Subset of Iraq War veterans may be carrying latent parasite | Soldiers' opioid use drops 3.5 percentage points, Army surgeon general says | Rear Adm. Mary Riggs named director of DHA R&D
October 11, 2017
AMSUS SmartBrief
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Subset of Iraq War veterans may be carrying latent parasite
Two studies presented at an infectious diseases conference found that a significant percentage of veterans of the Iraq War have asymptomatic latent visceral leishmaniasis infections, which could become active in immunocompromised patients. The parasitic infection is transmitted by sand flies and can cause chronic fever, weight loss, spleen problems and blood cell deficiencies as well as bacterial infections, malnutrition and severe bleeding.
MedPage Today (free registration) (10/9) 
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Military Health System
Soldiers' opioid use drops 3.5 percentage points, Army surgeon general says
Use of opioids by active-duty soldiers has fallen from 10.5% in 2012 to 7% in 2016, according to Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Nadja West. Army leaders have been working to help soldiers deal with pain using alternative methods.
Defense News (10/10) 
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Veterans Health Administration
Senators introduce VA Financial Accountability Act
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., introduced the VA Financial Accountability Act to stabilize VA health care funding. The bill would mandate an independent audit of the VA's financial processes, require the VA to seek emergency funding at least 45 days before benefits or health care for veterans are affected and require the VA's chief financial officer to approve annual budget requests.
Stars and Stripes (tiered subscription model) (10/10) 
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National Health Care
FDA chief warns of looming drug shortages amid hurricane fallout
FDA chief warns of looming drug shortages amid hurricane fallout
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said US hospitals and pharmacies might encounter drug shortages in the next two to three weeks because most Puerto Rico pharmaceutical plants are operating at partial capacity due to problems with the power supply and poor access to materials after Hurricane Maria. Gottlieb said it's unclear when drugmakers will be able to return to full manufacturing capacity, and he asked drugmakers to be more transparent about the problems they are facing.
Reuters (10/10) 
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Health and Medical Research
Study: Pre-op antibiotic prophylaxis doesn't increase risk of resistance
Patients undergoing low-risk surgery were no more likely to develop a post-surgical antibiotic-resistant infection if they received an antibiotic before surgery than were patients who did not receive antibiotic prophylaxis, researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.
United Press International (10/10) 
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Tool enables safe discontinuation of inappropriate prescriptions
A study conducted in the Netherlands and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that the Multidisciplinary Multistep Medication Review is an effective tool for safely discontinuing inappropriate drugs in elderly nursing home residents. The intervention involves an assessment of the patient's perspective and medical history, a critical appraisal of medications, collaboration between the physician and pharmacist, and implementation of changes.
Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (10/10) 
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Registration and housing for AMSUS Annual Meeting
We are less than two months away from the 126th AMSUS Annual Meeting, Nov. 28-Dec. 1, with pre-conference on Nov. 27, at National Harbor, Md. See rates and register on the meeting website. Remember to book your housing at the Gaylord National as well (see housing policy). We look forward to seeing you in November.
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AMSUS Annual Meeting schedule
View the current Schedule-at-a-Glance to start planning for the week. Monday pre-conference events (registration required), reveille and breakout sessions. Plenaries with invited senior federal leadership include Dr. David Shulkin, Secretary of the VA (confirmed), the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Director of the Defense Health Agency, the Surgeons General, the Joint Staff Surgeon, the Under Secretary for Health of the VHA and more.
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