Could taking Acetaminophen dull your happiness?
Acetaminophen, the painkiller best known to Americans as Tylenol, may do
more than simply dull pain -- it may also dull happy or sad emotions, new
The new, small study is the first to suggest that acetaminophen ratchets
down a patient's emotional response to positive, upbeat stimulation. But the
study builds on prior research into negative emotions, explained study lead
author Geoffrey Durso.
"Recent research in psychology has found that acetaminophen blunts the
extent to which individuals experience negative events beyond physical
pain," said Durso, a doctoral student in social psychology at Ohio State
University in Columbus. "Our study was inspired by asking why this might be
The new study, published online recently in Psychological Science, involved
two experiments, each enlisting about 80 college students. In the first
experiment, half of the participants took a 1000-milligram dose of
acetaminophen, while the other half took a dummy pill. An hour later, all
were shown 40 photographs designed to provoke emotional responses that
ranged from positive (pictures of children playing with cute pets) to
negative (photos of sickly, underfed children). Participants ranked each
photo's emotional content, and then indicated how each image made them feel.
The result: those who took acetaminophen offered more muted responses to
both the negative and the positive images.
A follow-up study was structured exactly the same way, but also asked
participants to indicate how much of the color blue they saw in each image.
The goal was to see whether acetaminophen only affected emotions, or if it
also affected the ability to cast accurate judgments overall. The results
found that acetaminophen had no impact on color assessment -- suggesting
that only emotions were affected.
Overall, Durso said the study found a "reliable but relatively subtle"
association between acetaminophen and a blunting of emotions. Just how the
drug might do this remains elusive, however. But Durso stressed that
acetaminophen's effect on emotions may not be unique -- other painkillers,
such as aspirin or ibuprofen, might have similar effects, although that's
not yet been tested.
Visit WebMd for the study.
Reminder: Leadership Development and Succession announced
as key topic in 2015 Survey of Healthcare Supply Chain Executives
For the first time in the Annual Survey of Healthcare Supply Chain
Executives conducted by Jamie C. Kowalski Consulting, LLC, the key topic of
exploration will be something new and too infrequently discussed among
healthcare provider organizations: Supply Chain Leadership Development and
"This change in focus is driven by a continuing challenge to the healthcare
provider supply chain profession and industry that to date is not being
addressed - the upcoming retirement of very experienced and talented Supply
Chain leaders," said Jamie Kowalski, supply chain industry veteran
consultant and survey author. "That puts provider organizations for whom
those supply chain leaders work at notable risk.‚ÄĚ
Kowalski conducted personal interviews with nearly 60 Supply Chain Leaders
and learned that most healthcare supply chain professionals recognize that
they themselves and many-to-most of their peers are approaching retirement
age. In fact, Kowalski hinted that considerable change may be imminent with
the associated timeframe varying, but may be within the next two years.
"These vacancies will likely be devastating to the providers that are not
well prepared for this eventuality," he added. "What exacerbates the
situation is that these same Supply Chain leaders virtually and universally
express strong concern for the lack of an adequate pool of qualified
candidates to fill the vacancies and/or a channel through which these
candidates can be accessed or become qualified," Kowalski said. "And they
admit to having done little or nothing to prepare qualified in-house
In order to help the industry shed light on the issue and identify some
solutions to the challenge, Kowalski revised his survey, which historically
focused on supply chain performance and C-suite evaluation, to ask
confidentially such questions as: Should it be entirely your decision, do
you expect to be retiring from the profession in the next 1, 2, 3, 5 years
(select one)? Do you currently have an identified heir apparent to replace
you when you retire? Is your heir apparent currently fully qualified to take
on your responsibility and authority? If not, what additional qualifications
must she/he develop before taking over (skill sets, experience, and
knowledge, all of these)? From what source(s) will the heir apparent obtain
what they need to fill their gaps?
