Monthly Archives: September 2017

Artificial hip joint turned out to be caused by an extremely rare

The 77-year-old man’s right artificial hip joint was infected with the bacterium Francisella tularensis, which is responsible for a disease called tularemia, according to the case report, published Oct. 11 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

Tularemia is also known as “rabbit fever” or “deer fly fever,” because the bacterium can be spread by handling an infected rabbit or being bitten by a deer fly. It can also be spread by tick bites. But in the man’s case, it’s not entirely clear how he picked up the infection.

“We did not find any ticks attached to his skin, although it’s possible he may have had a tick bite or exposure in another form,” said lead author Dr. Harsh Rawal, an internal medicine resident at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. Rawal was one of the doctors who treated the man.

MOM PENS TOUCHING THANK YOU POST TO DAUGHTER’S NURSES

The man didn’t remember being bitten by a tick, and he had no pets that may have carried one into his home, according to the report. He also had no contact with any animals that could have transmitted the infection to him.

The man did tell the doctors that he had been a hunter about 50 years ago — some people may get the disease by handling or skinning infected rabbits, muskrats, prairie dogs and other rodents, according to the CDC — but, given his long absence from hunting, this wouldn’t explain how he acquired the infection five decades later.

 

A pain in the hip

After having severe pain in his right hip for about a week, the man went to the emergency room, according to the report. At the time, he said he was concerned because 25 years earlier, he had a total hip replacement done on this hip and an artificial hip joint was inserted.

His doctors decided he needed surgery to repair his artificial hip joint and drain fluid from the area, but they found no evidence of any infection.

But one week after leaving the hospital, the man returned to the emergency room with right hip pain and a fever of 100.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

It was then that the doctors noticed a bulbous skin lesion on one of his shins, according to the report, so they sent the man for blood tests and lab cultures once again.

This time, the tests revealed that the man was infected with F. tularensis.

Thank you note to the pediatric nurses

A mother’s thank you note to the pediatric nurses caring for her 2-year-old daughter who is battling cancer has gone viral, receiving more than 51,000 reactions and nearly 28,000 shares since it was posted earlier this month.

Shelby Skiles, whose daughter Sophie was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in May, said she felt moved to thank the ambulance drivers, the nurses and the technicians who go beyond providing basic care to patients, and aim to make their stay a little easier.

“Dear Peds Nurses, (And incredible nurse techs!),” Skiles began her Oct. 3 post on the “Sophie The Brave” Facebook page. “I see you. I sit on this couch all day long and, I see you. You try so hard to be unnoticed by me and my child. I see your face drop a little when she sees you and cries. You try so many ways to ease her fears and win her over. I see you hesitate to stick her or pull bandaids (SIC) off. You say ‘No owies’ and ‘I’m sorry’ more times in one day than most people say ‘thank you.’”

INSURER ALLEGEDLY SENDS COVERAGE DENIAL LETTER TO 9-MONTH-OLD WITH BRAIN CANCER

Sophie, who had a softball-sized mass in her chest at the time of diagnosis, has been receiving treatment at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.

“I see all of those rubber bracelets on your arms and wrapped around your stethoscope, each one for a child that you’ve cared for and loved,” Skiles wrote to the nurses. “I see you carrying arm loads of medicine and supplies into one child’s room all while your phone is ringing in your pocket from the room of another. I see you put on gloves and a mask and try not to make too much noise at night. I see you sorting piles of beads so you can give them to your patient to add to their ever growing milestone necklace. I see you stroke her little bald head and tuck her covers around her tightly. I see you holding the crying mom that got bad news. I see you trying to chart on the computer while holding the baby whose mom can’t-or won’t be at the hospital with her.”

“You put aside what’s happening in your life for 12 hours straight to care for very sick and something’s (SIC) dying children. You go into each room with a smile no matter what’s happening in there,” she wrote. “You see Sophie’s name on the schedule and come to check on us even when she isn’t your patient. You call the doctor, blood bank, and pharmacy as many times as necessary to get my child what she needs in a timely manner. You check on me as often as you check on her. You sit and listen to me ramble for 10 minutes even though your phone is buzzing and your to do list is a mile long.”

Opioid addiction works as well as daily medication

The study is believed to be the first to directly compare Vivitrol — administered as a monthly shot — with a combination drug treatment sold under the brand name Suboxone. In the U.S. and many other countries, Suboxone or methadone have been the standard medical treatment for people with an opioid use disorder.

Researchers in Norway found the two treatments were similar in terms of safety and efficacy in helping opioid-dependent people refrain from illicit drug use during a three-month period.

The results may provide a boost to Vivitrol manufacturer Alkermes Inc., which has been aggressively promoting the medication following its 2010 approval as a treatment for opioid-dependence relapse.

Many addiction specialists, however, are waiting for more research before considering Vivitrol as a treatment option. A larger study comparing Vivitrol and Suboxone, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, is expected to be released in December. That study also tracks subjects for a longer period of time. Several other studies are also underway.

The two treatments work in different ways. Vivitrol, which is a version of the drug naltrexone, blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids. Suboxone is an opioid — comprised of buprenorphine and a small amount of naloxone — that produces less of an euphoric effect than other opioids like heroin. Suboxone and methadone have been well-studied and shown to be effective in keeping people in treatment and reducing illicit opioid use.