It’s all things revolutionary on this week’s medical roundup, as the latest in healthcare headlines centers on innovative developments, unprecedented findings, and surprising discoveries.
Womb transplants given UK go-ahead – BBC
A clinical trial in the UK has been given the go-ahead to conduct the country’s first uterine transplants. Following success from a similar trial in Sweden, the procedure is a groundbreaking treatment for the 7,000 U.K. women per year born without a uterus, and several thousand more who lose their womb to cancer. Dr. Richard Smith, the gynecologist who has spent 20 years spearheading this research, says the concept of being unable to conceive, to create a family is “a disaster” for many women. However, the six hour procedure is only the beginning for the 10 women who have been selected to receive the transplant. A year of supervision and immunosuppressants will follow before IVF treatments can begin. The research team estimates the women will have two chances to conceive before the uterus will need to be removed. Read more here.
Millions More in Need of HIV Treatment, Says W.H.O. – TIME
The World Health Organization has changed its treatment recommendation for individuals with HIV, increasing the number of people eligible to receive antiretroviral treatments by nearly 10 million. The recommendation, titled “Treat All”, now claims that people recently infected with HIV should begin treatment as soon as possible, and those at high risk for contraction should be offered preventative medication. This change in eligibility is a result of recently finalized clinical trials. The previous testing suggests that people who receive treatment sooner are more likely to stay alive, be healthier, and lower the risk of transmission to others. Read more here.
How Can Aspirin Help to Cure Cancer? – Medical News Today
Aspirin is a hugely utilized over the counter medicine, used to reduce the risk of strokes, heart attacks, and other ailments. However, the journal Cell recently published a study suggesting that aspirin may be capable of playing a role previously unconsidered: the prevention and treatment of cancer. The findings from the research suggest that some patients may double their chances of survival by taking the medication, specifically for patients diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancers. The finding represents an early phase of testing, and researchers have no clear answer regarding the specific properties of aspirin that contribute to the possible prevention of cancer caused fatalities. Read more here.
Driving While Drugged Now Just as Deadly as Drunk Driving – CNN
A new report has found that the rate of people driving while under the influence of weed and other substances has risen in the United States. Between 2007 and 2013 the numbers jumped by nearly 3 points, from 12.4% to 15.1%. This data was collected and released in a report developed by a traffic safety advocacy group, the Governors Highway Safety Association. The report claims that of the people who were killed in automobile accidents in 2013, 38% tested positive for potentially impairing drugs. This number is about the same percentage as those who tested positive for alcohol. With the legalization of recreational marijuana and the usage of illegal substances on the rise, the government body, law enforcement, and medical community are now having consider alternative tactics to reducing driving and drug usage. Read more here.
Kids With Ebola, Bird Flu Or TB? Texas Children’s Hospital Will Be Ready – NPR
It was early last fall when the first case of ebola was confirmed within American borders. Medical practitioners, public health specialists, and government officials were forced to consider the implication of an impending outbreak, particularly in response to the media attention that followed. At the time of the outbreak, there were only twelve beds in an isolated biocontainment unit in the entire country capable of treating a patient with ebola. None of the twelve were designed for pediatric patients. Within several months, the CDC had designated 55 hospitals around the country as future Ebola treatment centers. Two of the centers were in Texas: the University of Texas in Galveston and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. The Children’s Hospital recently unveiled it’s biocontainment pediatric wing, along with treatment plans and policy revolutions, in line with appropriate planning recommendations. Read more here.
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