Flu season already ‘moderately severe’
The peak of transmission probably occurred during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s as people crowded together for travel and gatherings, The New York Times reports. The C.D.C estimates that flu kills about 56,000 Americans during a year considered moderately severe.
OxyContin’s maker accused of having state doctors boost prescriptions
Years after the maker of OxyContin was ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars for misleading regulators and the public about the painkiller’s risks, the company continued to heavily market the addictive opiate, nearly doubling its sales force in Washington state, The Seattle Times reports. In 2011, Washington physicians prescribed more than 112 million daily doses of prescription opioids, about 15 a day for every state resident.
US kids 70 percent more likely to die than kids in other rich nations
A study in Health Affairs ranked 20 wealthy countries on childhood deaths. The U.S. came in last, Vox reports. The study estimated that since 1961, America had more than 600,000 excess child deaths — deaths that would not have occurred if those kids were born in other wealthy nations.
Young doctors struggle to learn robotic surgery
Surgical trainees who successfully learned robotic surgery often used non-traditional means, The Conversation reports. Some focused on robotic surgery at the expense of generalist medical training. Others practiced extensively with simulators and watched recordings on YouTube. Many learned by doing robotic surgical work near the edge of their capacity, with little expert supervision.