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Featured Articles

  • July 30, 2019

    Nasal Decolonization: Potential Mupirocin Alternatives for SSI Prevention

    Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage is a proven risk factor for the development of staphylococcal surgical site infections, or SSIs. S. aureus infections are associated with increased length of hospital stays, increased mortality and higher costs of medical care. Nasal colonization rates with S. aureus have been reported to reach up to 30%, with 1% to 3% having methicillin-resistant organisms.Nasal decolonization strategies have proven beneficial in reducing not only S. aureus colonization but also S. aureus SSIs.  Read More  

    Bioinspired Wound Dressing Contracts in Response to Body Heat to Speed Healing

    Cuts, scrapes, blisters, burns, splinters, and punctures—there are a number of ways our skin can be broken. Most treatments for skin wounds involve simply placing a barrier over it (usually an adhesive gauze bandage) to keep it moist, limit pain, and reduce exposure to infectious microbes, but do not actively assist in the healing process. More sophisticated wound dressings that can monitor aspects of healing such as pH and temperature and deliver therapies to a wound site have been developed in recent years, but they are complex to manufacture, expensive, and difficult to customize, limiting their potential for widespread use. Read More

    Discordant Themes Exist in Skin Cancer Assessment Outcomes Among Physicians, Patients

    Areas of disagreement between patients and physicians on skin cancer-related outcomes include patient fear of the unknown, recurrence and empowering patients to make treatment choices, according to researchers in Dermatologic Surgery. “The shift from a physician/disease-specific point of view to a patient-oriented one has created a new set of qualitative outcomes,” Anthony M. Rossi, MD, of the dermatology service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, and colleagues wrote. Read More

    Rare Skin Lymphoma Appears Treatable with Antibiotics

    It is common for patients with a rare lymphoma, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), to also contract staphylococcal infections in the skin. CTCL is a cancer of the T-cells in the skin. CTCL can also involve the blood, lymph nodes, and other internal organs. Researchers with the LEO Foundation Skin Immunology Research Center at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, the University of Copenhagen, showed that aggressive antibiotic treatment could not only inhibit the staph infection, but also the cancer cells. Read More

  • July 23, 2019

    Biofilm Researchers Help Doctors Understand, Treat Chronic Wounds

    When patients would come into his Texas clinic with the small and seemingly harmless sores, caused by the disease restricting blood flow and damaging nerves, the wounds would often resist traditional antibiotics and refuse to heal. In many cases, infection would spread to the bone and become life-threatening. Wolcott saw firsthand why diabetes is the leading cause of lower-extremity amputations not associated with traumatic injury. And when an amputation caused complications, he saw how the ulcers can, ultimately, result in death. Read More  

    Nasal Decolonization: Potential Mupirocin Alternatives for SSI Prevention

    Staphylococcus aureus nasal carriage is a proven risk factor for the development of staphylococcal surgical site infections, or SSIs. S. aureus infections are associated with increased length of hospital stays, increased mortality and higher costs of medical care. Nasal colonization rates with S. aureus have been reported to reach up to 30%, with 1% to 3% having methicillin-resistant organisms. Nasal decolonization strategies have proven beneficial in reducing not only S. aureus colonization but also S. aureus SSIs. The most common nasal decolonization strategy is to administer mupirocin to the nares starting a few days before surgery. A consequence of mupirocin use, however, has been the development of mupirocin-resistant staphylococci. Because of concerns about resistance and whether patients can be relied upon to apply mupirocin before surgery, alternative approaches to nasal decolonization are being investigated. Read More

    Recognizing Kidney Injury Due to Burns Is Improved by Artificial Intelligence

    Many burn victims suffer acute kidney injury (AKI), but early recognition of AKI remains challenging. Now an Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning (AI/ML) model developed at UC Davis Health and reported in a new study can predict acute kidney injury quicker and more accurately than ever. "The ability to predict AKI in burn patients using AI is a potential breakthrough for burn centers," said Tina Palmieri, professor and director of the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center at UC Davis Medical Center. Read More

    5 Leader-Driven Strategies for Pressure Injury Prevention

    New OR technologies and procedures are increasing length of surgery in many cases. For patients already at high-risk for co-morbidities, this combination is leading to increased pressure injuries such as alopecia and deep tissue sacral injury caused by unrelieved pressure. “These injuries are occurring even with evidence-based positioning practices and device placement because the mindset toward changes in practice, even simple ones such as adding a one-minute pause during lengthy surgery to reposition, are not being discussed at the leadership level,” according to Cassendra Munro, PhDc, MSN, RN, RNFA, CNOR, magnet, professional practice, and care experience manager at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., consultant, and creator of the Munro Pressure Ulcer Risk Assessment Scale for Perioperative Patients©. With pressure injury on the rise, she says it’s going to take collaboration between leadership, the frontline and industry to tackle pressure injury on several fronts. Read More

