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NewSplash Archive – June 2017

Issue 25 – 6/27
Drones deliver defibrillators faster than ambulances
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden conducted a study demonstrating that high-tech drones can deliver automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to the scene of people stricken by sudden cardiac arrest faster than traditional ambulances. The eight-rotor drone can cruise at 47 mph, carries the FRED easyport, and can fly completely autonomous from the takeoff and landing once the destination coordinates are provided and the flight plan is approved by a human operator.

Anti-Alzheimer’s compounds found in plant
Scientists in Japan have developed a method to isolate active compounds from Drynaria Rhizome, a traditional plant medicine, which improves memory and reduces disease characteristics in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The mice had a genetic mutation that gave them some characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease, including reduced memory and a buildup of amyloid and tau proteins.

All 16 reprocessed ureteroscopes tested in study were still contaminated
How many of the 16 reprocessed ureteroscopes that researchers tested had dangerously high levels of organic material and bioburden remaining on them? All of them—despite undergoing manual cleaning and sterilization.

Simple method measures how long bacteria can wait out antibiotics
A growing number of pathogens are developing antibiotic resistance, threatening our ability to treat infectious diseases. According to a recent study published in Biophysical Journal, there is a simple method for measuring the time it takes to kill a bacterial population that could improve the ability to effectively treat antimicrobial-tolerant strains that are on the path to becoming resistant.

Nurses on the front line in war on sepsis
According to Sepsis Alliance, the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals is sepsis. Increasingly, hospitals are relying on dedicated sepsis nurses devoted to identifying and treating sepsis patients.

Researchers remove calcified buildup on prosthetic heart valves with pulsed, high-intensity ultrasound
Prosthetic heart valves that fit inside failed natural valves have been in use for years to treat thousands of patients. As time passes after implantation, the synthetic valves accumulate calcified debris, which slowly degrades their functionality, eventually requiring replacement.


Issue 24 – 6/20
Magnetized nanoparticle groups kill cancer cells
In recent years, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) have been used to deliver chemo agents, convert electromagnetic energy into heat, and manipulate the signaling process of tumors. Now an international team of researchers has used rotating MNPs to destroy cancer cells in vitro.

FDA releases list of reusable devices requiring new validation data
Following issues with reprocessing certain types of medical devices lead to superbug outbreaks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a list of devices that will require validated instructions for use and validation regarding cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization as required by the 21st Century Cures Act. According to the FDA, there has been a push toward more complex reusable medical device designs that are more difficult to clean, disinfect, and sterilize.

Hardware and software companies team up to create chess-playing robotic hand
Industrial robotics firm ABB Group and eye-tracking software maker Irisbond teamed up to create an eye-controlled robotic hand that enabled a woman with multiple sclerosis to play chess. The player simply looks at the chess board onscreen, gazes at a specific piece and spot on the board, and the robot makes the move.

Doctors create living drugs to fight cancer
After multiple treatment failures, doctors removed immune cells from a cancer patient, engineered them into cancer killers, and released them back into his bloodstream. This immune therapy treatment creates living drugs that grow inside the body and seek and destroy tumors.

Lab on a chip could monitor health; indicate exposure to germs and pollutants
Researchers at Rutgers University have invented technology that could lead to a wearable biosensing device that continuously analyzes sweat and blood for different biomarkers, such as proteins that indicate you may have some form of cancer. This so-called lab on a chip can be a handheld or wearable device that monitors your health and exposure to dangerous bacteria, viruses, and pollutants.

Scientists dig for new antibiotic
Nearly all of our antibiotics were discovered in soil, but scientists haven’t looked there for decades because mining microbial extracts from soil is considered an exhausted approach. Scientists recently went digging again, searching for new compounds to combat harmful bacteria.


Issue 23 – 6/13
S. aureus becoming more susceptible to antibiotics, study suggests
A recent study by researchers at JMI Laboratories showed that Staphylococcus aureus in U.S. patients is increasingly susceptible to key antibiotics. The researchers evaluated susceptibility trends of antibiotics from 2009 through 2015 by testing clinical isolates from medical centers across the U.S.

To combat antibiotic resistance, the WHO classifies antibiotics into three categories
For the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified antibiotics into three categories in an effort to combat antibiotic resistance. The categories—Access, Watch, and Reserve—come with recommendations on when each category should be used.

Researchers at MIT develop moisture-responsive workout suit
MIT researchers have designed a breathable workout suit with ventilating flaps that open and close in response to an athlete’s body heat and sweat. The flaps are lined with microbial cells that shrink and expand in response to changes in humidity.

Study shows deadly hospital-acquired infection is preventable
A study by Johns Hopkins published in Critical Care Medicine demonstrated that health care providers can take steps to prevent hospital-acquired infections associated with ventilator use. Ventilators can be a necessity for patients with certain illnesses or conditions, such as brain injury, stroke, or pneumonia, but being on a ventilator can lead to complications.

Get CEUs from the CDC
If you’re looking to earn CEUs (continuing education units), take a look at offerings by the CDC. You will need to log in or create an account to view the course offerings.

PPE compliance: 2 experts offer a fresh look at an age-old topic
Faced with emerging threats of new pathogens and antibiotic-resistant bacteria, many healthcare providers are placing a renewed focus on reducing healthcare-associated infections.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria present in some ready-to-eat foods
Research conducted at California State University Northridge and presented at ASM Microbe 2017 shows that antibiotic-resistant bacteria are present in many ready-to-eat foods, such as fresh produce and dairy. These foods do not undergo a process to kill bacteria (such as cooking during preparation), so antibiotic-resistant bacteria can either be directly consumed or can contaminate kitchen surfaces or other foods.


Issue 22 – 6/6
Researchers create 3D printed pediatric stent that grows with patient’s vessels
Children with certain cardiovascular conditions may benefit from stent implantations, but these implantations could be short lived or the benefit not fully realized because the vascular system grows with the rest of the child’s body. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands have developed 3D printing technology that allows them to create stents that grow with the patient’s growth, enabling the stent to be more effective.

Scientists create more potent, durable version of vancomycin
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered a way to modify the antibiotic vancomycin to make it more powerful and less susceptible to resistance. Vancomycin is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines and is frequently used to treat drug-resistant infections such as MRSA.

Researchers conduct yearlong study tracking the microbiome of a newly opened hospital
A yearlong study conducted at the University of Chicago Medicine’s new hospital, the Center for Care and Discovery, mapped the flow of microbes between patients, staff, and surfaces. This is the single largest microbiome analysis of a hospital.

Widely used plan to stop superbugs fails at UC hospital
Dr. Susan Huang, infection control expert at University of California Irvine, developed and promoted a plan to combat the spread of superbugs that is used by most U.S. hospitals. The problem is this plan didn’t work at her own hospital’s ICU.

The importance of medical device reprocessing audits
Chuck Hughes, founder of SPSmedical Supply Corp., has more than 30 years’ experience in healthcare. He has spoken at conferences, contributed to national standards on medical device reprocessing, and provided mock surveys to hundreds of healthcare facilities around the world.

FDA grants clearance for Intuitive Surgical’s latest da Vinci robotic system
Intuitive Surgical’s new da Vinci X robotic surgery system has received FDA clearance in the United States. This system received CE Mark approval for use in Europe back in April.