Clinical Category

It’s relatively early in the season, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that influenza activity is already rising—and several markers are higher than normally seen this early. Four children have already died this season, and four of the CDC’s 10 regions are at or above their regional baselines. Another bad sign: Australia, whose data are often a predictor of flu severity in the U.S., just completed its worst flu season on record. So far, influenza A has accounted for 83.4% of positive flu specimens. This information isRead More
The parents of a Pittsburgh-area boy knew exactly what was wrong, but had no idea how serious the consequences could be. Somehow the 5-year-old dislodged a small, lithium disc battery from a fidget spinner and promptly swallowed it. The parents rushed him into the car with the intent of taking him to the emergency room, but as he became more agitated they opted for the closest urgent center. Ultimately, he needed immediate surgery to remove the battery because it was already burning his esophagus. His recovery is ongoing. As notedRead More

Posted On November 29, 2017By JUCMIn Clinical

Do You Really Know What’s in that IV Bag?

A New York urgent care center, several of its staff members, and a company that manufactures practice devices for medical education are all being sued by a woman who claims she became serious ill by being given a nonsterile solution that was actually intended only for training purposes. The suit alleges that in December 2014 staff administered IV fluids from a practice IV bag made by Wallcur LLC instead of the proper sterile solution that may have been appropriate for her care at the time. Court papers claim that anyRead More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is intent on driving down inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics, and using U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week and World Antibiotic Awareness Week to unveil a new educational campaign called Be Antibiotics Aware: Smart Use, Best Care. The CDC says at least 2 million Americans become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria annually—with at least 23,000 dying as a result. With over 160 million patient visits every year, according to the Urgent Care Association of America, urgent care centers are well positioned to take a leadership role inRead More
In addition to reminding clinicians that all patients 6 months of age and older should receive flu shots by the end of this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to get the word out that children between 6 months and 8 years of age should receive their vaccinations twice, approximately 28 days apart. Like last year, the CDC also recommends against using the nasal pump spray because it’s been deemed inefficient in delivering the vaccine.Read More

Posted On October 17, 2017By JUCMIn Clinical

West Nile Virus is Back with a Vengeance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has served notice that 47 states and the District of Columbia have confirmed cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in people, birds, or mosquitoes this year. All told, there have been 1,295 cases among humans. California has seen the most—258 cases, with 47 popping up in a single week this month, including 12 fatalities. Texas is second in the country, with 105 cases, but has a higher number of fatalities (18). Only about 1 in 150 people who are infected with WNV developRead More
We told you in August about a hepatitis A outbreak that killed eight people in San Diego County, CA. The worse news is that hep A continues to spread throughout California—and could continue to do so for years to come, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions. At least 569 people have been infected, including 17 who have died, since last November in San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles counties. They’re among many counties to start offering vaccines to the homeless, the population considered most at riskRead More

Posted On July 12, 2017By JUCMIn Clinical

Drug-Resistance Growing in STDs

Rising rates of antibiotic resistance in general have been discussed extensively. What has not been addressed as specifically is the growing number of cases of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases. Data that show condom use is declining makes this trend even more alarming, the World Health Organization warns. Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria that causes the STD, in particular, has become prone to developing resistance to the drugs used to treat it, according to the WHO. “Widespread” resistance to older, relatively inexpensive antibiotics is resulting in cases that areRead More
The 2016–2017 flu season is far enough behind us that health system numbers crunchers can assess how well the vaccine performed—and it’s definitely a mixed bag. While it was a good match for the predominant strain (Type A H3N2) and was around 42% effective in preventing illness severe enough to send patients to the doctor’s office, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention admits that it was essentially ineffective in protecting people age 65 and over. Since those patients are among the most vulnerable to serious consequences of influenza, includingRead More
New guidelines for caring for young athletes with concussions favor movement over rest more than previous recommendations. The advisory, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that getting the patient to start moving—slowly, with gradual increases—may shorten recovery time. The authors are very clear that this does not mean returning to the field of play right away, however. Rather, where patients have been instructed to rest until symptoms completely disappear previously, there now seems to be evidence that most young athletes should be encouraged to start being physicallyRead More