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The Med & Mic™ 03.10.22

The Med & Mic™ 03.10.22

How busy doctors keep up on the medical news of the day – and get $1 CME!*

MED NEWS blog post from Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC


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Pig Heart Recipient Dies

Two months after the experimental surgery, the 57-year-old man who was the first to be transplanted with a pig heart has died at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Doctors did not specify the cause of death. David Bennett, Sr. received the groundbreaking procedure because he was not a candidate for other therapies and was facing certain death. A few days after his transplant made the news, the Washington Post reported on details of his criminal past. “He proved to be a brave and noble patient who fought all the way to the end,” his surgeon, Dr. Bartley Griffith, stated to the Associated Press. “We hope this story can be the beginning of hope and not the end,” the patient’s son, David Bennet, Jr, added.

Radiation Not Helpful in Low-risk Thyroid Cancer

New research shows that surgery alone may be enough to cure the lowest-risk thyroid cancer, and that radioactive iodine afterwards, which has been customary, may be superfluous. The well-tolerated treatment costs time and money and carries a small risk of causing another type of cancer. Researchers studied 730 patients with small, low-risk thyroid tumors. Half got the radioactive iodine and half did not. There was no difference after three years. This information could change this aspect of treatment. “In the 90s, there was a prospective study showing that radioactive iodine could reduce mortality and relapse in thyroid cancer patients,” says oncologist Dr. Sophie Leboulleux in an article from STAT News. “But times have changed. Thyroid cancers are not discovered at the same stages they were 25 years ago.”

Wheelchair repairs can take months

Repairs on wheelchairs can take weeks to months. For the 5.5 million Americans who use wheelchairs, this can strand them at home, which increases the risk of complications and hospitalizations. Lack of routine maintenance, complex mechanics, limited replacement parts, and insurance documentation contribute to the problem. Researchers estimate more than 50% of wheelchairs break down in a six month period. “The numbers are shocking,” says physical therapist Lynn Worobey in a WBUR report. “It’s been this way for a while.” She adds, “If 50% of people had their car break down in a six-month period, they’d probably be pretty upset.”

Childhood Immunizations Are Down

Many children born during the pandemic have fallen short on their routine immunizations because of lockdowns and missed appointments. Before the pandemic, immunization rates were in the 80% range. In March of 2020, the rate for the measles, mumps, and rubella immunization was 62%. If vaccination rates drop too low, that could lead to local epidemics. Pediatricians mention that they’re seeing kids who are behind on their schedules catching vaccine-preventable illnesses. More in The Hill.

COVID treatment trial for children

Pfizer has started a study of its five-day COVID treatment Paxlovid in high-risk children 6 to 17 years old. The company will enroll 140 kids who meet the weight stipulations. The medication is authorized for emergency use for children 12 and older and for high-risk adults. Paxlovid is 90% effective in preventing hospitalizations in adults at risk of severe disease. Pfizer’s chief scientific officer points out children account for 18% of reported COVID cases. More from Reuters.

Contemplation Corner

Rooms for Drug Use. From the AP.

*CMEfy does not grant credit for the content of this blog post, but will award credit for your interaction with it. You may reflect on how it applies to your day-to-day and engage to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ from point-of-care learning activities here {$1}:

Would you or someone in your healthcare organization be ready to speak to the media about today’s topics featured in The Med & Mic™ blog post? Be prepared! Check out my media skills courses and coaching for MDs, DOs, ODs, DDSs, and PharmDs at Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC.

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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.

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