Blood test detects concussion and subconcussive injuries in children and adults

From Science Daily:

Subconcussive injuries often show no symptoms or immediate effects, but can cause wear and tear on the brain over time with repeated injuries. The latest study, published in the journal BMJ Paediatrics Open, includes more than 700 emergency room patients — children and adults. The study gets us closer to developing a standard blood test to spot these injuries as early as possible.

“A unique feature of this study is that it includes patients who hit their heads but have no symptoms,” said Linda Papa, MD, lead author of the study and emergency medicine doctor at Orlando Health. “This group is rarely — if ever — included in biomarker studies.”

The blood test looks for two proteins (GFAP and UCH-L1) found in our brains and released into blood after an injury — higher levels of which could indicate a concussion or subconcussive injury. Dr. Papa has been studying these biomarkers for more than a decade. Some of her previous studies have focused on athletes, but now she’s expanding her research on subconcussive injuries to the general population and all age groups.

To boost workforce, medical schools try to sell rural life

From the AP:

The Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University is among a small group of medical schools across the U.S. with programs dedicated to bolstering the number of primary care doctors in rural communities.

The schools send students to live in small towns and train with rural doctors. Like Quillen, some also organize outings and cultural experiences to try to sell students on living there after they graduate.

Schools have taken students to a ranch to brand cattle, brought in an Appalachian story teller and catered local delicacies to show students who may have never lived without the convenience of a Starbucks or Target what rural life offers.

“It’s a little sense of what the fun part of rural life can be,” said Dr. Dana King, chair of the family medicine department at West Virginia University School of Medicine, where students in the rural track go to a ski resort, visit a coal mine and go whitewater rafting.

CMS to update hospital validation survey processes

From Becker’s:

CMS is seeking to simplify the process for validating hospital accreditation surveys, according to an Aug. 22 blog post from The Joint Commission.

Historically, state agencies conducted a separate survey within 60 days of an accreditation survey to ensure the accrediting organization performed a thorough evaluation.

The new process would eliminate the need for a second survey, instead allowing the state survey team to observe the accreditation survey in real time.