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Quest for the bionic arm: Advancements and challenges

Quest for the bionic arm: Advancements and challenges

In the past 13 years, nearly 2,000 veterans returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with injuries requiring amputations; 14 percent of those injured veterans required upper extremity amputations. To treat veterans with upper extremity amputations, scientists continue to pursue research and development of bionic arms and hands with full motor and sensory function Continue reading

Surgeons report fewer postoperative blood clots using risk-based preventive measures

Surgeons report fewer postoperative blood clots using risk-based preventive measures

Surgery patients are much less likely to get a blood clot in the lower extremities or lungs if they receive preventive treatment based on their individual clotting risk, in addition to walking soon after the operation. Results from a surgical quality improvement study, appearing in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, indicate that the odds of this common and potentially life-threatening postoperative complication steadily declined after the implementation of a multicomponent prevention program in a hospital’s department of surgery. Researchers at Boston Medical Center, Boston, Mass., reported that they lowered the frequency of deep venous thromboses — blood clots in a deep vein, usually in a lower extremity — by 84 percent two years after the prevention efforts began, compared with the results two years before the program Continue reading

Escalating care in cormorbid elderly: Where do we stop?

Escalating care in cormorbid elderly: Where do we stop?

An Emeritus Professor of medical ethics at Imperial College London will deliver a presentation at this year’s Euroanaesthesia meeting titled ‘Escalating care for the comorbid elderly-where do we stop?.” Raanan Gillon, who is President of the UK’s Institute of Medical Ethics, will argue that a patient’s age should not in itself be considered an ethically relevant criterion for deciding ‘where to stop’. Acknowledging that there is a morally plausible counter-argument — known in the UK as ‘the fair innings argument’- according to which scarce life prolonging resources should be preferentially deployed to younger patients, Professor Gillon will argue against it. He says: “If societies do wish to pursue such ‘ageist’ policies then they should do so only do so after widespread consultation and the enactment of democratically established laws according to which patients condemned to be denied life-prolonging therapies on grounds of age alone should have a legal right of appeal!” The moral criteria that are relevant can be summarized, he argues, as the likelihood of achieving a beneficial outcome for the patient, at the cost of a minimised and acceptable risk of harm, in the light of the patient’s own views and values where these are ascertainable, and also in the context of fair consideration of competing claims on available resources Continue reading

Patients admitted to hospital at weekends have higher mortality: Study of 55 million people adds further evidence

Patients admitted to hospital at weekends have higher mortality: Study of 55 million people adds further evidence

A systematic review and meta-analysis of hospital data worldwide, presented as this year’s Euroanaesthesia meeting in Stockholm, adds further evidence that patients admitted to hospital at weekends have higher mortality than those admitted on weekdays. The study is by Dr Hiroshi Hoshijima, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan, and colleagues. Continue reading

Risk of death highest following surgery in afternoons, at weekends, and in February

Risk of death highest following surgery in afternoons, at weekends, and in February

New research presented at this year’s Euroanaesthesia show that on weekends, in the afternoons and in February are the times when the risk of death following surgery is the highest. The research is by Dr Felix Kork and Professor Claudia Spies, Charité — University Medicine Berlin, Germany and colleagues. Hospital mortality is subject to day-night, weekly and seasonal variability. Continue reading

Immune therapy for advanced bladder cancer yields promising results

Immune therapy for advanced bladder cancer yields promising results

A multi-center phase I study using an investigational drug for advanced bladder cancer patients who did not respond to other treatments has shown promising results in patients with certain tumor types, researchers report. Continue reading

Radiation for prostate cancer linked to secondary cancers, study finds

Radiation for prostate cancer linked to secondary cancers, study finds

Among men treated for prostate cancer, those who received radiation therapy were more likely to develop bladder or rectal cancer, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Overall the incidence of these cancers is low Continue reading

Patient-centered educational, behavioral program to reduce lymphedema risk trialed

Patient-centered educational, behavioral program to reduce lymphedema risk trialed

Viewed as one of the most unfortunate outcomes of breast cancer treatment, lymphedema is characterized by an accumulation of lymph fluid in the interstitial spaces of the affected limb, leading to chronic ipsilateral limb swelling causing psychosocial distress and physical challenges for patients. Even conservative estimates suggest that 3% of women who have had sentinel lymph node biopsy and 20% of those who have had axillary lymph node dissection may develop lymphedema a year after breast cancer surgery. Continue reading

Five lung transplants performed at hospital in 24 hours

Five lung transplants performed at hospital in 24 hours

Loyola University Medical Center recently performed five successful lung transplants in just over 24 hours. Put in perspective, five is the average number of lung transplants performed each day throughout the entire country. The patients, all doing well, are a teacher, a judge, an executive director, a grandmother and an extraordinary young woman who beat very long odds to undergo a second lung transplant in three years Continue reading

Cognitive behavioral or relaxation training helps women reduce distress during breast cancer treatment

Cognitive behavioral or relaxation training helps women reduce distress during breast cancer treatment

Can psychological intervention help women adapt to the stresses of breast cancer? It appears that a brief, five-week psychological intervention can have beneficial effects for women who are dealing with the stresses of breast cancer diagnosis and surgery. Continue reading