healthcare communications

Nancy Hicks's picture

New Organ-Sharing Guidelines May Prompt National Conversation

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Editor’s Note: This article originally ran on CNBC.com.  Click here to see the original post. 

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)
recently released organ  [[wysiwyg_imageupload:92:]] procurement guidelines for public comment that are sure to prompt ethical debate.

In the first overhaul of the system in 25 years, UNOS announced younger, healthier people will be given priority preference for kidneys over older, sicker people.

This is a major change over the previous system which favored patients on a waiting list – first come, first served – irrespective of age or health condition. Read full post »

Nancy Hicks's picture

Medical Schools Screen Applicants for Charm Factor

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“People who need people…are the luckiest people
in the wo[[wysiwyg_imageupload:91:]]rld,” crooned Barbra Streisand.  The new tune for medical schools may be “people who are good with people” are likely to be future doctors.

In a startling departure from strictly academic criteria, at least eight medical schools in the U.S. (including Stanford University and UCLA) and 13 Canadian schools are screening prospective students for people skills.  Through a process called Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI), candidates undergo a series of short interviews (think speed dating) to see how well they can work as a team and think on their feet. Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Music: Are We All In It for the Dopamine Rush?

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Attending performances last season of Verdi’s
Simon Boccan[[wysiwyg_imageupload:90:]]egra and La Traviata at the Metropolitan Opera, I was thinking about research published online in Nature Neuroscience  that reported an “anatomically distinct dopamine release during [both] anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music.” 

Scientists at McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute, their intriguingly-named Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technology  and at the International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research  used positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe that when subjects listened to music they selected for themselves as “triggering an emotional response,” different parts of the brain were activated to release dopamine by anticipation and by the actual experience of listening to the music.  Read full post »

Clif Hotvedt's picture

Reducing Hospital-acquired Anemia

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How many times have you gone to a hospital only to have the patient  [[wysiwyg_imageupload:86:]]
you’re visiting complain that the staff was constantly (a relative term) drawing blood?  While this is often an important diagnostic test (as in monitoring blood chemistry or a blood –borne infection), sometimes the test itself becomes a hazard.

A recent study published in Archives of Internal Medicine of acute heart attack patients found that blood loss from diagnostic phlebotomy (blood draws) is itself a risk factor for hospital-acquired anemia in acute heart attack patients.  This study surveyed the practices at 57 hospitals treating a total of 17,676 acute heart attack patients and found that 20% of the patients overall developed moderate to severe hospital-acquired anemia and that the incidence of moderate to severe hospital-acquired anemia was significantly greater at hospitals that had higher mean total blood draws.  Read full post »