Bioethics.com

Subscribe to Bioethics.com feed
Your global information source on bioethics news, issues, & events
Updated: 30 min 29 sec ago

China’s Virus Death Toll Revised Up Sharply After Review

April 17, 2020

(Associated Press) – China’s official death toll from the coronavirus pandemic jumped sharply Friday as the hardest-hit city of Wuhan announced a major revision that added nearly 1,300 fatalities. The new figures resulted from an in-depth review of deaths during a response that was chaotic in the early days. They raised the official toll in Wuhan by 50% to 3,869 deaths. While China has yet to update its national totals, the revised numbers push up China’s total to 4,632 deaths from a previously reported 3,342.

‘No One Is Prepared for This’–Italian Doctors Fight to Keep Home Patients Alive

April 17, 2020

(Reuters) – For doctors in northern Italy, fighting what is still Europe’s worst outbreak of COVID-19, the frontlines have moved beyond hospitals as special teams try to keep patients alive at home, away from the saturated wards where thousands have died. For staff on the so-called USCA (Special Continuity Assistance Units) teams, it has been a draining struggle, initially hampered by a shortage of vital protective gear, that mixes emergency medicine with the shock of losing unprecedented numbers of patients.

When Coronavirus Care Gets Lost in Translation

April 17, 2020

(The New York Times) – Because personal protective equipment is in short supply in hospitals across the country, few clinical interpreters are able to work in person with Covid-19 patients, as they normally would. Most language interpretation is done remotely. Communicating through an interpreter doubles or triples the length of a medical exchange, adding new confusion and anxiety to situations that are already stressful for patients and their families. And the conditions of Covid-19 care — the rapid pace at which cases evolve, the desire of hospital workers to limit the duration of their exposure to patients — create numerous obstacles to effective interpretation.

Some Life Insurers Hit Pause on Older Americans During Coronavirus Crisis

April 17, 2020

(Reuters) – Some U.S. life insurers are deciding not to gamble on older Americans during the coronavirus crisis by temporarily suspending applications from certain age groups or imposing tougher requirements. Prudential Financial Inc (PRU.N), Lincoln National Corp (LNC.N) and Protective Insurance Corp (PTVCB.O) are among the insurers that have made changes. Prudential and Protective are temporarily halting applications from individuals aged 80 or older, while Lincoln has postponed approving policies for that age group and others, the companies said.

European Coronavirus App Platform Gains Traction with Governments

April 17, 2020

(Reuters) – A European technology platform to support smartphone apps that can help trace people at risk of infection by the new coronavirus is gaining support from governments, one of its prime movers said on Friday.  Seven countries have either formally supported the Pan-European Privacy Preserving Proximity Tracing initiative or tasked one of its members with developing a national app, German tech entrepreneur Chris Boos told Reuters.

Unproven Tests. Inaccurate Results. Public Health Labs Worry ‘Bad Data’ Could Taint US Recovery from Coronavirus Crisis.

April 17, 2020

(USA Today) – Companies are lining up to market an emerging type of blood test to detect whether a person has ever had the novel coronavirus. These antibody tests could be critical to reopening the U.S., informing public health and state officials on how and when Americans can resume everyday activities. Some lab experts warn relaxed rules by the Food and Drug Administration allow unproven and potentially unreliable tests on the market. Companies marketing 90 antibody tests have notified the federal agency of plans to offer tests that gauge whether a person’s ever been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Police Found 17 Bodies at New Jersey Nursing Home After Anonymous Tip

April 16, 2020

(BBC) – New Jersey police found 17 bodies in one of the state’s largest nursing homes after an anonymous tip said a body was being stored in a shed. A total of 68 people associated with the Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation centres have recently died, with 26 having tested positive for Covid-19. Police did not find a body in the shed, but said the facility’s tiny morgue was “overwhelmed”.

New York Coronavirus Hospitalizations Fall, New Jersey Launches Nursing Home Probe

April 16, 2020

(Reuters) – The number of people hospitalized for the novel coronavirus and related deaths in New York fell to their lowest levels in more than a week, adding to evidence the hardest-hit state was controlling its spread, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday. Cuomo also extended an order closing businesses and schools by two weeks until at least May 15 in coordination with other states in the region, and added details to face-mask requirements, saying New Yorkers should wear them on buses, taxis and trains.

Early Peek at Data on Gilead Coronavirus Drug Suggests Patients Are Responding to Treatment

April 16, 2020

(STAT News) – A Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week, STAT has learned. Remdesivir was one of the first medicines identified as having the potential to impact SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, in lab tests.

FDA Eases Rules So Compounders Can Make Drugs for Covid-19 Patients on Ventilators

April 16, 2020

(STAT News) – In response to shortages of medicines needed for Covid-19 patients on ventilators, the Food and Drug Administration is temporarily easing its rules so that compounders can start making some of the drugs. For as long as the nationwide public health emergency is in effect, the agency will not take action against compounding pharmacies that make a medicine that is a copy of an approved drug, use bulk ingredients not on an approved list, or fail to meet good manufacturing requirements for stability testing.

