EDs Are Doling Out Fewer Pain Meds. What Will That Mean for Urgent Care Operators?

EDs Are Doling Out Fewer Pain Meds. What Will That Mean for Urgent Care Operators?

The good news is that prescribers in emergency rooms seem to be getting the message that opioid medications have been overprescribed for too long, contributing to widespread addiction and increasing deaths by overdose and suicide. According to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid prescriptions originating in the ED dropped by nearly one third between 2006–2007 and 2016–2017—reversing a 5-year upward trend. Decreases were highest among visits by younger adults …

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A Wetter Winter Could Mean a Jump in Seasonal Injuries. Are You Ready?

As far back as October, the National Weather Service was predicting a wetter-than-usual winter this year. With Winter Storm Dean bearing down on the Midwest and a snowy mess expected to hit the East Coast, it looks like they might be right. Some regions have already seen a jump in snow- and ice-related injuries. Genesis Health System in the Quad Cities region of Iowa reported seeing 35 patients across four locations in a single day …

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New Guidance on mTBI Suggests Quicker Return to Low-Risk Activities, More Caution for Others

New Guidance on mTBI Suggests Quicker Return to Low-Risk Activities, More Caution for Others

Many patients diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injury would benefit from getting back to their normal activities sooner than has been advised previously, according to a new review article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Introducing noncontact, aerobic exercise can even help improve symptoms and shorten time to recovery. However, other patients—those whose “normal activities” could put them at risk for repeat mTBI or who have persistent symptoms—should slow down even further …

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Despite Progress, Opioids Are Still Overprescribed—and a Threat to Public Safety

Despite Progress, Opioids Are Still Overprescribed—and a Threat to Public Safety

Campaigns to reduce prescriptions for opioid medications have been recognized as a good step forward, but we’re still a long way from bringing prescribing rates down to an appropriate level according to data newly released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. One problem recognized in the report is a shortage of relevant, specific guidelines. This is especially true when it comes to prescribing pain medications for patients who have undergone certain procedures …

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Urgent Care Is Attracting More Migraine Patients; Be Sure You Know the Guidelines

Urgent Care Is Attracting More Migraine Patients; Be Sure You Know the Guidelines

An article just published in Neurology Advisor notes that the ongoing growth of the urgent care industry has led more and more patients with migraine to visit urgent care centers instead of the emergency room, where “long wait times, bright lights, loud noises, and stress over cost of treatment associated with emergency departments…can exacerbate migraine symptoms.” At the same time, the authors suggest that greater adherence to current treatment guidelines from the American Headache Society …

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CDC Updates Data on Antibiotic Resistance—and Related Deaths—Again

CDC Updates Data on Antibiotic Resistance—and Related Deaths—Again

We told you recently that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its estimate of the number of American who die every year from an antibiotic-resistant infections (from the long-held total of 23,000 to around 35,000 deaths). Just last week, however, the CDC revealed that the actual number is thought to be 44,000 deaths annually, out of 3 million people who become ill with resistant infections. At the same time, though, prevention efforts like …

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It’s a Season of Cheer for Most—and the Highest Period of Suicide Risk for Others; Be Prepared

It’s a Season of Cheer for Most—and the Highest Period of Suicide Risk for Others; Be Prepared

Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s Eve and Day move many people to embrace religious and cultural festivities with family and friends. For those who are isolated, experiencing a downturn in their life experience, or struggling with mental or emotional illness, however, the winter holidays usher in additional risk for suicide. While the overall trend for suicides in the U.S. is concerning—suicide rates increased 25.4% between 1999 and 2016—January continues to be the month in which …

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Patients Are Not Getting the Point: Vaping Kills

Patients Are Not Getting the Point: Vaping Kills

Deaths attributed to e-cigarette, or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) have started rising so fast that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is updating figures weekly.  The latest figures, from December 10, note 2,291 cases in which patients have had to be hospitalized across all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fifty-two people in the U.S. have died across 26 states and the District of Columbia. The stereotypical image …

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Fresh Insights Into Responsible Antibiotic Prescribing; the Numbers May Surprise You

Fresh Insights Into Responsible Antibiotic Prescribing; the Numbers May Surprise You

A study newly published in BMJ reaffirms that too many inappropriate prescriptions for antibiotics are being written, especially during influenza season. It also reflects some ambiguity in prescribers’ reporting habits, however, and offers some insights into which drugs are being prescribed the most. The authors found that 25% of antibiotic prescriptions are written for “inappropriate” reasons, and that 18% reflect cases in which documentation was insufficient to determine whether a prescription was appropriate or not. …

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Know the Difference Between Male and Female MI Symptoms? (Hint: It’s a Trick Question)

Know the Difference Between Male and Female MI Symptoms? (Hint: It’s a Trick Question)

Conventional wisdom has it that woman and men experience symptoms of heart attack in different ways. As is often the case in life, however, the conventional wisdom may have it all wrong. According to a study just published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, men and woman may actually experience heart attacks in the same ways—information that’s essential for you to know the next time a patient presents while experiencing a possible MI. …

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