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Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

Award for new blood clot prevention technology

A partnership between the Royal Stoke University Hospital, part of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, and a UK industry-leading medical devices company have been rewarded for its use of an innovative bioelectronic technology to prevent life-threatening blood clots in acute stroke patients – winning in the category: Best use of technology (acute care), at the Building Better…

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Robotic assistance for middle and inner ear procedures

Cochlear implant microsurgery progresses

Unlike other surgical specialties, ear nose and throat (ENT) has been poorly served by the introduction of robotic platforms to enhance procedures. Since the da Vinci system first gained FDA approval in 2000, robot-assisted surgery has become commonplace in many specialties, including neurology, urology, etc. with numerous other general surgical applications. However, existing systems including…

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Meta-analysis

Benefit and risk: drug-coated balloon angioplasty

Scientists of Jena University Hospital, Germany, conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate benefit and risk of paclitaxel-coated balloon angioplasty compared to conventional balloon angioplasty as therapy of intermittent claudication. The study confirms an increased all-cause mortality, which has formerly been stated, and found a broad heterogeneity in the effectivity of the procedure depending on…

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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP), the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.…

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Presented at SAC cardiology congress

App reminds heart patients to take their pills

Heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions, according to a study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of Cardiology (SAC 2019) in Buenos Aires. ‘We hypothesised that the app would increase adherence by 30%, but the impact was even greater,’ said study author Dr Cristian M. Garmendia, of the…

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Natural nanocapsules

A new approach for tackling superbugs – without antibiotics

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial pathogen carried by 4.4 billion people worldwide, with the highest prevalence in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Although the majority of infections show no symptoms,…

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Open surgery or TAVI?

New ways to treat severe aortic stenosis

New research at the University of Leicester, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), could change the way people living with a debilitating heart condition are treated. The £2.7m clinical trial aims to identify the best time to operate on people living with severe aortic stenosis (AS). AS is a common condition that causes a narrowing of the heart valve, restricting blood flow out of the…

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Restart a Heart: Learn how to save a life with CPR

Today is World Restart a Heart Day. That's why medical students from Cardiff University are taking part in what is expected to be the largest mass CPR training event ever conducted. Medics and other lifesavers all around the globe will teach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to members of the public. Almost 239,000 people learned CPR in the UK alone as part of last year’s event and organisers…

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Targeted therapy for pancreatic carcinoma

Hitting cancer with 'homing' radioactive molecules

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer‑related deaths worldwide. Patients with pancreatic cancer often receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which are not always effective and can have toxic side effects. In a collaborative research between Osaka University and the University of Heidelberg, researchers are exploring a new method of treatment that brings powerful yet…

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'Pepe' for pupils' hygiene

Handwashing robot helps schoolkids break bad habits

A robot which encourages kids to wash their hands has helped pupils at a remote Indian primary school take a fresh approach to hygiene. The hand-shaped robot, dubbed ‘Pepe’, is the product of a collaboration between researchers from the University of Glasgow in Scotland and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University in India. Pepe was mounted to the wall above a handwashing station at the Wayanad…

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Neurology

Overcoming the blood-brain-barrier: Delivering therapeutics to brain

For the first time, scientists have found a way that can effectively transport medication into the brain - which could lead to improved treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. In a study, scientists from Newcastle University have led an international team in a major breakthrough in unlocking the secrets of how medications can infiltrate the brain.

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Lumacaftor-ivacaftor

Cystic fibrosis patients benefit from drug combination, but...

In adolescent and adult patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) taking lumacaftor-ivacaftor (Orkambi), the combination drug appears to improve lung function and body weight and reduce the need for intravenous antibiotic treatment, according to a French study published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. However, the treatment also…

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Public health in the UK

'Every Mind Matters': NHS launches mental health campaign

A new awareness campaign launched by the National Health Service (NHS) aims to tackle the growing issue of mental disorders in the UK. 'Every Mind Matters' encourages adults to be more aware of their mental health and helps them to discover simple steps to look after their mental health and wellbeing. The campaign offers free, NHS-approved mental health resources, via the One You website, which…

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Intentional rounding

Nurses' hourly ward rounds? There might be better ways to deliver care

A new report by researchers at King’s College London has found that the widespread practice of routine ward rounds in England, known as intentional rounding, may not be the best way for nurses to deliver care to patients. The report also found that intentional rounding makes a minor contribution, if at all, to the way nurses engage with patients. The research was commissioned and funded by the…

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Statins study

How effective is cholesterol medication? New study sheds light

A study by a team of Victoria University of Wellington scientists spotlights the role of gene networks in how people respond to one of the world’s most prescribed medications. The research team investigated the genetic network response to cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, a medication prescribed to about 30 million people worldwide. The researchers say it is a significant step towards…

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Difficult decisions

5 things women under 40 should know about breast cancer

Breast cancer is rare for women under 40. So, a breast cancer diagnosis can be shocking news for a young woman to hear. “Breast cancer in young women can have its own risk factors and traits, and young women have their own considerations when deciding on a treatment,” says Nadine Tung, MD, head of breast medical oncology and cancer genetics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).…

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Multi-component procedure

SULEEI: extending the functional lives of biological heart valve prostheses

For decades now, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing processes and systems for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification. The newly in-house developed process, called SULEEI, makes it possible to sterilize (S) and preserve decellularized pericardial tissue by means of photo-initiated ultraviolet (U) crosslinking…

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Vascular surgery

New lease of life thanks to new aorta

Patients with the rare Loeys-Dietz syndrome suffer from aortic enlargement which may result in sudden over-expansion and a fatal aortic tear. In order to prevent this from happening, an aortic prosthesis must be implanted. A team of vascular surgeons at the University Hospital of Zurich was one of the first in the world to risk undertaking this life-saving operation on a child as an emergency…

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Hypothyroidism

Underactive thyroid: Study validates treatment guidelines

A study led by the University of Birmingham provides strong support for current recommendations on treating patients with an underactive thyroid and validates latest UK and US guidelines, say researchers. The retrospective cohort study, published in The BMJ, analysed anonymous GP records of over 162,000 patients who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism – a highly prevalent condition more…

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Rare lung disease

FDA approval for scleroderma treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ofev (nintedanib) capsules to slow the rate of decline in pulmonary function in adults with interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis or scleroderma, called SSc-ILD. It is the first FDA-approved treatment for this rare lung condition. “Patients suffering from scleroderma need effective therapies, and the FDA supports the efforts…

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Reopening blood vessels

Microbubbles and ultrasound can help treat heart attacks

Doctors are using microbubbles and ultrasound to treat heart attacks – deploying these traditional diagnostic tools in an attempt to reopen tiny blood vessels, reduce scar size and restore heart function, according to a study described at a medical conference in Chicago. “This study shows for the first time that microbubbles can be used to both diagnose and treat small vessel obstructions…

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Wireless spirometer & smartphone

'Asthma app' to improve self-monitoring

A study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows that a treatment adjustment algorithm based on lung function and symptoms in a mobile phone can be an efficient tool in managing uncontrolled asthma. For fuss-free measuring of lung function, the phone connects to a wireless spirometer and the app can register respiratory symptoms and provide visual feedback on treatment. The study is…

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Cardiac regeneration potential

Cell combination heals damaged hearts

Researchers have discovered a unique combination of cells grown from stem cells that could prove pivotal in helping a heart regenerate after a patient has suffered a myocardial infarction. The University of Cambridge research team found that transplanting an area of damaged tissue with a combination of heart muscle cells and supportive cells, similar to those that cover the outside of the heart,…

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