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Cardiothoracic Surgery News

Learning Issues Common in Kids With Heart Defects: Study

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 – Children born with heart defects seem to be at increased risk of learning problems in elementary school, a new study suggests. And those with less severe heart abnormalities may not receive needed assistance, the study of third graders from North Carolina found. Among more than 9,000 students, children born with a heart defect were 24 percent more likely to not meet end-of-year standards in reading or math, compared to those with healthy hearts, the researchers determined. "Schools should be aware that children with heart defects can have learning difficulties, even many years after their heart defect is supposedly 'fixed,' " said study lead author Dr. Matthew Oster. He's a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Examining education records and birth data, the researchers compared more than 2,800 children born with heart defects – so-called ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Ischemic Heart Disease, Heart Murmur, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Abnormal Electrocardiogram

Hospitalizations for Common Heart Rhythm Problem on the Rise

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2017 – U.S. patients with a common heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation (AFib) are ending up in the hospital more often than before, a new study says. The good news is that they're surviving more, too. "The more intensive and costly inpatient care that we're providing for AFib recently is associated with decreasing rates of readmission and both short- and longer-term death rates," study first author Dr. James Freeman said in a Yale University news release. He is an assistant professor of medicine (cardiology) at the school. Freeman noted that use of several newer treatments increased during the study period, including catheter ablation and medications. The use of ablation, which involves burning or freezing specific areas of the heart, rose along with improvements in hospitalizations and death rates. Atrial fibrillation – marked by electrical irregularities ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Disease, Arrhythmia, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders, Cardiothoracic Surgery

U.S. Doctors Trained Overseas Have Slightly Better Patient Outcomes

Posted 6 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 3, 2017 – Death rates are lower for older Americans treated by doctors trained in other countries than by those who went to a U.S. medical school, a new study reports. That finding held true even though foreign-trained doctors are more likely to care for patients with more chronic health problems. The results of this study should dispel Americans' concerns about the quality of care provided by doctors trained in other countries, the researchers said. The study included information from more than 1.2 million Medicare patients aged 65 and older. All had been admitted to the hospital between 2011 and 2014. The 30-day death rate was 11.2 percent for patients treated by foreign-trained doctors and 11.6 percent for those treated by U.S.-trained doctors, the investigators found. There was no difference in patient hospital readmission rates. But the cost of care was slightly ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Hip Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery, Head & Neck Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery

One-Third With Atrial Fibrillation Don't Take Blood Thinners

Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 6, 2017 – Many people with the heart condition known as atrial fibrillation stop taking the blood-thinning medication that's prescribed to help prevent a stroke, a new study reveals. Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat that causes the heart to quiver. This raises the risk of blood clots and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. People who've had a medical procedure such as cardioversion (electrical shocks to the heart through electrodes placed on the chest) or ablation (using heat, cold or radio energy to scar heart tissue via catheter or surgery) to help manage their condition were even more likely to ditch their prescribed drugs. "We don't know if changing the heart to a normal rhythm, by either cardioversion or ablation, always removes the risk of stroke," said study author Dr. Geoffrey Barnes, a cardiologist at the University of Michigan ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Atrial Fibrillation, Lovenox, Heparin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Innohep, Dalteparin, Heparin Flush, Tinzaparin, Heparin Sodium, Ardeparin, Heparin Lock Flush, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Normiflo

Lung-Sparing Surgery May Boost Mesothelioma Survival

Posted 23 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 23, 2016 – Surgery that preserves the lung, when combined with other therapies, appears to extend the lives of people with a subtype of the rare and deadly cancer mesothelioma, a new study suggests. Tracking 73 patients with advanced malignant pleural mesothelioma – which affects the lungs' protective lining in the chest cavity – researchers found that those treated with lung-sparing surgery had an average survival of nearly three years. A subset of those patients survived longer than seven years. Mesothelioma patients treated with chemotherapy alone, which is standard care, live an average of 12 to 18 months, the researchers said. Study participants received lung-sparing surgeries and another treatment called photodynamic therapy that uses light to kill cancer cells. Ninety-two percent of the group also received chemotherapy. The study volunteers achieved far longer ... Read more

