There are reports from across the country regarding severe influenza in young people. In addition to mechanical ventilation, many are requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Given the severity of illness and the presence of multiple organ dysfunction, relying on an oral antiviral for influenza therapy seems unwise. However, at this point, the only option for intravenous therapy is IV zanamivir, which is not approved by the FDA, but available on ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. E-Cig Poisoning on the Rise. Poisonings from electronic cigarettes and their nicotine liquid have increased dramatically.
  2. West Nile Monitoring Needs Upgrade. The system used to monitor West Nile and other arboviruses in the U.S. is in such disarray that gaps might compromise the ability to detect and respond to outbreaks.
  3. Lassa Fever Reported in U.S. A man is in ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. How to Replace IV Nitroglycerin in the Shortage. For the last month, Nadia Awad, PharmD, and her ED team at Somerset Medical Center in New Jersey, have struggled with a shortage of nitroglycerin.
  2. FDA Panel Gives Nod to New Antibiotics. Two new antibiotics aimed at acute skin and skin structure infections each got unanimous approval Monday from an FDA advisory committee.

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There is nothing more disheartening for a physician than watching a patient die from a preventable cause. And, of course, the loss for the family involved is unimaginable. But it’s important, especially for parents, to understand the potential consequences of preventable, infectious diseases. Here’s a scenario doctors across the country are witnessing first-hand: A 2-year-old girl develops what seems like a cold. Over the next several days, her breathing rate increases. At ...

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The CDC’s report on the overuse of antibiotics raises concerns that the infectious disease community has been aware of for decades. Unfortunately, systemic action to address these concerns is hindered by misperceptions about antibiotic therapy: that it is safe, inexpensive, easy to prescribe, and that early administration is the best approach. At first blush, antibiotic therapy appears to be safe. But there can be dangerous complications to its use. Clostridium difficile, an ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. More of the Bugs Kids Get Are Resistant. The rate of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacterial infections in children is increasing in inpatient and outpatient settings.
  2. Salt, Obesity May Prematurely Age Young Cells. High sodium intake and obesity may act synergistically to accelerate cellular aging in adolescents, according to new research.
  3. Breast-Sparing Tops Mastectomy in New Analysis. Breast-conserving surgery led to ...

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This is why doctors practice cover your ass medicine A small case with big implications almost escaped my notice recently  The Boston Globe reported a case in which a family sued after a 23-year-old man died after being diagnosed with a lung infection. According to the Globe, the young man went to one of the Boston emergency rooms complaining of cough, fever, and chest pains.  OK, stop right there ...

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The discovery of antibiotics is one of the most significant medical achievements of the 20th century. In the 1920s Alexander Fleming pioneered the discovery and use of penicillin, winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work. Other pioneers built upon his success and scientific research to pave the way for even more antibiotic development. The ability to fight infections has ultimately resulted in longer life spans and ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 35-year-old man is evaluated for a 2-week history of nonproductive cough and fever. He has a 20-year history of asthma. Three weeks ago, he visited friends in Indiana. He has no dyspnea, hemoptysis, or worsening of his baseline asthma symptoms. His only medication is an albuterol inhaler as needed. On physical examination, ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Docs Unprepared for Payment Reform. A pair of recent reports call into question the ability of physician practices to embrace health reform efforts.
  2. Even a Few Drinks Tied to Poor Birth Outcomes. Women who consumed low levels of alcohol before conception and during pregnancy were more likely to have adverse birth outcomes such as low birth centile, low birth weight, and ...

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