August 2012

With One Suicide on Average Each Day, DoD, VA Leaders Struggle for Better Solutions

WASHINGTON — With military suicides averaging nearly one a day this year, DoD and VA leaders are grappling to develop better ways to identify servicemembers and veterans who are at risk for taking their own lives and determine what prompts… Read More

MRSA Infections Down Significantly in Military

By Brenda L. Mooney SAN ANTONIO — The Military Health System is winning some key battles, but the outcome of the war against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is still in question. That’s according to a new DoD analysis of more… Read More

Dallas VAMC Tests Wireless Monitoring of Vital Signs; Rollout to Full VA Possible

DALLAS — The ability for VA hospitals to remotely track the vital signs of patients has been around for longer than a decade, but it always has been limited by cost and technology. Patients who need remote monitoring were relegated… Read More

We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge

“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” – John Naisbitt I like seeing U.S. Medicine in my mailbox. For me, it is akin to a life ring in a sea of discordant information that seems to have an… Read More

U.S. Medical Personnel in Impossible Situation Mentoring at Substandard Kabul Hospital

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — U.S. personnel have been placed in an “impossible situation,” serving as medical mentors at a corrupt Afghan hospital where patient neglect and abuse took place, a House member concluded at a recent hearing. “How do… Read More

VA Should Fund Fertility Treatments for Injured Servicemembers, Spouses, According to New Bill

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Only weeks after Tracy Keil and her husband, Matt, were married in 2007, he was shot in the neck while on patrol in Ramadi, Iraq. “The bullet went through the right side of his neck,… Read More

Military Medicine Comes Up with Novel Treatments for Phantom Limb: Pain Persists After Amputation

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — In October 2010, Marine Lance Cpl. Sebastian Gallegos stepped into a canal in Afghanistan just as a comrade stumbled onto an improvised explosive device (IED). The impact blew Gallegos forward and almost severed his arm.… Read More

Expert Advice to Help VA Primary Care Providers Reduce Opioid Prescribing Risks

By Annette M. Boyle MINNEAPOLIS — For primary care providers in the VA healthcare system, the use of opioid therapy to alleviate chronic pain requires an ongoing balance of risks and benefits for each patient, a challenge made more difficult… Read More

Sergeant Major of the Army Recounts How He Overcame PTSD: IoM Report Calls for Annual Screening by DoD

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON —Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III said he was faced with his “own mortality” in Iraq in 2004, when a rocket blew up in the room where he was. At first, Chandler recounted, he… Read More

Novel Use of Fractional Lasers for Scarring Improves Quality of Life for Injured Troops

By Stephen Spotswood SAN DIEGO NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER, CA — Thanks to the work of physicians here and at a select number of facilities around the country, the paradigm of how scars are treated might be shifting. Whereas, in the… Read More

Telemental Healthcare Beneficial For Rural Vets with PTSD

A new study suggests that providing more telemental health could have an especially beneficial effect on treatment of rural veterans with PTSD.1 The study published in the June issue of Psychiatric Services concluded that health–service use by veterans with PTSD… Read More

Checklist of Environmental Hazards Helps Reduce Inpatient Suicides in VAMCs

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — When receiving care in a hospital, suicidal patients could take advantage of anything from bedding to belts to kill themselves. That’s how usually harmless objects become “environmental hazards” and why they should be considered in… Read More

New Diabetes Guidelines Offer More Leeway for Primary-Care Physicians, Patients

By Annette M. Boyle SAN DIEGO — What is an appropriate blood glucose level for patients with diabetes? It depends, according to the latest position statement of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of… Read More

Joining Reserve at 60, Dermatologist Wins Awards for Army Skin Cancer Screenings

By Steve Lewis IRVINE, CA–At age 60, when many men are starting to wind down their careers and transition toward retirement, Lt. Col. Dore Gilbert, MD, a practicing dermatologist and associate professor of dermatology at the University of California at… Read More

CPAP Use Improves Sexual Function in Younger Men

While continuous positive airway pressure therapy (CPAP) improves rest and conditions related to sleep disruption, it has another benefit especially important to patients: an improvement in sexual function and satisfaction. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center researchers assessed the erectile… Read More