Week in Review: March 25

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

10 strangers come together for a life-changing kidney swap

Michael Wingard's kidney isn't going to his friend, though, because he wasn't a match for her. But he was a match for someone else. And that's how Wingard became the first link in a 10-person chain that took place at Houston Methodist earlier this month. In addition to Wingard, the swap involved: Heather O'Neil Smarrella, who will get his kidney. Then her twin Staci O'Neil gave her kidney to Javier Ramirez Ochoa, whose son-in-law Tomas Martinez, donated a kidney to Chris McLellan, whose father David McLellan, gave his kidney to Barbara Moton, whose daughter Lisa Jolivet, gave her kidney to Kaelyn Connelly, Wingard's friend. Via NPR

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Climate change is making allergy season even worse

Brace yourselves, allergy sufferers: New research shows that pollen season is going to get a lot longer and more intense with climate change. Our latest study finds that the U.S. will face up to a 200 percent increase in total pollen this century if the world continues producing carbon-dioxide emissions from vehicles, power plants, and other sources at a high rate. Under that scenario, the spring pollen season will generally start up to 40 days earlier and last up to 19 days longer than it does today. Via The Atlantic

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Biden administration to stop reimbursing hospitals for Covid-19 care for uninsured

Some people without health insurance will begin getting bills for Covid-19 treatments and testing after the Biden administration on Tuesday starts winding down a federal program that reimburses providers for virus-related care for the uninsured and that officials say is running out of funds. The White House says it will end the reimbursement program, which started under the Trump administration and also pays hospitals and other healthcare providers for things such as administering Covid-19 vaccines to uninsured people, by the end of April because it is running out of money. Via Wall Street Journal

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Mayo Clinic News

Sleep experts warn of permanent daylight saving time risks

At the 2020 SLEEP conference, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota showed that medical errors increased by 18.7% the week after the spring switch to daylight saving time. Those findings reinforced what other studies had found: that heart attacks, fatal car crashes, and other events may be affected by the spring time change, experts at the SLEEP conference said. Via MedPage Today

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Minnesota milestone: A day of zero COVID-19 deaths

COVID-19 hospitalizations also declined from a peak of 1,629 on Jan. 14 to 235 Tuesday. The latest total of 30 COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care is the lowest since July 21. "The amount of community spread … is pretty small," said Dr. Paul Mueller, regional vice president for Mayo Clinic Health System in the border town of La Crosse, Wis. "In fact, we've had days here in La Crosse where we have had zero positive tests." Via Star Tribune

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Breakthrough COVID-19 hospitalizations 'extremely uncommon': study

New research from Mayo Clinic found that the hospitalization rate for vaccinated patients was 0.06 percent - or 6 in 10,000 patients - and 1 in 10,000 among those who have received their shot and acquired prior immunity through previous infection. "In the general primary care patient population, those who have been vaccinated have very low risk of subsequent hospitalization for breakthrough COVID-19," lead author Benjamin Pollock said in a news release. "Our study shows that while it can and does happen, that these occurrences are extremely uncommon." Via Yahoo! News

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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.