Diagnostic Imaging Trends: Point of Care Ultrasound – POCUS

Point of care ultrasound (POCUS) is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and changing how doctors prescribe treatment for patients. POCUS is a diagnostic tool that utilizes ultrasound imaging to diagnose, monitor, and guide treatments for medical conditions.

 

This technology has been around for decades but is presently utilized more broadly throughout the healthcare system. Let’s take a closer look at POCUS and how it transforms patient care.

 

What Is Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS)?

Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic tool used in clinical settings that uses sound waves to create images allowing doctors to see inside the body without having to do surgery or other invasive procedures.

 

POCUS can detect various medical conditions, such as heart defects, abdominal diseases, vascular diseases, musculoskeletal problems, and gynecological issues. POCUS can also be used in emergency settings to assess a patient’s condition quickly and determine if further intervention or testing is needed.

 

How Is Point of Care Ultrasound Transforming Healthcare?

One benefit of POCUS is its cost-effectiveness compared with other imaging tests, such as MRI or CT scans, and POCUS does not require expensive equipment as those tests do.

 

POCUS
Point of care ultrasound

 

Additionally, it can be done quickly and easily at the point of care, which reduces wait times for patients and increases accuracy in diagnosis, as well as reduces unnecessary treatments or hospital admissions. Furthermore, since it does not use radiation as other imaging tests do, there are no additional health risks associated with this technology, making it safer overall for patients.

 

Another advantage of POCUS is its ability to provide real-time data about a patient’s condition, which helps doctors make more informed decisions about treatment plans for their patients.

 

Additionally, because POCUS used in most circumstances does not require special training or expensive equipment, these systems are becoming increasingly available in low-resource areas where access to traditional diagnostic imaging may be limited. This benefit means more people have access to high-quality healthcare regardless of where they live or available resources.

 

The Gates Foundation recently provided financing to bring 1,000 handheld ultrasound devices to Africa. When low to mid-income nations can improve the accuracy of an efficient diagnosis–local doctors can save more lives.

 

Since 2012, however, emergency medicine program accreditation requires competency in POCUS. Competency assessment in this field includes demonstrations of technical skill and how it relates to the specific clinical practice.

 

Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) offers numerous benefits over traditional imaging tests. Its cost-effectiveness allows physicians to provide accurate diagnoses without breaking the bank. In contrast, its portability allows it to reach underserved populations who may not otherwise have access to quality healthcare services.

 

With further advances in technology coming soon, we could see even more widespread use of this powerful diagnostic tool across all areas of medicine in the near future.

 

Vesta Teleradiology: At the Forefront of Medical Technology

 

Vesta believes it is crucial to stay on top of technological trends that can benefit our hospital and healthcare facility partners. Vesta is always at the forefront of tech advances in order to help bring more efficiency and accuracy to imaging and radiological interpretations. For more information about Vesta’s teleradiology services, please contact us today.

 

How is Technology Helping with the Healthcare Labor Shortage?

The COVID-19 pandemic may seem never ending. While the exposure and infection numbers may be shrinking, the long-lasting effects of this illness are revealing themselves. One of the biggest and most concerning shortages is the labor shortage.

Of course, labor shortage can be vague. What industries are seeing these shortages, and how do those shortages affect customers? Many industries are seeing labor shortages, but one of the most concerning is the healthcare labor shortage.

staffing and labor shortage
Burnout has led many to quit their healthcare jobs

The Healthcare Labor Shortage

The COVID-19 pandemic proved to be tough on several fronts, especially for the first responders providing care and assistance to those suffering. Doctors and nurses were on the front lines treating patients, finding answers, and working long hours. Many healthcare workers were forced out for different physical and mental reasons like burnout. The pressures were so great that nearly 1.5 million healthcare workers left the profession in the first two months of the pandemic.

As the pandemic continues to wane, healthcare workers are returning to hospitals and doctors’ offices. The return is great, but the numbers are still down, and jobs are still left vacant. In fact, healthcare employment has still not returned to pre-pandemic numbers. Even in those who have returned, anecdotal evidence suggests many are thinking of leaving soon. This means sick people, some of the most vulnerable in society, will feel the consequences. 

Technology and the Healthcare Labor shortage

How do healthcare providers keep their invaluable workers and staff? How do they combat the pressures and stressors created and highlighted by the worldwide pandemic? The short answer is technology.

