Week in Review: Oct. 21

shutterstock_181674146-1024x682The 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

10 Infant Deaths May Be Related to Teething Remedies, FDA Says

The Food and Drug Administration is investigating 10 infant deaths that may be related to use of homeopathic teething gels and tablets. In addition, officials said, the agency has received numerous reports of seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, and agitation after children were given homeopathic teething products. The gels and tablets are used to blunt the discomfort felt by teething babies. The FDA warned parents last month to stop using the products, which are manufactured or distributed by CVS, Hyland’s Homeopathic, and other companies. Via NY Times.

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How Gaps in Mental Health Care Play out in Emergency Rooms

Nearly 1 in 5 children each year suffers a psychiatric illness, according to research estimates. But a national shortage of medical specialists and inpatient facilities means that many still go untreated—despite national efforts to improve mental health care. New research is driving home the consequences. Scientific abstracts presented in Las Vegas, at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians, offer insights into how frequently patients with mental health issues land in the emergency room—often because opportunities to intervene earlier are missed. Pediatricians and child psychiatrists say children are among the hardest hit. Via NPR.

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Heart Surgery Patients at Risk for Deadly Infection, CDC Warns

Patients who have undergone open heart surgeries since 2012 may be at risk of a life-threatening infection linked to a medical device used during their operations, health officials warned. Patients who have had valve implants or prosthetic product implants are at higher risk of infection with a bacterial species of nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Based on the number of surgeries conducted over the past four years, an estimated 600,000 patients are at risk for a potential infection. Via CNN.

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Efforts to Improve Outpatient Care Have Failed in Critical Areas

Efforts to improve the quality of care in the United States have had little impact on many aspects of outpatient care, a new, sweeping analysis shows. The researchers examined the quality of office-based care—meaning visits to physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners—between 2002 and 2013. Ongoing deficits in care “pose serious hazards to the health of the American public,” the study authors concluded. Via CBS News.

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STDs Hit Historic High: CDC

The number of cases of a sexually transmitted disease reported in the U.S. reached an all-time high last year, the CDC is reporting. The combined total of reported chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis cases was more than 1.8 million in 2015, the agency said in its annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report. Via MedPage Today.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mind over Money: How to Balance Mental Well-Being with Busy Careers from Mayo Clinic's Dr. Sood

“The good people are very good at feeling bad about themselves,” Amit Sood, M.D., advises on a panel at Forbes’ Under 30 Summit. “If you’re feeling bad, it means you’re a good person. It means that you’re sensitive and you care.” Dr. Sood, who founded the Mayo Clinic Resilience Program and chairs its Mind Body Initiative, says the keys to maintaining a positive state of mind are looking at things from a bigger perspective, finding meaning in what you’re doing, and focusing on the journey instead of obsessing over outcomes. Via Forbes.

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Mayo Team Developing Sequencing Technique to ID Infections in Joint Replacements

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are turning to metagenomic sequencing to identify pathogens responsible for infections that occur in hip and knee replacements. During a presentation at the Individualizing Medicine Conference hosted by the Mayo Clinic last month, and in a follow-up interview with GenomeWeb, Robin Patel, M.D., Director of the Infectious Diseases Research Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, described a metagenomic sequencing approach her lab is testing to identify potential infections in patients whose joint replacements fail. Via GenomeWeb.

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Plummer Building Doors Close for 10th Time in 88 Years to Honor Sister Generose Gervais

The Plummer Building doors are a symbol of the Mayo Clinic institution: open and welcoming, representing diversity of life. Through history, the doors have closed to mark solemn occasions of great significance, as one of the highest expressions of respect at Mayo Clinic. "It was a moment of great solemnity, you could see the great crowd of people here, it's something you rarely see. It's a very important occasion," said Paul Scanlon, M.D., a Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Specialist, as well as Medical Director for Humanities at Mayo Clinic. Via KTTC.

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Mayo Clinic to Add 14 New Operating Rooms

A little more than a year after it opened, the Richard O. Jacobson Building is going under the metaphorical knife to build 14 new, state-of-the-art operating rooms. Mayo Clinic's surgery department is taking over the entire 37,000-square-foot street-level floor of the building on the southwest corner of Second Street Northwest and First Avenue Northwest. That part of the building has been unused since it was built in 2015. This new project is about using unused space to help the growing surgical department, said Michael Kendrick, M.D., who chairs Mayo Clinic's Surgical Facilities Committee and its Subspecialty Surgery area. Via Post-Bulletin.

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What You Need to Know about This Year’s Flu Vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 49,000 flu-related deaths occur annually. Internal medicine specialist Vandana Bhide, M.D., who treats many hospitalized flu patients at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, offers advice and information on this year’s flu strains, available vaccines, and tips to avoid getting the flu. 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.