Week in Review: Aug. 24

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

Rate of Pregnant Women Addicted to Opioids Skyrocketed in 15 Years, CDC Says

As the opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc across the country, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sheds light on the devastating consequences opioid addiction can have on pregnant women. The analysis, published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that the number of women with opioid use disorder at labor and delivery more than quadrupled from 1999 to 2014. Opioid addiction can lead to a number of health problems that affect a person's physical well-being, mental health, and social relationships. According to the CDC, opioids, including prescription opioids, heroin, and fentanyl, killed more than 42,000 people in 2016, more than any year on record. Via CBS News.

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Rochester Tornado Anniversary Marked with Personal Tribute

It was a vision of devastation. On Tuesday, August 21, 1883, a catastrophic tornado ripped through Rochester. “It landed at about where Apache Mall is located now and cut its way through downtown as we know it today,” said Matthew Dacy, Director of the Heritage Hall Museum of Mayo Clinic. “Houses seemed to explode, grain silos toppled over, and railroad cars were tossed about in the wind.” A third of the city was destroyed, and about 40 people were initially killed. However, many more later died from injuries suffered from the storm, including Doug Hansen’s great-grandfather Nels Hanson [Nels’ family name was later changed to Hansen]. On the tornado's 135th anniversary, Doug wanted to do something special to honor his great-grandfather and all those who lost their lives or suffered injuries that fateful day. Doug played in a hospital setting again Tuesday afternoon . . . this time at Mayo Clinic. “There were a few times where I had to fight back the tears I have to admit,” he said. “It caught me off guard that I would feel that overcome with emotion.” Via KAAL.

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FDA Extends EpiPen Expiration Dates because of Shortage

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking action to address the nationwide shortages of EpiPen. The agency says it's extending the expiration dates by four months on some injectors. The EpiPen has been on the FDA's drug shortages list since last May due to supply, distribution and manufacturing issues. Having the lifesaving medication on back order has hit families across the country hard. Via CBS Health.

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Life Expectancy Declines Seen in U.S. and Other High-Income Countries

Life expectancy is declining in high-income countries worldwide, driven in part by the effects of the opioid epidemic on younger adults in the U.S. and the impact of a severe flu season on older adults in other nations, two new studies suggest. Via Reuters.

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UK Woman Contracts Rare "Flesh-Eating" STD

A rare sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can destroy genital tissue has turned up in the United Kingdom, according to news reports. The disease, called donovanosis, was diagnosed in a woman in Southport, England, within the past year, according to local news outlet Liverpool Echo. The woman, who has not been identified, is between the ages of 15 and 25, Liverpool Echo reported. Donovanosis is an STD caused by a bacterium called Klebsiella granulomatis, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The disease is rarely seen in the United States, with only about 100 cases reported per year, mostly among people who have traveled to or are from areas where the disease is common, the NIH says. Donovanosis is also rare in the U.K. But it's common in some tropical areas, including parts of India, Papua New Guinea, the Caribbean, central Australia and southern Africa, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Via Live Science.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic Crowned Atop "Best Hospitals" List for Fourth Time in Five Years

U.S. News and World Report has again named Rochester’s Mayo Clinic the “Best Hospital” in the nation. The local health care institution and nonprofit earned the top spot last year and has now done so every one of the last five years—excluding the 2015-2016 list when it was the runner-up. Hospital rankings are determined by scores tallied in 16 fields of specialized care as well as their strength in treating nine bellwether procedures and conditions such as heart failure and lung cancer surgery. Mayo ranked no lower than 7th in the nation in all but one of the 16 specialized fields of care: ophthalmology. In all other specialization categories, including cancer, geriatrics and orthopedics, Mayo took home the gold, silver or bronze 11 times. Their full ranking breakdown for the 2018-2019 list is available here. Via Twin Cities Business.

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Rochester, DMC Prepare to Roll Out Plans for Downtown Bus Rapid Transit Service

The city of Rochester and the Destination Medical Center board are busy this summer working on the best ways to implement a recently adopted transportation plan calling for a downtown bus rapid transit circulator, among other goals. Bus rapid transit, or BRT, is the centerpiece of the strategy’s ideas on how to invest in transportation service improvements. The Rochester plan, which was adopted in July by the city’s Common Council, calls for BRT to serve as a “circulator” connecting two new park-and-ride stations (or “mobility hubs”) on the outskirts of downtown to the Mayo Clinic, its Discovery Square innovation district and other downtown businesses such as hotels and shopping areas. The plan calls for the construction of 12 new stations serving the routes with buses running every 10 minutes, 18 hours per day. Via Twin Cities Business.

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New Birth Center Coming to Austin Mayo Clinic Campus

Mayo Clinic Health System announced that a new birthing center will be built at the Austin campus by 2020. An $11.2 million investment, the new family birthing center will be an expansion in the third-floor space where the Women’s Special Care Unit is currently. While no exact design has been solidified yet, the announcement said the facility will feature 10 large rooms, private bathrooms, a triage space, C-section suite, newborn nursery, and a large family waiting area. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Mayo Clinic Retains Top Ranking for Endocrinology Care

For the third straight year, the Mayo Clinic leads the nation in diabetes and endocrinology care, according to the annual ranking by U.S. News & World Report of the nation's best hospitals by specialty, topping the list above Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland, which came in second, and Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, in third. "We were delighted to learn that our Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota, is ranked first by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-2019," William Young, Jr., M.D., Chair of the division, told Medscape Medical News. "This ranking is a tribute to and recognition of the more than 300 individuals in our division who devote their efforts every day to patient care, research, and education," he added. Via Medscape.

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Minimally Invasive Back Surgery Puts Fear and Pain in the Past

Michele Krause's fear of surgery prevented her from seeking a surgical remedy for her back pain for years. All of that began to change when she heard a Mayo Clinic surgeon explain a less-invasive procedure. 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.