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  • May 16, 2016 1:49 PM | Rebecca Branta (Administrator)

    By Alan Mozes
    HealthDay Reporter


    WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Zika infection isn't always obvious. In one recent case, a rash, bloodshot eyes and spots in the mouth were key symptoms of infection with the mosquito-borne virus, researchers report.

    The 44-year-old patient had no fever, a common sign of Zika infection. But he complained of headache, fatigue and redness on his arms and hands just days after returning to the United States from Puerto Rico, where the mosquito-borne virus is circulating.

    Zika infection was only confirmed by blood and urine tests administered after the man recovered.

    Researchers are publicizing the case to highlight lesser known characteristics of the illness, which is usually mild but can cause serious birth defects and neurological problems.

    "Our aim [is] to provide a more detailed description of skin, mucosal and tissue findings than exists in the literature, with the goal of improving awareness and recognition of suspected cases by the health care community," said report co-author Dr. Amit Garg.

    The problem with diagnosing Zika is the virus shares many characteristics with other illnesses, explained Garg, an associate professor of dermatology at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

    The disease has captured global attention in the last year because of widespread infections in Central and South America.

    According to the World Health Organization, 64 countries and territories have reported Zika transmission, largely spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits dengue and yellow fever. Sexual intercourse and probably blood transfusions are also thought to spread infection, experts say.

    Symptoms are usually mild and short-lived, lasting two to seven days. But Zika exposure in pregnancy raises the risk for microcephaly, a serious birth defect affecting a baby's head and brain size. Zika is also associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare nervous system illness.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. mainland has seen just 472 cases, all contracted outside the country. But health officials predict Zika-carrying mosquitoes will threaten the Gulf States, including Florida, Louisiana and Texas, by summer.

    Garg and his colleagues present their findings in online May 11 in the journal JAMA Dermatology. They said the patient became fatigued and developed a headache within three days of his return to the United States.

    One day later, he experienced itch-free redness and inflammation on his arms, hands and palms. The inflammation spread to his torso within 24 hours, before fading and moving to the lower extremities, notably the knees and feet.

    He later developed a burning sensation and joint pain in his wrists, knees and ankles.

    Within eight days, many of his initial symptoms cleared up.

    Only later, after a full medical screening, did researchers catalogue clear signs of infection and render a Zika diagnosis.

    Based on this case, Garg's team concluded that Zika rashes manifest as "tiny closely-set red bumps" that spread from the upper to lower half of the body over several days.

    "Tiny red patches" also tend to appear on the roof of the mouth, and eyes may appear bloodshot, though not all patients will have all of those symptoms, Garg said.

    Ultimately, "your doctor will need blood and/or urine samples to confirm the presence of the Zika virus," said Garg. However, a dermatologist may be able to eliminate Zika as a possibility, he added.

    Earlier this week, U.S. health officials reported that urine tests seem far better than a traditional blood test at detecting the infection. If those findings bear out in further research, it could become easier to screen for the Zika virus.

    Most experts say Americans shouldn't panic, but they should be aware of the Zika threat.

    "We live in a globally interconnected world, where the rapidity of modern travel allows us, and the microbes that infect us, to be virtually anywhere within only hours," said Lola Stamm. She is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    The bottom line, warned Stamm: "Travel and trade can bring 'new' pathogens and their vectors to our doorstep in only hours."

    With no known treatment or vaccine for Zika, experts can only recommend long-sleeved clothing and DEET-laced repellent to limit risk, or avoiding regions where the virus is circulating.

    There's more on Zika virus at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    SOURCES: Amit Garg, M.D., FAAD, associate professor and founding chair, department of dermatology, Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Lola V. Stamm, Ph.D., associate professor, department of epidemiology, infectious disease program, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C.; May 11, 2016, online, JAMA Dermatology

    Last Updated: May 11, 2016

    Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • May 16, 2016 1:48 PM | Rebecca Branta (Administrator)

    Patients’ blood oxygen saturation is an important parameter to monitor during surgery, but it’s currently clinically impossible if the patient is still in the womb of its mother. At Rice University a team of engineering students has developed a prototype device, called WombOX, that is a pulse oximeter that can be delivered inside the womb and gently attached to the arm or leg of a fetus.

