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Clinical News In Brief

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Clinical News In Brief

- More than 90% of older patients with diabetes have a co-morbid condition, according to a US study. Nearly 50% have at least three other major diseases, according to the study, due to be published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The research looked at 1,901 adults aged 55 or older with diabetes.

- Dispensing spectacles to nursing home residents with poor eyesight improves quality of life and decreases depression symptoms, regardless of any cognitive impairment or physical frailty, according to US researchers. They surveyed 142 nursing home residents. Archives of Opthalmology (2007) 125: 1471–1477

- Swansea NHS Trust is using new dressings filled with foam and maggots to clean serious wounds. The maggots come in a small pot from Zoobiotic, a firm in Bridgend, and are poured into a sterile net bag, applied over the wound area and secured with tape for around 48 hours.

- Welch Allyn has issued an urgent recall of a batch of its AED 20 automatic external defibrillator. A malfunction prevents or delays the delivery of therapy which means resuscitation can fail. For affected serial numbers, go to

- Nurses need a structured framework to ensure all relevant documentation is handed over when patients transfer from A&E to ICU, according to UK nurse researchers. They said this would improve communication and ensure continuity of care. The researchers interviewed 12 nurses at two acute hospitals in Northern Ireland.
Nursing in Critical Care (2007) 12: 261–269

- Failure to introduce a hepatitis B vaccine programme has put many UK citizens at risk of contracting the disease, warns Andrew Pollard, reader in paediatric infection and immunity at Oxford University. He said a hepatitis B vaccine should be added to the UK’s routine immunisation schedule in early infancy to help prevent liver cancer.
BMJ (2007) 335: 950

- Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a significantly higher risk of stroke than others. Over five years, UK researchers studied 33,000 patients with RA and 100,000 without. The results were presented at an American College of Rheumatology conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

- Theatre nurses should check Anspach cutting burrs with expiry dates from June 2008 to August 2011, warns the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. It said a possible breakdown of packaging could lead to the sterile barrier being breached.

- Silibinin, a major biologically active compound of milk thistle, has anti-cancer effects, say US scientists. Milk thistle is used as a complementary therapy for liver diseases. The US found silibinin slowed the growth of human hepatoma cell lines.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (2007) 13: 5299–5305

- The Scottish Medicines Consortium has approved the conjugated oestrogen (Premarin) tablet in a lower dose of 0.3mg as hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal oestrogen-deficiency symptoms.

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