Children admitted to the hospital with influenza B had a 1.1% mortality rate, compared with a 0.4% rate for children with influenza A, Canadian researchers reported in Pediatrics. Surveillance data from 2004 to 2013 showed children with influenza B who are ages 6 months to 23 months and 10 years and older were more likely to be admitted to an ICU, compared with other age groups.
Twenty-nine percent and 27% of preterm twins whose mothers took antenatal corticosteroids had composite neonatal morbidity and respiratory distress syndrome, respectively, compared with 20% and 17% of those whose mothers didn't receive the steroids. The findings in Obstetrics & Gynecology, based on data involving 850 neonates from 432 women, also showed that 78% and 23% of those whose mothers received antenatal corticosteroids were admitted to the NICU and had mechanical ventilation, respectively, compared with 59% and 12% of those whose mothers didn't.
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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and his NIH colleagues have been working with their counterparts in the pharmaceutical industry to develop vaccines and treatments for emerging diseases. The NIH recently initiated human clinical trials for a Zika virus vaccine, but the earliest it could be available is 2018, and a lack of funding has impeded efforts to quell the current outbreak.
Hispanics account for about 40% of the 24 million adults in the US who do not have health insurance, while 41% of those without health insurance are white, 12% are black and 6% are Asian or other races. Millennials, men, people who work at small businesses, those who live in the South and the impoverished are the most likely to have no health care coverage, according to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund.
Patient care is shifting from fee-for-service to a value-based model. By 2018, 50% of healthcare payments will be based on healthy outcomes rather than services provided. Those navigating the transition need to consider the different viewpoints of payers, providers as well as today's empowered consumer.
A Health Policy Brief published in Health Affairs said telehealth may improve health care quality and reduce costs, especially in underserved areas, but lacks a uniform legal approach that addresses risks. The authors wrote that areas of concern include the effects of telehealth on patient relationships, quality of health information, physician licensure, reimbursements and patient privacy.
Hospitals in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb., use therapeutic hypothermia to treat cardiac arrest patients, but physicians say they have changed the protocols they use as new studies emerge. Dr. Eric Ernest of Nebraska Medicine said what is considered to be "great science" one year can change a couple of years later.
If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place.