VA, Navy opening prosthetics lab and clinic in San Diego area | University partners with volunteer network on task-specific prostheses | FDA requires J&J to include amputation risk warning on diabetes drugs
May 18, 2017
News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession
The Department of Veterans Affairs is opening a prosthetics lab and clinic in partnership with the Navy at the VA medical center in Oceanside, Calif., that will serve veterans as well as active-duty military and their families. The VA and the Defense Department will have a prosthetist and support staff on site, but services will eventually be integrated.
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Jennifer Mankoff, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University's Human-Computer Interaction Institute, is working on 3D-printing technology and task-specific prostheses in partnership with the university's School of Computer Science and the volunteer network e-NABLE. "By creating task-specific solutions, customized to the needs of the person and a task they care about, we believe it is possible to improve the retention of prosthetic devices," Mankoff said.
The FDA has required Johnson & Johnson to include in the package inserts of its diabetes drugs Invokamet, Invokamet XR and Invokana a boxed warning regarding the risk of leg and foot amputations from taking the active ingredient canagliflozin. A safety analysis of a study conducted last year showed an increased risk of lower-limb amputation, mainly of the forefoot and toe, in patients with a high risk of cardiovascular events.
A late-stage, multicenter study of a stem cell therapy to treat peripheral artery disease is yielding positive results in preventing amputations, says study leader Michael Murphy. The stem cells are injected into the leg muscle, where they secrete growth factors that signal the muscle to grow new blood vessels, Murphy says.
An EHR-driven, pharmacist-led intervention for the management of patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia improved infectious disease consult rates, the use of targeted antimicrobial therapy and adherence to quality-of-care measures, compared with a pre-intervention group of patients, researchers reported in Clinical Infectious Diseases. All-cause mortality risk was lower in the intervention group, but no significant differences were noted in lengths of stay or readmissions.
Failure to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program, which would transfer families to marketplace plans, could cause out-of-pocket health care costs for low-income families with children with chronic conditions to rise by $233 to $2,472 at the lowest and highest income levels, respectively, researchers reported in Health Affairs. The findings also showed that out-of-pocket treatment costs may be highest among those with diabetes, epilepsy or mood disorders due to increased cost sharing for hospitalizations and prescription drugs.
Expertise in 3D printing as well as computer-aided design and manufacturing are essential to up-and-coming O&P technicians, says Brad Mattear, a member of AOPA's Technical Education Workgroup of the World Congress Planning Committee. Mattear also sees the O&P technician role evolving to one that is more interactive with patients and providers.
At least 625 people from Mosul, Iraq, have lost a limb in the war between the Islamic State and Iraqi government, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and many are now learning to walk with the help of prosthetic legs. The closest properly outfitted facility is 56 miles from Mosul, but aid organizations have been working with amputees at camps for displaced residents near Mosul to help them get ready to wear prosthetic limbs.
Marine Corps veteran Sgt. John Peck is at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center recovering from double arm transplant surgery performed last year in Boston. Peck lost both his arms and legs when he stepped on an explosive device in Afghanistan and is now starting to move his fingers and swim again.
Nick Ekbatani, 29, lost his left leg below the knee in 2012 in a motorcycle accident and drew inspiration from watching Oscar Pistorius compete in the Olympics as he recovered. After 14 surgeries, Ekbatani was fitted with a prosthetic limb and began cycling as physical therapy, and he went on to become a certified trainer who now teaches cycling classes.