Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Patient Assistance Programs

Forbes has put together a nice compilation of patient assistance programs for medications.

North Texas Kidney Disease Associates

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pill cutter

Here's an interesting device for those trying to cut heir pills in half:

Apex Ultra Pill Splitter

North Texas Kidney Disease Associates

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13, 2011

An Advance In The Prevention Of Diabetes Mellitus Following Kidney Transplantation

Also Included In: Urology / Nephrology;  Transplants / Organ Donations
Article Date: 09 Aug 2011 - 0:00 PDT
Up to 30 percent of all patients develop diabetesmellitus within the first year after a kidney transplantation. This high rate could soon fall rapidly. A Medical University of Vienna research team at Vienna General Hospital's University Department of Internal Medicine III has discovered in the context of a study that pre-emptive insulin therapy drastically reduces this rate.

Individuals With Diabetes, CKD At Higher Risk For Sepsis.

The Baltimore Sun Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Cohn) reports, "Every year, some 750,000 Americans develop sepsis, an extreme immune system response to infection." Unfortunately, "it kills a quarter to half of them, more than the combined number of people who die of prostate and breast cancer and AIDS, according to the National Institutes of Health." Individuals with "weakened immune systems or chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or chronic kidney failure (CKD), are at higher risk for sepsis." Should a patient develop "ongoing organ failure or has persistently low blood pressure, then additional support is necessary," including the initiation of dialysis to treat kidney failure.


Processed, Red Meat Associated With Higher Type 2 Diabetes Risk.

USA Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Hellmich) reports, "Eating processed meats and red meat regularly increases your risk of type 2 diabetes," according to a study published online Aug. 10 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
        "The findings come from a broad analysis of three groups of male and female health professionals, totaling nearly 300,000 people ages 25 to 75," the New York Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, O'Connor, Subscription Publication) "Well" blog reports. "The researchers looked at their eating and health habits dating to 1976." Meanwhile, the study participants "answered detailed questions about their diets and medical history and provided updated information every two years."
        The Huffington Post Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Chan) reports that researchers found that individuals who "eat one 3.5-ounce serving of processed meat -- equivalent to two slices of bacon, or a hot dog -- every day have a 51 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes." Individuals "who eat one 100-gram serving of red, unprocessed meat -- the size of a deck of cards -- a day have a 19 percent increased risk of type 2 diabetes," according to the study. The meats "may be wreaking havoc on your body's ability to produce and use insulin properly," the study surmised.
        According to HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Preidt), "Among people who ate one daily serving of red meat, substituting one serving of whole grains per day reduced the risk of diabetes by 23 percent. Substituting nuts resulted in a 21 percent lower risk, and substituting a low-fat dairy product, a 17 percent lower risk." AFP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/10) and the UK's Daily Mail Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Borland) also covered the story.


Rivaroxaban As Good As Warfarin In Preventing Strokes.

The NPR Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Shute) "Shots" blog reports that according to a study Share to FacebookShare to Twitter published online Aug. 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine, "a new drug called rivaroxaban looks to be as good as warfarin in preventing strokes." The study followed "14,264 patients who took either rivaroxaban (brand name Xarelto) or warfarin (sold as Coumadin and other brand names). None of the study participants knew which drug they were given."
        WebMD Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Goodman) reports that Xarelto "appears to prevent strokes at least as well as the standard treatment warfarin in people who have" atrial fibrillation, researchers found. Last month, the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to "prevent dangerous blood clots in people having hip and knee replacement surgery." In September, "a panel of experts will consider whether the agency should also approve its use as a once-daily treatment for atrial fibrillation."
        HeartWire Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, O'Riordan) reports, "In an intention-to-treat superiority analysis, rivaroxaban was not shown to be superior to warfarin, but it fared better when investigators analyzed only patients treated with the drug in an on-treatment superiority comparison." Moreover, in the "on-treatment superiority analysis, rivaroxaban reduced the risk of stroke and non-CNS embolization 21% compared with warfarin, a statistically significant difference."
        Reuters Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Hirschler) also covers the study, but focuses primarily on an accompanying editorial Share to FacebookShare to Twitter , which pointed out that warfarin appeared not to have been used as effectively as it could have been during the course of the study. The editorial also expressed concern that rivaroxaban does not have an antidote to quickly stop anti-coagulation in case a patient is bleeding seriously, whereas patients taking warfarin can be administered vitamin K.
        Also covering the story are the Los Angeles Times Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Roan) "Booster Shots" blog, MedPage Today Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Phend), and HealthDay Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Mann).



CMS Finds Texas Hospital's Conditions "Serious Threat" To Safety.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Stengle) reports from Dallas, "The federal government said after an inspection at Parkland Memorial Hospital found conditions that were a 'serious threat' to patient safety, the public hospital will not be able to participate in the Medicare program without coming up with correction plans." CMS spokesperson Bob Moos said it was "rare for the government to take such action," but that "two Parkland violations relating to infection control and emergency care issues are so serious that they triggered `immediate jeopardy' status." An official with the hospital "said that the issue regarding emergency care was one they never would have knowingly violated," and that "part of" improving infection control "is reinforcing the policies that we have."
        The Dallas Morning News Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11, Moffeit, Dunklin) reports, "Immediate jeopardy status -- tied to the emergency care and infection control practices -- can result from discovery of a pattern of problems or a single case reflecting serious breakdowns in patient care," according to David Wright, deputy regional administrator for CMS in Dallas. The Morning News notes, "While CMS has taken one of its most extreme steps to force compliance, Wright declined to comment on the likelihood of Parkland losing its funding."


Abbott Says FDA Approved Stent System For Kidney Artery Disease.

The AP Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11) reports that "Abbott Laboratories said Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration approved RX Herculink Elite, a stent system that is intended to treat kidney artery disease," or renal artery stenosis, in patients with high blood pressure. The condition puts such patients at higher risk for kidney failure, "heart disease, stroke and peripheral artery disease."