Whooping Cough Risk Higher Among Kids Who Miss Vaccinations: Study

It’s important to get all doses without delay, researchers say

For many dying elderly, aggressive cancer treatment despite their wish

TAMPA — Most seniors with terminal cancer say they want to die at home or in a hospice, surrounded by loved ones, not high- tech medical heroics.

Yet a new study finds many of them spend their final days in hospital intensive care units, or leave the hospital only a few days before they die.

What’s more, researchers from the famed Dartmouth Atlas Group found, where you live may have a lot to do with what happens to you.


Dispelling myths about hospice

In Recognition of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, Oct. 12, the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance and its partners are focusing on “dispelling the myths,” and encouraging people to promote the facts about hospice and palliative care.

Also, advocates, patients and caregivers want to improve access to palliative care for people with life-limiting conditions by integrating palliative care into existing services.

To ensure all those with life-limiting conditions are cared for with dignity and according to their wishes, Terrace Hospice Society is asking for integrated hospice and palliative care health services.

A few myths and the facts about hospice and palliative care are found here.

Where’s That Advance Care Directive?

Nancy Wagner, a social worker at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, N.J., encounters this frustration at least once a week: A patient arrives in the emergency room and tells the inquiring staff that yes, she has indeed prepared and signed an advance directive. But, well, she doesn’t have it with her.

On one recent Monday, it happened twice. More.

Should You Eat Chicken?

Meanwhile … should you eat chicken? That’s your call.  More.

Nevada epidemiologist: Deaths of young mother, baby have put tuberculosis back on radar

The winning battle against tuberculosis in the United States may, ironically, be part of the reason why the disease wasn’t detected in a young Las Vegas mother and her baby until it was too late, experts said.

A leading cause of death in the early 20th century, the airborne illness most associated with a bad cough has declined in the U.S. to the lowest levels since record-keeping began 60 years ago. Tuberculosis claimed 569 lives in the U.S. in 2010, meaning fewer and fewer doctors have experience treating or recognizing it, especially in otherwise healthy young patients.

“This idea that young people don’t get it is wrong,” said Dr. Ihsan Azzam, Nevada’s state epidemiologist. “It’s now on the radar again. We thought this was eliminated in our country, but there’s now a resurgence of the disease.” More.

Falls tied to post-op complications in older people

The number of falls older people take before surgery may help predict their health during recovery, says a new study. Researchers found that older people who reported falling during the six months before heart or bowel surgery had more complications than people who reported no falls. More @ Reuters Health.

After an ICU stay, cognitive loss is common, study says

Two-thirds of patients sick enough to land in a hospital intensive care unit come away from the experience with substantial mental deficits, a new study has found.

The new research, which quantifies a phenomenon long observed by critical-care physicians, found that three months after leaving the hospital, 4 in 10 patients continue to have cognitive problems on a par with those seen in cases of moderate traumatic brain injury. And more than a quarter experience a decline in mental function akin to that seen in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease, the study says.

For 58% of patients who’ve experienced a stay in the ICU, those intellectual deficits are still there a year after they have been released from the hospital, the study found. More.

Gilead Sciences stops successful cancer drug study

Gilead Sciences said Wednesday it stopped a late-stage clinical trial of a cancer treatment because it was clear the drug was working.

Gilead was studying idelalisib as a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The company said an early analysis of data from the study showed that patients who were treated with idelalisib had a longer time before the resumption of disease progression or death. A panel of independent monitors recommended that Gilead stop the trial. More.