April 30 - May 4, 2012

National News

Liver transplants on nights and weekends as safe as any other time

The Los Angeles Times
...Dr. A. Sidney Barritt IV of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his colleagues decided to check the safety records of liver transplants. ...The team suggested that the use of a full transplant team, even for off-hour procedures, was probably the reason the surgeries were so successful. "It is reassuring to patients and transplant specialists to see that patient outcomes are not affected by the timing of the transplant," Barritt said.

Pacifiers And Breastfeeding: New Study Challenges Conventional Wisdom
The Huffington Post
..."It's really hard, with newborns, to say that there's one rule that works for everybody," agreed Diane Asbill, a registered nurse and lactation consultant with the University of North Carolina's Women's and Children's Hospital, which recently earned the Baby-Friendly designation. She explained that when it comes to full-term, healthy babies, the belief is that pacifiers may cover up feeding cues in the first few crucial days of learning.

E.R. Doctors Face Quandary on Painkillers
The New York Times
...“You can be faulted for not treating a patient’s pain — it’s considered the ‘fifth vital sign,’ ” said Dr. Abhi Mehrotra, the assistant director of the emergency medicine department at the University of North Carolina Hospitals. “We have to ask a patient’s pain, on a scale of 0 to 10, as well as document a reassessment of their pain after treatment.” 

Why you get the dizzies when standing up too fast
If you're seeing stars when you get out of bed in the morning, it's probably not because you slept with Halle Berry last night. There's actually a name for that dizziness you sometimes get when you go from laying down or sitting to standing up: orthostatic hypotension (OH). A little momentary brain static might seem like nothing, but according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, OH is linked to heart failure.

State and Local News

UNC researchers win $2.4M grant to study diabetes
The Triangle Business Journal
A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have received a $2.4 million grant to study people with diabetes. The goal is to identify genetic variations that could lead to better treatments for type 2 diabetes and reduce cardiovascular disease. The 4-year grant was awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Flu season ends as quietly as it began
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...It’s likely, though, that the extraordinarily mild weather this winter was a factor in the weak flu season, said Dr. Sam Weir, an associate professor at UNC’s School of Medicine and co-director of the UNC Family Medicine Center. “I don’t think there is any way to prove it, but it’s plausible, obviously, because the survivability of flu particles has been shown to be better in colder weather when the humidity is down,” Weir said.

A little insight into UNC Hospitals’ latest expansion (Blog)
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
When UNC Hospitals expands its bone marrow transplant unit – a move that I wrote about in last week’s print edition – annual discharges will increase by more than 50 percent. The hospital system affiliated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill plans to increase its BMT unit from 16 beds to 24 beds by 2015 as part of a $16 million project.

Be cautious when talking politics in the workplace
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...UNC Health Care prevents its employees from using email, computers or other company property for political activity during work hours, said UNC Hospitals spokeswoman Stephanie Crayton. Additionally, employees cannot manage a political campaign or run for a political office while on the job. And though the policy does not specifically prohibit political discussion, employees are encouraged to leave such talks to their personal time, Crayton said.

Flu season ends as quietly as it began
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
The 2011-2012 flu season seems to be in its final weeks, but it’s hard to tell for sure, because – like winter itself this year – it barely happened. ...For next season’s vaccine they’re changing two of the three strains, said Dr. David Weber, a professor of epidemiology at UNC who has collaborated with the CDC on flu research. “That may mean that we’ll be going back to higher rates again next season,” Weber said.

Rex named a ‘great’ hospital for workers (Blog)
The Triangle Business Journal
Rex Healthcare, the Raleigh hospital owned by the UNC Health Care System, is the only Triangle hospital, and one of only three in the state, to be named one of 100 Great Places to work in Health Care by Becker’s Hospital Review.

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