Study Casts Doubt on Plasma as COVID Treatment

Study Casts Doubt on Plasma as COVID Treatment


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By Ernie Mundell

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HealthDay Reporter

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WEDNESDAY, Nov. 25, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, anecdotal studies instructed that infusing pretty sick patients with the blood plasma of persons who’d survived the illness may well assist raise outcomes.

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But study findings launched Nov. 24 in the New England Journal of Medication, alongside with disappointing final results from prior trials, propose that people initial hopes might have been unfounded.

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The new research was done by scientists in Argentina. It as opposed outcomes for 228 hospitalized COVID-19 individuals who obtained an infusion of so-referred to as “convalescent plasma” against those people of 105 patients who did not (the “placebo group”). All were so sick as to have created pneumonia.

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However, one month later on, “no major big difference was famous concerning the convalescent plasma group and the placebo group” in conditions of clinical outcomes, with about 11% of patients dying in both equally teams, according to a staff led by Dr. V.A. Simonovich of the Italian Medical center of Buenos Aires.

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The principle at the rear of the use of survivors’ blood plasma in persons battling COVID-19 is that plasma consists of immune procedure agents that may possibly aid recipients in their fight in opposition to the disease.

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But a prior study from India — this time in sufferers with “reasonable” COVID-19 — also uncovered very little benefit of the procedure in halting disease from progressing to a much more intense phase. That analyze was led by Dr. Anup Agarwal, of the Indian Council of Professional medical Study in New Delhi, and was released Oct. 22 in the BMJ.

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According to 1 U.S. skilled unconnected to possibly trial, it may possibly be time to give up on convalescent plasma as a viable COVID-19 procedure.

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“There have been several main trials that have demonstrated the similar benefits: Convalescent plasma does not appear to be to have an influence on the program of COVID-19,” said Dr. Mangala Narasimhan. She’s senior vice president and director of Vital Treatment Expert services at Northwell Health, in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

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Narasimhan also pointed out that in the Argentinian trial, “even with very good measurement of the sum of antibody they were being giving men and women [in the transfusions], there was no benefit viewed.”

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She thinks that other therapies should continue to be first-line choices for severe COVID-19.

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“The new monoclonal antibodies will give a far more targeted and responsible antibody load to COVID-19 individuals and may well have an effect on the program of illness if specified early after good screening,” Narasimhan said.

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More information and facts&#13

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Uncover out more about how to handle coronavirus at household from the U.S. Facilities for Disorder Handle and Prevention.

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Resources: New England Journal of Medication, Nov. 24, 2020 Mangala Narasimhan, DO, SVP, director of significant treatment solutions, Northwell Wellness, New Hyde Park, N.Y.

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Annual Report Highlights Dangerous Toys

Annual Report Highlights Dangerous Toys


Nov. 13, 2020 — As the holidays near, the hunt for presents begins. But not all children’s toys have made the nice list — among this year’s most dangerous items are a toolset with small parts, a toy with high noise levels, and high-powered magnets, according to a new watchdog report.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has released its 35th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report that highlights hazardous children’s toys. The 2020 report found several types of toys that should be avoided — with recalled toys topping the list. And as with most things, COVID-19 has only increased the dangers of these toys, the report says. With parents juggling virtual learning, pandemic difficulties, and their own jobs, monitoring kids is more challenging than ever.

“Parents and caregivers are overwhelmed,” Grace Brombach, a consumer watchdog associate with the research group, said during a Thursday webinar. “Older siblings are spending more time indoors with younger siblings. Toys meant for older children could end up in the hands of younger children.”

For example, the researchers found a Vtech Drill & Learn Toolbox11 — labeled for children 2 to 5 years old — that contains bolts that are 1.75 inches long by .75 inches wide at their widest point. According to a Consumer Product Safety Commission report, three children died from choking or aspirating on toy nails or pegs in 2006, though they were not from that specific toolset. The toy’s makers did not respond to a request for comment.

Experts on the webinar panel recommended using the “toilet paper roll test” — anything that can easily fit inside a toilet paper roll is not safe for children under 3 years old.

Panelist Kate Cronan, MD, an emergency medicine pediatrician at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware, stressed the dangers of keeping small objects around young children. She told the story of a 2-year-old who was recently rushed to her hospital’s emergency department after swallowing an eye from a baby doll. She recovered, but the eye had to be surgically removed from her esophagus.


“It’s nothing brand new, but it’s really important we know these kinds of things are happening,” she said.

