IMDA eNews 041723

The latest news affecting you and your customers…

from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association

Orlando is site of 2023-2024 conference

Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando, Florida, will be the site of the 2024 IMDA/HIRA Conference. And it’s a beauty: A 255-acre campus along Shingle Creek, the headwaters of the Everglades, with a view of surrounding fairways, creek and vegetation. Golfers will tee off Monday morning, March 4, and the conference itself will begin that afternoon. We’ll finish at noon on Wednesday, March 6. And in between? Networking, business and market information, Manufacturers Forum, great food. So get smart! Make plans to attend the IMDA/HIRA Conference in March 2024. Details will follow.

AARC Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit

The American Association for Respiratory Care invites respiratory therapists as well as their patients, caregivers and advocates to participate via Zoom in the Annual AARC Respiratory Patient Advocacy Summit meeting, June 13-14. The meeting will include lectures from leading respiratory therapists, physicians and advocates, offering clinical insights and possible strategies to tackle healthcare challenges and reach future goals. Guests will also participate in moderated roundtable discussions.

Cerebral oximetry in the NICU

Treatment guided by cerebral oximetry monitoring for the first 72 hours after birth failed to improve survival for extremely preterm infants, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reports MedPage Today. Cerebral oximetry had been proposed as a way to alert neonatal ICU clinicians to low cerebral blood flow so any respiratory therapy could be adjusted to minimize the risk of brain damage. The potential downside, however, is that the additional equipment — near-infrared-light sensors strapped onto the baby’s head — may disturb and harm preterm infants.

E-cigarette usage climbing

A study by researchers at the American Cancer Society shows almost three-quarters of a million more adults in the United States ages 18-29 years used e-cigarettes between 2019-2021. The year-on-year increase was primarily among adults who never smoked cigarettes. “Our research finding is concerning as it may point to an increase in nicotine addiction risk for young adults, potentially contributing to progression to combustible tobacco products, and may also increase exposure to unknown toxicants, carcinogens, and the risk of respiratory diseases,” said Dr. Priti Bandi, scientific director, cancer risk factors & screening surveillance research at the American Cancer Society and lead author of the study.

Pneumonia, COVID and brain injury

Long-COVID-19 patients who initially were hospitalized with pneumonia appear to have had more severe impacts on the brain compared with others who also became infected but did not require a trip to the hospital, according to Northwestern Medicine researchers, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The researchers evaluated 600 long-COVID patients, most suffering with cognitive difficulties after being infected with the coronavirus between May 2020 and August 2021, before vaccines were approved in the United States. The findings might indicate that the pneumonia patients — many requiring breathing tubes in the hospital — suffered brain damage, according to Dr. Igor Koralnik, who heads the Northwestern neurological COVID-19 clinic and co-authored the study. The other patients might have been affected by an autoimmune condition.

Connected devices come with risks

Advances in technology – particularly Internet-connected medical devices – may be essential to improve the speed and quality of care delivery, but they come with a bigger attack surface, says Mohammad Waqas, principal solutions architect for healthcare at Armis, an asset visibility and security company. Nurse call systems are the riskiest connected medical devices, followed by infusion pumps and medication dispensing systems, according to the company. Non-medical connected devices topping the list include IP cameras, printers and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices. By 2026, smart hospitals are expected to deploy over 7 million connected medical devices, doubling the amount from 2021.

Lifelong impact of air pollution

A review of evidence from Imperial College London highlights the impact of air pollution on health across the life course. Air pollution impacts fertility by lowering sperm count and motility. It can also impair normal fetal development in the womb, increasing the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight and pre-term births. The review also found that children living in London are particularly at risk of developing lifelong, chronic conditions, including poorly developed lungs, asthma, high blood pressure, inattention and hyperactivity, and mental illness. The health impacts of air pollution exposure continue well into old age, increasing the risk of stroke, dementia, cancer, multiple longer-term illness including respiratory and cardiovascular disease, and early death.

Ozone pollution threatens one-third of U.S. citizen

The American Lung Association’s new “State of the Air” report finds that nearly 120 million people in the U.S. — more than one in three — live in counties that had unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution. People of color were 64% more likely than white people to live in a county with a failing grade for at least one measure, and 3.7 times as likely to live in a county with a failing grade for all three measures. Differences in air quality were also seen between eastern and western states. More than 18 million residents in Western states live in counties with three failing grades and the worst 25 counties for short-term particle pollution were all located in the Western U.S. Fine particulate matter air pollution, also known as particle pollution or soot, comes from wildfires, wood-burning stoves, coal-fired power plants, diesel engines and other sources. Technically known as PM2.5, these microscopic particles can trigger asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes and cause lung cancer.

Universal masking in healthcare settings

Universal masking in health care is a policy whose time has come and
gone … for now, write several infectious disease specialists in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Maintaining masking requirements for healthcare professionals during all direct
clinical encounters may marginally reduce the risk for transmission from
caregiver to patient or from patient to caregiver. But they add that the
incremental benefits need to be weighed against increasingly recognized costs.
Masking impedes communication, a barrier that is distributed unequally across
patient populations, such as those for whom English is not their preferred
language and those who are hard-of-hearing and rely on lip reading and other
nonverbal cues. The increase in listening effort required when masks are used
in clinical encounters is associated with increased cognitive load for patients
and clinicians. What’s more, masks obscure facial expression; contribute to
feelings of isolation; and negatively impact human connection, trust, and perception of