Kowalski will be distributing the survey exclusively to selected Supply
Chain Executives at about 200 integrated delivery networks and not randomly
to provider C-suite and Supply Chain Leaders as in the past. Those that meet
the selection criteria should expect their invitation (via email) in
mid-late March, he said. Those not receiving an invitation, but who wish to
participate, can contact Jamie C. Kowalskifor for consideration via email at
The Survey will be open for invited responders by mid-March and will be
closed April 22.
Amerinet, a leading national healthcare solutions and Group Purchasing
Organization, that helps members lower costs, raise revenue and champion
Novus Informatics, Inc., a Data Cleansing, Item Master and Spend
Management Technology Solution for healthcare providers
Data Trans, Inc, a E-commerce Technology Solution for healthcare
providers and their vendors.
The 2015 Survey of Healthcare Supply Chain Executives is being produced in
collaboration with Bellwether League Inc., the Hall of Fame for Healthcare
Supply Chain Leadership.
The 2015 Survey results will be presented at various venues in the second
half of 2015 and beyond. Participants who fully complete the Survey will
receive a copy of the results.
Visit Jamie C. KowalskiConsulting, LLC for more information.
Germ-Zapping robots arrive in Spain
Xenex Disinfection Services announced that Clece,
Spain‚Äôs leading healthcare provider of cleaning, maintenance, catering and
social services, has chosen Xenex Germ-Zapping Robots for room disinfection
at hospitals in Spain and Portugal.
Clece has deployed Xenex robots at the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in
Barcelona, where they will be used to supplement the hospital‚Äôs cleaning and
disinfection procedures. Clece will also implement Xenex robots at Ram√≥n y
Cajal in Madrid.
Xenex‚Äôs robots work by using pulsed xenon, an environmentally-friendly inert
gas, to create full spectrum, high intensity ultraviolet (UV) light that
quickly destroys infectious germs.
The Xenex robot is designed for speed, effectiveness and ease of use, which
allows Clece‚Äôs cleaning staff to operate the robot without disrupting
hospital operations. With a proven five-minute disinfection cycle, the robot
can disinfect 30-62 hospital rooms per day (according to Xenex customers),
including patient rooms, operating rooms, equipment rooms, emergency rooms,
intensive care units and public areas.
Visit Xenex for the announcement.
Divorce is bad
for the heart, could increase heart attack risk
Many women underestimate their risk for heart problems because of the
misconception that cardiovascular disease primarily affects men. The truth
is that nearly twice as many women die from heart disease than from all
forms of cancer combined. The findings are based on 15,827 U.S. adults aged
45 to 80, who were followed from 1992 to 2010. At the outset, all were
either married, widowed, or had gone through at least one divorce.
The study determined that men who remarried ‚Äúfared better‚ÄĚ than women,
putting their risk of heart attack about the same as men who had been
continuously married to one person.
‚ÄúDivorced women suffer heart attacks at higher rates than women who are
continuously married,‚ÄĚ Duke Medicine Global reported.
Men or women who have went through a divorce have higher chances of
suffering from a heart attack, than people who remain together. The lead
author of the study, Matthew E. Dupre from the Duke Clinical Research from
Durham, North Carolina stated that science has long been aware of the
devastating consequences a divorce can have on the human body. And once men
remarried, that increase disappeared.
Heart disease claims the life of one in four women in the United States,
while breast cancer claims one in 30.
Professor George explains that divorced women often experience a deeper
‚Äúpsychological burden‚ÄĚ than men. Apart from ending one of the most
significant relationships of life, other adjustments such as property
disputes, custody of the children, financial stability and insurances also
cause great distress to women especially if they are dependent financially
on their husband.
Visit Rapid News Network for the study.
seize unapproved drugs from Florida distributor
At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S.
Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, U.S. Marshals have seized
unapproved prescription drug products valued at over $1,500,000 from Stratus
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Miami, Florida. Stratus Pharmaceuticals marketed
and distributed unapproved prescription drug products that were manufactured
by Sonar Products, Inc., of Carlstadt, New Jersey.