The report also warns against flocked animals — fuzzy animal figures — like the popular Calico Critters, which come with accessories and are labeled for kids ages 3 years and older. According to the report, these toys and their accessories are suspected in the death of a child in New Mexico and the near-death of a boy in Utah. Both children were under 3 years old and reportedly choked on the same pacifier accessory.

The report recommends avoiding these products, especially if there are younger children in the house. But a statement from the toy’s makers said: “All Calico Critters products meet or exceed all US safety standards. We are confident that Calico Critters are safe and do not pose a risk to children older than the recommended age on packaging.”

Some products — like high-powered magnets — can cause damage if swallowed. In May, a 9-year-old swallowed three high-powered magnets made by Zen Magnets LLC, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says. A week later, she needed emergency surgery after the swallowed magnets caused intense stomach pain.

According to a statement from Zen Magnets, there is a “dangerous impression that high-powered magnets are kids’ toys (they most certainly are not kids’ toys and should never be marketed as such).” Zen is working on new standards that will require child-resistant packaging and strong warnings on all sets of high-powered recreational magnets, the statement says.

In addition to choking and swallowing hazards, the report discussed the dangers of dangerously loud toys. Researchers found a firetruck on Amazon that plays sounds of 104 decibels at its highest point, the report says. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to noise of 100 decibels for longer than 15 minutes can damage hearing. A statement from the compliance liaison for Zetz Brands, the maker of the truck, says the company spends thousands of dollars on research and development for its products to ensure their safety.

The statement says “the subject matter has been tested for and approved to be in compliance with the CPCS safety requirements.”


But Brombach said “a toy that loud, especially when held close to a kid’s ear, can cause serious damage.” She recommends turning down the volume on loud toys if possible, removing batteries, or putting tape over the speaker to muffle noise.

The report also warns against recalled toys that are sold secondhand. Brombach said several pages of recalled toys were uncovered during an eBay search. To avoid gifting a recalled product, buyers should be aware of the 10 toys recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over the past year. A search of saferproducts.gov also will disclose if a toy has been recalled.

Cronan said the fear of COVID-19 may deter people from taking their children to the emergency department after a dangerous toy incident that may not seem urgent at the moment. She strongly encourages parents and caregivers to call a doctor before deciding to stay home, so a professional can assess whether a trip to the hospital is needed.

“If something happens, they should call the doctor right away,” Cronan said. “I just want parents to feel they can get help.”



WebMD Health News


Sources

U.S. Public Interest Research Group: “Trouble in Toyland 2020.”

Consumer Product Safety Commission: “Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries Calendar Year 2006.”

State of New Mexico, County of Santa Fe, First Judicial Court: “D. Maria Schmidt, as personal representative for the Estate of Dakotah Dedios, deceased; and Richaline Dedios vs. International Playthings LLC; Epoch Company Ltd., Epoch Everlasting Play, LLC Walmart, Inc., and Marie Short.”

Standard.net: “Farmington mom, 911 dispatcher hailed for saving choking toddler.”

World Health Organization: “1.1 billion people at risk of hearing loss”

Saferproducts.gov.



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Beware of Blood Pressure Changes at Night

Beware of Blood Pressure Changes at Night


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Osborne stated this research “is an additional signal that we truly have to have to incorporate ambulatory blood strain checking into the evaluation of substantial blood stress. If we only see blood strain during the working day, it substantially lessens our capacity to evaluate total threat.”

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Ambulatory blood strain checking permits health professionals to see blood stress levels more than a 24-hour period, according to the American Academy of Spouse and children Doctors. Individuals are equipped with a blood strain cuff and sent household with a portable watch that instantly inflates at standard intervals. The equipment also records each and every blood stress looking through it normally takes in a day.

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The current examine included much more than 6,300 Japanese grownups. Their average age was 69. Practically half were being guys, and much more than three-quarters ended up on blood tension reducing prescription drugs. The regular adhere to-up time was four yrs.

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In the course of the examine, volunteers had 20 daytime and seven nighttime ambulatory blood stress observe readings.

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So ought to every person with substantial blood pressure get their nighttime blood force checked, too?

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“The ideal respond to appropriate now is maybe. Preserve in head these have been individuals with some present cardiovascular illness danger factors [already],” Townsend stated. They have been also all Japanese, and the findings may well not be generalizable to other populations.

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And, however it seems to be slowly modifying, reimbursement for ambulatory blood tension checking can be hard to get, Townsend stated.

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But, he included, “The acquire-household for me is that there is data available about an particular person in their nighttime blood pressure patterns.”

