Study tracks hospital readmission risk for COVID-19 patients in Alberta, Ontario

Afiyana May 16, 2022 No Comments

Study tracks hospital readmission risk for COVID-19 patients in Alberta, Ontario

A new study offers a closer look at possible factors that may lead to some hospitalized COVID-19 patients being readmitted within a month of discharge. At roughly nine per cent, researchers say the readmission rate is similar to that seen for other ailments, but socio-economic factors and sex seem to play a bigger role in predicting which patients are most likely to suffer a downturn when sent home. Research published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looked at 46,412 adults hospitalized for COVID-19 in Alberta and Ontario during the first part of the pandemic. About 18 per cent — 8,496 patients — died in hospital between January 2020 and October 2021, which was higher than the norm for other respiratory tract infections. Among those sent home, about nine per cent — 2,759 patients — returned to hospital within 30 days of leaving, while two per cent — 712 patients — died. The deaths include patients who returned to hospital. The combined rate of readmission or death was similar in each province, at 9.9 per cent or 783 patients in Alberta, and 10.6 per cent or 2,390 patients in Ontario. For those wondering if the patients were discharged too soon, the report found most spent less than a month in hospital and patients who stayed longer were actually readmitted at a slightly higher rate. “We initially wondered, ‘Were people being sent home too early?’ … and there was no association between length of stay in hospital and readmission rates, which is reassuring,” co-author Dr. Finlay McAlister, a professor of general

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‘We tolerated the intolerable,’ Quebec coroner says in report on pandemic deaths of seniors

Afiyana May 16, 2022 No Comments

‘We tolerated the intolerable,’ Quebec coroner says in report on pandemic deaths of seniors

The lack of independence granted to Quebec’s public health director may have slowed the government response at the beginning of the pandemic, as hundreds were dying in long-term care homes across the province. Coroner Géhane Kamel published a report Monday following months of inquiry into deaths in seniors’ residences, where the pandemic killed more than 5,000 in the spring of 2020.  After hearing testimony from 220 government officials, long-term care home employees, and the loved ones of people who died, Kamel issued 23 recommendations targeting the provincial government, its Health Ministry, local health boards and the Quebec College of Physicians.  One of the report’s first recommendations calls on the government to review the role of its public health director so that whoever is in the position can exercise their functions “without political constraints.” The public health director in Quebec is also a deputy health minister, but Kamel wrote that the two roles “are distinct and may not be compatible.” Kamel provided as an example that masks were not mandatory in CHSLDs (Centre d’hébergement de soins de longue durée) at the beginning of the pandemic.  “Would his advice have been the same had he not had to worry about potential stock shortages? I tend to think not. Hence, in my humble opinion, the danger of wearing two hats,” Kamel wrote in the report, which can be read online. CHSLD Herron was taken over by the West Island health board early on in the pandemic, but the board’s management was disorganized, said Coroner Géhane Kamel in a report. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada) At the time, Dr. Horacio Arruda held the role. He

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Why COVID is a key suspect in severe hepatitis cases in kids worldwide

Afiyana May 14, 2022 No Comments

Why COVID is a key suspect in severe hepatitis cases in kids worldwide

This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly health and medical science newsletter. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here. Unexplained severe acute hepatitis cases among children continue to emerge in Canada and around the world, and while health officials desperately search for a cause of the mysterious illness, researchers are pointing to a possible link to COVID-19.  The World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday there are now at least 348 probable cases of severe acute hepatitis —  or inflammation of the liver — in children under investigation worldwide, which aren’t caused by the usual hepatitis viruses or any other clear source. In Canada, more than a dozen possible cases have been reported across multiple provinces since the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) confirmed earlier this month that some cases of the severe liver disease were under investigation. While an early line of investigation from U.K. health officials emphasized possible links to adenovirus, a family of viruses typically known for causing mild cold or flu-like illness, global teams are also zeroing in on potential impacts from SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. WATCH | Toronto children’s hospital reports 7 cases of mysterious severe acute hepatitis:  7 cases of mysterious liver disease reported at Toronto children’s hospital 4 days ago Duration 4:33 Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children has identified seven probable cases of a mysterious liver disease affecting children around the world. To date, 348 probable cases have been identified across 20 countries. Research suggests possible link to COVID A recent American case study published in the Journal of Pediatric

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‘Growing end’ of inflammation discovered

Afiyana May 13, 2022 No Comments

Redness, swelling, pain — these are signs of inflammation. It serves to protect the body from pathogens or foreign substances. Researchers were able to show that inflammatory reactions of an important sensor protein proceed in a specific spatial direction. This finding has the potential to conceivably stop inflammation at the ‘growing end’, and thus bring chronic inflammatory diseases to a halt.

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