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Morning Rounds Megan Thielking

Four people dead after shooting at Chicago hospital

A gunman shot and killed a doctor, a police officer, and a pharmacy employee at a Chicago hospital yesterday. The gunman, who fired shots in the parking lot of Mercy Hospital before moving into the emergency room, was also killed. The situation left the hospital scrambling to protect staff, patients, and visitors. Emergency vehicles flooded the area, and officers locked down the hospital as they moved room by room for a search. The hospital later tweeted that police had secured the building and patients were safe. 

Progress on malaria is stalling, report finds

After declining for years, malaria cases are on the rise, according to a sweeping new report from the WHO. Here's a look at the numbers:

  • The global toll: There were 219 million cases of malaria in 2017, up from 217 million in 2016. An estimated 435,000 people died of malaria in 2017.

  • The increases: Malaria cases have significantly climbed in 13 countries, including Nigeria, Madagascar, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Many other countries saw their rates rise or level off.

  • The improvements: Some countries saw notable declines, including India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Rwanda. India had 3 million fewer cases in 2017 than in the year before.

  • The takeaway: "As progress stagnates, we are at risk of squandering years of toil, investment and success in reducing the number of people suffering from the disease,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement.

Data specific to kids is often lacking on drug labels


(jama pediatrics)

The FDA has the power to require drug makers to study their products in kids — but those studies aren't often happening in a timely manner, according to a new analysis. Drug makers are often allowed to carry out the studies after the drugs are approved based on data in adults. Researchers looked at what happened with 222 studies that should've been carried out after FDA approvals between 2007 and 2014. Five years after approval, only 27 percent of the studies had been completed. The authors also found that many drug labels still lack important information specific to use in kids. "Stronger policies are needed to ensure the timely availability of pediatric information for most new medicines," they write.

Tobacco companies have to add 'corrective statements' to their websites

Starting this week, the tobacco industry has to start sticking "corrective statements" in cigarette packages and posting warnings on their websites about the health harms and addictive nature of smoking. The statements are part of a 2006 court ruling, which found that major cigarette makers — including Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds — had lied to the public about the risks of smoking. The notices also have to detail the health effects of secondhand smoke and state that companies designed cigarettes to deliver enough nicotine to lead to addiction. Last year, the companies also had to put out TV ads with similar statements.

Inside STAT: Can pharmacists train customers to use naloxone?

Pharmacists have been called on to help address the opioid crisis by counseling patients who've been prescribed high-dose opioids, participating in drug-monitoring programs, and making naloxone more accessible. But they're also responsible for training pharmacy customers seeking naloxone on how to use the treatment to reverse opioid overdoses. The Pharmacy Quality Alliance is working to prepare pharmacists for that role by teaching them how to assemble nasal naloxone kits, squirt the drug into someone's nostrils, and use an auto-injector to deliver naloxone. STAT's Lev Facher attended a recent training in Virginia and has more on the effort — read here.

Controversial HHS official moving to new role

Scott Lloyd, the controversial director of the refugee office at HHS, is being reassigned to a new part of the agency. Lloyd has led the Office of Refugee Resettlement since March 2017. He came under fire earlier this year for how the office handled the care and reunification of thousands of migrant children who were separated from their families at the border. Lloyd had also been criticized for blocking migrant teens in federal custody from obtaining abortions. Lloyd will now serve as an adviser at the HHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

What's behind health care data breaches? 

The most common source of health care data breaches isn’t outside hackers — it’s internal mistakes and issues. Researchers analyzed the causes of more than 1,100 data breaches in the U.S. from 2009 to 2017 and found that 53 percent were the result of internal issues. That includes employees who stole data, but also staffers who pulled up patient data on personal devices, clicked on phishing emails, and, in some cases, accidentally emailed health information to the wrong person. Another 33 percent of data breaches were due to outside or unknown parties stealing health data or equipment. The authors say health care providers need to tighten up their protocols for keeping patient data safe.

What to read around the web today

  • How many years do we lose to the air we breathe? Washington Post
  • Rep. Joe Kennedy III: It’s time to legalize marijuana at the federal level. STAT
  • How to control a machine with your brain. The New Yorker
  • Wildfire chases seniors from retirement havens to field hospitals. Kaiser Health News
  • A drug maker boosted the price of its opioid-overdose antidote by 600 percent, and taxpayers suffered. STAT Plus

Thanks for reading! More tomorrow,


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018


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