An analysis of 2012 data from the Intensive Care Over Nations audit of 730 ICUs in 84 nations found that red blood cell transfusion practices varied by region and that transfusions may be associated with better outcomes among the most severely ill patients. Researchers said 26% of patients received transfusions, a lower proportion than those found in older studies.
World Health Organization officials are expressing guarded optimism that the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has largely been contained, with no reports of new cases in the past 19 days as of Thursday. The possibility of new clusters due to transmission through breast milk or sexual activity must be taken seriously for weeks and even months, said Dr. Jeremy Farrar of the Wellcome Trust.
A study in the journal eLife found that a combination of two vaccines that independently reduced malaria cases by 48% and 68%, respectively, were associated with a 91% decline together when tested in a mouse model. The researchers combined a pre-erythrocytic vaccine and a transmission-blocking vaccine.
A 97% rate of sustained virologic response was found among liver transplant patients with hepatitis C genotypes 1-4 who were treated with sofosbuvir/velpatasvir following their transplants, no matter their cirrhosis status, according to a study in the Journal of Hepatology. No episodes of rejection were reported.
The Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center is using procalcitonin testing to guide sepsis and respiratory infection treatment while debate continues on whether the tests improve clinical care. "The jury is still out on whether it has helped curb use of antibiotics," but "it has allowed providers to give second thought about antibiotic use," says Allison Chambliss, director of clinical chemistry and point-of-care testing at LAC+USC.
Pregnant women who tested negative for cytomegalovirus infection in the first trimester had a 13.9% rate of seroconversion during pregnancy, researchers wrote in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Infants with cytomegalovirus were most frequently born to women who had pre-existing seroimmunity.
A study in the journal Open Forum Infectious Diseases found that private insurers denied coverage to 52.4% of patients with chronic hepatitis C infections receiving prescriptions for direct-acting antiviral therapy. The overall rate of denials, including Medicare and Medicaid, was 33.5%, according to an analysis of data for over 9,000 patients from specialty pharmacy records from January 2016 to April 2017.
Global Blood Therapeutics reported on data from a Phase IIa study of drug candidate voxelotor in 22 adolescents with sickle cell disease. Durable and sustained improvements were seen in hemoglobin levels, and clinical measures of hemolysis decreased, according to a presentation at the European Hematology Association's annual meeting.
Researchers at Hong Kong University's AIDS Institute found that a bispecific antibody was associated with viral control and elimination of infected cells, according to an animal study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The study team said the antibody could be ready for clinical trials in three to five years.
A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that Xarelto, or rivaroxaban, was associated with reduced rates of stroke and systemic embolism compared with warfarin in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and frailty. The risk of major bleeding was similar in the study.
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