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Both Townsend and Osborne reported altering the timing of blood strain remedies may assistance, but there’s not enough data to say for absolutely sure if it would. Equally claimed extra investigate is desired.

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Additional information&#13

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Want to check out your blood pressure at dwelling? Go to Validate BP, a web site from the American Health-related Affiliation that checks commercially marketed blood force monitors to make absolutely sure they are productive.

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Resources: John Osborne, M.D., director, cardiology, Condition of the Heart Cardiology, Dallas Raymond Townsend, M.D., American Coronary heart Association, volunteer expert, and professor of medicine and director, hypertension plan, University of Pennsylvania

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New Coronavirus Can Infect Your Eyes as Well

New Coronavirus Can Infect Your Eyes as Well




By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter


FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory infection, but experts have suspected the virus can also infiltrate the eyes. Now, scientists have more direct evidence of it.


The findings are based on a patient in China who developed an acute glaucoma attack soon after recovering from COVID-19. Her doctors had to perform surgery to treat the condition, and tests of her eye tissue showed evidence of SARS-CoV-2.


The case offers proof that “SARS-CoV-2 can also infect ocular tissues in addition to the respiratory system,” the doctors reported in the Oct. 8 online edition of the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.


“It’s been suspected that the eyes can be a source of both ‘in’ and ‘out'” for the novel coronavirus, said Dr. Aaron Glatt, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.


That’s why health care workers protect their eyes with goggles or face shields, he noted.


It’s not possible to say whether the patient in this case contracted SARS-CoV-2 via her eyes, according to Glatt. But that is a possibility — whether through viral particles in the air or by touching her eyes with a virus-contaminated hand, he said.


Another big unknown is whether any lingering virus in patients’ eye tissue will cause problems.


According to Dr. Grace Richter, an ophthalmologist at the University of Southern California’s Roski Eye Institute in Los Angeles, “It’s too early to know what having this virus floating around in the eye means for ocular health.”


At this point, Richter said, limited eye problems have been seen with COVID-19: A small number of patients develop conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), where the white part of the eye and inside of the eyelid become swollen, red and itchy.


The patient in this case suffered acute angle-closure glaucoma — a serious condition in which pressure in the eyes suddenly rises due to fluid buildup. It requires prompt treatment to relieve the pressure, sometimes with surgery to restore the eye’s normal fluid movement.


Richter was doubtful the coronavirus directly caused the eye complication. In general, certain anatomical features of the eye make some people vulnerable to acute angle-closure glaucoma, and it can be triggered by medications, she explained.


Continued


Richter speculated that since the patient was hospitalized and likely received various drugs, that might have been the cause.


That is possible, agreed Dr. Sonal Tuli, a clinical spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology and chairwoman of ophthalmology at the University of Florida College of Medicine, in Gainesville.


Tuli said the patient’s case is “interesting,” but leaves open a number of questions. One is whether the virus present in the eye tissue is actually infectious.


The patient was a 64-year-old woman who was hospitalized for COVID-19 on Jan. 31. Eighteen days later, her symptoms had fully resolved, and throat swabs turned up negative for SARS-CoV-2.


About a week later, though, she developed pain and vision loss in one eye, and then in her other eye a few days afterward, according to the report by Dr. Ying Yan and colleagues at the General Hospital of the Central Theater Command in Wuhan, China.


The patient landed in the hospital again, where she was diagnosed with acute angle-closure glaucoma and cataract. Medication failed to bring down her eye pressure, so her doctors performed surgery — taking tissue samples in the process.


Tests of those samples turned up evidence that SARS-CoV-2 had invaded the eye tissues, Yan’s team reported.


While it’s not clear how the virus got into the patient’s eyes, the experts agreed the case underscores the importance of eye protection. For health care providers, that means goggles and face shields; for the average person, it’s regular hand-washing and keeping the hands away from the eyes.


“I think people don’t realize how often they touch their eyes,” Tuli said.


That advice will reduce the chance of any virus, including cold and flu bugs, from coming into contact with the eyes, she noted.


While that may be enough in most cases, people caring for someone with COVID-19 at home may want to be extra cautious, Tuli suggested. Wearing eye protection in addition to a mask is a “good idea,” she said.



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Most Newborns of COVID-19-Infected Moms Fare Well

Most Newborns of COVID-19-Infected Moms Fare Well


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MONDAY, Sept. 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Babies born to mothers with COVID-19 only almost never suffer from results of the virus, a new research implies.

