Organ transplants drop dramatically during pandemic

(Brian Owens/ CMA Journal) — Hospitals are slowly resuming non-emergency procedures as outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) wane across Canada. But for thousands of Canadians waiting for replacement organs, the pandemic continues to disrupt transplant operations and the supply of organs. The slowdown of procedures to free up resources for patients with COVID-19 “delayed […]

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Canadians seeing more doctors after hours but electronic medical-record use lags behind

(Canadian Press) — Family doctors in Canada are providing increased access to care compared with most of their counterparts in 10 other countries but still lag behind when it comes to using electronic medical records, findings of a survey show. The Commonwealth Fund Survey also found few doctors can share patients’ lab and diagnostic test […]

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Fat around arteries may keep blood vessels healthy, surprising study reveals

(John Anderer/ Study Finds) — Fat, when it’s located around an artery, may actually be a good thing, believe it or not. That’s the surprising conclusion of a recent Michigan State University study that focused on blood vessel health. If true, this discovery could conceivably change how medical professionals and researchers alike test for treatments […]

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Palliative care patients, doctors, caregivers in Quebec desperate for more home-care services

(Anne Leclair/ Global News) — A fight is brewing between Quebec’s general practitioners and their union, leaving palliative care patients stuck in the middle. The Federation des médecins omnipraticiens du Quebec (FMOQ) and the province signed an agreement in March to create 68 palliative home care units in the province. But nine months later, there […]

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New remote robotic brain surgery could revolutionize aneurysm, stroke treatment

(Nick Boisvert/ CBC News) — Doctors at a Toronto hospital have performed what they’re calling the world’s first neurovascular surgery using robotics, a procedure that could open the door to heightened levels of precision and improved care for patients in remote communities. The procedure was performed on Nov. 1 at Toronto Western Hospital to treat […]

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3D printed heart gets closer to reality with breakthrough bioprinting method

(Lucy Ingham/ The Verdict) — A 3D printed heart that can be custom created for those needing a transplant has been a goal for some time, but recreating the highly complex organ has remained a dream so far. However, a new bioprinting technique could prove a key step on the road to making it a […]

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Are viruses the best weapon for fighting superbugs?

(David Pride/ The Conversation) — Antibiotics won the battle against resistant bacteria, but they may not win the war. You probably know that antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as superbugs, have hampered physicians’ ability to treat infections. You may also be aware that there has been a steep decline in the number of new antibiotics coming […]

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The million-dollar drug

How a Canadian medical breakthrough that was 30 years in the making became the world’s most expensive drug — and then quickly disappeared (Kelly Crowe/ CBC) — It is one of this country’s great scientific achievements. The first drug ever approved that can fix a faulty gene. It’s called Glybera, and it can treat a painful […]

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Superbugs kill 33,000 in Europe every year

(Lianne Kolirin, CNN) — Superbugs are killing about 33,000 people in Europe every year, according to a new report. The “burden of infection” — measured in the number of cases, attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) — of these superbugs is equivalent to that of flu, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS combined, according to the European Centre […]

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It’s not just the EpiPen. Canada had 25 new drug shortages this week alone

(Kelly Crowe/ CBC News) — It’s not just the EpiPen. Drug shortages have quietly become a chronic problem for Canada’s health-care system. This week alone, 25 new drugs were listed on Canada’s drug shortage website. They include treatments for migraines, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, hepatitis B, genital herpes, hypertension, and even generic Viagra. They’re the latest […]

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