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Featured Articles

  • March 27, 2018

    Modified Biomaterials Self-Assemble on Temperature Cues

    Biomedical engineers have demonstrated a new approach to making self-assembled biomaterials that relies on protein modifications and temperature. The hybrid approach allows researchers to control self-assembly more precisely, which may prove useful for a variety of biomedical applications, from drug delivery to wound-healing. Read More

    How Rounding is Helping Hospitals Reduce Patient Readmissions

    Hospital readmission rates are declining and there are several contributing factors. One of the main factors is that reducing patient admissions within 30 days after being discharged from an earlier hospital stay, whether the patient is admitted at the same or a different hospital, or for a different reason, has been a tremendous focus with the implementation of the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program (HRRP). A provision in the Affordable Care Act established the HRRP, which requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reduce payments to Inpatient Prospective Payment System hospitals with excess readmissions in October 2012. Facing penalties and reimbursement reductions, hospitals have taken a proactive approach to ensuring readmissions are minimized. Read More

    Nanofiber Dressings Promote Skin Regeneration and Wound Healing

    As one of the largest segments of the population move into their six and seventh decades, advanced healthcare initiatives focused on wound healing are imperative to improve quality of life and help keep seniors active. Now, investigators from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed new wound dressings that dramatically accelerate healing and improve tissue regeneration. The researchers found that naturally occurring proteins in plants and animals can promote healing and regrow tissue. Read More

    Four of the Most Life-Threatening Skin Conditions and What you Should Know About Them

    Dermatological emergencies are uncommon, but can cause devastating complications and death if not recognised and treated early. Some skin conditions require treatment in an intensive care unit. Here are some of the most serious skin conditions and what you should know about recognising them.  Read More

  • March 20, 2018

    Harlequin Ichthyosis Congenital Skin Condition

    Harlequin Ichthyosis is a rare, congenital skin condition. It affects the skin over almost the whole body of an infant, and carries a high risk of neonatal death due to severe and life-threatening infection. The incidence of the condition is about one in every 500,000 people. Both males and females are affected equally. The disease is caused by a mutation of the ABCA12 gene. This gene helps to direct the production of the ABCA12 protein involved in transporting fats within the epidermis, which is essential for normal skin synthesis. Read More

    Systemic Conditions That can Affect Skin

    It is important to remember that the skin can act as a window to a patient’s general health and that changes in the skin can signal underlying disease.A physician writing in the journal Medicine, says it is incumbent upon dermatologists to conduct a thorough examination of the skin, nails, mucosal surfaces, and hair so as to not overlook clues that might help arrive at a diagnosis of a systemic condition. A consultant dermatologist at St. George’s NHS University Hospital Trust in London, outlines systemic conditions that can affect the skin. Dr. Lamb stresses that by looking at the skin and noticing any changes in the skin, clinicians can potentially identify a condition that has remained undiagnosed.  Read More

    Call to Empower Care Staff in Monitoring Skin Integrity

    Care workers are critical to preventing wounds among aged care residents and they need to be empowered to act, says an aged care wounds specialist. The usual strategy in aged care is to have care workers provide the basics, such as showering or assisting with meals, but they have a key role to play in wound prevention, said Hayley Puckeridge, Uniting wound clinical nurse consultant. She called on aged care organizations to empower their care staff because they are critical to observing skin integrity issues as they saw residents at their most vulnerable including when naked. Read More

    Drawing Inspiration from Plants and Animals to Restore Tissue

    Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed new wound dressings that dramatically accelerate healing and improve tissue regeneration. The two different types of nanofiber dressings, described in separate papers, use naturally-occurring proteins in plants and animals to promote healing and regrow tissue. The most recent paper, published in Biomaterials, describes a wound dressing inspired by fetal tissue.  Read More

  • March 13, 2018

    Should Prophylactic Antibiotic Therapy be Used to Prevent Recurrent Infection in Patients with Lymphedema?

