NewsStand, Sept. 7, 2023

NewsStand, Sept. 7, 2023

By Iowa Hospital Association|
|September 6, 2023

Iowa news

State health data shows Iowa’s syphilis rates continue to climb

State health data shows that while some sexually transmitted infection rates are decreasing in the state, syphilis rates continue to climb. Iowa had 877 syphilis cases in 2022, marking the fourth year in a row that cases have increased and mirroring a nationwide trend. State Medical Director Robert Kruse says the reason is unclear, but it could be because those sexually transmitted infections have early symptoms that are easier to detect. (Iowa Public Radio)

Shortage of youth mental health services in Iowa reaches crisis

In Iowa and nationwide, demand for programs and services for some children with mental, behavioral and intellectual disabilities has reached a crisis point, triggering a high-stakes lawsuit against the state and pleas by advocacy groups and providers for action. Almost three years after the isolation and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic began to exacerbate mental health issues for children, wait lists for psychiatric medical institutions for youth have reached new highs. Worker shortages have hamstrung care providers, and some programs are shuttering for lack of financial support. Providers say children have become more suicidal and violent, placing additional pressure on their programs and their employees. (Des Moines Register)

Iowans are vulnerable to long COVID-19 as national cases rise

As the country is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, more Iowans are vulnerable to experiencing long COVID-19, or persistent symptoms that last at least four weeks. Lauren Graham, the director of the post-COVID-19 clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says experts don’t know why some people develop ongoing symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately one in five people who get COVID-19 develop some kind of long-term symptoms. (Iowa Public Radio)

National news

Patients see better outcomes with female surgeons, studies find

Patients treated by women surgeons had better outcomes, according to two population-based cohort studies from Canada and Sweden, both of which were published in JAMA Surgery. The retrospective Canadian study found that, compared with male surgeons, patients treated by female surgeons had a lower risk-adjusted likelihood of adverse postoperative outcomes at 90 days and one year. Findings were similar for mortality at 90 days and one year. Most research in surgery looks at short-term outcomes, but researchers want to get a better sense of longer recovery trajectories based on the gender of the primary surgeon. (MedPage Today)

As U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, some places are bringing mask mandates back

Nationwide, COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by nearly 19% in a single week. And as the country reacts to that late summer spike, some schools, hospitals and businesses are encouraging and, in some cases, requiring face coverings. Public health officials are pointing toward two variants: The Omicron variant EG.5 — nicknamed Eris — has become dominant in the U.S., while BA.2.86 is starting to spread as well. (Iowa Public Radio)

CDC: Deaths from counterfeit pills rising

Fatal overdoses from counterfeit pharmaceuticals, particularly pills found to contain fentanyl, more than doubled in recent years, the CDC reported. Among more than 100,000 recent overdose deaths in the U.S., the percentage caused by pills disguised as legitimate pharmaceutical products increased from 2% in the third quarter of 2019 to 4.7% in the last quarter of 2021. The proportion of those deaths involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl jumped to 93% from 72.2%, while illicit benzodiazepines also rose to 5.3% from 1.4%. Fake fentanyl was the sole drug involved in 41.4% of counterfeit pill-related deaths, compared with 19.5% of overdose deaths without evidence of counterfeit pill use. (MedPage Today)

Become a hospital advocate. Sign up for IHA Action Alerts.

Click here