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These newborns generally do effectively in the 6 to eight months just after birth, but more are admitted to the neonatal intensive care device (NICU) if their moms had COVID-19 in the two months right before delivery.

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Of far more than 200 infants studied, problems such as preterm delivery and NICU admission failed to differ amongst moms with and with no COVID-19. No pneumonia or reduced respiratory infections had been noted via 8 months of age.

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“The toddlers are undertaking effectively, and that is wonderful,” explained direct author Dr. Valerie Flaherman, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

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“When coronavirus first hit, there had been so many weird and unfortunate difficulties tied to it, but there was just about no information on how COVID-19 impacts expecting girls and their newborns. We failed to know what to be expecting for the infants, so this is good information,” Flaherman said in a college information launch.

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Of 263 infants, 44 were being admitted to a NICU, but no pneumonia or decreased respiratory tract bacterial infections were being documented. Between 56 infants assessed for higher respiratory an infection, this type of infection was claimed in two babies born to COVID-19-good mothers and just one born to a COVID-19-destructive mom.

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According to senior review writer Dr. Stephanie Gaw, “All round, the initial results about toddler well being are reassuring, but it really is significant to be aware that the the vast majority of these births were being from 3rd-trimester bacterial infections.” Gaw is an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF.

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Two infants born to mothers who analyzed optimistic in the third trimester experienced start flaws. A person had coronary heart, kidney, lung and vertebral abnormalities. The other experienced facial, genital, kidney, brain and heart troubles.

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One mother who tested destructive sent an toddler with gastrointestinal, kidney and coronary heart issues, the scientists pointed out.

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The conclusions have been released online Sept. 22 in the journal Clinical Infectious Conditions.

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Big Ten Reverses Decision, Will Have 2020 Season

Big Ten Reverses Decision, Will Have 2020 Season


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Sept. 16, 2020 — The Significant Ten has reversed a decision to postpone its 2020 football time and the league claims it will start participate in the weekend of Oct. 24.

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Just above a month ago, the Major Ten turned the to start with main convention to postpone its time, but the conference’s university presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to go ahead with the period, the Washington Publish noted.

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The league states it will employ healthcare protocols these types of as day by day coronavirus tests and increased cardiac screening.

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“Our aim with the Process Drive about the final 6 weeks was to be certain the wellness and safety of our university student-athletes. Our intention has constantly been to return to opposition so all scholar-athletes can comprehend their aspiration of competing in the sporting activities they appreciate,” Significant Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren mentioned in a statement, the Write-up reported.

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Campus Life in the COVID Era: ‘We’re Missing Out’

Campus Life in the COVID Era: 'We're Missing Out'


Jessica Martin, senior, University of Ga.

Gary Sachs, MD, psychiatrist, Harvard College.

George Diebel, sophomore, Hamilton Faculty.

Charlie Hunter, sophomore, College of Kentucky.

UGA.edu: “UGA experiences COVID-19 instances for to start with complete week of class.”

Twitter: @universityofga, Sept. 2, 2020.

LoHud.com: “Syracuse College suspends 23 pupils, warns of COVID shut down immediately after huge accumulating.”

SC.edu: “COVID-19 Dashboard.”

CDC: “Mental Well being, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020.”

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The Lancet: “The effects of social deprivation on adolescent progress and psychological health and fitness.”

Syr.edu: “Last Night’s Egocentric and Reckless Behavior.”





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Flu Shots for Kids Protect Everybody, Study Shows

Flu Shots for Kids Protect Everybody, Study Shows


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FRIDAY, Aug. 21, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — When elementary school learners get their once-a-year flu shot, every person rewards, a new analyze shows.

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An amplified vaccination amount between grade schoolers in California was related with a minimize in flu hospitalizations for people in each and every other age bracket, researchers report.

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The benefits come as no surprise to general public wellbeing industry experts, specified kid’s effectively-attained popularity as a important vector for the spread of viral conditions.

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“It generally correlates with all the things we know about community well being, about vaccination, and about small children and children’s effect on spreading viral disease all through a community,” said Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, director of global wellness for Northwell Wellness in New Hyde Park, N.Y.

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Nevertheless, the research does spotlight the continuing need to have to encourage reluctant mothers and fathers of the relevance of receiving their children an annual flu shot, Cioe-Pena extra.

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“We have an situation of vaccine hesitance in [the United States] when it will come to small children,” reported Cioe-Pena. “To me, if you really don’t get to the root bring about of the hesitance, it in all probability will not have a lot of an effect.”

