eNews September 13, 2022

The latest news affecting you and your customers… from the Independent Medical Specialty Dealers Association


Are their patients safe?

Two respiratory therapists write about the risk of excess heat and chronic respiratory illnesses in MedPage Today. “At this very moment, a blistering heat wave is ripping through California. These extremes have led to heat-related injuries, regional fires, severe weather events, and increased morbidity, especially for those with chronic respiratory illnesses. Unfortunately, the extraordinary is becoming ordinary as the average ambient temperature has risen since 1980, reaching its highest level in 2016 and 2020. … Healthcare professionals must meet this evolving challenge with increased awareness, strategies and advocacy to successfully navigate patient populations exposed to extreme heat, decreased air quality, and wildfire smoke.


Air pollution and lung cancer linked

Researchers at the Francis Crick Institute in London say they have cracked how air pollution leads to cancer, in a discovery that changes current understanding of how tumors arise, reports the BBC. The team showed that rather than causing damage, air pollution was waking up old damaged cells. The classical view of cancer starts with a healthy cell. It acquires more and more mutations in its genetic code, or DNA, until it reaches a tipping point. Then it becomes a cancer and grows uncontrollably. The researchers produced evidence of a different idea. The damage is already there in our cell’s DNA, picked up as we grow and age, but something needs to pull the trigger that actually makes it cancerous.


Severe respiratory illnesses reported to CDC

Healthcare providers and hospitals in several regions of the United States notified the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during August about increases in pediatric hospitalizations in patients with severe respiratory illness who also tested positive for rhinovirus (RV) and/or enterovirus (EV). RVs and EVs can have clinically similar presentations and are indistinguishable from one another on multiplex assays often used in clinical settings. Upon further typing, some specimens have been positive for enterovirus D68 (EV-D68). Concurrently, pediatric acute respiratory illness sentinel surveillance sites are reporting a higher proportion of EV-D68 positivity in children who are RV/EV positive compared to previous years.


Early onset cancers on the rise

Early onset cancers — defined as cancers discovered in adults younger than 50 years old — have dramatically increased around the world over the last few decades, according to a report in Nature by researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, according to ABC News. Researchers said breast, colon, esophagus, kidney, liver, and pancreas cancers among others have shown a drastic rise beginning in the 1990s.