To Boost Transplants, First Study Into US Organ Procurers’ Data Begins
The Federation of American Scientists will launch the first investigation of over a decade of data from several organ procurement organizations, to better understand how people on transplant lists are being helped. Oxygen monitoring, needle exchanges and driver distraction are also in the news.
Organ Procurement Organization Data To Be Analyzed For First Time
Several organ procurement organizations will open up at least a decade's worth of their data for analysis in the first such effort to improve the understanding of the American organ procurement system, the Federation of American Scientists announced late Tuesday. The federal government knows very little about how those on the organ donation list are being helped in real-time. HHS data suggests improvements in organ recovery practices could lead to at least 7,000 additional lifesaving transplants every year. (Fernandez, 10/6)
Researchers Look To Discontinue Oxygen Monitoring In Some Infants
Every winter, doctors put sick babies on a continuous oxygen monitor that alerts clinicians if a particular type of respiratory infection is worsening. But a growing body of research shows the monitoring actually doesn't carry a lot of evidence, and can actually cause unnecessary alarm fatigue and rack up hospital charges. A team of researchers from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will soon embark upon a multi-year clinical trial to see if they can reduce that monitoring, and potentially reduce infant harm. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recently gave the effort a $5.3 million grant for what's called a deimplementation study. (Gillespie, 10/5)
Needle Exchanges Are Targeted By Eco-Rooted Lawsuits. A New California Law Will Stop That
For more than 30 years, public health officials and nonprofits in California have provided clean hypodermic needles to people who use them to inject drugs. For nearly that entire time, opponents have accused the free needle programs of promoting drug use and homelessness. But recently, opponents have deployed a novel strategy to shut them down: using environmental regulations to sue over needle waste. They argue that contaminated needles pollute parks and waterways — and their lawsuits have succeeded across the state. A bill signed Monday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will thwart that tactic. (Bluth, 10/6)
Ford Brain Research May Help Detect When Drivers Become Distracted
Ford is working with neuroscientists to develop brain-scanning technology that can more quickly detect when drivers are getting tired or distracted. It's crucial that drivers stay engaged behind the wheel, even as cars become more automated. But there's mounting evidence that people get complacent using driver-assistance features like Tesla Autopilot, which is why federal safety regulators are investigating the systems. (Muller, 10/6)
In updates from the Theranos trial —
Adam Rosendorff, Ex-Theranos Lab Director, Testifies About 'Pressure'
A former lab director at Theranos testified on Tuesday he quit the company for one simple reason: The blood-testing technology just didn’t work. Adam Rosendorff, a key witness for the government, took the stand for the fifth day in the criminal fraud trial of ex-CEO Elizabeth Holmes. “There was tremendous pressure at the company to show that this technology was successful,” Rosendorff said during redirect examination. “It came from the top and permeated through R&D.” (Khorram, 10/5)
The Wall Street Journal:
Elizabeth Holmes’s Office Romance With Ramesh Balwani Now On Display In Court
The text message popped up on Elizabeth Holmes’s phone in July 2015 from her top deputy at Theranos Inc., Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani. “I am sad at where you and I are,” Mr. Balwani wrote, adding in another message: “U need me.” “It’s just hard to transition,” Ms. Holmes replied. “Was emotional but am ready.” Few people knew it then, but Mr. Balwani was also her longtime, live-in boyfriend, prosecutors and Ms. Holmes’s lawyers now say. The little-known relationship was unraveling, the text messages show, just as the blood-testing startup was beginning to face the kind of scrutiny that would cause its dissolution in 2018. (Somerville, 10/5)