Related support groups: Respiratory Tract Disease, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Cardiology Still a Man's Field, Survey Finds

Posted 22 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 22, 2016 – Most cardiologists in the United States are men, and many female cardiologists report discrimination in the workplace, a new survey finds. "We need to increase the diversity of our workforce, and find ways to recruit higher numbers of women and underrepresented minorities," said survey senior author Dr. Claire Duvernoy, chair of the Women in Cardiology Council at the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The council conducted the survey. "We must work to change the culture that allows this to occur in our field," Duvernoy added. The poll included more than 1,300 male and almost 1,000 female cardiologists. The findings revealed that the percentage of women reporting workplace discrimination fell from 71 percent to 65 percent in the past 20 years, but that rate is still three times higher than it is among men. Women were more likely to report discrimination ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Robotic Surgical Tools Tough to Keep Clean

Posted 1 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 1, 2016 – Even with repeated cleanings, it's virtually impossible to remove all contamination from robotic surgical instruments, a new study suggests. "One of the top priorities for hospitals is to treat patients safely and with minimal risk of infection," said study author Yuhei Saito, an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo Hospital in Japan. "Our results show that surgical instruments could be placing patients at risk due to current cleaning procedures. One way to address this issue is to establish new standards for cleaning surgical instruments, including multi-part robotic tools," Saito said in a news release from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Over the course of 21 months, the researchers assessed protein residue on 132 robotic and standard surgical instruments that were cleaned according to manufacturers' instructions. The cleanings ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Surgery, Bacterial Infection, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Surgical Prophylaxis, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Device Approved to Prevent Second Strokes in Certain Heart Patients

Posted 30 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2016 – The Amplatzer PFO Occluder device has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent another stroke among people who had at least one prior stroke involving a PFO (patent foramen avale). A PFO is a small hole in the heart that could allow passage of a blood clot. Up to 30 percent of Americans have a PFO, the FDA explained in a news release. The condition typically causes no health issues and doesn't require treatment. However, in a small number of cases, the PFO provides "a path for a blood clot to travel to the brain where it [blocks] a blood vessel resulting in a stroke," the agency added. The new device is inserted via a catheter in a leg vein and is advanced to the heart. It was FDA approved nearly a decade ago, but its manufacturer withdrew the application for approval after the agency told the manufacturer that more than 4,000 people ... Read more

Related support groups: Transient Ischemic Attack, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Take Meds as Directed to Boost Survival After Heart Procedures

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – Taking medications as prescribed improves outcomes for heart procedure patients, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 973 heart bypass patients and 2,255 patients who underwent angioplasty and stenting to reopen clogged heart arteries. Heart bypass surgery is when surgeons take a piece of blood vessel from somewhere else in the body to bypass a blocked portion of the heart's artery. Angioplasty is performed using a thin catheter that's threaded through the blood vessels to the heart. A balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to open the narrowed blood vessel. Sometimes a stent (a mesh or wire tube) will be left in the blood vessel to keep it open. Prescribed medications in the study included cholesterol-lowering statins, blood thinners and beta blockers. Follow-up information was collected 12 to 18 months after the heart procedures. Overall, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Aspirin, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Lipitor, Propranolol, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Sotalol, Zocor, Lovastatin, Toprol-XL

Study Counters Notion That Heart Surgery Poses More Kidney Risks to Women

Posted 21 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – A new study challenges the belief that women are more likely than men to develop kidney damage after heart surgery. Researchers reviewed 64 studies that included more than 1 million patients to see the actual risk of acute kidney injury (AKI) after heart surgery. AKI is a sudden decrease in kidney function. This condition can occur when kidneys are deprived of normal blood flow during major surgery. The studies covered a period of more than 25 years. Previous research has shown that women are more likely than men to develop kidney damage after heart surgery, yet the opposite is true after general surgery. The new study found that women, in general, were more likely than men to develop kidney damage after heart surgery. But, this wasn't the case when patient characteristics and other factors were taken into account. For example, women having heart surgery were ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Heart Disease, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Renal and Genitourinary Disorders

Heart Surgery Devices May Have Been Contaminated: CDC

Posted 14 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2016 – Special devices used during open heart surgery may have been contaminated with bacteria that puts patients at risk for life-threatening infections, U.S. health officials warned Thursday. Some LivaNova PLC (formerly Sorin Group Deutschland GmbH) Stockert 3T heater-cooler devices, which are used during many open heart surgeries, might have been contaminated with Mycobacterium chimaera bacteria during manufacturing, the officials said. People who have had open heart surgery should seek medical care if they have infection-related symptoms, such as night sweats, muscle aches, weight loss, fatigue or unexplained fever, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release. The agency also said that hospitals and doctors should identify and inform patients who might have been put at risk. "It's important for clinicians and their patients to be ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Older Surgery Patients Should Be Screened for Frailty: Study

Posted 6 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – Screening older surgery patients for frailty could improve their outcomes and chances for survival, researchers say. But frailty often goes unrecognized in these patients, according to a study published online Oct. 6 in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. "Patients with frail health have less ability to overcome stressors such as illness, falls and injury, and have a higher risk of adverse effects from medications, procedures and surgery," study co-author Dr. Angela Beckert said in a journal news release. Beckert is an assistant professor in the division of geriatrics and gerontology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in Milwaukee. "If a patient is more robust, with better physical performance and vigor – in other words, less frail – then I believe surgical outcomes would be better," she added. Beckert's team screened 125 patients for signs of frailty; their ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Fatigue, Weight Loss, Weight Loss/Failure to Thrive, Surgical Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Prevention of Falls

Study Bolsters Role of Angioplasty, Stents in Heart-Attack Survival

Posted 30 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 30, 2016 – Patients who suffer a heart attack live longer now than they did before, and invasive procedures such as angioplasty, stents and bypass get a lot of the credit, a new study suggests. While medicines and healthy lifestyle remain important, "it was the increased and more widespread use of this invasive coronary strategy that explain the changes/improvements in survival after heart attack" between 2003 and 2013, said study author Dr. Chris P. Gale. He is associate professor and consultant cardiologist at the University of Leeds in England. Gale's team noted there's been a steady decline in the rate at which people die in the months after a heart attack. But what's driving that good news? To find out, Gale worked with Leeds co-author Dr. Marlous Hall and others to track information from a 2003-2013 database on nearly 400,000 heart attack patients living in England ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Post MI Syndrome, Cardiothoracic Surgery

People With Implanted Defibrillators at Higher Car Accident Risk

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – People who have an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) to control an irregular heartbeat appear to have more car accidents than similarly aged people without such devices, a new Danish study finds. Overall, Danish drivers with ICDs were 51 percent more likely to be involved in a traffic accident over the two-and-a-half years of the study. But the findings aren't necessarily a reason to tighten restrictions on these drivers, since the absolute risk of any one ICD-using driver being involved in an accident remained very low – around 1 percent a year. The issue is a tough one, said study lead author Dr. Jenny Bjerre, a physician at Herlev and Gentofte University Hospital in Copenhagen. "On the one side, as physicians we need to take public road safety into consideration when we assess if these patients are medically fit to drive," she said. "But we also have to ... Read more

Related support groups: Arrhythmia, Tachyarrhythmia, Cardiac Arrhythmia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Bradyarrhythmia, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Atrial Tachycardia, Cardiothoracic Surgery

New Guidelines Set Safe Surgery Margins for Some Breast Cancers

Posted 15 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2016 – New surgery guidelines for certain breast cancer patients could reduce both unnecessary surgeries and recurrence rates, three U.S. cancer groups say. The guideline is for treatment of women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who undergo breast-conserving surgery with whole breast radiation. DCIS is an early stage cancer. "The use of a 2-millimeter margin as the standard for an adequate margin in DCIS treated with whole breast radiation therapy is associated with low rates of recurrence of cancer in the breast and has the potential to decrease re-excision rates, improve cosmetic outcome and decrease health care costs," according to the guideline from the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Margins more widely clear than 2 millimeters do not further reduce the rates of ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Cardiothoracic Surgery

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