In the first study of its kind, researchers say half of patients undergoing stem cell transplantation exhibit signs of delirium, but the warning signs are subtler and can be easily missed by clinicians. The study, which appears in the February 15, 2005 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, says the level of distress, fatigue, and pain are associated with the severity of delirium.
Delirium is a temporary, acute change in a patients level of consciousness and cognition or perception that is caused by a medical condition. Classically, clinicians identify delirium by the presence of hallucinations, delusions, agitation, and disorientation. However, delirium appears to present itself in two prognostic categories: transient with less clinical significance and prolonged with greater clinical significance. Delirium is associated with a higher risk of falls, wound infections, and aspiration pneumonia. In cancer patients, delirium is further associated with increased risk of death during hospitalization and within five years of follow-up. While treatable with medications and appropriate care, delirium is underdiagnosed and undertreated, which can result in poor outcomes, patient and caregiver distress, and over-utilization of healthcare resources.
In order to improve clinical recognition of delirium in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell treatment (HSCT), Jesse R. Fann, M.D., M.P.H. of the University of Washingtons Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centers Division of Clinical Research and his colleagues followed 90 patients from before transplant to 30 days post-transplant and described the symptoms and time course as well as risk factors associated with delirium.
David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
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University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
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Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
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Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
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