FDA allows DOD to use French freeze-dried plasma in emergencies | Naval health clinic completes EHR inspection, accreditation survey | VA, NCI partnership opens door to cutting-edge cancer treatments for veterans
The FDA granted an emergency use authorization to the DOD for the emergency use of powdered, freeze-dried plasma made by the Centre de Transfusion Sanguine des Armées in France. The authorization allows the product to be used to treat hemorrhage or coagulopathy in US military personnel "during an emergency involving agents of military combat ... when plasma is not available for use or when the use of plasma is not practical."
Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor has become the first Defense Department care site and MHS GENESIS EHR system user to successfully complete a Joint Commission accreditation survey and pass the Navy Medicine Medical Inspector General inspection process, as well as the first to finish and pass a Primary Care Medical Home survey. Surveyors did not find any major problems with administration, emergency management, infection control, leadership or high-quality care provision at the clinic, which is in Washington state.
The Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Cancer Institute have joined forces, making it easier for veterans with cancer to access experimental treatments and clinical trials. "By increasing enrollment in these trials, VA and Veterans will contribute to important cancer research," said Peter O'Rourke, acting VA secretary.
The Department of Veterans Affairs spent almost $3 billion to maintain its VistA EHR system during fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office. The report also identified challenges the VA faces as it transitions to a Cerner EHR system, including the difficulty of determining the scope of system requirements that should be replaced by the Cerner EHR.
A safety labeling update was approved by the FDA for all fluoroquinolone antibiotics, as they may increase risk of mental health side effects and severe low blood sugar, including hypoglycemic coma. Current FDA-approved fluoroquinolones include Bayer's Avelox and Cipro, Melinta Therapeutics' Baxdela, Merus Labs' Factive, Janssen's Levaquin, and ofloxacin.
Diagnosed eating disorders rose from 2.3 per 10,000 in 2013 to 3 per 10,000 in 2016, then declined to 2.9 per 10,000 last year, according to a study published in the Defense Health Agency's Medical Surveillance Monthly Report. The results "underscore the need for appropriate prevention and treatment efforts in this population," the researchers wrote.
Ken Canestrini is a retired Army Colonel (Medical Service Corps) with over 40 years of service in the United States Army and as a federal employee. He has experience in leading combat medical units and military installation health care systems, and as a senior leader on the Army Surgeon General's staff. Prior to coming to AMSUS, he was the acting director for DOD's Tricare program at the Defense Health Agency. He oversaw the policy and execution of the Tricare health plan totaling $22 billion and serving over 9 million beneficiaries worldwide. He has a master's degree in health care administration from Baylor University and a master's in strategic studies from the Air War College.