    In one study, 28% of people with cancer-related lymphedema experienced cellulitis, a common complication of all types of lymphedema. In some patients, cellulitis can result in sepsis and the need for high-dependency hospital care. People with lymphedema may experience recurrent episodes of cellulitis. These can cause further damage to the lymphatic system resulting in worsening lymphedema. This, in turn, leads to an increased risk for further cellulitis. So, a vicious circle may develop.  Read More

    Decreased Health-Related Quality of Life in Patients With Diabetic Foot Problems

    The aim of this study was to investigate health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with diabetic foot problems and compare the HRQoL between diabetic patients with: 1) diabetic foot problems (DF), including diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) or amputation (AMPU); 2) other diabetic complications (COM), such as diabetic retinopathy (DR), end-stage renal disease (ESRD), or coronary artery disease (CAD); and 3) no diabetic complication (CON).  Read More

    Critical Limb Ischemia Treatment Shows no Improvement at Three Months

    Patients with foot ulcers or gangrene who received the experimental drug JVS-100 did not show evidence of faster wound healing, compared with those receiving a placebo, in a study presented at the American College of Cardiology's 67th Annual Scientific Session. The study focused on patients with a condition known as critical limb ischemia, which occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the limbs (typically the legs) become stiffened or blocked. A lack of adequate blood flow to the extremities can lead to painful skin lesions or gangrene sores that persist for months or years. Read More

    Pioneering Treatments for Healing Chronic Wounds

    Chronic wounds differ from normal acute wounds, because they do not go through the normal healing process of inflammation, proliferation, and remodelling; instead they stop at the inflammation stage, and the healing process is stopped completely. It is estimated that 1-2% of the population in developed countries will experience a chronic wound during their lifetime. In the US alone, there are over six million chronic wound patients, and treatment is costing around $25 billion per year. However there has been many important breakthroughs recently in the field of treating chronic wounds. Read More

  • March 6, 2018

    Smart Bandage, Smartphone Controlled

    Even with medical science advances, the treatment of wounds is often fairly low tech. The process of changing bandages and applying the right medication at the right interval is often labor intensive. Promoting faster healing and preventing infection remain concerns. Scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Harvard Medical School and MIT have developed a bandage that works with a smartphone to dispense the right medication onto the wound at the right time. The smart bandage features electrically conductive fibers coated in a hydrogel that contains medicines like painkillers, antibiotics and tissue-regenerating therapies, which can target a specific type of wound. Read More

    Successful Treatment of CLI Requires Collaboration, Awareness

    Patients with critical limb ischemia face enormous challenges, and the medical community must work closely together to improve their lives via the best known treatments, a speaker said at the International Symposium on Endovascular Therapy (ISET). “We make decisions about the treatments for these patients without even thinking about which ones necessarily work best and last the longest, but our patients are begging us to figure this out.” Read More

    Preventing a Million Diabetic Foot Amputations

    Every 20 seconds someone, somewhere on the planet, loses a foot due to diabetes. Foot ulcers are the starting point of more than 80% of these amputations, and they could be prevented. The number of people diagnosed with diabetes, globally, has risen from 108m in 1980 to 422m in 2014. This is a huge burden on healthcare services as diabetes is associated with many long-term health complications, including peripheral neuropathy, where nerves become damaged, leading to pain, numbness or weakness. While costs are increasing, healthcare professionals have yet to find an effective way to screen diabetic patients and treat complications caused by the disease. Read More

    A Bacterium That Attacks Burn Victims will Soon be Unarmed

    The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is amongst the main causes of infections and sepsis in people suffering from severe burns. Researchers have succeeded in revealing the dynamics of the pathogen's physiology and metabolism during its growth in exudates, the biological fluids that seep out of burn wounds. This study allows to follow the strategies developed by Pseudomonas aeruginosa to proliferate and, thus, to guide the development of innovative treatments. Read More

