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Meningitis represents an inflammatory response of the linings of the brain and spinal cord – usually due to infection in the fluid that surrounds these areas. If one has viral meningitis, then most if not all symptoms resolve within a few weeks without further treatment. If bacterial in origin, hearing loss, memory and personality changes and death can occur – even with early and aggressive treatment.

Neisseria meningitidis  is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in infants, adolescents, and young adults in the U.S. There are currently two types of vaccines on the market that protect against  neisseria meningitidis . These vaccines cover four of the major strains of  neisseria  and are thought to be about 85% protective. However, there is currently no vaccine that prevents the “B” strain or serogroup B which is responsible for approximately 1/3 of meningococcal cases seen in North America.

There is great interest in protecting adolescents and young adults because they tend to be the main source for transmission to infants. It is thought that more cases of bacterial meningitis are seen in adolescents and young adults because of social behavior and crowding of susceptible individuals in classrooms, dormitories, and military institutions. In Florida in 2009, there were 52 cases of bacterial meningitis – 7 resulting in death and 13 of the 52 cases were serogroup B.

Posted by Amy Autry Bush Wednesday, December 26, 2012 8:26:00 AM Categories: Breakthroughs

Can an ECG lead placement device improve clinical trials? 

Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the most effective. A small company has discovered a solution to the dilemma of inaccuracies when obtaining electrocardiograms (ECGs). ECGs have been around for a hundred years, but we're still making them better.

An interesting small company has developed the Cardioquick device that makes ECG tracings more accurate. The device works by expanding to the appropriate size for different patients and maintains the proper spacing between the precordial (chest) leads for an ECG. This functionality is particularly important in many women for whom accurate ECG placement is often poor due to the inconvenience of moving the subject's breast several times to place leads.

We performed a survey of practicing researchers to assess their views on this ECG placement device. Eighty-eight percent of physicians felt that current ECG placement techniques created a quality issue. Sixty-four percent agreed that the Cardioquick patch could improve lead placement; 32% were undecided. The most common reasons cited for the improvement attributable to the patch were improved technician efficiency and the capability to internationally standardize ECG placement across trial sites among patients with different body types.

And yes, we perform ECGs at ""no charge"" during clinical trials. Contact us if you're interested.

Posted by Amy Autry Bush Saturday, August 11, 2012 8:41:00 AM Categories: Breakthroughs
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