Week in Review: October 15

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

Walz to announce plans Friday morning to address hospital capacity, expanding COVID rapid testing

Governor Tim Walz is set to announce plans to address hospital capacity and expand COVID-19 rapid testing options Friday morning. Gov. Walz will be joined by Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm and other health care readers to make the announcement. Additional details on the plans will be available around 10 a.m. Friday. Via KAAL

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How lungs delivered by drone saved an Ontario man's life

The last thing Alain Hodak remembers before his double lung transplant surgery was excitedly waiting in the operating room for a call from a doctor on the roof of the hospital, saying his drone had arrived. That drone carried a pair of lungs 1.5 kilometres across downtown Toronto in what University Health Network believes was a world-first delivery that Hodak had agreed to be part of in September.  An engineer by trade and a lover of drones, 63-year-old Hodak was eager to be the first transplant patient to receive lungs delivered by an unmanned drone, completed by UHN and Unither Bioelectronique. Via CBC

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Rural Minnesota hospitals struggle with COVID-19 surge

The challenge of providing health care in many parts of Minnesota is simple but severe: Too many people remain unvaccinated, hospitals are short-staffed, and there is not enough space for those who are critically ill. “There are no ICU beds to be had, and that's the scary part right now,“ said Dr. Ulrika Wigert, who helps run CentraCare’s hospital and clinic in Sauk Centre, less than an hour northwest of St. Cloud. “We need help,” Wigert said, “and we need this surge to start coming down.” Faced with a lack of options, health systems are improvising to treat COVID-19 patients and everyone else who needs hospitalization.  “We are taking care of patients right now in our facility that I normally would not take care of. It is not ideal,” Wigert said. “So in normal situations, we would transfer these handful of patients, we'd be able to get them to that level of care that they need.” Via MPR

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Mayo Clinic News

Hospitals brace for an onslaught this winter, from flu as well as COVID

While some of the leading COVID-19 modeling suggests the U.S. will be spared another major onslaught of the coronavirus during the holiday season, recent history has shown hospitals that nothing is predictable with this virus. "We need to be prepared for always having some individuals who are infected with COVID in our hospitals and needing acute care," says Dr. Amy Williams, executive dean of the Mayo Clinic Practice. Via NPR

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Mayo announces urgent need for O+ and O- blood types

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center has an urgent and immediate need for O+ and O- donations. Blood is needed by patients at Mayo Clinic who are undergoing surgeries or treatment for medical problems, such as cancer, bleeding disorders, liver damage, burns and severe bacterial infections. Mayo Clinic is inviting people to schedule their blood donation appointment by calling 507-284-4475. Via KTTC (Article no longer available).

Tips to help kids safely celebrate Halloween during COVID-19

With Halloween coming up, health experts are weighing in on ways to safely celebrate as the pandemic continues. The advice comes as kids under the age of 12 are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.  "We know that the virus does not spread well outdoors. So I think in terms of thinking of general principals and activities that have lower risk this year for Halloween, we would say if it's outdoors... definitely a lower risk situation than having indoor parties or activities where you have crowds of people," said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, pediatric infectious disease specialist at Mayo Clinic Children's Center. Via KARE 11

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.