Healthcare providers can automate different tasks to allow healthcare providers – doctors and nurses – the freedom and space to care for patients. The best news is we live in the age of technology. There are dozens of different technological applications that can be used in these areas.

Inbound Calls

Hospitals and doctors’ offices are often overloaded by inbound calls, even when they are fully staffed. When these providers are understaffed, however, it can be time-consuming to field these ceaseless inbound calls. Patients can and should be encouraged to schedule their own appointments through web-based applications and portals. Not only will this open up more time and space for healthcare providers, but these tasks help empower patients to be more involved in their healthcare journey.

 

staffing in healthcare
Technology allows patients to book their appointments online

 Intake Process

The amount of paperwork in the healthcare industry is daunting. Technology, however, can limit the paperwork and streamline the intake process altogether. Mobile check-in and registration can make it easier for patients to check in, but it also limits the person-to-person contact that so easily spreads diseases.

 Access and Availability

Perhaps the best advantage of medicine is the access and availability afforded through telemedicine. Telemedicine isn’t necessarily “new,” but it has been brought to the forefront. Telemedicine is the ability to meet with medical professionals and healthcare workers to get information and establish treatment plans.

It’s especially beneficial when it comes to specialized medicine, like radiology. Teleradiology, the term widely used for this specific section, is a much more recent development. It helps patients get information and necessary access to radiology professionals.

Teleradiology allows a radiologist to get, review, and interpret CT or MRI images. Radiologists are able to communicate important information to patients who are desperate for that information. It means fewer radiologists can meet with more patients and get those patients the information and treatment they need.

Virtual Monitoring Systems

Telesitter programs help reduce the workload and potential burnout for nurses. With these systems, cameras are setup so that virtual monitoring can take place and track patient activity. Any time there are concerns or emergencies, staff would be notified.

telemonitoring
Telesitters offer virtual monitoring

The world is changing. It’s the one true constant. But technology offers us the chance to adapt and modify the ways we move about in the world. Technology can make things easier and fill in the gaps that form.

What to Expect During a Breast Cancer Screening at an Imaging Center

The best way to detect breast cancer in its early stages is by mammograms–merely an X-ray of the breast. There is no financial strain because health insurance plans are required to cover the costs of mammograms every one or two years.

When you reach your forties, you should begin conversing with your medical providers about when to start and how often you should get a mammogram.

breast cancer awareness

 

Specialists usually recommend the procedure for women between 50 to 74 years of age at average risk of breast cancer and performed every one or two years depending on the woman’s risk factors.

How to Prepare for a Mammogram

When your healthcare provider suggests scheduling a mammogram for the first time, there are some considerations.

If possible, you should consider making your appointments at a nearby facility that specializes in mammograms. In doing this, you can have technicians who are very familiar with the process and accurately compare your mammograms yearly.

mammogram technology

If you need to change facilities, it’s best to arrange to have all your records sent to the new clinic for X-ray comparison. It is also an excellent idea to bring all the dates and locations of any previous breast procedures done.

Specialists advise that women avoid making mammogram appointments the week before their periods. Breasts are more swollen and sensitive during this time which can cause the mammogram procedure to be uncomfortable for them and may interfere with taking clear X-rays.

Technicians will advise that women wear pants or a skirt with a top that they can easily remove along with their bra. They also recommend that women do not use any deodorant, lotions, or powders that may show up as spots on the X-ray.

When You Arrive at the Imaging Center

Most technicians are very considerate and sensitive to what women experience during mammograms. They will ask you to undress above the waist and will give you a wrap to wear.

Many clinics have private dressing areas where you undress and wait for your technician to escort you into the X-ray room. There will only be the two of you in this area which is helpful to reduce any anxieties you may have.

You will stand in front of the mammogram machine, and the technician will position your body and breast for the most accurate X-rays. Your breast will rest on the device, and a plastic upper plate will lower and compress your breast.

The process takes 10 to 15 seconds for each body position, and there are usually only two or three X-rays taken per breast. The whole procedure only takes about 20 minutes.

