Treatment

Medical innovations are rapidly expanding therapy options for many diseases. Keep reading to find more information on new therapies, surgical techniques, effective medication and patient care.

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Smart breathing support

Self-learning ventilators could save more COVID-19 patients

As the corona pandemic continues, mechanical ventilators are vital for the survival of COVID-19 patients who cannot breathe on their own. One of the major challenges is tracking and controlling the…

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Critical care

COVID-19: High mortality in hospital patients

Approximately one fifth of COVID-19 patients admitted to German hospitals between the end of February and mid-April died. For patients receiving ventilation, the mortality rate was 53%. For those not…

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Relief for amputees

'Virtual hand' training reduces phantom limb pain

Phantom-limb pain is as mysterious as the name implies. The vast majority of amputees experience “phantom-limb” sensations that make them feel their missing limb is still part of their body. The…

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Paediatric health risks

Children in the COVID-19 pandemic: Between fear and care

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected children with direct impacts of the infection as well as on them leading normal lives. Schooling, play and vaccinations are among issues that can affect children’s health. Delay in taking paediatric patients to the emergency room (ER) has also had a negative impact, for example late treatment of acute appendicitis. Two experts from Spain tackled these topics in a recent webinar organised by the European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP), which offers weekly insights into the pandemic through the eyes of children.

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Critical care

COVID-19: High mortality in hospital patients

Approximately one fifth of COVID-19 patients admitted to German hospitals between the end of February and mid-April died. For patients receiving ventilation, the mortality rate was 53%. For those not…

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Irregular heartbeat treatment

Holograms help physicians during cardiac procedures

Bringing a little bit of science fiction into an operating room, a team of engineers and physicians at Washington University in St. Louis has shown for the first time that using a holographic display…

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Virtual consultations

COVID-19 pandemic boosts telemedicine in Spain

The coronavirus crisis has accelerated the use of telemedicine in Spain with an increase in virtual consultation and positive impact on workflow. The challenge will be to make these changes…

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Congenital defect reconstruction

Pectus Excavatum: First-in-human trial of novel reconstruction scaffold

Medtech company BellaSeno announced the initiation of a first-in-human trial of its novel, absorbable soft tissue reconstruction scaffold (Senella). A patient with Pectus Excavatum congenital defect…

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Is CPR overrated? Experts argue it might be

Patients and the general public appear to significantly overestimate the success of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and underestimate the negative impact it can have on a person’s health, new…

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Weaning from respiration

COVID-19: novel Diaphragm Therapy shows promise

Department B for Internal Medicine of the University Medical Center Greifswald successfully used, within an international multi-center trial, a special diaphragmatic stimulation therapy to treat a…

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Anti-inflammation

Can special coatings reduce complications after implant surgery?

New coatings on implants could help make them more compatible. Researchers at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new method of applying anti-inflammatory substances…

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Tailor-made therapies

Diabetes care enters precision medicine

A new joint report from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) presents the largest venture ever on precision medicine in diabetes. The…

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Fluoxetine

Antidepressant inhibits coronavirus

A standard drug for the treatment of depression might also be effective against Covid-19, a new study by Würzburg scientists shows which has been published on a preprint server

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BTK inhibitor vs. respiratory distress

Off-label cancer drug shows promise against severe COVID-19

Early data from a clinical study suggest that blocking the Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) protein provided clinical benefit to a small group of patients with severe COVID-19. Researchers observed that…

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Reversing incurable cause for blindness

Macular degeneration: Gene therapy restores vision

Macular degeneration is one of the major reasons for visual impairment, round the globe, close to 200 million people are affected. It damages the photoreceptors in the retina, which lose their…

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COVID-19 protection around the world

Coronavirus mask parade: diverse and united

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, face masks become a common sight in our everyday lives. However, there is still lots of room for individuality, as these photos prove. Enjoy!

