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.
Military doctors land in Minneapolis to take on hospital surge
Two dozen military medical personnel are flying and driving into the Twin Cities today, kicking off a 30-day stint as relief for beleaguered staff at Hennepin Healthcare, where they’re turning away some of the state’s sickest patients because they don’t have any more beds. The help comes after Minnesota led the nation in per-capital COVID infections last week. Hennepin Healthcare doctors said that even after adding around 40 beds from last year, they’re turning down as many as 50 transfer requests a day from hospitals around Minnesota looking for more advanced care for their patients. Via MPR News
COVID-19 hospitalizations set 2021 record once again in Minnesota
As Minnesota continues to set 2021 records for the number of COVID-19 patients receiving hospital care, Gov. Tim Walz on Tuesday outlined steps the state is taking to protect hospital capacity amid the latest pandemic surge. Federal medical teams this week are starting to help at Hennepin Healthcare's HCMC in Minneapolis and will soon arrive at CentraCare's St. Cloud Hospital. New facilities are creating space so hospitals can discharge patients to the next level of care, Walz said, and Minnesota National Guard members are being trained to support long-term care providers. Via Star Tribune
Stubborn COVID-19 Surges Signal Bleak Winter
Coronavirus cases are rising once again, disrupting classrooms, overwhelming hospitals and alarming public health officials — even in areas with high vaccination rates — who warn the country is headed for a holiday surge that could leave thousands dead. Though nearly 70 percent of the country has had at least one shot and hospitalizations have fallen from their September highs, the news in many states remains grim and the trend lines portend a fresh wave in the coming weeks. Via Politico
Hospital robots will save the lives of hundreds of premature babies
A similar system has been run by the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where neonatologists support teams at 19 regional hospitals. Dr Jennifer Fang, medical director for the Mayo Clinic’s teleneonatology programme, said that only babies in a critical condition needed to be transferred, and fewer parents had to go through the stress of being separated from their babies. “What we’ve observed is that the odds of a baby needing a transfer to a higher level of care or transfer to a hospital with an NICU are reduced by anywhere from 30 to 50%,” she said. With difficult births or injuries to babies during birth, the Mayo specialists have a target to be on hand for remote consultations within five minutes. Via NBC News
Minnesotans reflect on the power of giving thanks before a meal
For wellness dietitian Jason Ewoldt, who guides people in the practice of mindful eating at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, a pre-meal pause is part of a healthy dinner. "Mindfulness before meals can help reduce stress and anxiety and take us off 'auto pilot' and refocus our attention to the present moment," he said. "It can also help us to become more aware to how much and why we are eating." Ewoldt advises anyone interested in mindful eating to spend five minutes reflecting before a meal a couple of times a week. Via Star Tribune
I'm fully vaccinated and I also had COVID, do I need a booster?
So what about a person's level of protection for the opposite scenario — when a fully vaccinated person later has a breakthrough infection? "You would presumably have superior immunity at this point," says Dr. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. Via NPR