By Ryan BradleyPosted 05.12.2011 at 2:44 pm 0 Comments
Humans are not good at delivering drugs. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pharmacy techs can mix pills up, provide too many or too few, or fail to dispense them quickly enough. In some cases, controlled substances disappear from hospitals, bound for the black market. Medication errors lead to some 1.5 million “preventable drug-related injuries” every year, at a cost of $3.5 billion, a report by the National Academies found. The stakes are highest in trauma units, where lifesaving drugs must be given within the “golden hour”--when medications are most effective.
Concussions have been getting a lot of air time lately, not only as evidence has emerged among head trauma-heavy populations like NFL players that their lifestyles may be doing serious long-term damage to their brains, but also because soldiers overseas are particularly vulnerable to them thanks to the tactics of insurgent warfare.
Scanner microscopes are used for inspecting entire areas in great detail--looking for counterfeit money, say, or scanning a patient's skin for possibly dangerous growths. But these microscopes typically scan by moving back and forth. This new microscope is totally redesigned, and scans an entire area at once.
A synthetic blood substitute is something of a holy grail in medical research. Many potential synthetics have been tried--DARPA has even put a blood substitute before the FDA--but most have been disappointingly ineffective. So it's pretty significant that an experimental synthetic blood substitute derived from cow plasma has brought an Australian woman back from the brink of death.
By Caitlin KearneyPosted 04.28.2011 at 10:08 am 3 Comments
More than 325,000 Americans die every year from sudden cardiac arrest, but two simple CPR devices could reduce that number by 10,000. According to a study published in The Lancet this winter, the ResQPump, which is used for chest compressions, and the ResQPOD, which prevents too much air from entering the lungs during CPR, could increase certain cardiac-arrest victims’ chances of survival by 50 percent.
Members of a health-related data-sharing website evaluated the use of a drug for treatment of a debilitating degenerative disease, the first time a social network was used to monitor patient treatment in real time.
If there were a distinction one could earn for practicing smart medicine on a shoestring, a UT grad student would be high in the running. Using a aluminum foil, gelatin, milk protein, and a cheap LED light--items that collectively sell for under a buck--he’s created a fast, one-hour test for acute pancreatitis.
It’s entertaining to watch IBM’s Watson make mincemeat of its human counterparts on Jeopardy, but the computing techniques that helped the computer best humans at trivia could soon be saving lives in the ICU. Artemis, a software program built on the back of IBM analytics software similar to that powering Watson, is being tested as a means to provide early warnings when babies in the ICU acquire hospital-borne infections.
If your asthma is acting up, you’re probably not the only one. But unless you’re standing next to someone who is also huffing his or her inhaler, you wouldn’t know it. That’s a problem for epidemiologists who do their best work when they’re buried in data, and it’s exactly the problem a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researcher aims to solve with a GPS- and WiFi-enabled inhaler.
Bone marrow has long been thought to have a role in repairing damaged skin, and now UK and Japanese researchers think they’ve found the key to summoning stem cells from bone marrow to the site of damaged skin: a signal known as HMGB1. By tapping this signaling mechanism, researchers could develop new treatments for skin injuries like severe burns.