Category: 2014 Issues

Should Digoxin Be Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation?

Should Digoxin Be Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation?

VA Study Latest in Debate about Old Drug’s Safety By Brenda L. Mooney PALO ALTO, CA – A new study is calling into question the practice of treating atrial fibrillation with digoxin, finding that patients on the digitalis derivative were… Read More

Naval Hospital Pharmacist Makes Her Role Essential on Care Teams

Naval Hospital Pharmacist Makes Her Role Essential on Care Teams

By Steve Lewis PENSACOLA, FL – When Naval Hospital Pensacola began discussions five years ago about creating the Navy’s first patient-centered medical home (PCMH), “putting a pharmacist in the care team was not part of the equation,” according to Lisa… Read More

Medicine is not a science; it is empiricism founded on a network of blunders.

Medicine is not a science; it is empiricism founded on a network of blunders.

“Medicine is not a science; it is empiricism founded on a network of blunders.”

VA Studies Raise Key Issues about Trends in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

VA Studies Raise Key Issues about Trends in Type 2 Diabetes Treatment

Early Insulin, Singular Focus on HbA1c Not Always Best By Brenda L. Mooney NASHVILLE — New VA research soon might change the way clinicians treat veterans with type 2 diabetes. Despite the increased push for early initiation of insulin in… Read More

Azithromycin Saves Lives of Older Pneumonia Patients Despite Cardiac Risks

Azithromycin Saves Lives of Older Pneumonia Patients Despite Cardiac Risks

By Brenda L. Mooney DALLAS – The suspected link between azithromycin and an increased incidence of cardiovascular events was borne out in a recent VA study of veterans hospitalized with pneumonia, but that was only part of the story: The… Read More

Less Diabetes Control in Non-adherence HIV Patients

DURHAM, NC – Poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy in veterans with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) also is a good predictor of whether those same patients will achieve good control if they have diabetes. That’s according to a study from the… Read More

Diagnosis Prompts Weight Loss Efforts in Short Term

DURHAM, NC – Patients may rush to start a weight loss program upon diagnosis of an obesity-related disease but often are unable to sustain the effort on that basis alone, according to a new VA study. The study, published recently… Read More

Surgery Means Better Glucose Control for Veterans

BRONX, NY – Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy produced better blood glucose control for veterans after two years than standard diabetes medical care without weight loss surgery, according to a new study. The research, presented recently at the joint meeting of the… Read More

Pesticides Plus Gene Variant Increase Parkinson’s Risk

LOS ANGELES – Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease, and certain gene variants may make some people even more susceptible to the disease, according to a new study. The research, published recently in the journal Neurology,… Read More

TBI Increases Dementia Risks for Older Veterans

MINNEAPOLIS – Experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) ups the risk 60% for older veterans to later develop dementia, according to a recent study. The report, published recently in the journal Neurology, also found that, among all veterans developing dementia,… Read More

VA More Likely To Treat Geriatric Veterans with Older AEDs

DURHAM, NC – Despite the availability of newer therapies, phenytoin remains the most prescribed antiepileptic drug (AED) within the VHA, according to a recent study. Researchers from the Southeast Epilepsy Centers of Excellence at the Durham, NC, VAMC and Duke… Read More

VA Physicians Testify about Harsh Retaliation for Blowing Whistles on Care Issues

VA Physicians Testify about Harsh Retaliation for Blowing Whistles on Care Issues

WASHINGTON – Retaliation against physicians and other employees who voice complaints is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the agency, a senior VA official emphasized to lawmakers at a House hearing last month.

Bereaved Family Members of Suicide Victims Testify about VA Care Lapses

Bereaved Family Members of Suicide Victims Testify about VA Care Lapses

WASHINGTON – A parade of grieving family members testified last month before a House of Representatives committee trying to determine why significant increases in VA’s mental health and suicide prevention resources have not stemmed the tide of suicides

Are VA Benefits Processed More Efficiently? Congress Gets Conflicting Answers

Are VA Benefits Processed More Efficiently? Congress Gets Conflicting Answers

WASHINGTON – The work of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) was vehemently defended before lawmakers last month, with VA Under Secretary for Benefits Allison Hickey testifying that the agency had reduced the claims backlog from a high of more than 600,000 last year to 271,000 as of last month.

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – One of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), affected 13.5% of soldiers and caused 502,000 veterans to seek treatment in 2012. Despite the ubiquity of the… Read More

Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants

Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants

By Annette M. Boyle MILWAUKEE – Many patients prefer the devil they know. When asked whether they want to go on or switch to a novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) that requires little monitoring, has few drug-drug or food interactions, appears… Read More

Physician Seeks to Improve Prosthetics with Brain Control

Physician Seeks to Improve Prosthetics with Brain Control

By Steve Lewis SAN FRANCISCO – Once upon a time, brain-machine interfaces were the stuff of science fiction, but not any longer. In fact, in the not too distant future, veterans may benefit from the work of healthcare professionals like… Read More

VA’s Resistant Infection ‘Bundle’ Drives Down MRSA in Community Living Centers

VA’s Resistant Infection ‘Bundle’ Drives Down MRSA in Community Living Centers

By Annette M. Boyle LEXINGTON, KY — A bundle of preventive measures that drove down the number of methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections acquired in acute care hospitals and spinal injury units in the VA healthcare system has proven effective… Read More

Don’t look where you don’t want to go.

Don’t look where you don’t want to go.

‘Don’t look where you don’t want to go.’ — Author Unknown In my life adventure as a father of three daughters, I have never faced anything as frightening and dangerous in their development into young adults as teaching them to… Read More

HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use

HIV/HCV Co-Infected Patients Have No Safe Level of Alcohol Use

By Annette M. Boyle PHILADELPHIA – Otherwise “non-hazardous” levels of drinking pose a real danger for patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus. Drinking, even moderately, dramatically increases the risk of liver fibrosis, according to a… Read More