  • July 16, 2019

    Late Irrigation, Debridement of Open Fractures Did Not Increase Re-Operation Rates

    Irrigation and debridement performed more than 6 hours after the occurrence of an open fracture did not increase the risk of re-operation, based on research presented at a meeting. “The old dogma that open fractures need to be addressed within 6 hours of injury needs to be revisited,” Herman Johal, MD, orthopedic traumatologist and clinical scholar with the Centre for Evidence-Based Orthopaedics (CEO) and department of surgery at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, told Orthopedics Today. Read More  

    Detecting Pressure Ulcers in Sweat and Sebum

    Pressure ulcers are a major burden to patients, carers and the healthcare system. Particularly vulnerable populations are elderly, bedridden and spinal cord injured individuals. Ph.D. researcher Jibbe Soetens investigated the response of the human skin to prolonged loading. Hospitals can use his results to detect and even predict pressure ulcers. Also the design of, for example, mattresses and wheelchairs can be improved with his findings. Read More

    Pilot Study Finds Collagen to Be Effective in Wound Closure

    Collagen powder is just as effective in managing skin biopsy wounds as primary closure with non-absorbable sutures, according to a first-of-its-kind study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology by a team of physician researchers at the George Washington University. The team investigated the efficacy of topical collagen powder compared to primary closure on the rate and quality of full-thickness wound healing through histopathological analysis of healing and comparison of symptoms and early cosmetic outcomes.  Read More

    New Tool Predicts How Electrical Stimulation Promotes Healing

    Scientists have known for decades that electrical stimulation promotes healing of chronic wounds, such as diabetic ulcers and bedsores, but how it happens has been a mystery—until now. "Electrical stimulation is directing the cells to promote migration toward the center of the wound," said Assistant Professor Mark Messerli of the South Dakota State University Department of Biology and Microbiology in the College of Natural Sciences. Messerli and his team developed a tool that predicts how cellular migration and alignment happens.  Read More

  • July 9, 2019

    Diabetic Foot Ulcer Outcomes Improve With Better Access, More Comprehensive Care

    Fewer first-time diabetic foot ulcers were reported from 2013 to 2017 compared with 2003 to 2007 in a high-risk population that had access to more comprehensive podiatry care services, according to findings published in Diabetic Medicine. “Persons living with diabetes and loss of protective foot sensation, foot deformity and/or peripheral vascular disease are at high risk of diabetic foot ulceration, and those with previous ulceration are at even greater risk,” Richard B. Paisey, MD, of the Torbay and South Devon Integrated Care Trust in the United Kingdom, and colleagues wrote. “Attempts to reduce new and recurrent ulceration in high-risk persons have required intensive intervention and follow-up.” Read More  

    Inpatient Hypoglycemia Predicts Major Amputation in Diabetic Foot Disease

    Patients hospitalized with acute diabetic foot are more likely to undergo any or major amputations when experiencing a hypoglycemic event, independent of other amputation risk factors, according to an analysis of electronic medical records data. “This study is the first to assess the impact of glycemic control on patients with acute diabetic foot in the inpatient setting,” Avivit Cahn, MD, a senior physician at Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, told Endocrine Today. “The study found an important association between inpatient glycemic control and amputations, with a stronger association of hypo- rather than hyperglycemia with adverse outcomes.” Read More

    US Study Finds Racial Disparities in Outcomes of Superficial Vein Treatments

    A US-based multicentre study has found that while chronic venous insufficiency is “primarily observed in white women”, there are other notable differences in the incidence and prevalence of disease severity and outcomes when comparing patients’ racial groups, with African Americans requiring a higher number of superficial vein treatments to achieve good results. Peter J Pappas (Center for Vein Restoration, Greenbelt, USA) presented the findings at the European Venous Forum (EVF; 27–29 June) in Zurich, Switzerland. Read More

    Combining Antibiotics, Researchers Deliver One-Two Punch Against Ubiquitouos Bacterium

    By combining two well-established antibiotics for the first time, a scientific team led by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center has delivered a “double whammy” against the pervasive Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a potentially deadly form of bacteria that is a major source of hospital-based infections. In a recent Journal of Infectious Diseases study, investigators showed using two antibiotic drugs to fight P. aeruginosa in mouse models was significantly more effective than either antibiotic alone. The antibiotics were ceftazidime-avibactam, a combination drug used to treat a wide variety of serious bacterial infections, and fosfomycin, used to primarily treat infections of the urinary tract. Read More

