April 2004 Bulletin

Breaking News

Public Health Notice on absorbable hemostatic agent

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) has issued a Public Health Notification concerning a serious adverse event that can occur with the use of an absorbable hemostatic agent, a device used to promote coagulation and stop internal bleeding during surgical procedures. Since 1996, FDA has received reports of more than 110 adverse events related to absorbable hemostatic agents. Although these events are rare, they can have serious consequences. Eleven of the events resulted in paralysis or other neural deficits. These events continue to occur despite specific advice and warnings in the device labeling. CDRH provided recommendations to minimize the risk of adverse events in patients receiving an absorbable hemostatic agent during a surgical procedure. FDA recommends that users of absorbable hemostatic agents review the device labeling, especially the contraindications, warnings and precautions. Read the FDA Public Health Notification at http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/safety/040204-hemostatics.html.

Health care illiteracy contributes to cost of care
According to a new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “Health Literacy: A Prescription for Confusion,” about half of the nation's adults have difficulty understanding or acting on health information they encounter every day, making them far more likely to rely on expensive emergency services than basic preventive care. A coordinated effort by health care system educators, the media and consumers is needed to improve the nation's health literacy the report said, noting that the problem may lead to billions of dollars in avoidable health costs. It said that even well-educated people with strong reading and writing skills may have trouble understanding a medical form or a doctor's instructions on medications or medical procedures. A similar report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality called “Literacy and Health Outcomes,” said the nation's estimated 90 million adults with lower-than-average reading skills are less likely than other Americans to get potentially life-screening tests such as mammograms and Pap smears.

AAOS co-sponsors scientific meeting on osteoporosis
The AAOS will co-sponsor a scientific meeting on “Advances in Skeletal Anabolic Agents for the Treatment of Osteoporosis” with the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and the National Institutes of Health. The meeting will be held May 24-25, 2004, in Bethesda, Md., at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It will explore future directions for clinical and basic research in anabolic agents for metabolic bone diseases and address advances in understanding of osteoblastic bone formation. For information: http://www.asbmr.org/anabolics.cfm

Manuscripts sought for 2005 Kappa Delta Awards, OREF Clinical Research Award
The AAOS is soliciting manuscripts for the 2005 Kappa Delta Awards and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Clinical Research Award. Up to three $20,000 Kappa Delta awards, one of which is designated for “Young Investigators,” and one $20,000 OREF award will be bestowed. Manuscripts should be original and written specifically for these awards. They should focus on the results of the author's basic and/or clinical research that relates to the musculoskeletal system. Manuscripts will be accepted only from members (or candidate members) of the AAOS, Orthopaedic Research Society, Canadian Orthopaedic Association, or Canadian Orthopaedic Research Society. The deadline for submission is July 1, 2004.

Applications sought for Council on Education chair
The AAOS is looking for volunteers to apply for the position of chair, Council on Education. The chair is responsible for overseeing the educational activities of the AAOS and developing a strategic plan for its educational mission. Planning the agendas for Council meetings, particularly with respect to strategic planning and focus of discussions, is a very important component of the position. The chair works closely with the Council, which is comprised of the chairs of all committees involved in AAOS education activities, as well as the AAOS Chief Education Officer and senior education staff. The Council chair reports to the Board of Directors at each meeting and presents proposals for their approval. To submit an application, click on the “Committee/Council Vacancies” button on the AAOS home page at http://www.aaos.org.

AAOS Annual Meeting Web casts online
Six symposia from the 2004 Annual Meeting are available online. Although non-members can view the Web casts, only AAOS members can earn two Category I CME credits per Web cast symposia. To earn credit, view each individual symposium, then complete the accompanying exam and critique form. Two satellite symposia are also available on the Web cast site, but are not part of the official AAOS 2004 Annual Meeting program and CME credit is not available for them. The 2004 AAOS Annual Meeting Web casts will be available online until March 15, 2005, and are sponsored by an educational grant from Zimmer.

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