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Anchor lead: Women are more likely than men to donate one of their kidneys, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Live donation of kidneys, where someone voluntarily chooses to give up one of their organs to someone who needs one, really helps reduce the number of people on the waiting list for transplantation. Now a new study shows that a few years ago men and women were equally likely to choose donation, but now women far outnumber men. Clint Burns, a nurse and transplant coordinator at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Burns: Over the ten year period women’s donations remained stable but men’s declined, particularly in lower income groups. Researchers suggest that this may be because the financial cost of donating a kidney bars them from donation. Currently the insurance company of the recipient will pick up the cost of the hospital stay and cost of the transplant. Maryland did pass the law that you do get a tax break if you are a living donor, which is a little more than $6000.00.  :26

Burns notes that removing financial barriers should encourage more live donation nationally. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead:  A new combination of drugs for heart failure helps, but there are barriers to its use, Elizabeth Tracey reports

A drug marketed under the name Entresto seems to help people with one type of heart failure preserve kidney function better compared with another agent. Seth Martin, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says since heart failure is so common and increasing dramatically, such findings are important, but significant barriers to their implementation exist.

Martin: Heart failure is affecting millions of people throughout this country, it’s a huge public health crisis and we’re really seeing a revolution in therapies. A big, big issue moving forward is just how do we implement what we know works in heart failure. This medication is on the cutting edge of cardiology we have this great new evidence how do we get it implemented in clinical practice. It’s partly clinicians learning the evidence but also the cost issues and getting access for this whether it can be afforded by the patients.  :31

Martin says patients and providers must work together to overcome barriers to the use of newer therapies in those who need them. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: Should the NIH be involved in alcohol use research funded by the industry? Elizabeth Tracey reports

The alcohol industry is largely funding National Institutes of Health research on the impact of alcohol consumption on heart health, which many news reports have called into question as a conflict of interest. Seth Martin, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, comments.

Martin: As a physician it’s a little difficult to recommend for or against alcohol. We tend to say if someone doesn’t have a history of alcoholism in themselves or their family it could be reasonable to have a moderate amount of alcohol. When it comes to funding the key here is to have a buffer, such that the study is designed in a way that regardless of where the money is coming from there’s independent unbiased scientists who are managing the data and who are analyzing the data.   :30

Martin says such funding issues commonly arise when pharmaceutical companies provide monies for research utilizing their drugs, and that creating such a buffer between scientists and industry works. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: Can too much grilled food lead to high blood pressure? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Many people love grilled foods, but now a new study points to eventual development of high blood pressure as a consequence of eating them often. Seth Martin, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says at this point, moderation is key.

Martin: It’s about how often you have the grilled foods as well as just having grilled foods. So in this particular study it was folks who were having it basically every other day that had this increased risk of hypertension. And just to be clear this is an epidemiologic study where they found an association, whether it was a causal link from the grilled foods to hypertension is still to be determined.  But it is something that raises our eyebrows and we would say that if you do love grilled foods try to have it less frequently.  :32

Martin notes that focusing on other important factors relative to high blood pressure such as a lack of exercise are likely to have a greater impact than grilled food consumption. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: Stop the Bleed kits have imitators, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Stop the Bleed is the name of a national campaign to raise awareness and provide training and kits so people who witness traumatic bleeding can step in. Matthew Levy, an emergency medicine expert at Johns Hopkins and campaign spokesperson, says if you’re thinking of obtaining a kit for your location, be careful.

Levy: Someone might say well these bleeding control kits I’d love to buy one but they’re expensive and they cost between fifty and a hundred dollars depending on what the specific contents are, but there are some counterfeit ones on the market that people need to be aware of. There are some counterfeit tourniquets in particularly that are functionally knock off products. I would caution everyone that a tourniquet that is meant to control severe arterial hemorrhage is going to cost in the $20-30 range so if you’re buying it for five or ten dollars you’re probably not getting the real deal       :30

Kits are available directly from BleedingControl.org that also contain just in time instructions to staunch bleeding and other materials. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: Intervening when someone is bleeding may make the difference between life and death, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Stop the Bleed is the name of a national campaign to increase awareness of major bleeding events and teach people what they can do about it. Matthew Levy, an emergency medicine expert at Johns Hopkins and a campaign spokesperson, explains.

Levy: Stop the Bleed is really about what people can do until help arrives, and empowering the lay public with knowledge, skills, and the resources to actually intervene upon somebody bleeding. Severe bleeding represents the single biggest opportunity to impact survival for traumatically injured patients. Trauma is the number one killer for individuals less than 46, and within that severe bleeding has been shown to be the single larger opportunity to minimize preventable death.  :26

Levy says the basic idea is to stop the bleeding, using your hands, dressings that may be available, or tourniquets, until emergency responders arrive. The campaign hopes to place kits in public places with easy to follow instructions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: A study of breastfeeding physicians points to a need for more supportive workplaces, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Mothers who are physicians are only able to meet their personal breastfeeding goals one-third of the time, a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, says if that’s true for physicians, what are the prospects for other working women?

Davidson: This study clearly identified that these women felt, so these are physicians, they’re educated, and truly within the work environment are much more autonomous than many other workers, found that it was very challenging to breastfeed. And so I think this study has some important implications for how we support women in the future to breastfeed, and it really then stems to how we are thoughtful and considerate of other caregiving responsibilities. :29

Davidson says these findings are a signal indicating that more accommodations for work/life balance are needed for everyone. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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