  • July 2, 2019

    Genetic Study Reveals Easily-Exploitable "Chinks in the Armor" of MRSA Superbugs

    Humans are currently locked in an arms race against pathogenic bacteria – and we're losing. After we developed antibiotics, starting with penicillin in the early 20th century, bacteria have evolved resistance to each new drug we created, threatening us with a future where antibiotics simply don't work anymore. Now scientists have identified the genes responsible for antibiotic resistance in a particularly dangerous superbug, and found a way to thwart them. Read More  

    AbbVie to Acquire Allergan for $63 Billion

    Allergan will be acquired by AbbVie for approximately $63 billion in cash and stock, the two companies announced in a press release. Under a definitive transaction agreement, which has been signed by both entities, Allergan shareholders will receive 0.8660 AbbVie shares and $120.30 in cash for each Allergan share they hold. "This acquisition creates compelling value for Allergan's stakeholders, including our customers, patients and shareholders. With 2019 annual combined revenue of approximately $48 billion, scale in more than 175 countries, an industry-leading R&D pipeline and robust cash flows, our combined company will have the opportunity to make even bigger contributions to global health than either can alone," Brent Saunders, Allergan chairman and CEO, said. Read More

    Obesity Increases Risk for Developing SSIs

    Obesity Increases a Patient’s Risk for Developing a Surgical Site Infection, or Ssi, Although the Extent of Impact Depends on the Type of Surgery, According to a Recent Study Conducted in the Netherlands. “the Prevalence of Obesity Is Growing Worldwide and Is Reaching Epidemic Proportions in Developed Countries,” Anouk P. Meijs, Msc, from the Centre for Infectious Disease Control in the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, and Colleagues Wrote. Read More

    Skin Shedding May Contribute to Spread of C. Auris

    Patients colonized with Candida auris carry a high burden of the emerging and often multidrug-resistant fungal pathogen on their skin, suggesting that the natural process of skin shedding among these patients leads to contamination of the heath care environment and contributes to transmission, according to findings presented at ASM Microbe. C. auris presents a public health concern because of its ability to cause large and persistent outbreaks, such as the outbreak in New York City hospitals. The specific mechanisms of transmission are not clear, which makes controlling these outbreaks difficult, according to Joe Sexton, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the CDC’s Mycotic Diseases Branch, and colleagues. Read More

  • June 25, 2019

    Atopic Dermatitis is Linked to an Increased Risk of Extracutaneous Infections

    “We have known for a long time that atopic dermatitis [AD] is associated with increased skin infections for several reasons, such as skin-barrier dysfunction, lower antimicrobial peptides, and increased bacterial colonization,” says Jonathan Silverberg, MD, PhD, MPH, director of the Northwestern Medicine Multidisciplinary Eczema Center in Chicago. But the association between AD and extracutaneous infections is not as well understood because studies have reported contrary findings. Read More  

    'Early Warning' Tool for Hard-To-Heal Leg Wounds

    Some 500,000 Australians live with the daily burden of a wound that does not heal, but a risk assessment tool that provides an 'early warning' of which venous leg ulcer wounds need specialized treatment has been developed by QUT's Dr Christina Parker. Dr. Parker's presentation on the assessment tool and its potential to help curb the $4 billion annual cost of treating chronic wounds received the top award at the CRC Association Collaborate Innovate 2019 Conference last week. "The tool is simple," Dr. Parker, from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, said. Read More

    Hydrogel Offers Double Punch Against Orthopedic Bone Infections

    Surgery prompted by automobile accidents, combat wounds, cancer treatment and other conditions can lead to bone infections that are difficult to treat and can delay healing until they are resolved. Now, researchers have a developed a double-duty hydrogel that both attacks the bacteria and encourages bone regrowth with a single application containing two active components. The injectable hydrogel, which is a network of cross-linked polymer chains, contains the enzyme lysostaphin and the bone-regenerating protein BMP-2. Read More

    Manuka Honey to Kill Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found in Cystic Fibrosis Infections 

    Dr. Rowena Jenkins and Dr. Aled Roberts have found that using Manuka honey could offer an antibiotic alternative to treat antimicrobial resistant respiratory infections, particularly deadly bacteria found in Cystic Fibrosis (CF) infections. Using lung tissue from pigs, experts treated grown bacterial infections mimicking those seen in CF patients with Manuka honey. Read More