Week In Review — Nov. 21

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week's top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.

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Bird Flu Spread Likely, Human Cases Unlikely but Possible

New cases of bird flu detected in Europe will likely hit other bird populations and may infect a few people, though the virus is highly unlikely to spread in the human population, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday…"The risk for humans is always a possibility because of the massive shedding of these viruses by infected chicken flocks, however in my opinion the chances are very low," said Linda Klavinskis, a specialist in immunobiology at King’s College London. Via Reuters.

Innovating for Value in Health Care

A collaboration of the editors of Harvard Business Review and the New England Journal of Medicine, exploring best practices for improving patient outcomes while reducing costs. Via Harvard Business Review.

Texting May Be Ruining Our Necks: Study

Our addiction to reading texts and Facebook posts on our phones is putting about as much stress on our spines as carrying around a big sack of potatoes on our heads each day, a new study suggests. Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, says all those hours we spend hunched over our phones is ruining our posture and taking a toll on our necks. Via CTV.

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Dr. Martin Salia’s Death Shows Early Ebola Treatment Vital 

By the time he got to Nebraska, Dr. Martin Salia was unconscious, struggling to breathe and his kidneys had failed. The medical team at Nebraska Medical Center, experienced from saving the lives of two previous patients, swung into action, pumping Salia full of salt water and vital compounds to replace lost fluids, working to save his kidneys with dialysis, helping him to breathe with a ventilator…It’s a clear example of why Ebola has a 70 percent mortality rate in Africa, while most patients treated in the U.S. have lived. Most patients in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are not showing up for treatment until they are already very ill and it’s too late to reverse the damage the virus has caused to their bodies. Via NBC News.

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Health Insurance Costs Have Nowhere to Go But Up

Regardless of where you get your health insurance, one thing is for sure: Your premiums for 2015 and the next several years are set to rise significantly… And consumers need to plan for more rate hikes over the next several years, especially those who have coverage through their employer. One of the biggest causes behind these increases is the Affordable Care Act (ACA), so called because it was supposed to provide more affordable health insurance for all. Via CBS News.

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Blood Test Predicts TNF Inhibitor Response in RA Patients 

A blood test that measures the ratio of interferon (IFN)-beta to IFN-alpha in patients with rheumatoid arthritis can help predict who will respond to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, according to a new study…"It depends on where you set the bar, but if you are looking for a really strong response to treatment, probably around half, or fewer, patients with rheumatoid arthritis achieve a 70% response to treatment," said Timothy Niewold, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Via Medscape.

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2014 Person Of The Year: Mayo Clinic President And CEO John Noseworthy

He may perhaps become best known in Minnesota as “the $6 billion man,” given his success in launching what is expected to become the state’s largest-ever development project: the transformation of downtown Rochester into a “Destination Medical Center.”… But the Destination Medical Center (DMC) is just the tip of the iceberg Mayo Clinic president and CEO Dr. John Noseworthy is carefully navigating through churning economic and industry waters. Via Twin Cities Business.

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AHA: Screening or Treating to Goal Equally Effective

Ray Gibbons, M.D., professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in commenting on the trial, told MedPage Today, "Screening for coronary disease in diabetics is intuitively attractive, an example of personalized medicine, and seems to fit the axiom that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Via MedPage Today.

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Fresh Versus Frozen: Vancouver Doctor Tests Fecal Transplants for C. diff. Patients

Fighting the nasty bowel infection Clostridium difficile, Patricia Verrier was told about a procedure she could try on herself. But the idea of performing a fecal transplant, which is essentially getting an enema of someone else’s feces, was unacceptable… There’s even instructions on the Internet at the Power of Poop for a do-it-yourself fecal transplant at home. The technique, which basically restores healthy gut microbiota with an injection into the rectum, was tested by the famed Mayo Clinic and elsewhere with a cure rate of 85 to 90 per cent. Via The Province.

Mayo Blood Center in Dire Need of O-Negative

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program said on Wednesday that it is in dire need of O-negative blood and is urgently appealing to community members to donate. "If we don't have the supply, we've got to make some difficult decisions," said Dr. Justin Kreuter, the program's medical director. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.