How EDs Can Calm Parents’ Fever Phobia
Are American emergency departments fostering the near-panic some parents feel whenever their child runs a fever? Amy Levine, M.D., writes in Emergency Physicians Monthly that “fever is the most common reason for urgent care and ED visits by children in the United States, costing billions of dollars annually.” And in most cases, they’re completely unnecessary. Levine points to the American Academy of Pediatrics 2011 report that reducing fever in otherwise healthy children “does not impact morbidity or mortality from febrile illness” and that “there is no evidence that antipyretics” — such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen — “reduce the recurrence of febrile seizures.” Levine offers seven “Practical Recommendations for Emergency Physicians” on reassuring and counseling parents about feverish kids, and how ED staff can avoid inadvertently promoting what way back in 1980, Barton D. Schmitt, M.D., coined “fever phobia.” Among the questions she asks: Does your ED treat every elevated temperature, no matter how mild or how the child looks? Do you insist that the child is unstable for discharge if there is a fever present? Do you concoct elaborate regimens for alternating antipyretics when they are not needed and may just increase the risk of medication error?
There’s Another Layer of Info in Our DNA!
We all know that the information coded in our DNA plays a vital role in who we are, but a study published in PLOS ONE, found that the way DNA folds itself is another layer of information that controls which genes are expressed in our bodies, Futurism reports. The study was done by physicists from the Netherlands through computer simulation. They determined genetic mutations are also caused by the way strands of DNA are folded, not just a change is the sequence of codes. The details are obviously more complex, but you can read more here.
Fewer Obese Americans Are Fighting It
More Americans are fatter than ever but fewer of them are doing anything about it, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. As Melissa Healy writes in the Los Angeles Times, about 66 percent of American adults are now overweight or obese, up from 53 percent a generation ago. But only 49 percent of overweight or obese people who responded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted between 2009 and 2014, said they had made any recent attempt to lose weight. That compares with 56 percent who responded to the first survey, conducted between 1988 and 1994. Researchers cite several possible reasons for the alarming trend: socially acceptable body weight is increasing; primary care physicians are failing to counsel obese patients; and many overweight people have tried and failed at dieting so many times, they’ve given up. As H&HN reported in a January article, “Obesity: Chronic Condition, Not a Character Flaw,” several hospitals and health systems are developing new and more effective programs to treat affected patients and help them avoid the serious diseases tied to weight.
Google Wants to Manage Hospital Data
Google’s health tech subsidiary DeepMind Health has unveiled software which can enable hospitals, patients and England’s National Health Service to see personal data in real time, though some people aren't thrilled with the news, The Guardian reports. The software is designed to create a digital record that habitually archives any change to a patient’s data and makes those changes visible. Called Verifiable Data Audit, it utilizes technology somewhat similar to the cryptocurrency bitcoin, and the blockchain technology that bolsters it. “Like blockchain, the ledger will make it possible for third parties to verify that nobody has tampered with any of the entries,” a DeepMind representative said. Critics are concerned that Google's NHS agreement gives the tech giant too much power over the government agency, according to the report.