FDA Approves Trial of Stem Cells for Severe COVID-19 Treatment

April 16, 2020

(UPI) – Researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine received approval Thursday from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a small clinical trial using stem cells against COVID-19. The trial will evaluate use of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells to address life-threatening lung inflammation suffered by people with the severe form of the disease caused by the new coronavirus. 

‘We Are Dead’: People with Disabilities Fear They Will Be on Losing End of Doctors’ Life-or-Death Choices Amid Coronavirus Crisis

April 16, 2020

(USA Today) – As the number of COVID-19 cases and corresponding deaths accelerates across the country, one of America’s most vulnerable – and most overlooked – groups of citizens worry not just about how to get food and pay rent in a locked-down nation, but whether they will even be considered treatable if they get sick. In essence it comes down to the question of who chooses who will live and die when allocating scarce health care resources. 

I Helped Fight the Ebola Outbreak in Liberia. Here’s What It Takes to Conquer a Pandemic

April 15, 2020

(TIME) – In the current pandemic, things are getting scarier every day in Liberia. We have limited capacity in many areas, ranging from human resources to equipment. Because many facilities are not prepared to handle cases of severe respiratory symptoms relating to COVID-19, they have begun to turn away patients, which may worsen the health burden in Liberia. So far, all our patients are responding to treatment, so people think we are not saying the truth about how bad this will be. The same happened in the Ebola crisis. Until people saw that others were dying, they had doubts that the disease existed. They won’t believe if they are not seeing bodies.

True Toll of COVID-19 on U.S. Health Care Workers Unknown

April 15, 2020

(Kaiser Health News) – The number of health care workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus is likely far higher than the reported tally of 9,200, and U.S. officials say they have no comprehensive way to count those who lose their lives trying to save others. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the infection tally Tuesday and said 27 health worker deaths have been recorded, based on a small number of test-result reports. Officials stressed that the count was drawn from just 16% of the nation’s COVID-19 cases, so the true numbers of health care infections and deaths are certainly far higher.

A Desperate Scramble as COVID-19 Families Vie for Access to Plasma Therapy

April 15, 2020

(Kaiser Health News) – Garcia’s plight underscores the lack of coordination — and disparities in access — as families of failing COVID-19 patients jockey to obtain the still-unproven treatment. Even as efforts ramp up to collect blood plasma from the first survivors of the novel coronavirus, one’s chances of procuring the treatment appear to depend on accidents of geography, social-media savvy and the willingness of treating physicians.

Italy Aims to Turn Suffering to Advantage with Experimental Covid-19 Treatment

April 15, 2020

(CNN) – For nearly a month, Italy held the awful distinction of having the most coronavirus deaths of any country in the world — topping China, the original epicenter, in mid-March, and being overtaken by the United States three and a half weeks later. But now doctors are hoping to turn Italy’s terrible suffering to its advantage. The country is pinning its hopes on using the blood plasma of Covid-19 survivors to help those who are suffering most from it in hospitals now.

Hospitals Quickly Reshape to Treat Covid-19 Patients

April 15, 2020

(Wired) – Health care workers need more space for examining patients, handwashing, and putting on and taking off personal protective equipment. They need to quickly separate Covid-19 patients from those suffering from other maladies—heart attacks, respiratory issues, and broken bones. They must enforce new, strict visitor policies, which sometimes bar relatives from the rooms of dying patients. They’d like to check on infectious disease patients without entering rooms, which would require another change of still-limited protective gear.

Search for a COVID-19 Vaccine Heats Up in China, US

April 14, 2020

(ABC News) – Three potential COVID-19 vaccines are making fast progress in early-stage testing in volunteers in China and the U.S., but it’s still a long road to prove if they’ll really work. China’s CanSino Biologics is beginning the second phase of testing its vaccine candidate, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology said Tuesday. In the U.S., a shot made by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc. isn’t far behind. The first person to receive that experimental vaccine last month returned to a Seattle clinic Tuesday for a second dose.

There’s Been a Spike in People Dying at Home in Several Cities.

April 14, 2020

(ProPublica) – In recent weeks, residents outside Boston have died at home much more often than usual. In Detroit, authorities are responding to nearly four times the number of reports of dead bodies. And in New York, city officials are recording more than 200 home deaths per day — a nearly sixfold increase from recent years. As of Tuesday afternoon, the United States had logged more than 592,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 24,000 deaths, the most in the world, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

DR Congo Ebola Outbreak Still International Emergency: WHO

April 14, 2020

(Medical Xpress) – The World Health Organization said Tuesday it was extending its global emergency designation of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo after fresh cases were detected. The announcement comes just a day after the vast central African country had been expected to announce that its outbreak was over.

Pages