Our featured research news in 2008 looked at new treatment approaches, prevention strategies, drug research, and changes in medical care. The studies also reflected the changes in medical industry to decrease unnecessary costs without cutting care. Here is a quick recap on medical care research featured from 2008.
Medical Care News
Changes in the medical system include not only the ability to improve health of the patients but also rein in medical costs by eliminating unnecessary services and providing prevention programs.
- Researchers found that cleaning wounds with drinkable tap water was just as effective as sterile saline water.
- A vaccine for traveler’s diarrhea was tested. Although rarely deadly, traveler's diarrhea can affect millions. The vaccine appeared to decrease the intensity and duration of the illness for people infected with the particular E. coli strain.
- Chickenpox will also cause a few days of illness but may be more serious for certain people including pregnant women. A varicella vaccine can protect from the illness but not all choose to be vaccinated. These individuals may still find protection if they are vaccinated shortly after exposure to the virus. They will be less likely to get ill and if they do it will be less severe.
Alternative treatments also continue to make news in medical care.
- Magnets were not found useful in back pain and muscle soreness but provided some relief for people with knee osteoarthritis .
- Leeches were also found to provide arthritis relief for thumb osteoarthritis. The natural action of leeches provided some pain and stiffness relief.
- Smoked cannibus was also found to provide pain relief for people with HIV -related neuropathic pain.
How Does This Affect You?
Vaccines are an important tool in preventing serious illnesses. While most are received in childhood, there are some that may be received later. Talk to your child’s doctor to make sure your child’s vaccinations are on schedule. If you are planning to travel to third world countries you may need to receive vaccinations; let your doctor know if you plan to travel to such locations.
Alternative treatments may be helpful in some treatments but should be done in conjunction with medical care. Talk to your doctor about supplements or treatments, as some can interfere with medical treatments.
- Reviewer: Larissa J. Lucas, MD
- Review Date: 01/2008 -