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Healthcare Prioritarianism During the Pandemic

In January 2021, a researcher from the University of Southern Denmark, Department for the Study of Culture, discussed prioritarianism in terms of healthcare, with a particular focus on how the pandemic has shaped these views. The full article by Lasse Nielsen can be found in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Their findings are detailed below.

Prioritarianism refers to a general conception that the worse off someone is, the more it matters to help them. This ideology can be controversial, but it is also considered a widely shared principle applicable to healthcare.

Nielsen identified three forms of healthcare prioritarianism: social justice prioritarianism, severity prioritarianism, and age-weighted prioritarianism.


Blood Autotransfusion Usage in Low-Resource Settings

In May 2022, researchers from Karolinska Institutet, Department of Global Public Health, compiled a review of information on autotransfusion use in low-resource settings, including the techniques and devices used in these settings. The complete manuscript by Maria Palmqvist, Johan Von Schreeb, and Andreas Alga can be found in BMJ Open. Their findings are summarized below. 

The primary cause of maternal mortality and preventable trauma worldwide is hemorrhage, which can be prevented if the bleeding is stopped, and the blood loss sustained by the patient is addressed with a blood transfusion. However, while the number of blood transfusions completed each year has increased, the accessibility of blood and safe transfusions, especially in low- and middle-income countries, is scarce.


Ex vivo Liver Machine Perfusion: Applications, Promises, and Challenges

In March 2022, researchers from Ruprecht-Karls University (Department of General, Visceral, and Transplant Surgery), University of Maryland School of Medicine (Program in Transportation), and Medical University of Graz (Department of Surgery) delved deeper into the topic of Ex vivo liver machine perfusion. The complete editorial by Arash Nickkholgh, Daniel G. Maluf, and Peter Schemmer can be found in Frontiers in Surgery. Its primary findings are detailed below.

Liver transplantation (LT) is a life-saving method of care for those with irreversible liver disease, but a shortage of optimal grafts has limited its success. One way to extend the donor pool is through extended criteria donors (ECDs), which can include donors after circulatory death, livers with stenosis, and livers from donors of an older age. However, these livers are typically more susceptible to ischemia before and during static cold storage.


Gender Differences in Post-CABG Survival

In February 2022, researchers from University Medical Center Utrecht, University College London, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital, the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, University of Groningen, University of Montreal, Flinders Medical Center, Flinders University, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Monash University, and Curtin University explored the differences in men's and women's survival post-CABG surgery and the cause behind these differences. The full manuscript by Amand F. Schmidt, Saskia Haitjema, Ulrik Sartipy, Martin J. Holzmann, David J. Malenka, Cathy S. Ross, Wiek van Gilst, Jean L. Rouleau, Annelijn M. Meeder, Robert A. Baker, Hiroki Shiomi, Takeshi Kimura, Lavinia Tran, Julian A. Smith, Christopher M. Reid, Folkert W. Asselbergs, and Hester M. den Ruijter can be found in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine. A summary of their findings is detailed below.

Previous studies have established gender differences in the presentation of coronary artery disease (CAD), with younger women displaying plaque erosions likely driven by sex hormones. In contrast, plaque ruptures are more common in men. With increasing age, these difference in atherosclerosis pathophysiology becomes less pronounced, but women typically present with more complicated risk factor combinations.


LivaNova (TandemLife) Recalls LifeSPARC System

LivaNova (TandemLife) has recalled the LifeSPARC controller, part of the LifeSPARC system, because of a software malfunction that may cause the controller's monitoring feature to wrongly enter critical failure mode, causing the pump to stop working. The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall. To date, LivaNova has received 66 complaints about the fault. The FDA has received reports of two injuries and no deaths.


The Relationship Between Diabetes and Arterial Restenosis

In February 2022, researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Departments of Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology) and Federico II University (International Translation Research and Medical Education Consortium) discuss the epidemiology of restenosis and the effect of diabetes. The complete article by Scott Wilson, Pasquale Mone, Urna Kansakar, Stanislovas S. Jankauskas, Kwame Donkor, Ayobami Adebayo, Fahimeh Varzideh, Michael Eacobacci, Jessica Gambardella, Angela Lombardi, and Gaetano Santulli can be found in Cardiovascular Diabetology. The key points of the review are detailed below.

An increasingly important issue in clinical practice is restenosis, which is re-narrowing the arterial lumen after revascularization. Its incidence has dropped increasingly with technological advances in angioplasty. However, while the risk factors of ISR for the general population are more well-known, the risk factors affecting those with diabetes mellitus possess fewer studies.