UN report: 60M children may die before age 5 by 2030 | Link between Zika, Guillain-Barre syndrome strengthened by additional evidence | Report: Opioids involved in 24% of drug-related malpractice claims
Nearly 5.6 million youths worldwide died before age 5 in 2016, a new low, but neonatal mortality rates rose from 41% in 2000 to 46% in 2016, and about 60 million children could die before reaching age 5 between 2017 and 2030, 50% of whom would be newborns, should such rates continue, according to a United Nations report. The report also showed preterm birth and childbirth complications accounted for 30% of newborn deaths, and about 80% of newborn deaths occurred in southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, while pneumonia and diarrhea were the most prevalent causes of child mortality.
Researchers who conducted a small case-control study in Puerto Rico found more compelling evidence linking the Zika virus infection to the onset of Guillain-Barre syndrome based on survey responses from 47 cases, according to a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study analysis established three risk factors for GBS, consisting of severe illness two months prior to the onset of GBS symptoms, laboratory documentation of Zika infection and positive test results for Zika confirmed by a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction test.
Opioid medications were involved in more medical malpractice claims related to drug errors than other drug classes, according to a report from insurer Coverys. Data from QuintilesIMS showed 24% of medication-related claims involved opioids, but the drugs accounted for just 5% of all prescription drugs dispensed in 2016.
Health care organizations are using new models of holistic pediatric primary care to address unhealthy behaviors and prevent chronic disease in adulthood, physicians write in Harvard Business Review. These programs must include comprehensive, team-based care and address socioeconomic concerns such as housing, custody issues and substance abuse.
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Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Research Bank are mapping genomic data from thousands of patients, which they combine with EHR data to discover new insights into complex genetic challenges. Nazneen Aziz, executive director of the biobank, says there is much work to be done, explaining that only about 5,000 of 20,000 protein coding genes are understood and that the previously overlooked intergenic region, or DNA sequences between genes, is important to understanding complex or multi-genetic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.
The American Heart Association's Resilience in the Workplace study found 73% of more than 1,000 adults who participated in resilience training reported improvements in their health. The AHA said resilience training can reduce stress and depression at work and help employees cope with adversity.
Twenty Americans and UK citizens with a virulent form of herpes virus flew to the Caribbean vacation destination of St. Kitts and Nevis in 2016 to participate in an experimental herpes vaccine study that had not been sanctioned by the FDA or any institutional review board. The researcher who put together the study has since died, how and where the vaccine was made are unknown, and patients who experienced adverse effects have no recourse.
Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced Thursday that 12 Republicans and 12 Democrats signed on to co-sponsor their bipartisan deal aimed at stabilizing the Affordable Care Act markets. Alexander expects the proposal to "become law in some fashion before the end of the year," despite a lack of commitment by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote.
Several senators said they want to amend or repeal the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act -- legislation that reportedly weakened the government's ability to fight the opioid epidemic. Among those pushing for outright repeal are Sens. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who introduced a bill that would repeal the act. However, some lawmakers who sponsored the original legislation took issue with criticism of the law, saying the affected government agencies helped write it.
An overwhelming number of nurses acted in response to our message about the Texas Nurses Foundation's appeal for contributions in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Thank you for your generous support. With more disasters such as Hurricanes Irma and Maria affecting our communities this fall, the American Nurses Foundation has now created a broader "Disaster Relief" fund. This fund will support nurses in their disaster response and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, southeastern Texas, the Virgin Islands, Florida and other states affected by the recent disasters. Donate here. The American Nurses Foundation and the entire ANA Enterprise stand in solidarity with those affected. We encourage you to join with the power of nurses everywhere to help.
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Jerome K. Jerome, writer and humorist
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