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Cardiothoracic Surgery News

Study Spots Cause of Global Outbreak of Infections Tied to Heart Surgeries

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 13, 2017 – Factory contamination of medical devices likely caused potentially fatal infections in 33 open-heart surgery patients in several countries, investigators say. The patients were sickened with Mycobacterium chimaera bacteria, which can cause infection of the inner lining of the heart and spread to the rest of the body. Genetic examination of M. chimaera samples suggests that heater-cooler units produced by LivaNova in a factory in Germany were the likely source of infection, according to the study. The devices help keep a patient's circulating blood and organs at a set temperature during heart bypass procedures, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Patients became ill in the United States, Australia, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, according to the study. The results appear online July 12 in The Lancet ... Read more

Related support groups: Infections, Bacterial Infection, Atypical Mycobacterial Infection, Diagnosis and Investigation, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Wound Infection

Viagra Might Make for a Safer, More Effective Stent

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – It's worked wonders for men battling erectile dysfunction, and now early research suggests that Viagra – when added to artery-opening stents – might cut a patient's odds for clots. Stents are tiny mesh tubes surgically inserted to prop up failing blood vessels. But as South Korean researchers explained, these devices can become less effective over time as the growth of tissue around the metal device narrows the artery again. But in their new study in rats, the researchers found that coating stents with Viagra (sildenafil) might help prevent this re-closure from happening. "If similar results are found in clinical trials, sildenafil could be an ideal drug for coating drug-eluting [emitting] stents or to give orally after stent implantation," study lead author Dr. Han-Mo Yang said in a news release from the American Heart Association. Yang is an associate ... Read more

Related support groups: Viagra, Sildenafil, Revatio, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Cardiothoracic Surgery

Implantable Defibrillator May Not Mean End to Sports

Posted 5 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 5, 2017 – Competitive sports may be safe for many athletes who have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), new research suggests. The four-year study followed 440 athletes with ICDs who participated in vigorous sports such as running, basketball, soccer, tennis, volleyball, skiing and snowboarding. An ICD is a battery-powered device placed under the skin. When it detects an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), it delivers an electric shock to restore normal rhythm. In 2015, the American Heart Association said participating in competitive sports may be considered for athletes with ICDs. That advice was based on a study that followed hundreds of athletes with the devices for two years. This longer study of 10- to 60-year-olds followed competitive athletes at the national and international level, high school and college athletes, and others. During the study period, ... Read more

Related support groups: Arrhythmia, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Ventricular Fibrillation, Ventricular Arrhythmia, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Restrictive Cardiomyopathy, Idiopathic Hypertrophic Subaortic Stenosis, Cardiomyopathy Prophylaxis

Busiest Docs Get Best Results With Heart Valve Surgery

Posted 2 May 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 2, 2017 – Patients who have heart valve surgery get better results and are more likely to survive if their surgeon does a lot of the operations, a new study. Researchers from Mount Sinai Health System in New York City studied New York state data on patients who had a type of heart operation called mitral valve surgery between 2002 and 2013. Damaged mitral valves can be either repaired or replaced. Mitral valve repair has several important advantages over valve replacement, including better life expectancy and quality of life, according to background information with the study. However, among heart surgeons, there is a great deal of variability over their choice of surgery, the researchers noted. In the study, those patients whose surgeons did more than 25 of the operations a year were more likely to get valve repair than replacement, and their repair was more durable than ... Read more

Related support groups: Cardiothoracic Surgery, Valvular Heart Disease

Blood Test May Gauge Death Risk After Surgery

Posted 25 Apr 2017 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 18 Apr 2017 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 17 Apr 2017 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, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Rejection Prophylaxis

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, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Altoprev, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Fluvastatin, Baycol

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, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Ecotrin, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Fiorinal with Codeine, Norgesic, Arthritis Pain Formula, Bayer Aspirin, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Soma Compound, 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, 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, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Heparin, Fragmin, Enoxaparin, Clexane, Hep-Pak, Jantoven, Dalteparin, Innohep, Normiflo, Tinzaparin, Ardeparin, Clexane Forte, Heparin Lock Flush, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heparin Flush

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

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