CDC: Tainted steroid shots could put thousands in danger | Very ill teens, young adults prefer planning their end-of-life care | Retinal exams can detect child abuse injuries, study shows

October 9, 2012
AAP SmartBrief
News for pediatricians and other child health professionals

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CDC: Tainted steroid shots could put thousands in danger
Up to 13,000 patients across 23 states were treated with steroid shots linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak, CDC officials announced on Monday, but it's not clear how many of those shots were contaminated. The number of cases reached 105 on Monday, including eight deaths. Symptoms have surfaced one to four weeks after patients were treated with the shots. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (10/8), The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (10/8)
Very ill teens, young adults prefer planning their end-of-life care
U.S. researchers surveyed 52 16- to 28-year-olds diagnosed with metastatic or recurrent cancer or HIV infection and found that they preferred selecting and recording specific details for their end-of-life care. Researchers incorporated the feedback to create Voicing My Choices, a document that gives young people the opportunity to reflect on their life and make choices about their care. The findings appear in the journal Pediatrics. News (10/8)
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Making the Most of Meaningful Use: Why Choosing the Right EHR Matters
Healthcare professionals understand how EHRs can increase patient engagement and the quality of care. What's not clear is how to choose the right EHR vendor or how to transition to a new EHR smoothly and within government guidelines. This guide provides an overview of Meaningful Use, highlights the requirements for 2015, and provides tips for selecting the right EHR to avoid penalties and position your practice for continued success in the future. Read now.

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Retinal exams can detect child abuse injuries, study shows
Retinal hemorrhages in the middle layer of the eyes were more common in victims of abuse, according to eye examinations of 114 children with head injuries. The Scottish study in the journal Pediatrics found 93% of children who had been abused had more than 25 of these injuries. HealthDay News (10/8)
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Prenatal fish intake, mercury exposure tied to ADHD risk
Maternal consumption of at least two fish servings a week was linked to a 60% lower risk of their children developing some attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. However, higher mercury hair levels from mothers taken after delivery was associated with about a 60% greater likelihood of hyperactivity, inattentiveness and impulsivity in their children at about age 8. Reuters (10/8)
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Fresh, older blood comparable for transfusions in preemies
Researchers found no difference in outcomes between the transfusion of fresh blood (stored for a week or less) and the transfusion of older blood (stored for a month or more) in underweight premature babies, according to a Canadian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "The current transfusion [guidelines] for neonates shouldn't change," said lead researcher Dean Fergusson from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News (10/8)
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Mood, SRI exposure during pregnancy affect infant language
Babies born to depressed mothers who were treated with serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy found it difficult to discriminate language differences at ages 6 months and 10 months, a Canadian study showed. The study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences also found that SRI-exposed fetuses were more advanced in perceptual development at 36 weeks gestation compared with the control group and babies born to depressed mothers not treated with SRIs. News (10/8)
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Relocation to better areas may benefit some girls' well-being
Relocating to a better neighborhood eased the psychological distress of girls who came from homes without health-related vulnerabilities, U.S. researchers reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry. However, they found no significant evidence that rehousing improved mental health for boys from homes without health-related vulnerabilities. Reuters (10/8)
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Get Your Free ICD-10 Small Practice Guide
ICD-10 is a big change. For a small, independent practice, planning is crucial, as it will impact many areas of your practice and touch every employee. Advanced preparation is the key. This eBook provides tools and information to help transition your practice effectively. Download the guide.

Trends & Technology
AHRQ aims to enhance EHR patient education components
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has proposed creating a health information rating system to evaluate the success of EHRs in educating patients. The agency, which has drafted a system and tested it using patient education resources for asthma and colonoscopies, will accept public feedback on the recommendation through Dec. 4. Government Health IT online (10/5)
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EHR adoption improves quality of care, study says
EHR adoption in doctors' offices led to improved care quality in four screening measures for diabetes, breast and colorectal cancer, and chlamydia, according to a study from the Hudson Valley Initiative. "As with any health IT tool, an EHR is only part of the solution and must be integrated into the practice workflow and used by the care team to advance high quality, patient-centered care," said Dr. A. John Blair III, CEO of MedAllies, the health data services provider of Hudson Valley. Healthcare Informatics online (10/8)
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Getting Paid: How to Get Customers to Pay Up
Dealing with the money isn't fun, but it's a necessary evil for staying in business. While every business has their ups and downs, the key to positive cash flow is collecting payments in full and on time to keep the cash coming in as predictably as possible. Seem impossible? Learn how these small-business owners did it.

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Health Policy & RegulationsAdvertisement
A look at changes under Calif.'s new health insurance laws
California Gov. Jerry Brown signed health care insurance measures into law last week that will provide information on reduced-cost plans for those who lose insurance, set minimum coverage standards for insurers taking part in the state's health insurance exchange, and ban unauthorized people and businesses from claiming to represent the exchange. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (10/7)
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Building Workplace Trust 2015
Interaction Associates' 6th annual research study tracking trust on the job, Building Workplace Trust, is out, and more than half of employees surveyed give their organizations low marks for trust and leadership. Yet this year's findings again point to how high trust leads to better outcomes and financial results — and even boosts innovation.

The Last Word - News from the AAP
It's not too late to attend the biggest event in pediatrics
View the AAP National Conference & Exhibition program for details. Online conference registration is open until Oct. 16 and onsite registration is available at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, beginning at 6:30 a.m. daily, Oct. 19 to 23.
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Outbreaks reveal limited effectiveness of pertussis vaccines
As the pertussis outbreaks in Washington state and elsewhere continue to challenge health care professionals, two experts offer an inside look at the issue in this month’s edition of AAP News.
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If it's very painful for you to criticize your friends -- you're safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that's the time to hold your tongue."
-- Alice Duer Miller,
American writer and poet
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This news roundup is provided as a timely update to AAP members and other health professionals about child health topics in the media. Links to articles are provided for the convenience of pediatricians who may find them of use in discussions with patients or colleagues.
External Resources are not a part of the website. AAP is not responsible for the content of sites that are external to the AAP. Linking to a website does not constitute an endorsement by AAP of the sponsors of the site or the information presented on the site.
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