Model against unnecessary use of antibiotics
Variations in mismatch repair genes can help predict treatment response and prognosis in patients with pancreatic cancer, according to research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center presented today in advance of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. In the study, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes involved
Full Post: Variations in mismatch repair genes predict prognosis in pancreatic cancer
Patients in intensive care units (ICU) are often administered antibiotics against ventilator-associated pneumonia, ‘to be on the safe side’. Dutch researcher Stefan Visscher has developed a model that can quickly establish whether or not a patient has pneumonia. This can prevent unnecessary treatment with antibiotics.
In his thesis Stefan Visscher studied 238 cases of antibiotic treatment of which - with hindsight - only 157 patients were actually suffering from pneumonia. An absence of suitable patient-friendly tests makes it difficult to determine with certainty whether or not a patient has developed pneumonia.
Visscher developed and tested a Bayesian network model, a probabilistic model, that can distinguish between patients that do and do not have ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). His model calculates the probability that an individual patient is suffering from pneumonia, predicts which bacteria has caused it and indicates which antibiotic can best be prescribed. This method is more reliable than the cultures on which physicians currently base their decisions. The data needed to make the probability calculations are automatically retrieved from the electronic patient file.
In his model Visscher processed the clinical data and other details of all ventilated ICU patients over a period of three years. The computer models were initially based on expert knowledge. At a later stage this was enhanced with ‘machine-learning’ techniques in order to optimise the reliability of the predictions where needed.
Electronic patient file
Visscher’s research is part of the TimeBayes project that is responsible for the implementation of the electronic patient file. The electronic patient file contains all relevant laboratory data and clinical patient information. The TimeBayes project develops methods, techniques and tools that use this information to help support physicians in their decisions. Visscher concludes that the new computer models form a basis for a reliable decision-support system for ICU-physicians. The next step should be to set up a large study to test the value of these models in daily practice.
The research was carried out within the ToKeN programme of NWO Division for Physical Sciences, www.nwo.nl/token.
Across the nation concerns about health-care quality and costs are growing. For the first time, both candidates aspiring to the nation’s highest office are looking to greater reliance on electronic medical records as critical to any remedy. In Indianapolis, they and the nation can see first-hand how significant a part of the solution electronic
Full Post: Citywide electronic health information exchange
General Practitioners (GPs) can delegate visits to patients and medical work to qualified employees. In this way, they can provide care to more patients. Neeltje van den Berg and coauthors from Greifswald and Neubrandenburg Universities present the “AGnES” project in the current edition of Deutsches ?zteblatt International ( Dtsch Arztebl Int 2009; 106[1-2]: 3-9). The
Full Post: AGnES supports general practitioners
Antibacterial drug use appears to have increased at academic medical centers between 2002 and 2006, driven primarily by greater use of broad-spectrum agents and the antibiotic vancomycin, according to a report in the Nov. 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Using antibacterial drugs increases the risk that pathogens will
Full Post: Antibacterial drug use increases at academic medical centers
Scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have demonstrated a more effective treatment for bacterial pneumonia following influenza. They found that the antibiotics clindamycin and azithromycin, which kill bacteria by inhibiting their protein synthesis, are more effective than a standard first-line treatment with the “beta-lactam” antibiotic ampicillin, which causes the bacteria to lyse, or burst.
Full Post: Discovery of better treatment for bacterial pneumonia
During heart failure the body reacts to the production of the hormone aldosterone. Too much aldosterone can stiffen and damage the muscles of the heart. Dutch researcher Luc Roumen has optimised compounds that inhibit the production of this hormone and looked at their optimum dosage. The compounds were manufactured by the companies Schering-Plough and
Full Post: New therapy for heart failure