The seized products include:
a solution used to treat excessive sweating;
an antibiotic cleanser for treatment of skin conditions, such as acne,
rosacea and seborrhea;
a topical ointment used to treat wounds;
a topical cream and gel to treat psoriasis, eczema and other skin
analgesic ear drops used to treat ear pain.
These products have not been proven safe and effective for their intended
uses. The FDA recommends that consumers who believe they have drugs marketed
by Stratus Pharmaceuticals consult a health care professional or pharmacist
about discontinuing the use of these products and identifying an alternative
The U.S. Attorney‚Äôs Office filed a complaint on behalf of the FDA in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleging that the
products are unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs under the Federal
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
The complaint follows an FDA inspection conducted in November and December
2014 that revealed the company was marketing these drug products without
FDA-approved drug applications. The new drug approval process plays an
essential role in ensuring all drugs are safe and effective for their
intended uses. Unapproved drugs have not been shown to be safe and
effective, may be of uncertain quality and do not have FDA-approved
labeling. As a result, these drugs may pose risks to patients.
Visit the FDA For the story.
New guidance on
contact precautions for hospital visitors
Leading infectious diseases experts have released new guidance for
healthcare facilities looking to establish precautions for visitors of
patients with infectious diseases. The guidance looks to reduce the
potential for healthcare visitors in spreading dangerous bacteria within the
healthcare facility and community. The recommendations are published online
in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for
Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).
‚ÄúVisitors have initiated or been involved in healthcare-associated infection
outbreaks, but it is unknown to what extent this occurs in the transmission
of bacteria in healthcare facilities,‚ÄĚ said L. Silvia Munoz-Price, MD, PhD,
a lead author of the guidance. ‚ÄúThe guidance is intended to strike a balance
between visitor and patient safety, the potential for pathogen spread in
hospitals, the psychosocial implications of isolation and the feasibility of
The SHEA Guidelines Committee, comprised of experts in infection control and
prevention, developed the recommendations based on available evidence,
theoretical rationale, practical considerations, a survey of SHEA members,
author opinion and consideration of potential harm where applicable.
Since not all pathogens present the same risk of transmission to and via
visitors, the guidance reflects the protections that should be taken for
distinct pathogens. The authors caution that visitor precautions should only
be implemented by hospitals if they can be realistically enforced and
regularly evaluated for compliance. Healthcare facilities should use the
guidance as a framework for developing facility policies.
Hand hygiene performed prior to entering and immediately after leaving a
In areas where they are endemic, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant enterococci(VRE) do not require
contact isolation precautions for visitors given their prevalence in the
community. However, special considerations should be made for
immunocompromised visitors or those unable to practice good hand hygiene.
Visitors of patients with gram-negative organisms, such as carbapenem-resistant
Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) and Klebsiella pnemoniae carbapenemase (KPC),
should follow contact precautions to help prevent transference of
pathogens to guests.
Intestinal pathogens, such as Clostridium difficile and norovirus, are
potentially harmful to visitors and have low prevalence in the community
so contact isolation precautions should be in place.
Visitors to rooms with droplet (i.e., pertussis) or airborne precautions
(i.e., tuberculosis) should use surgical masks.
For visitors with extended stays, like parents and guardians, isolation
precautions are likely not practical and the benefit of wearing personal
protective equipment like gowns and gloves is unclear except if assisting
in care delivery. In many cases, these visitors may have had extensive
exposure to the patient prior to hospitalization and could be immune to
the pathogen or in an incubation period.
A survey of SHEA members showed that the majority of their healthcare
facilities have policies for visitation of inpatient isolation rooms and
many of these policies mirror healthcare personnel policies. However, most
healthcare facilities did not monitor visitors‚Äô compliance with policies.
Visit SHEA for the guidance.
benefits and risks in Medicare changes
Dr. Robert Wergin, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians,
made little effort to contain his glee Wednesday over the news that Congress
had voted to end a reviled payment system for doctors, simultaneously
averting a 21 percent physician pay cut and overhauling the way Medicare
will pay doctors in the future.
