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Health News Results - 197

This flu season is hitting children particularly hard, but new research shows that a flu shot is still well worth it for these youngest patients.

Getting vaccinated halved the risk of hospitalization for flu-related complications among young kids, scientists found.

The researchers analyzed vaccination data from more than 3,700 children, ages 6 months to 8 years, who were adm...

Could a simple computer hack help make a dent in the opioid epidemic?

New research suggests that the number of painkillers prescribed to patients can be reduced just by lowering default computer settings that display a preset number of pills.

That simple change led doctors at two California hospitals to prescribe fewer opioids, and the approach could improve opioid prescribi...

Sepsis kills more than twice as many people worldwide as once believed, and children in poor regions account for an excessive number of such deaths, researchers say.

Sepsis is an out-of-control immune response to infection that harms organs. People who survive sepsis can have lifelong disabilities.

In 2017, there were 48.9 million cases of sepsis and 11 million sepsis deaths...

Providing palliative care in hospitals led to a 10% reduction in intensive care unit use by dying patients, a new study finds.

Palliative care aims to provide relief from symptoms and stress of a serious illness.

Researchers say that ICU use at the end of life is considered an indicator of poor quality of care. The study's findings suggest that "implementing palliative ca...

This year's flu season has already turned bad quickly, and experts worry the worst is still to come.

Flu cases and flu-related hospitalizations have risen sharply since October, with at least 6.4 million reported cases and 55,000 hospitalizations, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 2,900 Americans have died from the flu, the CDC report...

Electric scooter accidents are sending droves to emergency rooms -- especially young adults, a new study finds.

As e-scooters' popularity has exploded, so have injuries -- skyrocketing 222% between 2014 and 2018 to more than 39,000. Hospital admissions also soared -- 365% to nearly 3,300.

Head injuries made up about a third of the injuries -- twice the rate seen in...

One in 10 hospital patients who develop Clostridioides difficile infections may already have the dangerous germ when admitted, but no diarrhea symptoms, a new study finds.

The new report suggests that such infections originate outside hospitals more often than believed, and that patients could be screened to prevent the spread of C. difficile, according to the authors.

Transfusions with fresh red blood cells are not any better than older red blood cells at reducing the risk of organ failure or death in critically ill children, a new study says.

The findings show that the standard practice of transfusions with older cells is just as safe and effective, according to the researchers.

Their study included more than 1,400 critically ill childre...

The days of old-fashioned house calls may be over, but there is a growing trend toward providing some hospital care in the comfort of patients' homes. Now, a new study suggests it might end up being cheaper and, in some respects, better than traditional hospital care.

The study, done at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, tested a "hospital at home" program -- where patients with ...

Seniors in cardiac intensive care units may suffer delirium and other problems if doctors only focus on their heart, a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement says.

Older adults in the cardiac ICU require different care from younger patients, according to the statement. They're likely to be frail, have other medical conditions and use multiple medications.

Nurses get less sleep before their scheduled shifts compared to nonwork days, which could affect patient care, according to a new study.

How much less sleep? Almost an hour and a half.

"Nurses are sleeping, on average, less than recommended amounts prior to work, which may have an impact on their health and performance on the job," said study lead author Amy Witkoski Stimpfe...

Most folks would prefer a peaceful death at home, in familiar surroundings with the company of their loved ones.

Now, for the first time in a century, there's a rise in the likelihood of those dying wishes to be honored.

Home has now surpassed the hospital as the most common place of death in the United States, for the first time since the early 20th century, according to a ...

Even a little exposure to the fine particles of air pollution can translate into higher hospitalization rates for a number of common conditions among older Americans, a new study suggests.

"The study shows that the health dangers and economic impacts of air pollution are significantly larger than previously understood," said study author Yaguang Wei, a doctoral candidate at the Harva...

Emergency department patients treated for gunshot wounds to the chest or abdomen are more likely to wind up in the hospital again than those who have such wounds in other areas of the body, a new study finds.

The study included 110 patients with a history of gunshot wounds. Most were men, with an average age of 50. The patients were seen in the emergency department at Thomas Jefferson...

How much pain you feel when blood samples are taken could depend on how nice the person wielding the needle is, new research suggests.

Patients were 390% more likely to say their pain was well-controlled when the person taking their blood was courteous, according to a study presented recently at the Anesthesiology annual meeting, in Orlando.

"It's not surprising that a c...

Fish oil might help people with heart failure avoid repeat trips to the hospital, a new study suggests.

The findings come from an analysis of a clinical trial first published last year, where researchers tested the effects of fish oil and vitamin D on people's risk of heart disease and cancer.

That main trial -- called the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL) -- had some enco...

The U.S. response to the threat of antibiotic-resistant germs has shown some progress, but these potentially deadly bugs still show no signs of stopping, a new government report warns.