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L-type calcium channel blockers

LCCBs may contribute to heart failure

L-type calcium channel blockers (LCCBs) — the most widely used drugs for treating hypertension — may harm the heart as much as help it, according to a new study. The research team, led by the…

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The difficulty? Unpredictability in the entire process

Immunotherapy for lung cancer patients

Better outcomes, more favourable prognoses – oncologists and their lung cancer patients didn’t dare to dream about it. Finally, there might be hope. The so-called checkpoint inhibitors…

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Angiology

Introducing a thinner, stronger, more flexible iliac stent

Medical device company Biotronik is proud to announce the availability of its next-generation balloon-expandable cobalt chromium iliac stent system, Dynetic-35. When compared to leading competitors,…

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Ophthalmology

Nanoparticles for gene therapy cure eye diseases

Johns Hopkins scientists report the successful use of nanoparticles to deliver gene therapy for blinding eye disease. A uniquely engineered large molecule allows researchers to compact large bundles of therapeutic DNA to be delivered into the cells of the eye.

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Durable implant

New heart valve could transform open heart surgery

A new polymeric heart valve with a life span potentially longer than current artificial valves that would also prevent the need for the millions of patients with diseased heart valves to require life-long blood thinning tablets has been developed by scientists at the universities of Bristol and Cambridge. The team's latest in-vitro results, published in Biomaterials Science, suggest that the…

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Teaching partnership

Setting new standards for specialist integrated cardiac care

Royal Philips and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust announced a seven-year managed service agreement to deliver on the Trusts’ vision to set new standards of excellence for cardiac care in the UK and globally. The partnership will combine the latest innovations in technology for integrated cardiovascular solutions to deliver on the quadruple aim: better health outcomes, lower cost of care, and…

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Magnetic pull on catheters

Fringe Field Navigation transforms endovascular surgery

A new technique could enable vascular surgeons to reach even the more difficult body regions. Instead of pushing catheters into minute veins, the system, devised in Canada by Professor Sylvain Martel and team at the Polytechnique Montréal Nanorobotics Laboratory, uses magnetic forces to pull a guidewire, or catheter, into remote physical locations, guiding medical instruments into narrow and…

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Hypertension

High blood pressure increases COVID-19 death risk

Patients with raised blood pressure have a two-fold increased risk of dying from the coronavirus COVID-19 compared to patients without high blood pressure, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. In addition, the study found that patients with high blood pressure who were not taking medication to control the condition were at even greater risk of dying from COVID-19.

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Radiation therapy

Call for action: Ensuring cancer treatment in times of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of healthcare provision - cancer care is no exception. In fact, during the pandemic, patients with cancer represent a high-risk group. Recent studies estimate that delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment will increase the indirect death toll of COVID-19 by several thousands in the coming years. Cancer care providers need to be able to…

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COVID protective equipment

Face mask disinfects itself via USB cable

A self-disinfecting reusable protective face mask was developed at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) faculty of Materials Science and Engineering. The disinfection process occurs when a layer of carbon fibers in the mask is heated using a low current source, such as an electric mobile phone charger, the developers state. A patent application for this invention has been submitted in…

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New gene therapy approach

Tumor-tropic technology for targeted cancer therapy

Toshiba Corporation and a team led by Professor Yozo Nakazawa at the Department of Pediatrics, Shinshu University, have together developed a “tumor-tropic liposome technology” for gene therapy. The technology uses unique, nano-sized biodegradable liposomes developed by Toshiba to accurately and efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to targeted cancer cells, and achieves safer gene delivery…

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A 'safety net' for better drug delivery

Ultra-thin fibres to protect nerves after brain surgery

The drug nimodipine could prevent nerve cells from dying after brain surgery. Pharmacists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), in cooperation with neurosurgeons at University Hospital Halle (Saale) (UKH), have developed a new method that enables the drug to be administered directly in the brain with fewer side effects. Their findings were published in the European Journal of…

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Heart attacks, heart failure, stroke

COVID-19’s cardiovascular complications

COVID-19 can cause serious cardiovascular complications including heart failure, heart attacks and blood clots that can lead to strokes, emergency medicine doctors at the University of Virgina report in a new scientific paper. They also caution that COVID-19 treatments can interact with medicines used to manage patients’ existing cardiovascular conditions.