Your Mammography Results

Mammography produces black-and-white digital images of your breast tissue that will be sent to a physician specializing in radiology to interpret. An imaging center could also refer to a teleradiology company to have a radiologist do the interpretation. Most clinics offer 2D mammograms for breast screening, but many facilities now offer 3D mammograms.

The radiologist will then report their findings to your healthcare provider. This process will take approximately ten days but could take longer. The radiology report will determine if you will need further X-rays, possible MRIs, or treatments. Physicians call back about 10 to 13% of women for abnormal findings, but most of these findings are not breast cancer.

Regular mammograms are an easy, safe way to screen for breast cancer. The most challenging part about the process may be remembering to make your annual appointment, and many women make their birthdays a reminder to make their yearly appointment.

What can be more celebratory than scheduling what may be a life-saving procedure for your health on the most important day of the year for you, your friends, and your loved ones? 

Differences Between Preliminary and Final Radiology Interpretations  

A radiology report interprets images into words. The requesting physician who requests the radiology reports recommends treatment to their patient based on the findings a radiologist provides in these reports. A patient’s understanding of preliminary or final radiology interpretations is critical in treatment decisions.

An on-call radiology resident or technician may be issuing the preliminary radiology report at a hospital emergency room or an urgent care facility. A physician may need to act on the findings of this initial report before a final interpretation by the radiological physician overseeing the resident or technician.

Studies have shown a minimal discrepancy rate when physicians review the preliminary report with the final findings. A few factors, like the imaging technique and the technician’s experience level, account for most modifications in the final reports.

Why Have Preliminary Radiology Interpretation?

Hospital funding in rural areas and 24-hour urgent care facilities cannot always afford an on-staff radiology physician, and they rely on teleradiology interpretations. However, if a patient in pain arrives at the facility, the physician needs immediate information on how to proceed with the patient’s treatment.

 

preliminary reading
A radiologist examines an x-ray

An example may be if the patient complains about severe abdominal pain. The physician must rely on the technician’s preliminary report defining acute appendicitis and perform emergency surgery. Another example may be a possible stroke victim brought into the facility. The physician cannot wait for a final report to make a life-saving decision with the patients.

Radiologist Physician Expertise for a Final Report

Few people understand the extensive education and dedication a Radiologist Physician undergoes during their career. They graduate from medical school, complete their internships and residency requirements, and interpret thousands of exams under supervision. These are just a few of the provisions of licensing.

The extensive requirements of completing a radiologist physician program limit the number of physicians available for final radiology interpretations.

With the advancement of technology in the field, teleradiology has broadened the possibility of more accessible and punctual final reads from radiologists. In most cases, it can make the need for preliminary reporting almost obsolete.

Besides an emergency, another exception may be for very complicated cases where second reads of the imagery may be pertinent to a diagnosis or treatment plan. In these cases, it is most beneficial to have a preliminary report, a second read, then a final report issued before making any decisions.

The primary goal of physicians is to make a difference in the lives of their patients, and they can do this by having timely, accurate, and well-defined information. Continuing improvement of the technical aspects of the radiology field will allow the radiologist to expeditiously provide final radiology interpretations and assist in improving patient management.

 

final interpretation
Teleradiology offers hospitals and healthcare facilities an efficient way of completing interpretations

US Board Certified Teleradiologists from Vesta

At Vesta Teleradiology, our US Board Certified Radiologists can assist your facility with both preliminary and final interpretations, including subspecialty solutions like: nuclear medicine, body imaging, gastrointestinal/genitourinary diagnoses, cardiac angiography and thoracic radiology.

 

Bone Health with BMD and DEXA Scans

Bone density is the ratio of skeletal weight (mass) to the volume or area of the bones. The heavier the bones, the stronger they will be. It affects physical activity levels, menopause, nerve signals, and more. A bone mineral density (BMD) scan compares your bone mass to an established norm and produces a score unique to you. This is different than a bone scan that looks for infections or cancer, or the presence of a fracture. A BMD scan helps determine the presence of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and the probability of future falls and fractures. A BMD score, combined with personal and family medical history, can help doctors get a complete picture of bone health.

