yes. “If you’re otherwise healthy, you don’t really need a test,” says Dr. Paul Offit in a CNN report. For kids with symptoms, he adds, “If you can’t test them, assume it’s COVID.” Per guidelines, children should quarantine until the symptoms go away, and then wear a mask for five additional days.
Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Epilepsy
Even mild TBI can lead to PTE up to a year after injury. In a multi-center, prospective cohort study of 3296 participants with TBI, 2.8% self-reported having PTE. There were no reports of PTE in a control group of orthopedic patients and uninjured friends. The findings raise a question about the need for effective anti-seizure medications after TBI. More in JAMA Network Open.
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