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Monday, December 28, 2015

New studies suggest microorganisms in the womb set stage for childhood and adulthood diseases

CLEVELAND – Researchers review importance of microorganisms that exist in the gut, suggesting perturbation of the environment during pregnancy, delivery and early infancy could impact the developing baby’s early microbiome and set the stage for health problems later in life. The term “microbiome” refers to the trillions of organisms we harbor, on our skin and within our respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts.
“The Microbiome and Childhood Diseases,” a special issue of the Birth Defects Research Part C EmbryoToday scientific journal released today, is a collection of ground breaking microbiota reviews. One particularly noteworthy finding pertains to the womb environment in which the baby develops.
“One of the reviews, by Koleva et al., discusses the studies that reveal that the womb is not sterile and that the microbiota of the child are already developing in utero,” explained Sharon Meropol, MD, PhD, Associate Director for Research and Evaluation at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s Center for Child Health and Policy. “This means that not only do we have to consider the microbiome of the child but also that of the mother, and the irony is that some of our modern medical practices, through their effect on these early microbiota, could have unintended consequences, interfering with normal development of children’s immune, metabolic, and neurologic systems.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Educating patients about cancer treatment clinical trials improves knowledge and attitudes about participating in research

CLEVELAND — Wednesday, December 23—A five-center national study led by Neal Meropol, MD, and a team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center demonstrated that a little information goes a long way in encouraging cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials, a decision that could be potentially lifesaving.

The findings, which appeared in the December 21st, 2015 issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology (JCO), showed that among 1,255 cancer patients taking part in an educational program, 21 percent of patients chose to enroll in cancer clinical trials. Traditionally, less than 5 percent of cancer patients choose to participate in clinical trials, according to the American Cancer Society.

“Unfortunately, although clinical trials are critical for advancing cancer treatment and ultimately serve as the basis for new standards of care, very few patients participate,” said lead author Neal J. Meropol, MD, Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Chief, Hematology and Oncology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center. “We want to close the patient knowledge gap and positively affect their attitudes toward clinical trials.”

Thursday, December 17, 2015

UH Case Medical Center study finds that eliminating cost for colorectal cancer screening doesn’t improve screening rates

CLEVELAND — Making colonoscopy available at no cost to eligible Medicare beneficiaries under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) did not increase the number of people in this target population who regularly undergo the procedure, says a new large scale national study from University Hospitals Case Medical Center Seidman Cancer Center. Interestingly, the same analysis found that rates of routine mammography significantly increased following the ACA’s mandate for low or no cost screenings for Medicare recipients.
“It was long assumed that cost was a major prohibitive factor for why people didn’t get screened. So the Affordable Care Act made an effort to reduce or remove costs for several highly successful screening and recommended procedures, including mammography and colonoscopy,” said study lead author Gregory Cooper, MD, Co-Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control, UH Seidman Cancer Center and Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “This data shows that doing so still doesn’t necessarily guarantee the patients who should be screened will be. Other factors clearly play a role and need to be addressed as well.”

Thursday, December 10, 2015

UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital Earns Leapfrog’s Top Children’s Hospitals Award

CLEVELAND – University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (UH Rainbow) is one of only 12 children’s hospitals in the country – and the only one in Ohio – to receive the Top Children’s Hospital distinction from The Leapfrog Group. This national recognition honors UH Rainbow for its exemplary performance in patient safety and quality initiatives.
“Our physicians, nurses and staff are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care in the safest environment that uniquely caters to babies, children, and young adults,” says Patricia DePompei, RN, MSN, President, UH Rainbow and UH MacDonald Women’s Hospital. “We are honored to be recognized by The Leapfrog Group for the patient-centered care we provide to families in our community and beyond.”
UH Rainbow was one of only 12 children’s hospitals in the country recognized and selected from hospitals participating in The Leapfrog Group’s annual survey. The selection is based on the results of the Leapfrog Group’s annual hospital survey, which measures hospitals’ performance on patient safety and quality, focusing on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use and management structures in place to prevent errors.  

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Two University Hospitals Locations Taking Part in Statewide Program to Lower the Rate of Infant Death

CLEVELAND – Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and MacDonald Women’s Hospital, both part of University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, have partnered with the Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) to address the high infant mortality rates in Ohio.
Sleep-related deaths are the number one cause of death for babies from one month to 12 months old in Ohio. Data shows when babies are placed alone in their cribs, free of blankets or crib bumpers, and put on their backs, the risk of sleep-related deaths greatly decreases.
While sleep-related deaths are not occurring at the hospital, parents who see their babies sleeping on their bellies or with blankets and other items in the nursery at the hospital are twice as likely to continue that practice at home. Through the Education and Safe Sleep Environment (EASE) Program, physicians work to model safe sleep behaviors in the hospital setting and provide education to parents.
The previous cycle of the EASE Program showed a 45% increase in the number of infants less than one year of age being placed in safe sleep environments. In addition, data showed a 27% decrease in the presences of loose blankets in patient cribs.

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