January 25, 2022
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Staffing shortages are being experienced at an estimated 23% of US hospitals as health care workers become ill with COVID-19 or contemplate leaving nursing completely, according to Rick Pollack, CEO and president of the American Hospital Association. The American Nurses Association has previously urged the HHS to declare a national crisis regarding the nursing shortage, and "if we truly value the immeasurable contributions of the nursing workforce, then it is imperative that HHS utilize all available authorities to address this issue," ANA President Ernest Grant said.
Full Story: Newsweek (tiered subscription model) (1/21) 
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Nursing, Health & Medical Science
Fauci: Omicron surge may be peaking
Fauci. (Pool/Getty Images)
There is evidence that the Omicron variant is peaking in the US and that coronavirus case numbers could decline to more manageable levels soon, but caution is still needed, according to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci. If new case numbers follow decreasing patterns like those seen in the Northeast, a turnaround in most states may be possible by the middle of next month, Fauci noted.
Full Story: ABC News (1/23),  Reuters (1/24) 
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Visit the COVID Vaccine Facts for Nurses website for relevant, accurate and up-to-date information as well as expert perspectives about the safety, efficacy and importance of COVID-19 vaccines.
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A seven-year study indicated that the 90-day crude mortality rate of patients with Candida bloodstream infections was above 40% at a major Missouri hospital. The retrospective study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases examined a group of 626 adults with the infection and calculated 90-day all-cause mortality using propensity score matching, stratified analysis by quintile and matching by inverse weighting of propensity score.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (1/23) 
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A report published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found that among 6,799 infants born to women with confirmed or possible Zika virus infection during pregnancy from the US Zika Pregnancy and Infant Registry from December 2015 to March 2018, 4.6% had a Zika-associated brain or eye defect, while 35% of infants had more than one defect reported. The report also found a higher frequency of defects in a subgroup of pregnancies with confirmed Zika virus infection at 6.1%.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (1/21) 
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Black cancer patients have a mortality rate of 173.6 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with the national average of 152.4 per 100,000, National Cancer Institute statistics show. Patient advocates Kathy Giusti and John Carpten write that oncology clinical trials can be made more accessible and more reflective of the US population and that explicit diversity targets can be established for specific diseases.
Full Story: The Hill (1/24) 
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Findings reported in the journal Pediatric Neurology found that headaches and other persisting neurological symptoms, such as acute encephalopathy, can affect over 40% of children hospitalized for COVID-19. The study also found that out of 1,493 cases from 30 pediatric critical care centers worldwide, ​215 kids had multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, ​while 86% had acute COVID-19, with neurological symptoms more prevalent among pediatric patients with MIS-C.
Full Story: HealthDay News (1/24) 
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Two studies reported by the CDC and one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicate that booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are effective against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. Still, CDC data show that less than 40% of Americans have received a booster.
Full Story: HealthDay News (1/21) 
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Research published in JAMA Network Open found that myopia progressed more rapidly in children during the period of COVID-19-related lockdowns. Researchers also observed that defocus incorporated multiple segments lens treatment was associated with 34% less axial elongation and 46% less myopic progression after 12 months compared with single vision lens treatment.
Full Story: HealthDay News (1/21) 
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Legislative Policy & Regulatory News
Senators: Medicare should cover home COVID-19 tests
(Pixabay)
A coalition of 19 Senate Democrats wrote a letter to CMS and HHS leaders calling for Medicare to cover the cost of home COVID-19 tests for older people and those with disabilities, just as commercial health insurers are doing for their members. The lawmakers argued that those "enrolled in Medicare are at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19," and "the current policy leaves them on the hook for potentially significant out-of-pocket costs."
Full Story: FierceHealthcare (1/24) 
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The Biden administration on Friday set up a new service at 1-800-232-0233 for Americans to order free COVID-19 tests by phone. A text-based line at 1-888-720-7489 was also launched for calls who are deaf and hard of hearing as part of the White House's efforts to expand access to the free tests.
Full Story: The Hill (1/21) 
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Survey shows substantial racism in nursing
In a new, national survey on racism in nursing, more than three-fourths of Black nurses responding said that racism in the workplace has negatively impacted their well-being. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements obligates all nurses to be allies and to advocate for and speak up against racism, discrimination, and injustice. Conducted by the National Commission to Address Racism in Nursing, the survey results are available at www.nursingworld.org/survey-on-racism.
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Take the American Nurses Foundation's COVID-19 Impact Assessment Survey
Your voice and experience are essential in understanding the impact of the pandemic. Over the last two years, nurses -- your colleagues -- have helped us capture the reality -- high points and low points -- and share it with the world to advocate on your behalf. Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey. We will use responses to inform decisions about how to best support the U.S. nursing workforce.
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