Contrary to what you might think, advanced age does not increase the risk of surgical-site infections, according to a large long-term study reported in the April 1 issue of The Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online. The study, which involved prospectively collected data on thousands of patients in multiple hospitals undergoing various surgical procedures, found that the infection risk increased by about 1 percent per year between the ages of 17 to 65 years but then decreased by about 1 percent per year after age 65; indeed, there were no surgical site infections in patients who were older than age 95.
The explanation for these surprising findings is unknown, but the possibilities may include a tendency by physicians to avoid surgery in frail elderly patients and, conversely, a "hardy survivor" effect, in which a protective genetic makeup may enable elderly patients to withstand the rigors of surgery and its complications.
Keith S. Kaye, MD, MPH, and colleagues at Duke University Medical Center and Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center studied 144,485 patients over age 16 years with no pre-existing surgical-site infections who were admitted for surgery to 11 hospitals in the southeastern United States between Feb. 1, 1991 and July 31, 2002; the most common surgical procedures were orthopedic (42 percent), gastrointestinal (13 percent), obstetric/gynecologic (11 percent), or cardiothoracic (10 percent). Of the 144,485 patients studied, surgical-site infections developed in 1,684 (1.2 percent), with gastrointestinal procedures (3.1 percent), cardiothoracic procedures (2.3 percent), and vascular procedures (1.7 percent) having the highest rates
Steve Baragona | EurekAlert!
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Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
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An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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