November 2012

IOM: Military Response to Substance Abuse Is Outdated, Inadequate

By Sandra Basu Poster used in the Army campaign to stop widespread abuse of drugs and alcohol. WASHINGTON — The military has not done enough to accept the high level of substance misuse among its ranks or to modernize its… Read More

Keeping the Promise: VA Staffer Honored for Efforts to End Veteran Homelessness

By Steve LewisWASHINGTON — Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki has set a goal of ending veteran homelessness within five years, saying, “No one who has served this nation as a veteran should ever be living on the street.” Thanks… Read More

Veterans’ CPAP Compliance Linked to Medication Adherence

ATLANTA–A study of veterans who were prescribed Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy after having a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)found that their compliance with the treatment had a significant  association with how regularly they also took cardiovascular medications.… Read More

Balloon Cryoplasty Effective for PAD in Diabetics

NEW YORK — The COBRA trial suggests that cryoplasty for post-dilation of nitinol stents in the superficial femoral artery is an effective adjunctive treatment for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in diabetics. “Post-dilation of SFA stents with cryoplasty can significantly reduce… Read More

Research Offers More Focused Treatment Options for AF

SAN DIEGO–Recurrence of symptoms is common for many patients treated for atrial fibrillation, at least partly because the source of the arrhythmia is unknown. New research seeks to remedy that situation. Reporting earlier this year in Journal of the American… Read More

Depression Increases Peripheral Artery Disease Risk

SAN FRANCISCO — Depression increases the risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD), according to researchers who recommend that clinicians pay more attention to mental-health issues in patients with the disease. The study from researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical… Read More

Angioplasty Rate Affected by Reporting Requirements

BOSTON — Mandatory public reporting appears to make it less likely that patients entering hospitals with heart attacks receive angioplasties, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the VA Boston Healthcare… Read More

Plagued by VA Claims Backlog, Texas Funds Own Program to Speed Process

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Frustrated by the high level of backlogged VA claims in the state, Texas has developed “State Strike Force Teams” to gather required paperwork on claims to speed processing, officials from the state told Congress recently.… Read More

Duodenal Switch May Be More Effective Surgical Procedure

FORT LEWIS, WA — Is the duodenal-switch (DS) procedure better than the commonly-used gastric bypass (GB) in prompting weight loss and control of coexisting conditions, especially for the super-obese? An Army study published recently in the Archives of Surgery suggests… Read More

Obesity Appears to Affect Response to MRSA Antibiotics

SAN FRANCISCO — While non-obese patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) pneumonia respond to both of the antibiotics vancomycin and linezolid, obese patients are best treated with linezolid, according to a VA researcher. Presenting at the annual Interscience Conference on… Read More

Effects of Gastric Bypass Surgery Last Over Time

SAN ANTONIO — Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery resulted in significant weight loss for severely obese patients, and the weight loss was sustained for an average of six years after the surgery, according to a new study. Patients who had the… Read More

VA, DoD Still Struggle to Electronically Transmit, Share Healthcare Information

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — Barriers to information technology (IT) compatibility between VA and DoD are endemic to joint healthcare projects across the country, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation. The report lists problem areas, the worst being… Read More

IG Report Points to Lack of Responsiveness by Iowa City VAMC Management

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — While medical care has not been compromised in the Iowa City VA Healthcare System, a “pervasive lack of support for staff problem-solving” could threaten patient safety, a recent investigation concluded. The findings were part of… Read More

Invasive Fungal Infections Complicate Treatment, Increase Mortality of IED-Wounded Servicemembers

By Brenda L. Mooney BETHESDA, MD – Invasive fungal wound infections are on the increase in military personnel wounded by improvised explosive devices, leading to significant morbidity and even death in some cases where the victims initially survived. David R.… Read More