Prevention efforts have reduced deaths from antibiotic-resistant bugs by 18% overall and by nearly 30% in hospitals, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Nov. 13 in an up...

Kidney damage among U.S. women hospitalized during pregnancy is on the rise, and those women are more likely to die while in the hospital, a new study finds.

Kidney injury during pregnancy increases the likelihood of complications and death in mothers and their babies.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data on more than 42 million hospitalizations during pregnancy tha...

A commonly prescribed muscle relaxant known as baclofen can leave older kidney patients so disoriented that they land in the hospital, a new study warns.

"It can present with acute stroke-like symptoms, even though it's not a stroke," said senior researcher Dr. Amit Garg, a professor of nephrology at Western University in Ontario, Canada. "It can present wi...

Immediate skin-to-skin contact between newborns and their mothers is encouraged, but poses some potential risks in cases of cesarean birth, researchers say.

In a new report, the researchers described two cases where newly delivered babies came into contact with electrodes on the mothers' skin that were used to monitor her vital signs during C-section surgery.

The cases were ...

Sexually abused youths are turning more often to U.S. emergency departments for help, a new study finds.

Among youths ages 12-17, emergency department admissions for sexual abuse more than doubled from 2010 to 2016, even as rates of sexual abuse showed a decline, researchers found.

Rates in other child age groups remained the same, according to the Saint Louis University stu...

The rate of hospital readmissions for seniors with infections that were first treated during their initial hospital stay is too high, researchers report.

"We found that as many as 5% of patients leaving the hospital with an infection have a readmission for that pre-existing infection -- that's bad," said Geoffrey Hoffman, an assistant professor in the University of Michigan's Scho...

If you're black or Hispanic and hospitalized for heart failure, new research suggests you're less likely to be treated in special cardiac care units.

For the study, researchers analyzed data on nearly 2,000 patients treated for heart failure at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston over 10 years.

"These outcomes are both unjust and avoidable, and in no way unique to a singl...

Language barriers between doctors and patients may translate into return visits to the hospital for certain heart or lung conditions, a new study suggests.

Conducted at two urban hospitals in Canada, the study found the heightened risks among patients with limited English skills who were suffering from either heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) -- which inclu...

Many older hospital patients suffer delirium after surgery, but a new program that involves the patient's family in recovery may help, a new study suggests.

Called the Tailored, Family-Involved Hospital Elder Life Program (t-HELP), it appears to help lessen the burden of postoperative delirium while maintaining or improving physical and thinking functions, and shortening the time pat...

Many brain injury deaths could be prevented by using an inexpensive drug in the critical hours following a head trauma, a new international study finds.

"Traumatic brain injury can happen to anyone at any time, whether it's through an incident like a car crash or simply falling down the stairs," said study co-leader Ian Roberts, a professor of clinical trials at the London School of H...

Nearly a third of U.S. heart patients die at home, which is more than the number who die in the hospital, according to a new study.

Researchers examined data on more than 12 million heart disease patients who died between 2003 and 2017. They looked at whether the deaths occurred in a hospital, home, nursing or long-term care facility, inpatient hospice, or elsewhere (outpatient medica...

When people in non-monogamous relationships decide to have a baby, they may find that hospitals are not ready to handle their childbirth needs, a new study suggests.

The study is among the first to look into the health care experiences of people in "polyamorous" relationships.

While the term might sound exotic, it's estimated that 20% of adults have willingly been in a n...

Many people are unnecessarily admitted to hospital intensive care units (ICUs), a large new study suggests.

Better procedures for selecting patients who need the ICU could save money and improve care, researchers said.

"This study was motivated by my experiences caring for patients in the medical ICU who required maximal life support because, a few weeks or months before, t...

Among hospitalized patients, infections with the fungus Candida are common and deadly.

In the United States, 25,000 cases occur each year, and nearly 45% of infected patients die. But a new study reports that the death rate can be cut by 20% if an infectious disease specialist takes charge of such cases.

These specialists are more likely to follow evidence-bas...

Massive vitamin C infusions could be a life-saver for patients with sepsis, an inflammatory condition run amok, new research suggests.

Sepsis is a leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals, claiming as many as 300,000 lives a year, according to the U.S. National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

"It's literally an explosion of the body's immune defense," said the study's...

If you are a senior who is poor or from a minority group, the chances may be higher that you could receive a cancer diagnosis in the emergency room, a new study suggests.

Cancer is typically diagnosed by a specialist, but 20% to 50% of cancers are only caught during an ER visit, researchers said.

"Emergency room detection of cancer provides a window to understanding ...

Cyber attackers who target hospital databases mostly go after patient contact and financial information, not medical records, a new study finds.

The data that hackers seek could lead to identity theft and financial fraud, according to investigators from Michigan State University in East Lansing, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Moreover, this is the focus of more ...

Critically ill kids are far more likely to survive if they're treated at hospital emergency rooms that are well-equipped to care for children, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 20,400 critically ill youngsters seen in ERs at 426 hospitals in Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nebraska and New York state.

