Researchers found that dual-energy CT findings in the emergency department prompted management changes in 9.4% of cases and better diagnostic confidence in 14.4% of cases, and also resulted in incidental finding diagnosis in 1.4% of cases and offered relevant information in 5.6% of cases. The study, published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, also showed that DECT findings led to the avoidance of about 200 follow-up MRI scans, 28 CT exams and up to 25 ultrasound exams, resulting in over $61,000 in cost savings.
A study in JAMA Network Open found that individuals with prior psychiatric diagnosis had significantly elevated COVID-19-related hospital mortality rates, even after controlling for other medical comorbidities, demographics and hospital location. "Psychiatric symptoms may arise as a marker of systemic pathophysiologic processes, such as inflammation, that may, in turn, predispose to mortality," researchers wrote.
Five years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico were found to have severe lung diseases and infections, and their offspring had a high mortality rate, likely caused by burning oil on the water's surface. Marine mammals along the West Coast are probably at risk for the same health effects from wildfire smoke, and veterinarian Cara Field, medical director at the Marine Mammal Center, is urging researchers to begin collecting baseline data now.
It's Fat Bear Week in Alaska's Katmai National Park, with a dozen brown bears that are preparing to hibernate listed in sport tournament-style brackets for the title of 2020's fattest bear. Fans vote online or just watch the bears on any of six webcams set up on the Brooks River, and events include Bearcamp play-by-plays, question-and-answer sessions, and online talks and discussions with park rangers.
Deficient trust can be harmful to teams and organizations but is also a problem that can be diagnosed and remedied, writes Barbara Brooks Kimmel, founder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World. "Leaders who embraced the growing business case for trust as a strategic advantage didn't wait for a crisis to address it," she writes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was unable to strike an agreement with the White House on a pared-down pandemic relief package Wednesday, and Democrats called off plans for a vote on the legislation. Both sides indicated talks would continue, after House leaders released a $2.2 trillion package, having scaled back a $3.4 trillion plan developed in May.
A study in Diabetes Care found that patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 who took a combination of sitagliptin and insulin had an 18% mortality rate, compared with a 37% mortality rate among those who only took insulin. The findings also revealed that the group who took both sitagliptin and insulin had lower odds of requiring mechanical ventilation and intensive care, and were less likely to have a worsening of clinical outcomes, compared with the group who only took insulin.
Midlife obesity among Black and white women was associated with a higher risk of estimated glomerular filtration rate decline and end-stage kidney disease, according to a study in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases that followed patients for 30 years. Data showed only Black men with midlife obesity were at a higher risk for later ESKD.
Researchers examined placentas donated by 15 healthy women who had just given birth in the UK and found black particles that closely resembled particulate air pollution in an average of 1% of cells in all of the placentas. The findings in Science of The Total Environment also showed that most of the particles were carbon-based, but some had traces of metals -- such as chromium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and silica -- most of which are linked to vehicle-emitted air pollution coming from fossil fuel combustion and brake wear.
A survey of 150 CFOs and revenue cycle executives showed 70% expect to see an increase in Medicaid and self-pay patients and fewer patients with commercial insurance because of high unemployement related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from the Healthcare Financial Management Association. "Health care leaders need to closely evaluate their payer mix and develop winning consumer experience strategies to overcome a slow recovery in patient volumes and an uptick in self-pay and Medicaid enrollees," said Timothy Kinney of the Guidehouse Center for Health Insights.
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