May 2022 News Roundup

This month features cath lab carbon footprints, intervention in asymptomatic aortic stenosis, cardiac rehab for stroke, and more.

May 2022 News Roundup

Every month, Section Editor L.A. McKeown curates a roundup of recent news tidbits from journals and medical meetings around the globe.

A new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) stresses the importance of family engagement in CV. Published in the association’s journal JAHA, the document addresses how integration of family members in care processes can improve quality.

In another statement, the AHA outlines research that is needed to clarify prevalence and factors associated with falls in adults with CV disease. Published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, it says the cardiology team should be asking patients about falls and perform basic assessments of causes and individual risks.

stressed doctorApproximately one-third of incoming surgical interns report new depression, far higher than the 5% to 10% estimated incidence in their same-age peers. Only 26.5% of those reporting new-onset depression had sought mental healthcare, investigators write in a research letter in JAMA Surgery.

A former nurse in Tennessee who made a medication error that led to the death of a patient was sentenced to 3 years of supervised probation for criminally negligent homicide and impaired adult abuse. Commenting on the emotionally charged trial, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses warns that the “criminal prosecution and verdict will negatively impact the timely and honest reporting of errors,” adding that the case “has further demoralized an already exhausted and overworked nursing workforce in the face of existing nurse staffing shortages.”

Is it time to reduce the “carbon footprint” of the cath lab? An editorial in JSCAI suggests some ways it can be done, and stresses that implementing meaningful carbon-reducing strategies now is crucial for the good of patients and the planet.

hospital hallwayThe average nursing salary increased by about $5,000 between 2020 and 2021, yet 29% of the more than 2,500 nurses surveyed by said they are considering leaving the profession, up from 11% in 2020. The survey also found that the gender pay gap for RNs has widened, with males making an average of $14,000 more per year than females.

New data suggest that early intervention is best in patients with asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis. A meta-analysis published in Open Heart shows that compared with conservative management, early intervention was associated with a 55% reduction in all-cause mortality and a 79% reduction in hospitalization for HF. The researchers say their findings support the theory that irreversible damage can occur before symptoms present.

Patients with heart failure (HF) who receive colchicine for a gout flare-up appear to have better survival than patients not receiving colchicine, investigators report in Clinical Cardiology. “The mechanistic underpinnings of the potential beneficial effects of colchicine on CV events may involve its anti-inflammatory properties on the CV system,” the researchers write. “If indeed our findings are validated, then consideration could be made for designing clinical trials that incorporate anti-inflammatory agents such as colchicine targeting this vulnerable phase of worsening HF.”

woman lifting weightsModified cardiac rehabilitation that includes medically supervised exercise, prescribed therapy, and physician follow-up is beneficial for stroke patients and may help them live longer, data from the Stroke-HEART trial show. Those who participated in the rehab had a fourfold reduction in mortality, along with more improvements in exercise capacity, mobility, self-care, and cognition than those who did not, according to the study published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases.

Only 5% of the operators who perform electrophysiology (EP) procedures in the United States are female, with that percentage remaining stagnant since 2013, a study in Heart Rhythm shows. One-fifth of states had no women operators who performed more than 10 EP cases annually, and the authors conclude that work is needed to “understand and inform policies to create a more diverse and representative EP workforce.”