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Clinical Practice Guidelines: Trying to Get them Right the First Time

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The common thought in the medical community is that the randomized, controlled trial is the gold standard in medical research. Findings from these studies are thought to be most reliable and are often endorsed by guideline-making organizations and brought into medical practice. But, Penn Medicine researchers caution that the rapid adoption of one or two studies as the basis for clinical practice, even if they are randomized controlled trials, can lead to misinformation and potential harm. Using the case of Beta-blockers, they show how clinical practice guidelines are too often adopted quickly then overturned in the ensuing years. Their work is published in the current issue of BMJ Quality and Safety.

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Solving a Sticky Problem with Fetal Surgery Using a Glue Inspired by the Sandcastle Worm

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In creating an adhesive patterned after glue produced by the lowly underwater sandcastle worm, researchers are reporting today that they may have solved the problem of premature births that sometimes result from fetal surgery. It also could open up numerous opportunities to safely perform more complex fetal surgeries in the future. Their report will be presented at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

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Pregnant Women and Fetuses Exposed to Antibacterial Compounds Face Potential Health Risks 


As the Food and Drug Administration mulls over whether to rein in the use of common antibacterial compounds that are causing growing concern among environmental health experts, scientists are reporting today that many pregnant women and their fetuses are being exposed to these substances. They will present their work at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

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To Eat or Not to Eat: New Disposable Biosensor May Help Physicians Determine Which Patients Can Safely Be Fed Following Surgery

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A disposal, plastic listening device that attaches to the abdomen may help doctors definitively determine which post-operative patients should be fed and which should not, an invention that may improve outcomes, decrease healthcare costs and shorten hospital stays, according to a UCLA study.

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Sound and Safe

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Fuld Fellowship at Hopkins Nursing trains the eyes of gifted students patient safety.

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Discovery Yields Master Regulator of Toxin Production in Staph Infections

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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have discovered an enzyme that regulates production of the toxins that contribute to potentially life-threatening Staphylococcus aureus infections. The study recently appeared in the scientific journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

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Study Finds Brief Interventions Ineffective for Reducing Unhealthy Drug Use

Richard Saitz, M.D., of the Boston University School of Public Health, and colleagues tested the effectiveness of two brief counseling interventions for unhealthy drug use (any illicit drug use or prescription drug misuse) among primary care patients identified by screening.

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Effect of Enriching Feeding Tube Nutrition on Risk of Infection Among ICU Patients

Among mechanically ventilated intensive care unit (ICU) patients, receipt of high-protein nutrition via a feeding tube enriched with immune-modulating nutrients vs standard high-protein nutrition did not result in a significant difference in the incidence of new complications.

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Higher Chance of Hospital Death Found in Areas Where Emergency Departments Have Closed

In the first analysis of its kind, UC San Francisco research shows that emergency department closures can have a ripple effect on patient outcomes at nearby hospitals.

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Depressive Symptoms and Pain May Affect Adherence and Health Outcomes in Dialysis Patients

Among patients on chronic hemodialysis, those with depressive symptoms and pain were more likely to abbreviate or miss dialysis sessions, visit the emergency department, and be hospitalized. Depressive symptoms were also linked with an increased risk of premature death.

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