Blog | Sunday, November 9, 2008

Medical news of the not-so-obvious

Need another reason to push flu shots on your patients? Turns out, the shot might lower one's risk of blood clots (in addition to lowering the chances of feeling like a punching bag from the flu.) Overall, the risk of VTE was 26% lower for those who got the shot compared to those who didn't, a study presented at the AHA conference found. For people under age 52, the risk was 48% lower. (researcher: Joseph Emmerich, MD)

And it seems headphones for MP3 players might interfere with pacemakers and ICDs. Researchers tested eight MP3 headphone models by putting them directly over 60 patients' chests, to see whether the magnets in the headphones would interact with the devices. Fourteen of the patients (23%) had interference-- with the ICD patients more likely to have a problem.

The problems were scary: the pacemakers started beating without regard to the patient's own heart rhythm, while the defibrillators were temporarily deactivated. So does this mean no more music for your patients? Not really, the researchers said: Patients just need to keep their headphones at least 1.2 inches from their pacemaker or ICD. (researcher: William H. Maisel, MD)