Study supports using corticosteroids for severe pneumonia
Patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia and a high inflammatory response had a 66% lower chance of treatment failure when given corticosteroids along with antibiotics, compared with patients given a placebo and antibiotics, researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Shock, the need for mechanical ventilation and death within 72 hours were considered treatment failure. Medscape (free registration)
C. difficile germinates in digestive tract within 24 hours
Researchers have found that Clostridium difficile spores develop into toxin-producing, diarrhea-inducing cells in the large intestine of antibiotic-treated mice within 24 hours. The study, which appeared in the journal Infection and Immunity, revealed that bile acid prompted dormant C. diff spores to grow cells that colonized the small intestine and C. diff formed spores again in the large intestine. A toxin from C. diff caused the cell lining of the gut to become leaky which led to diarrhea, the researchers reported. Medical News Today
Univ. of Michigan launches $7M critical care unit
The University of Michigan last week opened the $7 million Massey Emergency Critical Care Center, dubbed EC3, within its emergency department. "The EC3 puts at our fingertips everything we need to provide exceptional care to every patient who needs the level of expertise our teams possess. This will raise the bar for emergency critical care," said emergency physician Kyle Gunnerson, who will lead the EC3. MLive.com (Michigan) (free registration)
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HHS allocates $200M to help states prepare for Ebola
HHS will award about $200 million in grants to states to help improve their Ebola preparedness measures. The money will be used to establish 10 regional Ebola treatment centers, as well as set up hospitals in every state that can provide safe initial care to Ebola patients until they can be moved. The Hill
WHO approves use of rapid Ebola test from Corgenix
The World Health Organization approved the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test for Ebola, developed by Corgenix Medical. The test, which requires only a drop of blood on a paper strip, is capable of producing results within 15 minutes, compared with the standard 12 to 24 hours. The test can identify approximately 92% of patients infected with Ebola and 85% of those without infection, according to the WHO. Reuters
Google grant to help parents bond with their babies in ICU
Google has provided a $100,000 grant to enable parents of chronically ill patients at the Medical University of South Carolina's neonatal intensive care unit to check on the status of their babies using iPads. The devices will be equipped with the Google Hangouts application to allow families to see the NICU patients and also communicate with the NICU staff. Health Data Management
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