Study Reveals Need For Better Screening, Prevention Of Venous Thromboembolism As Outpatient Surgery Grows
A University of Michigan Health System study examined who's having outpatient surgery in the U.S. today, and showed 1 in 84 highest-risk patients suffers a dangerous blood clot after surgery. Hospitalized patients are often warned of the possibility of venous thromboembolism, which include blood clots that can form in the veins and travel to the lungs. However these warnings have not necessarily been extended to the outpatient surgery population, says U-M surgeon and lead study author Christopher J. Pannucci, M.D. With more than 60 percent of procedures now being done in the outpatient setting, the U-M study revealed a need for better patient screening of the large and growing group of patients having outpatient surgery. "Once a setting for those having simple procedures, outpatient surgery now includes a greater variety of procedures from plastic surgery to cancer operations and orthopedic surgery, and not all patients are young, healthy individuals, " says Pannucci, a resident in the U-M Section of Plastic Surgery.
Black flies drink blood and spread disease such as river blindness - creating misery with their presence. A University of Georgia study, however, proves that the pesky insects can be useful. Don Champagne, an entomology professor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, discovered a way to use the black fly's blood-sucking tactics for medical advancement. The results of his research were published in the journal PLoS One. "In order to feed on blood, these insects have to contend with our natural defense agents against blood loss-like clotting, " Champagne said. "Many insects use salivary injections packed with proteins to inhibit the enzymes in our bodies from reacting the way they normally would to injury." In order for insects to earn a blood meal, they have to override the human body's battery of defenses.
Engineers at Stanford University have demonstrated how a tiny, externally controlled, wirelessly-powered medical device, is able to propel itself through blood, in a manner reminiscent of the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage, where a microscopic submarine and scientific crew are injected into the bloodstream of a man. Assistant professor and electrical engineer Ada Poon heads the Poon Research Group at Stanford University School of Engineering. She and her team pursue new ways to use wireless communication and integrated circuit technologies in medicine. Earlier this year, at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco, before an audience of her peers, Poon presented a study that suggests the day when we are invited to "swallow the surgeon" as part of a diagnostic test may be closer than we imagined.
A team of researchers led by scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College has designed what appears to be a powerful gene therapy strategy that can treat both beta-thalassemia disease and sickle cell anemia. They have also developed a test to predict patient response before treatment. This study's findings, published in PLoS ONE, represents a new approach to treating these related, and serious, red blood cells disorders, say the investigators. "This gene therapy technique has the potential to cure many patients, especially if we prescreen them to predict their response using just a few of their cells in a test tube, " says the study's lead investigator, Dr. Stefano Rivella, Ph.D., an associate professor of genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. He led a team of 17 researchers in three countries.
Johnson & Johnson's blood clot preventer Xarelto has come out well in clinical trials, with results comparable to other treatments for blood clotting in the lungs. A study of nearly 5000 patients showed effectiveness and safety were on par with anything else on the market, meaning the drug is poised to move forwards and possibly become a front-runner for hospitals around the world. The generally accepted treatment used, a combination injection of heparin and warfarin in pill form, was compared with Xarelto. Clots can often form in the legs and then break loose and become lodged in the lungs. In what was the largest clinical trial to date for lung clot treatment, those on Xarelto also known by its chemical name rivaroxaban, experienced only half the number of major bleeding incidents, mainly brain hemorrhages.