Naloxone Price Hikes

From Business Insider:

Frequently referred to as an “antidote” for opioid overdoses, naloxone has seen drastic price increases in recent years, according to information provided by Truven Health Analytics, a healthcare-analytics company. A popular injectable version of the drug has gone from $0.92 a dose to more than $15 a dose over the last decade. An auto-injector version is up to more than $2,000 a dose.

In June, Sens. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, and Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, sent a letter to the five pharmaceutical companies that produce naloxone — Amphastar, Pfizer, Adapt, Kaléo, and Mylan — asking for an explanation of the recent price changes.

“At the same time this epidemic is killing tens of thousands of Americans a year, we’re seeing the price of naloxone go up by 1000% or more,” McCaskill wrote. “Maybe there’s a great reason for the price increases, but given the heart-breaking gravity of this epidemic and the need for this drug, I think we have to demand some answers.”

Mobile videoconferencing from ambulance speeds up stroke care

From Medical News Today:

A study of a mobile videoconferencing system – where paramedics accompanying patients in ambulances confer with doctors through computer tablets – shows it can produce stroke assessments on a par with those done at the hospital bedside. Such a system could help stroke patients receive treatments more promptly and thus reduce the risk of disability and death.

“We Asked an Emergency Room Doctor Whether There’s a Safe Way to Take Drugs”

From Vice:

Are people surprised when you, a doctor, talk about drugs this way? I kind of thought you’d be all about strict abstinence.

I, personally, as a doctor see this in no way as condoning drug use. As a doctor, it’s just important that young people don’t die. The testing process, in my mind, is very much like condoms. You may have an issue with sex before marriage, which is kind of what prohibition is all about. And if you don’t want to have sex before marriage, that’s cool. But to expect that all young people aren’t going to have sex before marriage—sorry, excuse me while I try on my corset because I’m about to bust my gut.

The same actually applies to drugs. From a medical perspective, if you think the correct message is to just say no, the implication is that you also think it’s also okay for one or two people to die every year. Maybe to serve as a lesson to other young people. Now, as a doctor, that’s completely unacceptable to me. That the cost of young people using drugs is death, that’s rubbish. We accept that Australia will never be drug free, no country has ever been.

Telemedicine Puts A Doctor In The House, Literally

From Forbes:

At several rural hospitals nearby, there is a shortage of physicians who can work emergency room (ER) or care for acutely ill patients. Using a robot called AGNES from AMD Global Telemedicine, he is able to provide an immediate presence when needed. The robot provides a mobile platform of digital diagnostics and video communications: Littman electronic stethoscope for listening to the lungs, heart or abdomen; a dermascope (digital scope for looking at the skin lesions, rashes or whatever); an otoscope (camera to look into the ear); a vital signs monitor for the heart rate, respiratory rate, pulse oximetry and blood pressure; an Electrocardiogram (measure the electrical activity of the heart); or a multipurpose camera to look inside the mouth or more closely at a burn or cut…all are options available on the robot. The cameras can take high definition video and magnified still images of any part of the body.

HCA, Illini Community Hospital find psychiatric patients prefer robots to in-person visit with a doctor

From Healthcare IT News:

Illini Community Hospital is a 25-bed critical access hospital in Illinois that, despite its size, has a thriving telebehavioral care program that utilizes three robots.

The facility operates the 10-bed Worthington Square geriatric unit wherein psychiatrists see patients remotely from a tertiary facility in Quincy, Illinois and as far away as Kansas City.

“Surprisingly, most of the geriatric psych patients are very comfortable with the robot because they remember the cartoon TV show The Jetsons,” Illini CEO Kathy Hull said.

Indeed, as telebehavioral services continue gaining traction, hospitals of all sizes are tapping into unexpected benefits on consulting with patient remotely via modern technologies. Healthcare Corporation of America and PeaceHealth System are also seeing results similar to Illini Community’s, though each is taking a different tack to reach patients.

Smaller babies may need special car seat harnesses

From Reuters:

Restraints in infant car seats fit most newborns poorly, and low-birthweight infants in particular may not be well protected, Australian researchers say.

In their small study, fewer than one in five normal- and low-birthweight babies achieved a proper fit.

Historically, the smallest children’s car seats were designed for babies weighing between 6.5 and 9 pounds (about 3 to 4 kg) and do not account for lower-weight infants, said lead author Julie Brown, a senior research scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia in Randwick.

New car seat harnesses have become available for smaller infants, but there has been little research about how well they actually fit smaller babies, Brown told Reuters Health by email.

Hospital starts offering “virtual ER visits”

From Modern Healthcare:

The New York-Presbyterian health system has created a platform to provide a variety of telehealth services to patients across its network and across the country.

New York-Presbyterian says its new NYP On Demand platform provides virtual emergency and will begin offering virtual urgent-care visits by the end of the summer. It anticipates the program will reduce wait times in their emergency department and provide patients with more convenient care options. The system says it is the first health system in New York to provide virtual ER services.