Morning Rounds Megan Thielking

First baby born after uterus transplant from deceased donor

For the first time, a woman has given birth to a baby after receiving a uterus transplant from a deceased donor. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The details: In a case report published in the Lancet, researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil transplanted a uterus from a 45-year-old woman who died into a 32-year-old woman who was born without a uterus. Seven months after the transplant, doctors transferred an IVF embryo made with the woman’s egg and her husband’s sperm into her womb. When the paper was written, about seven months after the birth, both the mom and her daughter were healthy.

  • The background: Before this, only uterus transplants from living donors had led to successful births. Researchers have tried transplanting uteruses from deceased donors before, but they haven’t led to a live birth until now.

  • The takeaway: “The use of deceased donors could greatly broaden access to this treatment, and our results provide proof-of-concept for a new option for women with uterine infertility,” Dr. Dani Ejzenberg, who led the research, said in a statement.

More here.

Medical schools are becoming more diverse

A decade after diversity standards were put in place, medical schools across the U.S. are accepting more women and minority students, according to a new analysis. In 2009, a committee that accredits medical schools started requiring schools to develop a diversity policy and carry out efforts to recruit and retain a broader range of students. Researchers dug into the data on graduates of accredited medical schools from 2002 to 2017 and found that over time, the proportion of women, black, and Hispanic graduates increased. It's not clear whether the policy changes directly drove those increases, but the study's authors say they're encouraged by the finding. "While the results are promising, disparities in physician workforce diversity persist," they write.

Inside STAT: A century-old family treasure sparks hope of cracking a deadly flu’s secret


Slides of human tissue at the University of Arizona taken by British military pathologist William Rolland a century ago. (MAMTA POPAT FOR STAT)

In 1917, the year before the start of the Spanish flu, a British military doctor named William Rolland wrote a report about soldiers who contracted an unusually fatal respiratory illness. Nearly a century later, armed with that report, evolutionary biology professor Michael Worobey tried to track down the doctor’s descendants to see if any of Rolland’s samples might still be lying around. He found a possible contact and fired off an email — and within hours, he got a response from a relative who had a collection of human tissue slides Rolland handed down through the generations. “I almost fell out of my chair, for real,” Worobey recalls. “I actually did cry real tears.” Those slides could now help rewrite the history of the 1918 Spanish flu. STAT’s Helen Branswell has more in a fascinating story — read here.

Millions of pounds of beef are being recalled

There’s a handful of other health care news out from federal agencies today, from a raw beef recall to a new tool for first responders. The rundown:

  • More than 12 million pounds of beef that was shipped around the country is being recalled due to concerns it might be contaminated with salmonella. The Department of Agriculture says that anyone with raw beef that's part of the recall in their freezers should toss it in the trash.

  • HHS rolled out a new "plain language checklist" designed to help first responders better provide care for people with limited English proficiency and people with visual impairments, hearing difficulties, or other disabilities.

  • The FDA updated its draft guidance on how to continue to make sure the U.S. blood supply stays safe. The document gives guidance on the kinds of technologies that could be used to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination in platelets stored at room temperature.

Nearly one-third of U.S. doctors are foreign-born

A new study of census data illustrates the important role that providers who weren’t born in the U.S. play in the American health care system. Nearly 30 percent of U.S. physicians were born in other countries, and nearly 7 percent aren’t U.S. citizens. The study also looked at people working in a wide range of other health care fields. Among the other findings: 16 percent of registered nurses and 23 percent of nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides were born outside the U.S.

Michigan lawmakers renew ban on telemedicine abortion

Lawmakers in Michigan's House have approved a controversial bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion drugs in a telemedicine appointment. Under an existing law, physicians are required to carry out a physical exam of a patient who is seeking a medication abortion and have to be there when the drugs are dispensed. But that rule is set to expire at the end of this year — and now, Republican lawmakers are hoping to renew it indefinitely. The GOP-led state Senate voted to pass the bill last week.

What to read around the web today

  • The ‘CRISPR babies’ experiment was more flawed than scientists first realized. STAT Plus
  • No cash, no heart. Transplant centers require proof of payment. Kaiser Health News
  • Uber just hired two new health leaders as it pushes into medical transport. CNBC
  • It isn’t crazy to conduct an Ebola clinical trial in a war zone — it’s necessary. STAT
  • Transparent tissues bring cells into focus for microscopy. Nature

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,


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Wednesday, December 5, 2018


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