 

bone density x-ray
bone scan

 

The types of diagnostic imaging used to measure bone density have included ultrasonography, CT and MRI images, and central dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) tests. In 1988, the dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use. Since then, DEXA has become the gold standard for measuring bone mineral density. Its scan of the large bones at the lumbar spine and hips is most used. Shorter scan times and minimal radiation exposure makes it safe. DEXA transmits photons at two energy levels for soft tissue and cortical bone and aids in the diagnosing of osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fracture risk assessment. It is inexpensive and the most accurate imaging modality for assessing bone mass density and health.

Doctors and radiologists use the BMD score to comprise a T-score or Z-score, which is a comparison to a reference group on a standard deviation scale. T-scores are given to adults and are determined by comparison to a young gender-matched group with peak bone mass. Z-scores are given to children and are determined by comparison to an age-matched group. These scores are used in risk fracture assessment, low bone mass or osteoporosis diagnosis, patient criteria for clinical trials, and management guidelines for osteoporosis. It is crucial that BMD measurements are correct, as well as differences in T-score and Z-score population groups. Accurate documentation is necessary for dependable results. Any variation used in this process can affect the actual T-score and Z-score. Improvements in calculation methods are currently ongoing.

Maintaining strong bones is essential. Daily calcium, vitamin D supplements, and weight-bearing exercises can help slow bone loss. In addition, patients should have their BMD checked regularly. Patients should also be counseled on safety measures like fall prevention.

patient and doctor
Doctors should counsel their patients on bone health

Top Teleradiology Company: Vesta

At Vesta Teleradiology, our U.S. Board Certified Radiologists are able to read and interpret DEXA scans. If you need supporting staff to cover nights, weekends and holidays, please reach out to us today: 1-877-55-VESTA.

Benefits of Mobile Imaging for Outpatient Healthcare

Most of the healthcare provided by physicians involves some method of imaging. In the past, technicians have performed diagnostic services in the imaging departments of hospitals. Today, imaging services are brought to the patient with the help of mobile imaging.

 

Since there is such a high demand for x-rays, ultrasounds, MRI, CT scans, and EKGs, in-house hospital departments tend to be overwhelmed, and patients can have long wait times in crowded waiting rooms. Even getting an appointment for the imaging service can take a long time which delays treatment for the patient’s care.

 

With the emergence of mobile imaging, patients have more accessible, more efficient access to imaging services. With faster access to the patient, healthcare professionals can diagnose their patients more quickly and begin necessary treatments.

mobile radiology for assisted living

Senior Population and Imaging

The best example of the benefits of mobile imaging is with the senior population–many of whom reside in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Persons over the age of 65 are a fragile population who need imaging services frequently.

The older age group has an increased fall rate, a higher rate of pneumonia and cancers, and compromised immune systems.  They need prompt diagnoses, but transportation to receive medical care is complicated.

The benefits are vast when mobile imaging can accommodate this population’s needs:

  • Overall, costs are reduced for the service because the facility doesn’t need to transport the patient to a hospital imaging department.
  • Understaffed facilities don’t need to assign an employee to accompany the patient for diagnostic imaging in a hospital.
  • There are fewer transfers between facility and hospital.
  • Mobile imaging services reduce anxiety in the elderly because transporting and waiting for imaging services accentuates fear in the undiagnosed.
  • There is a reduced need for hospitalizations and outpatient treatments of the patients because the assisted living facilities and nursing homes can provide prescribed care.
  • Mobile imaging can provide needed diagnostic information to the patient’s attending physician faster than an imaging department can, which expedites a treatment plan for the patient.
  • The patient can remain in familiar surroundings (and with people they know) while receiving diagnostic imaging services. This benefit is significant when the patient has difficulty understanding or processing information.

When people of any age are hurting, fearful, anxious, or lack understanding, their comfort is the most crucial factor in beneficial treatments. Mobile imaging comes to the patient and provides fast, efficient, accessible, and cost-effective diagnostics for the most fragile patients.

 Working with a Teleradiology Company

With Vesta Teleradiology, we work with mobile imaging centers and any health facility that provides this technology to their patients. We work with your workflow and integrate to your technology so sending and receiving scans is a breeze. Learn more about how we can help you now: call us at 1-877-55-VESTA.

teleradiology services

How AI is Making an Impact on Radiology and Imaging

The fields of science and medicine are always progressing. This progression intends to help both patients and providers.

Today, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming common as a way to diagnose patients. It provides a more efficient way to collect and store information. The software can even analyze imaging to a high level of accuracy. This helps providers catch a problem that they may have missed before.