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Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS)

How physical therapists can aid COVID-19 patients' recovery after ICU

At least half of all patients who survive treatment in an intensive care unit will experience at least one of a triad of problems associated with post-intensive care syndrome, or PICS, and this may be true for people recovering from COVID-19 following ICU care. PICS can manifest as problems with physical function, cognition and mental health, according to a fact sheet from the American Thoracic…

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Xenios consoles as lifesavers

ECMO: crucial in the battle against COVID-19

As the coronavirus spreads and infections with COVID-19 further increase throughout Europe, ECMO therapy turns out to be a necessary option for patients with severe courses. Xenios AG, a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care, provides ECMO consoles that can be used for the treatment of patients who develop severe pneumonia and ARDS with lung failure which also might result from infection with the…

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Coronavirus impact on A&E

COVID-19: UK emergency departments see dramatic fall in attendance

Accident and Emergency departments across the NHS have seen dramatic falls in attendances amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Latest figures for NHS England show that the total number of attendances at A&E departments in March 2020 was 1,531,100, a decrease of 29.4% on the same month last year. And while the figures are specifically for England, a similar pattern has been observed across the…

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Cooling vests

Keeping a cool head for all ICU doctors and nurses

Hundreds of ICU doctors and nurses are currently fighting for the lives of others. The protective gear they are asked to wear is sealed and heavy, which can cause overheating. Especially for these doctors and nurses, the NOC*NSF has provided hundreds of cooling vests which would have otherwise been used by our athletes at the Olympics. Inuteq, the manufacturers of these cooling vests, is…

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New concept 'HeiMeKOM'

Involvement of patients and relatives improves cancer communication

The Heidelberg Thorax Clinic is trialling a newly structured, longitudinal communication concept to meet proactively the complex needs of stage IV lung cancer patients and their relatives. The concept is aimed at enhancing prognostic understanding and building the basis for proactive care planning, early integration of palliative care and shared decision-making, ultimately to improve improving…

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Dealing with the disease

Leading European cancer centers share their corona knowledge

Cancer patients are particularly at risk for infections because of their disease and its treatment. Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus in Europe, cancer centers within a short period were faced with the challenge of minimizing the risk of infection for these patients while at the same time not compromising the provision of the necessary treatments. Seven leading European cancer centers…

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Better diagnosis, better treatment

Prostate cancer deaths to decline (almost) everywhere in the EU

Death rates from prostate cancer are predicted to fall in 2020 in the EU, largely due to better diagnosis and treatment, according to new research published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology. In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU for 2020, researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Milan (Italy), show that since 2015…

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More power for interventionists

Combining image-guided diagnosis and robot-assisted treatment

Siemens Healthineers AG took a big step last October. To incorporate treatment along an entire clinical path, the firm acquired Corindus Vascular Robotics, Inc., to combine image-guided diagnosis with robot-assisted surgery. A couple of months later, the Corindus endovascular robotic system CorPath GRX was used to implant a vascular stent into an obstructed coronary artery – the first use of…

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Corona consequences in Spain

COVID-19 fears put interventional cardiology on lockdown

The number of primary angioplasties – the main treatment for heart attack – has dropped by 40% in Spain since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown. Other key diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have also considerably diminished. Spanish cardiologists are urging the population to call the emergency medical systems whenever symptoms of myocardial infarction occur, in spite of fears…

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Diabetes-related diseases

3D printed implants for personalized treatment of bone defects

BellaSeno GmbH, a company developing absorbable scaffolds using additive manufacturing technologies, announced a collaboration with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin under the recently established SyMBoD consortium. Under the agreement, BellaSeno will design and manufacture personalized, 3D-printed, absorbable implants suitable for the treatment of diabetes patients with bone defects. The…

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COVID-19 medication safety

New traffic light system to prevent coronavirus drug interaction

The University of Liverpool launched a new website featuring a traffic light system to aid the safe prescribing of experimental drugs being trialled against coronavirus (COVID-19). The site, created by the University’s Liverpool Drug Interactions Group, provides vital information on whether or not combinations of an experimental drug and co-medications are safe to prescribe. This is of…

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Machine learning in intensive care

AI can predict circulatory failure in ICU

Researchers at ETH Zurich and Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, have developed a method for predicting circulatory failure in patients in intensive care units (ICU) – enabling clinicians to intervene at an early stage. Their approach uses machine learning methods to evaluate an extensive body of patient data. Patients in a hospital’s ICU are kept under close observation: clinicians…

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