October 26, 2021
Critical Care SmartBrief
Critical Care Update
Maine's COVID-19 hospitalization and critical care patient numbers are once again close to pandemic records for the state. Health officials said the majority of patients have not been vaccinated or were vaccinated but are older with serious health problems.
Full Story: Portland Press Herald (Maine) (tiered subscription model) (10/25) 
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A survey presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting showed that US hospitals' visitation restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in reduced family presence at ICU patients' bedsides and more job dissatisfaction and burnout for people providing ICU care. "Because families are not present at bedside, restrictive visitation policies have necessitated that communication with families be more intentional and planned than before the COVID-19 pandemic," researcher Dr. Nicole Herbst said.
Full Story: Healio (free registration) (10/25) 
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A study published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found individuals who have received COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson had lower risk of dying from any cause in the months following vaccination, compared with unvaccinated individuals. The study, based on data from 11 million people, "reinforces the safety profile of currently approved COVID-19 vaccines in the United States," researchers said.
Full Story: HealthDay News (10/25),  CNN (10/22) 
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Nutrition Therapy in Critical Care
Caring for critically ill patients means managing their nutritional needs. Review the fundamentals of the physician nutrition evaluation and get the latest clinical practice guidelines from this CME-accredited online course. View RxNutrition.
Medicine in the News
Five health systems received $1 million awards in the latest round of the Federal Communications Commission's COVID-19 Telehealth program. The FCC awarded a total of $40,468,845 to 71 entities to support telecommunications, information services and connected devices.
Full Story: Telecompetitor (10/22) 
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CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the agency is closely monitoring an emerging subvariant of the Delta variant that is believed to be more contagious than the original Delta variant. Walensky said the variant known as Delta-plus has been detected in the US, but there hasn't been a noticeable increase in cases across the country, and there is no indication that the subvariant will affect efficacy of existing vaccines or therapeutics.
Full Story: CNBC (10/23) 
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Trends and Technology
The recently redesigned Loma Linda University Medical Center in California is specially equipped to handle mass casualty, trauma and pandemic events. Advanced features include earthquake-proofing technology that allows the building to remain still while the ground beneath it moves up to 42 inches and the flexibility to convert medical exam rooms into intensive-care spaces.
Full Story: Fast Company (tiered subscription model) (10/25) 
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About the Editor
Ellen Beck
Ellen Beck
Ellen Beck is a veteran journalist with extensive local, state and national experience in wire service, print, broadcast and online media. She has focused on health care reporting for more than 20 years, beginning with a critical care newsletter. She is very interested in hearing what you think are the important topics of the day in critical care medicine. Email her at Ellen.Beck@futurenet.com.
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