The risk of death was three times lower for those tr...

For seniors who've been hospitalized for non-cardiac conditions, any hike in blood pressure medications as they leave the hospital can prove dangerous, new research shows.

That's because the prescription change may not help and could do harm -- putting them at higher risk for falls and other health issues, investigators said.

"During hospitalization, patients' blood pressur...

Scheduled for surgery? Don't forget to take your dentures out.

According to a new report, one 72-year-old man who had abdominal surgery in England swallowed his dentures during the procedure.

They got stuck in his throat -- and were only discovered eight days later.

The initial surgery was to remove a harmless lump in the man's abdominal wall. But because of the d...

Sepsis is a life-threatening infection that lands its victims in the hospital, but the dangers don't end for survivors who have high levels of inflammation long after being discharged, a new study finds.

"Sepsis is the leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Patients discharged from the hospital aren't out of the woods yet. Approximately one out of every three sepsis survi...

New research uncovers yet another population that will be vulnerable to the heat waves that climate change is delivering with increasing frequency: people with kidney disease.

Extremely hot days can increase advanced kidney disease patients' risk of hospitalization and death, and climate change means they'll face more such days, the study authors said.

"Climate change is n...

Patients who have noncardiac surgery are much more likely to die after they leave the hospital than in the operating room, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data on more than 40,000 adults, age 45 and older, who were operated on at 28 centers in 14 countries in North and South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia.

Of those patients, 1.8% died within 30 days ...

Say you go in for knee surgery and find the surgeon operated on the wrong leg. Or you received a drug you know you're allergic to.

It happens. In fact, about 1 in 20 patients is a victim of preventable medical errors, and 12% of such cases result in permanent disability or death, researchers say.

Most preventable harm is caused by medication and other treatments (49%...

Just 15 minutes can make a difference when someone is struck by a stroke, new research suggests.

The study included more than 6,700 patients in the United States and Canada who suffered an ischemic stroke (blocked blood flow to the brain) and were treated with anti-clotting therapy.

For every 1,000 patients whose treatment began 15 minutes sooner after their arrival at the h...

More than 3 million kids are hospitalized in the United States every year. Whether it's for a planned test or surgery or an injury or other emergency, knowing how to be involved in your child's care can help you get through what's often a stressful event.

The single most important thing you can do is be an active member of your child's health care team, taking part in every decision, ...

Standard decontamination methods may not be enough to stop a dangerous hospital bug, known as Clostridium difficile.

In a new study, researchers followed recommended procedures but found that surgical gowns, stainless steel surfaces and vinyl floors in hospitals were still contaminated with the C. difficile bacteria.

"The spores of the bacteria were able to gro...

For the sick or elderly, a urinary tract infection (UTI) can prove deadly. With many vulnerable patients developing UTIs post-discharge, a new study suggests that better monitoring is needed after leaving the hospital.

Researchers at Oregon State University explored more than 3,000 at-risk patients. The study revealed that the risk of infection tripled once patients went home.

...

Many more U.S. hospital patients suffer cardiac arrest than previously thought, a new study reveals.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops beating. It differs from a heart attack, in which blood flow to the heart is blocked.

This new analysis concluded that there are about 38% more adult cases and 18% more cases in children each year than estimated in a 2011 rep...

An air ambulance might be your only chance to survive a medical emergency -- but a new study reports it's going to cost you.

The median charge of an air ambulance trip was $39,000 in 2016, about 60% more than the $24,000 charged just four years earlier, researchers found.

That amount is "more than half of the household income for the average American family in 2016," sai...

Use of ambulances for non-emergency situations soared in New York City after the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new study finds.

With the advent of Obamacare -- and expanded access to Medicaid -- out-of-pocket costs for an ambulance dropped sharply for many people, making them more likely to ask for one in non-emergency situations, the researchers said.

In some cases, it's ch...

He sings, he plays games -- and Huggable the 'social robot' teddy bear could be good medicine for kids in the hospital.

In a study of 50 children, aged 3 to 10 years, the plush bear boosted spirits, eased anxiety and even lowered perceived pain levels, say Boston Children's Hospital researchers.

"It's exciting knowing what types of support we can provide kids who may feel is...

Smartphones have become an essential part of modern medicine, but they might be exposing patients to potentially deadly staph infections, a new study suggests.

Tests of cellphones at a Brazilian medical school revealed that 40% carried Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of hospital infections.

Worse, 85% of the bacteria isolated were resistant to antibiotic...

Many flies and flying insects in hospitals carry bacteria that could pose an infection risk to patients, and more than half of them carry the types that resist antibiotics, a new study says.

British researchers used ultraviolet-light flytraps, electronic fly killers and sticky traps to collect nearly 20,000 flies, aphids, ants, wasps, bees and moths at seven hospitals in England over ...