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For this study, researchers led by Jade Benjamin-Chung, from the College of California, Berkeley, tracked a metropolis-vast university flu vaccine program in Oakland, Calif., and in comparison its success to premiums of flu-affiliated hospitalizations.

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Soon after four several years, the program experienced improved vaccination protection by 11% among little ones attending additional than 95 preschools and elementary educational facilities in Oakland, the researchers reported.

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The enhanced vaccination amount was affiliated with 37 less flu-connected hospitalizations for each 100,000 persons amid all other men and women in the group — children aged 4 and young as very well as individuals aged 13 and more mature.

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There have been also 160 fewer influenza hospitalizations for each 100,000 amid people aged 65 and older, the final results confirmed.

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The elementary faculty youngsters also benefited scientists noticed a lessen in disease-related school absences through the flu year.

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The findings were published on the internet Aug. 18 in the journal PLOS Medication.

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“We know that children enlarge influenza,” reported Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Protection in Baltimore. “Making an attempt to improve kid’s vaccination rates can be envisioned to have a cascading impression on the flu period. Making it effortless for kids to get vaccinated is a person way to strengthen our ability to deal with influenza.”

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When Flu Season and COVID Collide

When Flu Season and COVID Collide


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August 10, 2020 — For months scientists have urged the general public to use masks, clean their palms and socially distance. And as the flu season approaches, those people methods have in no way been more essential. Relying on irrespective of whether persons heed this tips, the U.S. could possibly see a record drop in flu circumstances or a hazardous viral storm, medical doctors say.

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“We just have no plan what is going to take place. Are we heading to get a next surge [of coronavirus]?” suggests Peter Chai, MD, an crisis doctor at the Brigham and Women’s Clinic in Boston. . “Hopefully, knock on wood, that will not likely happen.”

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To get an plan of how the flu year may well go, public wellness officials in the U.S. typically search to Australia and other international locations in the southern hemisphere, where by they are in the winter flu period.

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This year so significantly in Australia, COVID-19 safeguards have served to control the pandemic although also protecting residents in opposition to the flu. Canberra experienced only a person circumstance for the 7 days ending July 26, the most latest report available. It’s had 190 overall conditions so much this flu year – which runs March as a result of August – when compared to 2,000 very last calendar year. Exercise is minimal in the place general, with just 36 deaths documented so much. And that’s not just correct in Australia. The Entire world Wellness business experiences couple conditions worldwide. 

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But only time will tell no matter if the U.S. will observe accommodate. If not, the repercussions could be dire, leaving individuals even more susceptible to COVID-19 and potentially too much to handle hospitals, says Aubree Gordon, associate professor of epidemiology at the College of Michigan School of Public Well being.

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“There’s certainly worry about the flu overlapping with COVID. We’re hoping steps for COVID will reduce flu transmission, but that definitely isn’t guaranteed,” Gordon says. “Unfortunately, the U.S. has not carried out a excellent career of trying to keep COVID less than wraps. This could be devastating for the well being care method.”

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But there are actions that could avoid that. The most essential? Acquiring the flu vaccine as soon as attainable, Gordon suggests.

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Mainly because flu period generally peaks in between December and February, it is not nonetheless accessible for most persons. But when the time comes, Gordon suggests, the public need to be in particular proactive.

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“People really should get it as shortly as it gets offered in their spot,” Gordon she . “Not only to safeguard their wellness, but also for peace of head.”

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Since the flu and COVID-19 can carry identical indicators, individuals who consider they have COVID – but truly have flu — could guide to much more testing shortages as very well, Gordon claims.

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On major of that, there is the possibility of finding the two at when – and getting an immune method that is currently compromised by the flu although contracting the coronavirus could lead to huge wellness emergencies, claims Chai.

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“Imagine acquiring the flu and COVID at the exact time,” Chai suggests. “That would be awful. There’s no reason any person really should not be obtaining the flu shot except if you have a accurate allergy to it.”

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Though physicians are uncertain about what the subsequent handful of months will provide, most can say, with no hesitation, that practicing added warning is warranted, Chai claims.

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Sources

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Peter Chai, MD, emergency medical professional at Brigham and Women’s Healthcare facility, Boston

Aubree Gordon, associate professor of epidemiology at the College of Michigan Faculty of General public Wellness.

ABC.web.au

Australian Federal government, Section of Overall health: “Australian Influenza Surveillance Report.”

Globe Health Organization: “Influenza Update – 372.”

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