• The Louisiana Board of Regents has agreed to match funds for endowed chairs and professorships at LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Officials presented LSUHSC with $1,440,000 in matching funds from the Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund (fiscal year 2008) to support 16 professorships and a chair. The total amount raised for the endowed positions, which includes the 60 percent of funds raised by LSUHSC, is $3.6 million.
  • Congratulations to Ochsner Hospital, named amongst the nation’s “100 Top Hospitals for Quality Cardiovascular Care” by Thomson Reuters. More than 1,000 hospitals were evaluated based on risk-adjusted mortality rates, as well as numbers of complications and surgical deaths.
  • A Bloomberg News report suggests that hospital workers who aren’t washing their hands before and after seeing patients are spreading methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to patients. Each time, Bloomberg reports, a hospital employee doesn’t wash their hands, it costs the institution roughly $2; this totals about $1.77 million a year. The study indicated that after 6.2 days, a patient has been in contact with a heath care professional – with unwashed hands and exposure to an MRSA positive patient – an average of eight times.
  • Scientists generally accept as fact that a woman’s sexual preferences fluctuate during the menstrual cycle; but, a recent study by Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute found a woman’s brain activity actually changes. The anterior cingulate cortex, the brain section that weighs reward vs. risk, showed, as this Nov. 12 IU press release states, “a female’s preference apparently shifts from avoiding negligent parenting to acquiring the best genes for her offspring,” during ovulation.
  • The Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg News recently uncovered Food and Drug Administration staff reviews associating injections of dermal wrinkle fillers with “serious and unexpected side effects,” including “the loss of control facial muscles, disfigurement and rare, life-threatening allergic reactions.” The FDA noted almost 1,000 reports of side effects between January 2003 and September ’08. Unfortunately reports didn’t “specify how many side effects were serious, or which products were linked to them.”
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending the pneumococcal vaccine, ordinarily reserved for children and the elderly, for smokers ages 19-64. The vaccine, which guards the body from germs that cause pneumonia and meningitis, will help smokers greatly, as they are four times more likely than non-smokers to develop those illnesses. A CDC spokesman told Bloomberg that about 50 percent of individuals who catch invasive pneumococcal disease are smokers.


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