In the News
There is much value in training hospital and nursing home staff in the basics of palliative care to make the last days of a dying patient's life as comfortable and dignified as possible. So says F. Amos Bailey of the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US. Bailey is the leader of a study¹ that saw the benefits of introducing palliative care strategies, typical of hospices, within the setting of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers.
Two musical tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. take place Sunday, Jan. 19, a day before the national holiday marking the civil rights leader's 84th birthday. The first is the Alabama Symphony Orchestra's annual "Reflect and Rejoice" concert. Then the UAB Wind Symphony will perform "Homas to the Dream."
Many clinicians contacted by MedPage Today said they'd feel comfortable writing a prescription for an app. "I have looked at some of the data supporting the role of technology like this in the management of diabetes, and I think it may be the [wave] of the future," said Fernando Ovalle, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
A machine designed for use in heart-lung bypass surgeries earlier this year is being re-purposed again to save those with extremely severe cases of flu, University of Alabama at Birmingham officials announced.Fifteen severely ill flu patients have received a chance for another breath thanks to the last-resort therapy employing the ECMO.
The end of one gene fused to the beginning of another and, voilà, a new, composite gene was born. In most people the two-component gene does not work. But in a small percentage the gene functions and puts its possessors at increased risk for lupus and potentially other autoimmune diseases, in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, says a team of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
In a small study, researchers found that the experimental drug — called pritelivir — substantially curbed "viral shedding" in people with genital herpes. That means it decreased the amount of time the virus was active and potentially transmissible to patients' sexual partners. There is still a lot of research to be done, said Dr. Richard Whitley, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who wrote an editorial published with the study. But he said it's good news that drugs that work in new ways are under development.
You may have inherited your mom's slow-mo metabolism, but you’re not stuck with it. New research shows you can trick your body into burning calories more efficiently, especially if you hit the gym. By strength-training just a couple of times a week, for example, you’ll reverse 50 percent of the seemingly inevitable metabolism slow-down that comes with age, said Gary Hunter, professor of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
We hear about flu cases every year and that push to get a flu shot. But doctors say this year you may want to heed their advice. "I would say that we're seeing a large number of cases this season and that we have seen a lot more serious illness resulting from positive flu swabs," Dr. Blayke Gibson with UAB Hospital said.
Physicians at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are using a new technology known as ECMO as a last-resort therapy for extremely severe cases of the flu. ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a sort of portable heart/lung bypass machine. The machine was first developed for use in heart bypass surgery, but it has now also been used as a bridge to heart or lung transplantation as well as the treatment of severe lung diseases.
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