NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for May, 2017

Sophia’s Grace Foundation Makes Donation to UPMC Mercy

Sophia Grace Foundation Makes Donation to UPMC MercyUPMC Mercy recently received cuddle cot from the Sophia’s Grace Foundation. The crib enables grieving parents to spend additional time with their baby before saying goodbye.

While stillbirths are rare, they can be devastating to parents and families. A cuddle cot allows the family much-needed, therapeutic private time with their infant.

“This donation of a cuddle cot is a blessing,” said Kathy Diggans, UPMC Mercy’s director of Labor, Delivery and NICU. “Our families will deeply appreciate having extra time to spend with their baby. These are the only memories parents will have of their infant angels to last them a lifetime. We are so thankful for this extraordinary gift, and it will help improve the services we can provide to grieving parents.”

The family of Sophia Grace Lepley created the foundation in honor of their daughter, who passed in 2015. The foundation supports families around the world who are coping with the loss of a child and raises awareness of stillbirths while providing financial assistance to families who have lost an infant.

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Pitt Experts Challenge Necessity of Commonly Ordered Kidney Test

A commonly ordered test to diagnose a specific type of kidney disease has very little evidence showing diagnostic value, according to a recent review of the medical literature led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

The results, published recently in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, found that urine eosinophils are too insensitive and nonspecific to confirm or exclude the diagnosis of acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) in patients with acute kidney injury.

Pitt Experts Challenge Necessity of Commonly Ordered Kidney TestDr. Helbert Rondon-Berrios, assistant professor in the Pitt School of Medicine’s Division of Renal-Electrolyte and corresponding author on the study, discussed the findings.

Why was this study necessary?

A. We waste a lot of money across the United States ordering ineffective and unnecessary diagnostic tests. In response to this, the American College of Physicians began its High Value Care initiative in 2010 to help physicians improve patient outcomes while simultaneously reducing health care system waste. We noticed that urine eosinophils, a diagnostic test nephrologists know has very low diagnostic value for AIN, was still commonly ordered by many non-nephrology providers. So, we decided to review the literature and summarized the evidence strongly arguing against using this test.

What are the highlights?

A. Previous studies have shown that urine eosinophils were useful as a biomarker for AIN. However, newer and more focused studies show that the sensitivity and specificity of urine eosinophils is pretty poor.

Did anything surprise you?

A. The poor quality of the original studies supporting the use of urine eosinophils. These studies had a small number of patients and lacked biopsy confirmation of AIN. It is important that the patients we study with a disease have the disease in question. The diagnosis of AIN in these studies was done on “clinical grounds” only, without biopsy confirmation.

What happens next?

A. Doctors need to strongly consider whether they should stop ordering this test. Most of us nephrologists are well-aware of this, but unfortunately other physicians and health providers are still ordering it and trust the results. Sometimes, this means that if the test is positive, they will discontinue drugs that are important for the patient because they think the drug is causing kidney problems, or they stop looking for a different cause of acute kidney injury. If the test is negative, they rule out AIN and the patient continues on drugs that can be potentially harmful.

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Strong Foundations: Caring for Children and Families for more than 125 Years

This is the third piece in a series about the many hospital foundations that support UPMC’s mission to serve the community.

More than 125 years ago, the Pittsburgh community came together to establish the region’s only children’s hospital, and in the time since, community members have continued to invest in an institution that has grown to become one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is a leader in the treatment of childhood conditions and diseases, a pioneer in the development of new and improved therapies, and a top educator of the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists.

The 315-bed hospital in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, is the hub of a system that includes nine outreach locations throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, an ambulatory surgery center, and a network of more than 40 pediatric primary care practices, many of which include behavioral health and weight management care embedded within the practice environment.

Children’s Hospital is consistently named to several elite lists of pediatric hospitals, including ranking 10th among children’s hospitals and schools of medicine (2015) in funding for pediatric research provided by the National Institutes of Health, and is one of 11 pediatric hospitals in the United States named to U.S. News & World Report’s Honor Roll of America’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” for 2016-2017. Children’s Hospital also has received Magnet® Recognition for Nursing Excellence, a prestigious award granted to only 7 percent of hospitals nationwide. (more…)

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