Volume 8 Issue 138
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 18-May-2006 
Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 19-May-2006

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
All rights reserved.

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A simple protocol avoids unnecessary invasive procedures

When a patient comes to the emergency room with a severe headache, this may be a sign of a Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH), an extremely serious condition caused by a bleeding brain aneurysm. On the other hand, there may be less threatening explanations for the pain. Until now, there has been no way to rule out the more serious condition and a series of tests involving some risk to the patient would have had to be done. more  

Rapid diagnosis of mini-strokes saves time and money with no harm to patients

As many as 300,000 Americans per year are diagnosed with Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, or "mini-stroke"). One of the difficulties with such patients is that by the time they reach the emergency room, their symptoms may have disappeared. Over 10% of these patients will suffer a stroke within 90 days, with 64% of those strokes being disabling, and 5% will experience a major cardiac event. Traditionally, these patients are admitted for a series of diagnostic tests over several days. more

Polycystic kidney disease: MRI provides an early alert to progression

A new method using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) accurately tracks structural changes that predict functional changes earlier than standard blood and urine tests in people with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (PKD), according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). PKD is a common inherited condition characterized by cysts that grossly distort the kidneys and liver and by high blood pressure and brain aneurysms (bulges in arteries). Findings are in the May 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. more  

Reducing dose errors for children in cardiac arrest

When children suffer cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) in the pre-hospital setting, it is particularly important that Emergency Medical Services personnel administer correct medication doses. more

NIH panel urges more informed approach to multivitamin/mineral use for chronic disease prevention 

An independent panel convened this week by the NIH Office of Medical Applications of Research and the Office of Dietary Supplements assessed the available evidence on the safety and effectiveness of multivitamin/minerals (MVMs). Following two days of expert presentations, public discussion, and panel deliberations, the panel made recommendations regarding certain specific supplements but ultimately concluded that more rigorous scientific research is needed before strong recommendations can be made regarding MVM use to prevent chronic diseases. more

Fraternity/sorority members who get drunk weekly at higher risk of injuries  

Members or pledges of college fraternities and sororities are twice as likely as non-Greek students to get drunk at least weekly and are at significantly higher risk of being injured or injuring someone else according to new research from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. more

New Medicare plan 'doughnut hole' to affect seriously ill seniors

The new Medicare plan aims to lower the personal cost of prescription medications to many older adults. Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that for those patients with more serious illnesses, the out of pocket costs for those medications will still be high. more


"Half of American adults are taking MVMs and the bottom line is that we don't know for sure that they're benefiting from them. In fact, we're concerned that some people may be getting too much of certain nutrients," said J. Michael McGinnis, M.D., M.P.P., Senior Scholar with the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, who chaired the panel.