Tech

WASHINGTON, DC (May 12, 2009) – When Americans were asked to value the most important of dozens of health products and services as they consider spending their own money, they chose access to care over everything else, a new study revealed.

Currently, most medical device prototypes designed for use in heart surgery are tested on live pigs, which have heart valves that are anatomically similar to human heart valves. However, these tests are both expensive and time-consuming, and involve a lengthy permission process to ensure that the use of live animals is necessary. So, researchers at NC State have developed a "dynamic heart system" – a machine that pumps fluid through a pig heart so that it functions in a very realistic way.

Amsterdam, 12 May 2009 – Do biofuels always create smaller carbon footprints than their fossil-fuel competitors? Not necessarily, finds a paper published today in Elsevier's Environmental Impact Assessment Review (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eiar). The article, "Charcoal versus LPG grilling: a carbon-footprint comparison," reports that in the UK, the carbon footprint for charcoal grilling is almost three times as large as that for LPG grilling.

Choice, privacy and a sense of identity are just some of the things that older people living in residential care need to maintain a good quality of life, according to research in the May issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

Researchers from the National University of Ireland (NUI), Galway, spoke to 101 older people living in 12 long-stay care homes, including small and large facilities, well-established and recently built homes and those provided by the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The tradition of American physicians handing out free drug samples to their patients "has many serious disadvantages and is as anachronistic as bloodletting and high colonic irrigations," say two academics in an essay in this week's PLoS Medicine.

While infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C.difficile) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, are usually associated with in-patient settings, the potential for infection in out-patient clinics and offices exists. A review in CMAJ outlines infection control strategies for these settings to help minimize transmission of these potentially deadly pathogens.

Early findings about the emerging pandemic of a new strain of influenza A (H1N1) in Mexico are published today in Science.

Researchers from the MRC Centre for Outbreak Analysis and Modelling at Imperial College London, working in collaboration with the World Health Organisation and public health agencies in Mexico, have assessed the epidemic using data to the end of April. Their key findings are as follows:

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Two Oregon State University researchers have uncovered a pattern of distrust – and sometimes outright antagonism – among physicians at hospitals and midwives who are transporting their home-birth clients to the hospital because of complications.

Oregon State University assistant professor Melissa Cheyney and doctoral student Courtney Everson said their work revealed an ongoing conflict between physicians and midwives that is reflective of discord across the country.

High-quality videoconferencing can increase patient access to stroke specialists, especially in rural or other underserved areas; and a transient ischemic attack (TIA), once known as a "mini" or "warning" stroke, should be treated with the same urgency as a full-blown stroke, according to two separate scientific statements and a policy statement published today in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Telemedicine Statement Highlights: