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Cardiothoracic Surgery News

Blood Test May Gauge Death Risk After Surgery

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – A highly sensitive blood test can identify patients with a raised risk of death in the month after surgery, a large study suggests. On average, 1 percent of patients die within 30 days after noncardiac surgery – most from a heart attack, said researcher Dr. P.J. Devereaux, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Testing for a protein called troponin that's found in heart muscle can help identify those post-op patients most at risk, Devereaux and an international team of researchers reported. However, the study could not prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between troponin levels and death risk. Surgery is a major stress to the body's organs. Troponin is released into the blood when the heart muscle has been damaged, Devereaux explained. "Most of the heart injuries happen in the first day-and-a-half after surgery, when most patients are ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Surgical Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Pump Implants May Rejuvenate Heart Failure Patients

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Implanted pumps may be more than a "bridge" to a heart transplant – they might also restore healthy heart function for some heart failure patients, a new British study suggests. As the researchers explained, these battery-operated left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are often used to support patients with severe heart failure while they await a heart transplant. But this new clinical trial is the first to show that an LVAD, combined with medication, can restore heart function completely, researchers said. "We talk about these devices as a bridge-to-transplant, something which can keep a patient alive until a heart is available for transplantation," said study lead author Djordje Jakovljevic. "However, we knew that sometimes patients recover to such an extent that they no longer need a heart transplant," noted Jakovljevic, a senior research fellow in ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Failure, Congestive Heart Failure, Left Ventricular Dysfunction, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Left Ventriculography

Baseball Great Rod Carew Owes His Life to NFL Player's Transplanted Organs

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – When Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew received a new heart and kidney last December, he and his family had no idea who they had to thank for the lifesaving organs. But some good sleuthing by Carew's wife and the mother of the anonymous donor unearthed a startling discovery: The organs had come from former National Football League tight end Konrad Reuland, who was only 29 when he died after suffering a brain aneurysm. Carew, 71, needed the new organs because of a massive heart attack he had in 2015, which was followed by subsequent complications. He received the new organs in an operation performed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. After the transplant, a number of Carew's family and friends asked Carew's wife, Rhonda, if the new organs might have come from Reuland. That prompted her to begin investigating. She learned the donor was a healthy local ... Read more

Related support groups: Renal Transplant, Organ Transplant - Rejection Prophylaxis, Organ Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Rejection Prophylaxis, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Taking Statins May Boost Heart Surgery Outcomes

Posted 16 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Heart surgery patients taking statins should keep taking those cholesterol-lowering drugs, even on the day of their operation, because doing so may improve their chances of survival, a new study suggests. "Based on our findings, we would advise patients to continue taking their statin medication all the way up to and including the day of surgery," said study author Dr. Wei Pan. Statins are one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. One in four Americans 40 or older takes a statin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the new study, Pan's team looked at more than 3,000 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Pan is a cardiovascular anesthesiologist at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. The findings showed that the rate of death from all causes within 30 days was about 2 percent for ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Mevacor, Lescol XL, Fluvastatin, Baycol, Pitavastatin, Altoprev

Stent Patients Face Higher Risk of Death After Bleeding, Clots

Posted 15 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 – More than a year after getting stents to prop open their clogged arteries, some patients are still at increased risk of death if they suffer either blockages or bleeding events, researchers report. The researchers added that their findings highlight the need to identify which patients are more likely to benefit from prolonged anti-clotting treatment after stenting – and which are not. "Since our analysis found that the development of both ischemic [decreased blood flow] and bleeding events portend a particularly poor overall prognosis, we conclude that we must be thoughtful when prescribing any treatment... that may include bleeding risk," said study lead author Dr. Eric Secemsky. He is a fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital's division of cardiology. For the study, the researchers tracked long-term risks among people who had ischemia or bleeding events ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Ischemic Stroke, Excedrin, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Soma Compound, Norgesic, Excedrin Extra Strength, Norgesic Forte, Percodan

Learning Issues Common in Kids With Heart Defects: Study

Posted 22 Feb 2017 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, Abnormal Electrocardiogram, Cardiothoracic Surgery

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, Enoxaparin, Fragmin, Clexane, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Innohep, Dalteparin, Tinzaparin, Heparin Lock Flush, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heparin Flush, Normiflo, Heparin Sodium, Clexane Forte

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, Propranolol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Bystolic, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Bisoprolol, Excedrin, 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

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