    The pulse oximeter is integrated with a nitinol wire loop that is compressed when inside the delivery sheath. Once pushed out and exposed to the heat of the body, the nitinol expands and the loop opens up. It is then wrapped around the arm or leg of the fetus and tightened. LEDs within the device work along with a light detector to sense blood oxygenation just like in existing oximeters. It can be brought back into the sheath and removed following a procedure.

    Here’s a video with the Rice student team discussing the device.

  • May 12, 2016 1:46 PM | Rebecca Branta (Administrator)

    HealthDay News

    The prevalence of surgically confirmed endometriosis is less than 25 percent among women undergoing hysterectomy for chronic pelvic pain, according to a study published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

    Erika L. Mowers, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving 9,622 women who underwent laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomy for benign indications. The prevalence of surgically confirmed endometriosis was determined by review of the operative report and surgical pathology for the entire cohort and for subgroups with or without chronic pelvic pain or endometriosis.

    The researchers found that 15.2 percent of the patients undergoing hysterectomies had endometriosis at the time of hysterectomy. Fewer than one in four of the 3,768 women with a preoperative indication of chronic pelvic pain had endometriosis (21.4 percent). Many of those with preoperative indication of endometriosis did not actually have endometriosis at the time of hysterectomy (42.8 percent). Among women without preoperative indication of chronic pelvic pain or endometriosis, the rate of unexpected endometriosis was 8 percent. Among the women with a preoperative indication of chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis was more common in those with younger age, white race, and lower body mass index and for those who had previously failed another treatment.

    "Fewer than 25 percent of women undergoing laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomy for chronic pelvic pain have endometriosis at the time of surgery," the authors write.

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  • March 10, 2015 7:33 AM | Rebecca Branta (Administrator)
    (HealthDay) - Risk factors have been identified for 30-day readmission following hysterectomy, according to a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

    Malinda S. Lee, M.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined risk factors for 30-day readmission following hysterectomy for 1,649 women with nongravid hysterectomies conducted from 2008 through 2010 (1,009 for benign indications and 640 for malignancy).

    The researchers found that 6 percent of the women were readmitted within 30 days, with a mean time to readmission of 13 days. For women undergoing hysterectomy with benign indications, the odds of readmission were increased with a history of a laparotomy (including cesarean delivery) (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 2.12) and a perioperative complication (aOR, 2.41).

    For women undergoing hysterectomy for malignancy, the odds of readmission were increased with an American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification of III or IV (aOR, 1.92), a longer length of initial hospitalization (three days: aOR, 7.83), and an estimated blood loss of >500 mL (aOR, 3.29); the risk of readmission was reduced for women who underwent a laparoscopic hysterectomy (aOR, 0.32) and for those who were discharged on postoperative day one (aOR, 0.16).

    "These findings can serve to develop interventions to allow gynecologic surgeons to appropriately stratify patients at highest risk for readmission at the time of hysterectomy," the authors write.

    Explore further

    Journal reference: American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • March 10, 2015 5:37 AM | Rebecca Branta (Administrator)
    Campaign urges health care professionals and patients and loved ones to keep hands clean

    MONDAY, May 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has introduced a new campaign, "Clean Hands Count," to encourage health care professionals, patients, and patients' families to keep their hands clean in order to prevent health care-associated infections.

    Studies show that some health care professionals do not follow CDC hand hygiene recommendations, with health care professionals cleaning their hands less than half of the time they should.

    The new campaign promotes health care provider adherence to CDC recommendations, addressing misperceptions about hand hygiene, such as the belief that alcohol-based hand sanitizer contributes to antibiotic resistance and is damaging to hands versus soap and water. Patients and their loved ones should check whether their health care team members have washed their hands.

    "Patients depend on their medical team to help them get well, and the first step is making sure health care professionals aren't exposing them to new infections," CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., said in a statement. "Clean hands really do count and in some cases can be a matter of life and death."

    More Information

    Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
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