Week in Review: March 11

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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

New Procedure Allows Kidney Transplants From Any Donor

In the anguishing wait for a new kidney, tens of thousands of patients on waiting lists may never find a match because their immune systems will reject almost any transplanted organ. Now, in a large national study that experts are calling revolutionary, researchers have found a way to get them the desperately needed procedure. Via NY Times.

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Retail Clinic Users Have Higher Costs

The made-in-Minnesota innovation of small clinics in stores caring for a limited set of ailments might not save the health care system much money. Backers of retail clinics have long argued that the centers produce savings, since they charge less than an emergency room or traditional clinic when caring for things like a sinus infection or earache. That's true, according to a study released, but overall costs for low-severity illnesses are higher among patients who get treatment at retail clinics. Via Star Tribune. 

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Many of the Best U.S. Hospitals Losing Ground to C difficile, With Rates Worse Than National Average

Some of the best and brightest hospitals in the United States are losing ground in the battle against Clostridium difficile (C diff) infection, according to new figures from Consumer Reports. Overall, the bacterium infects approximately 450,000 people and plays a role in the death of about 29,000 people each year. In 2014, 101,074 patients were infected in hospitals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Via Medscape.

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Minnesota Hospitals Launch 'Nation's Largest' Concussion Study

The University of Minnesota and Hennepin County Medical Center are launching what’s billed as the nation’s largest study of concussions and traumatic brain injuries, combining discoveries on brain imaging, blood analysis, and eye tests to pursue a more accurate method of detecting the severity and long-term ramifications of these injuries. The two Minnesota institutions are partnering with Chicago-based Abbott, the huge pharmaceutical and device manufacturer. Via Star Tribune.

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Are You Pre-Diabetic? 46% of California Adults Are, UCLA Study Finds

For decades, more and more Californians have put on weight and fallen sick with diabetes, prompting warnings that the disease was spiraling out of control. Now experts have data showing just how bleak the situation is. Researchers from UCLA determined that 55% of California adults have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be considered diabetic, according to a study published. Via Los Angeles Times.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo to Start Work on Zika Vaccine

Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group is working on developing a vaccine to protect against the Zika virus, according to an article in Discovery's Edge, Mayo's research magazine. "My team is starting on this immediately," said Mayo vaccinologist Dr. Gregory Poland. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Mayo Clinic Develops 'The ABCs of Influenza' Flash Cards

Influenza is a serious viral infection that causes illness, hospitalizations and thousands of deaths every year in the U.S. Mayo Clinic recommends getting a vaccine each year to prevent illness and protect the people around you. "With some simple facts about influenza and an annual vaccine, individuals will be doing the most they can to reduce their chances of becoming ill from influenza," says Matthew Binnicker, Ph.D., director of the Clinical Virology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic. Via News-Medical.net.

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Obesity in America: As Health Care Costs Rise, Hospitals Weigh New Ways of Caring For Larger Patients

In the United States, where two-thirds of adults are classified as overweight or obese, larger patients are increasingly the norm, and the health care industry has evolved in many ways to accommodate them, from developing sturdier medical equipment to building heavier-duty hospital beds. The sector has been much slower, however, to tackle other, subtler ways obesity weighs on the health care system, such as the tolls of physically handling larger patients, despite the vast medical and financial benefits of doing so, nurses and other medical experts say. Via International Business Times.

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The One Test That Can Improve Your Health Today

When you provide just one sample of your DNA, researchers are able to use it to learn more about your health history, assess your chances of contracting certain diseases and even gain a better understanding of the importance family history can play in your health outlook. To better understand genomic sequencing and how it can help you lead a happier, healthier life, Dr. Richard Sharp, director of the Biomedical Ethics program at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine, offers these five things you need to know about this groundbreaking preventive treatment. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Have the Flu? Stay Home!

It's official. The flu season is here. Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist Dr. Pritish Tosh says it’s not too late for people who have not been vaccinated to get the influenza vaccine. "Although influenza right now is on the increase nationally, there certainly will be several more weeks of influenza activity likely within people’s location but also across the U.S. If you haven't gotten the vaccine, now would be a great time to do so, otherwise it may be too late." 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.