Week in Review: Feb. 26

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The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news, and upcoming events.


Industry News

More Women Are Having Mastectomies and Going Home the Same Day

More women with breast cancer are choosing to have mastectomies over breast-sparing procedures. And nearly half of them don't spend a single night in the hospital but go home the same day, according to a federal analysis. It's the latest study to show that treatment for breast cancer is shifting after years in which women, particularly those with early-stage breast cancer, were encouraged to have less invasive surgery — and patient advocates opposed outpatient or "drive-by" mastectomies. The trend concerns some patient advocates, who say for many women, less invasive options such as lumpectomy are just as effective. The advocates also fear that financial issues might be leading some patients to be sent home too soon. Via NPR.

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Life-Saving Battlefield Device Now Ready to Help Civilians

When a victim suffers a gunshot wound, seconds matter. Depending on where the bullet enters, that time could mean life or death. A team at RevMedx, Inc. in Wilsonville, Oregon, came up with a device to help mitigate excessive bleeding. It's called XStat, and is a syringe-like applicator filled with 92 medically designed sponges that absorb blood and exert pressure on trauma wounds to stop blood from exiting the body. Via CBS News. 

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More Than Just an Opioid Crisis: Deaths From Anti-Anxiety Drugs Are on the Rise, Too 

Deaths from opioids grab news headlines, government budgets, and the futures of troubled people. But these deadly drugs often have help. Benzodiazepines — underestimated and, some say, overprescribed — are killing people, too. “There’s a lot of attention on opioids,” said Dr. Joanna Starrels, an internist and addiction medicine specialist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “But I think that epidemiologists need to pay closer attention to the role of benzodiazepines in overdose deaths.” Via STAT.

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Ebola 'Devastates Long-Term Health' 

Most people who survive an Ebola infection will have long-lasting health problems, say doctors from the US National Institutes of Health. Their studies on survivors in Liberia showed large numbers had developed weakness, memory loss, and depressive symptoms in the six months after being discharged from an Ebola unit. Other patients were "actively suicidal" or still having hallucinations. Via BBC.

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HPV Sharply Reduced in Teenage Girls Following Vaccine, Study Says 

A vaccine introduced a decade ago to combat the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer has already reduced the virus’s prevalence in teenage girls by almost two-thirds, federal researchers said. Even for women in their early 20s, a group with lower vaccination rates, the most dangerous strains of human papillomavirus, or HPV, have still been reduced by more than a third. Via NY Times.

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Mayo Clinic News

Crosswords and Brain Games Do Not Prevent Alzheimer's for Most of Population

Crosswords and other mental exercises which stimulate the brain are unlikely to protect most people from Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests. However those that are most at risk do benefit from keeping their brains active in middle age, according to a study. For them keeping their brains healthy through regular stimulation is crucial to avoid the build of sticky amyloid plaques which eventually lead to Alzheimer’s, scientists at the Mayo Clinic found. Via The Telegraph.

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A Call For a National Obesity Strategy 

The obesity epidemic is a solvable problem, but the United States really needs a comprehensive national strategy to tackle it, argues James Levine, a leading researcher and co-director of the Mayo Clinic — Arizona State University Obesity Solutions program. “We actually need a very clearly defined national strategy and that national strategy deals with the spectrum of the social challenges, the medical challenges and thinking it through in a structure,” Levine told reporters at a National Press Foundation event on obesity in Scottsdale, Ariz. Levine pointed out that many leading organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, look at how to combat the health crisis, but too often that work happens in silos. Via Politico.

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Frozen Section Analysis Proves to Be Time and Cost Efficient for Breast Cancer Patients Receiving Lumpectomies

Breast cancer patients who get lumpectomies can reduce their rate of needing a second surgery if a frozen section analysis is done in the operating room, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study. Dr. Judy Boughey, who authored the study, says there is significant cost savings. Via KIMT.

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Hospital Adverse Events Rise Statewide, Drop at Mayo Clinic

The annual report on adverse events at hospitals shows numbers statewide are slightly up, but down at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Statewide, the report showed there 316 adverse events reported, which is up from the year before, when 308 adverse events were reported. Locally, Mayo Clinic Rochester had 31 adverse events.That number is down from the year before, when there were 44 adverse events. Via KTTC.

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Mayo Clinic Minute: The Flu Has Arrived

The flu season is ramping up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), activity of the influenza virus is increasing and widespread in the United States. Experts from Mayo Clinic encourage people who have not yet gotten a flu shot to do so now. Via Mayo Clinic News Network. 

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.