AI is a field that is advancing quickly. What progress have we seen in the past couple of years? What programs have we begun to put in place?

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence refers to highly advanced computers or computer-controlled robots. These computers are capable of performing incredibly complex tasks. Before, we thought these tasks could only be done by intelligent beings.

AI in imaging

These computers are often associated with human characteristics. They seem to be able to reason and learn from past experiences.

How Is Artificial Intelligence Used For Diagnostic Imaging & Radiation?

Using AI in radiology and imaging has been gaining traction in the medical world. We use it largely to store and analyze data, helping physicians to make a prognosis. AI can store and analyze all a patient’s records. It can then make a diagnosis based on those records. The analysis is often far more accurate than what a human counterpart can do.

The use of AI is also helpful because of its storage capability. AI can have large imaging biobanks to hold more images than standard computers.

It also makes the lives of physicians easier by filtering patients by need. It can recommend appropriate diagnostic imaging based on the patient’s current records. It can also sort patients by priority in the case of an emergency.

What Advancements Have Been Made?

AI means to eliminate problems associated with human limitations. Traditional imaging takes a team of technicians. They must take the imaging as well as interpret it. This can be time-consuming. Plus, AI is able to analyze images with far greater accuracy than the human eye.

Radiomics

Radiomics is a tool that performs a deep analysis of tumors down to the molecular level. AI can perform radiomics with far better accuracy than the human eye or brain.

AI can analyze a specific region and extract over 400 elements. It then takes these features and correlates them with other data to form a diagnosis. The AI can analyze features from radiographs, CT, MRI, or PET studies.

Rapid Brain-Imaging AI Software

Hyperfine is the manufacturer of portable MRI machines. They are now creating these machines with new AI intelligence software. They believe that this new software will be able to perform brain scans in under 3 minutes.

AI-Generated Drugs

In 2020, an AI-created drug went to human clinical trials. The drug intends to treat OCD, and was designed entirely by AI. Exscientia is the manufacturer of the drug. They say that it normally takes about 4.5 years to get a new drug to this stage of testing. With AI generation, the drug got to the human clinical trial stage in under 12 months.

Making A Diagnosis

We stated earlier that AI is being used as a way to more efficiently diagnose patients. Still, relying entirely on AI to do this can complicate things and may be unwise.

So, the researchers of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab worked to combat this. They created a machine learning system that analyzes the data and decides whether to diagnose.

If it “feels” it’s unable to make an accurate prediction, it will defer to a medical professional. It even considers whether to defer to an expert based on who in the medical team is available. It will consider each team member’s availability, level of experience, and specialty.

Conclusion  

AI in diagnostic imaging shows promise to truly advance quality of care for patients. We are excited to see more advancements in this arena. In the meantime, we don’t believe any machine can currently replace a trained human eye when it comes to interpretations. At Vesta, we provide US Board Certified radiologists who work to provide accurate preliminary and final interpretations. Learn how we can support your radiology department– contact us today. 

Are X-Rays Safe?

Over 125 years ago, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen made a monumental discovery that changed medical practices forever. He was the first man to see the results of using radiological rays as a non-invasive way to investigate inside a human being’s body.

With the help of Röntgen’s discovery of what is today commonly known as X-rays, medical science has been able to advance at an accelerated rate. In the modern world, just about every person has experienced having an X-ray in one form or another.

X-ray technologies have advanced at a staggering rate in the past 125 years, and so has their uses. Professionals depend on X-rays in dental offices, doctor’s offices, chiropractic offices, hospitals, urgent care, and other medical service facilities.

With the medical community using X-rays so frequently, the public must understand the types of radiation we encounter and the risks involved with radiation exposure.

The air we breathe, soil and water, rocks, and plant life all have radiation. Radon is natural radiation found in soil and can be potentially harmful to humans. Cosmic radiation (which includes X-rays) constantly penetrates the earth’s atmosphere and is all around us. Cosmic radiation is unavoidable but is at low levels.

We have no choice but to live with the natural and cosmic radiation exposure, but X-rays are a choice we need to evaluate.

When professionals take a diagnostic X-ray, the image reflects on the X-ray negative plate depending on how much radiation is absorbed. The reason bones appear white on the negatives is because bones have a high calcium content that absorbs the radiation.

