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Changing Diagnosis Codes Will Challenge Emergency Medicine

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Emergency medicine faces special challenges during this fall's changeover in how medical diagnoses are coded. Nearly a quarter of all ER clinical encounters could pose difficulties.

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New Research Leads to FDA Approval of First Drug to Treat Radiation Sickness

New research has led to FDA approval of the use of a drug to treat the effects of radiation exposure following a nuclear incident. The drug, Neupogen, is the first ever approved for the treatment of acute radiation injury.

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UAB Study Shows That Injury Rates From Wearing High-Heeled Shoes Have Doubled

New research from UAB shows that high-heeled-shoe-related injuries doubled between 2002 and 2012. The frequency and severity of those injuries were sufficient to make the investigators suggest that wearing the appropriate shoes for the appropriate occasion and being aware of one’s surroundings are good ideas.

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Readmissions in Severe Sepsis Are as Common as Those in Heart Failure and Pneumonia

\Severe sepsis is a significant cause of rehospitalization along the lines of nationally recognized outcome measures and more commonly discussed conditions such as heart failure (HF) and pneumonia, said Darya Rudym, MD, New York University School of Medicine, New York, lead author of a study presented at the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

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Study: Many People In Emergency Department for Chest Pain Don't Need Admitted

Chest pain sends 7 million Americans to the ED each year. About half are admitted for further observation, testing or treatment. A new study finds a very low short-term risk for life-threatening cardiac events among patients with chest pain who have normal test results.

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Underappreciated Cause of Bowel Obstruction Should Be Included in Surgical Assessments

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Each year, more than 10 million Americans seek medical attention, often in emergency situations, for symptoms of intestinal blockages. Researchers at the University California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified an abnormal form of small bowel twisting (or volvulus) that may cause these painful obstructions. In contrast to other causes of bowel obstruction that are treated with bowel rest, these require immediate surgical care.

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Enhancing Emergency Medical Care for Seniors Could Reduce Hospital Admissions

Applying palliative care principles to emergency departments may reduce the number of geriatric patients admitted to intensive care units.

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A Simple, Active, Post-Discharge Intervention Program After Major Thoracic Surgery Reduces ER Visits and Saves Money

Hospital readmission rates after major thoracic surgery can run as high as 10-17%. Alarmingly, readmission after pulmonary resection for lung cancer has been associated with worse outcomes, including higher mortality. Thus, reducing readmissions after thoracic surgery can both save lives and reduce healthcare costs. Studies in internal medicine and cardiology have shown that programs that improve the transition from hospital to post-discharge care can be effective in decreasing emergency room visits and re-hospitalization. This study from McMaster University describes for the first time the benefits of an active, post-discharge intervention that begins in the hospital for patients who have undergone thoracic surgery.

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PTSD Common in ICU Survivors

In a recent Johns Hopkins study, researchers found that nearly one-quarter of ICU survivors suffer from PTSD. They also identified possible triggers for PTSD and indicated a potential preventive strategy: having patients keep ICU diaries.

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Should They Stay or Should They Go? Study Finds No Harm From Hospital Policies That Let Families Observe CPR

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When a hospital patient’s heart stops, the drama starts, as doctors and nurses work furiously at resuscitation. Some hospitals allow family members to watch, while the majority do not. Now, a study has shown for the first time on a national scale that patients do just as well after a cardiac arrest either way.