  • February 27, 2018

    Building the $1.6M Wound-Monitoring Smartphone App

    When patients have chronic wounds, they often end up spending a lot of time and money on care. Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, however, hope to ease the burden with a smartphone app that promises to use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor and analyze chronic wounds, cutting costs and the number of trips. The National Institutes of Health liked the idea enough to throw $1.6 million behind its development over the next 4 years. Read More

    Falls Biggest Patient Threat, Report Shows

    Among the biggest threats to patient safety is an age-old problem: falling. Falls continue to be the single largest cause of serious injuries caused by a medical error, according to a new statewide report on hospital mistakes. And the problem is not confined to older adults, said Dr. Rahul Koranne, chief medical officer for the Minnesota Hospital Association. Nearly a third of falls occurred in patients 64 years old or younger. “That dispels the thinking that only older folks are falling,” he said. “The other trend we are seeing is that a majority of falls are happening around the time of bathroom use.” Read More

    The Long Term Impact Of Diabetes

    Diabetes is a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. As a clinician in assessing patients the rule of thumb, I was taught was that every year of diabetes added a year to a patient’s functional age – a 65-year-old with ten years of diabetes responded more like a 75-year-old. A paper in Diabetologia confirms the value of the heuristic, at least in their finding that a longer history of diabetes results in greater mortality. As with any good study, the results pose more questions than answers. Why would earlier onset with equivalent duration result in higher mortality? Read More

    Hollister Ostomy Care Skin Barrier Product Positively Impacts Peristomal Skin Health And Cost Of Care For People With Ostomies

    Hollister Incorporated, a global medical device manufacturer, today announced that its ADVOCATE (A Randomized Controlled Trial Determining the Variances in Ostomy Skin Conditions And The Economic Impact) study demonstrated that CeraPlus skin barrier, an ostomy skin barrier infused with ceramide, has a positive impact on stoma-related cost of care and peristomal skin health. "These data provide significant insights into how proactively managing peristomal skin health with a ceramide-infused skin barrier may result in better outcomes for those living with ostomies." Read More

  • February 20, 2018

    How to Spot Diabetic Foot Complications Early

    Foot infections are among the most common health complications in people with diabetes. When a seemingly normal wound is left untreated, it can become severely infected. Diabetics have abnormally high levels of glucose in their blood for long periods of time. This can lead to artery and nerve damage, which can compromise sensation in the feet. When diabetics get a simple cut, scrape or foot ailment and they leave it untreated, it can lead to serious complications. Read More

    Risk Assessment Tool can now Better Predict Pressure Injuries in Children

    Pressure-related skin injuries, a nurse-sensitive quality indicator in hospitals, are associated with increased morbidity and higher costs of care. There's been much attention focused on hospital-acquired pressure injuries (HAPI) in the adult population. However, while preventable, immobility-related and medical device-related pressure injuries (MDPI) also occur in hospitalized infants and children. Read More

    Regentys and Cook Partnering on Ongoing Development of Ulcerative Colitis Therapy

    Regentys and Cook Biotech are teaming up to continue developing a treatment for the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis. ECMH is a non-drug, non-surgical treatment for ulcerative colitis. It is based on extracellular matrix, or ECM, the non-cell component in all tissue and organs that provides the physical structure for the cell constituents. It is fundamental for the normal functioning and stability of tissue development. Read More

    Ultrathin, Highly Elastic Skin Display Developed

    A new ultrathin, elastic display that fits snugly on the skin can show the moving waveform of an electrocardiogram recorded by a breathable, on-skin electrode sensor. Combined with a wireless communication module, this integrated biomedical sensor system -- called 'skin electronics' -- can transmit biometric data to the cloud. The newly-developed skin electronics system aims to go a step further by enhancing information accessibility for people such as the elderly or the infirm, who tend to have difficulty operating and obtaining data from existing devices and interfaces. Read More