President Obama has signaled that he will sign the bill, resolving an issue
that frustrated lawmakers in both parties for more than a decade because it
repeatedly required Congress to step in to avert cuts to doctor fees.
Doctors and health policy experts have begun to take stock of the practical
implications of the legislation, which seeks to move away from paying
doctors solely on the volume of their services and toward reimbursing them
based on the quality and value of the care they provide. Many said the
legislation was short on details about how such quality will be measured,
and others expressed apprehension about whether the system will be fair.
Under the new legislation, Medicare will increase the amount it reimburses
doctors by 0.5 percent for the next five years. Doctors will earn a 5
percent bonus if they participate in newer payment models that seek to
better coordinate care. One example is the so-called medical home, in which
a medical team coordinates a patient‚Äôs care. They could also work in groups,
called accountable care organizations that receive a set fee to take care of
a patient while still meeting quality standards.
Some standards are straightforward, such as measuring a patient‚Äôs blood
pressure or a diabetic‚Äôs blood sugar. But Meredith Rosenthal, a health
economist at Harvard University, said there was no clear agreement on how
best to measure the quality of other kinds of doctors, like radiologists or
a dermatologist in solo practice.
Doctors are also relieved that there is now more certainty over how they
will be paid, with both Medicare and private insurers moving toward a system
that rewards them for delivering higher-quality care. Doctors had complained
of being paid under the old volume-based system even as they were trying to
meet the demands of new models.
Visit the New York Times for the story.
If you thought
CPR was too hard, start humming ‚ÄėStayin‚Äô Alive‚Äô and read this
You need only two things to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation and possibly
save a life: a willingness to press hard on someone‚Äôs chest and familiarity
with the Bee Gees‚Äô disco hit ‚ÄúStayin‚Äô Alive.‚ÄĚ
Yes, CPR has changed. The American Heart Association and other
organizations, including the American Red Cross, are promoting instruction
in an easier, hands-only version of CPR that drops the difficult
mouth-to-mouth maneuver they had long been teaching. You press down hard and
fast in the center of the chest until the ambulance or someone with an
automatic defibrillator arrives to take over.
And the Bee Gees? The beat of their song ‚ÄĒ featured on the soundtrack of
1977‚Äôs ‚ÄúSaturday Night Fever‚ÄĚ ‚ÄĒ just about matches the optimum CPR rhythm of
100 chest compressions per minute.
The AHA and other groups are trying to make CPR more accessible, and they‚Äôre
spreading the word through flash mobs, classes at fire stations and shopping
malls, and even online training videos. The guidelines say it‚Äôs appropriate
to start CPR if you see a person collapse who is not breathing or is
Cardiac arrest is difficult to survive, no matter the circumstances. Even in
the hospital, only about 24 percent of adults do so, according to AHA data
from 2012, the most recent available. But about 80 percent of cardiac
arrests occur in non-hospital settings, often at home, with fewer than 10
percent of victims surviving, according to the AHA. Basic CPR can sometimes
be enough to keep a person alive until first responders arrive.
The AHA updated its guidelines in 2010 to promote hands-only chest
compressions, citing studies showing that ‚Äúfor most adults with
out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, bystander CPR with chest compression only
appears to achieve outcomes similar to those of conventional CPR.‚ÄĚ
Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in addition to chest compressions is still
recommended for children, teenagers and seniors because they may have a
breathing obstruction rather than cardiac arrest, and trained responders are
still taught the older method and use it regularly.
Just one minute of video training for bystanders may help save lives,
according to a small study whose results were presented at an AHA conference
in November 2013. In the study, 48 adults watched the CPR training video,
while 47 sat idle for one minute. All were then asked to do ‚Äúwhat they
thought best‚ÄĚ on a mannequin that had been positioned to simulate a person
in cardiac arrest. The participants who had seen the video were more likely
to opt to call 911, initiated chest compression sooner, had an increased
chest compression rate and a decreased hands-off interval than did those who
hadn‚Äôt watched the video.
Visit the Washington Post for the article.