 

x-ray

 

With all X-rays, ionizing radiation is used, potentially harming living tissue. Radiography is the most commonly used X-ray imaging and uses the smallest amount of radiation. Professionals use radiography to image bones, teeth, and chest X-rays.

Fluoroscopy also uses a small amount of radiation, but more than radiography. Professionals use fluoroscopy with barium drinks to watch how the body acts and reacts during digestion.

Computed Tomography, or CT, uses the highest amount of radiation. The higher radiation is because, during one procedure, the CT mechanism takes multiple X-rays.

If used appropriately by a professional, the benefits of having X-rays taken far outweigh any risk of radiation exposure. Using X-rays, medical staff can detect cancerous tumors, infections, and damaged blood vessels. The risk of developing cancer from the ionizing radiation of X-rays is small.

Even with the low risk of cancer from X-rays, patients receiving medical treatment involving radiation should ask questions and communicate their medical history to their provider. Also, when providers recommend X-rays for children, ask the technician to double-check that the X-ray machinery has been adjusted for a child. Risks are more significant for children than for adults.

Even though studies show the low dose of radiation from X-rays–when used appropriately—does not cause health problems, X-ray technology is improving every day. Researchers are discovering ways to reduce radiation dosage, improve imaging, and create better materials and methods of imaging.

Vesta Radiologists

We work with healthcare offices that provide x-rays as a diagnostic tool. We help them interpret their findings so they can continue to service their patients in a timely manner. Look to Vesta’s US Board Certified Radiologists to help take on any workload you need taken care of, nights, days and even weekends.

Are you Hiring Healthcare Staff The Right Way?

If you work in healthcare, there’s a good chance you’re currently hiring. The industry has been struggling with a labor shortage for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic caused the number of job openings to climb even more.

 

healthcare staffing

Across the country, hospitals and healthcare clinics are desperate for employees, and they are recruiting as hard as they can. But are you recruiting the right way? Here are a few tips to help you attract quality candidates.

Background Checks are Essential

 

Anyone working in healthcare knows that it is vital to conduct a thorough background check on all candidates during the hiring process. Checking up on a candidate’s criminal record, medical licenses, and other data is necessary to keep your patients safe and protect you from massive fines for non-compliance.

However, background checks can also help you select the quality hires that are more likely to stay with your organization — something that’s particularly important in healthcare, an industry with a 19.1% turnover rate. Thorough background checks can help you weed out unreliable candidates and ensure that you hire only the best.

 

Assess Soft Skills

Obviously, you want your ideal candidate to have the credentials and experience required to fulfill the position you’re hiring. But have you considered the candidate’s soft skills?

 

Qualities like empathy, teamwork, and communication skills are becoming increasingly important in the healthcare industry. As healthcare becomes more of a consumer-driven market, patients expect medical professionals to be both courteous and qualified. Make sure you seek out prospective employees with both hard and soft skills.

 

hiring a radiologist

Stay Competitive

The healthcare industry is on the brink of a significant period of job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that healthcare occupations will grow 16 percent from 2020 to 2030, which amounts to about 2.6 million new jobs.

 

With so many vacancies in the field, medical professionals like doctors, nurses, phlebotomists, and radiologists will have their pick of clinics. If you want them to pick you, it’s important to remain competitive.

 

Keep your eye on the industry to ensure your recruiting efforts measure up to other healthcare facilities. Make sure your salary offerings, benefits, and opportunities for work-life balance are comparable to other facilities in your area.

 

If you follow these tips, you’ll be much more likely to attract top talent — and that will lead to significant benefits for your clinic, you, and your patients.

Hiring Radiologists

When it comes to hiring for your radiology department, you might feel like this is the most daunting task. Luckily, teleradiology companies like Vesta offer US Board Certified radiologists who can remotely perform both preliminary and final interpretations for your PET, MRI, MSK, PIP and worker’s comp scans. To learn more, please contact Vesta at 877-558-3782.

Recent Developments in Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has partially crippled the world as we once knew it. Everyone has experienced taking precautions, isolating, vaccinations, and boosters for over two years. Are we making progress?

The contagious virus SARS-CoV-2, also named Covid-19, has been responsible for over 970,000 deaths in the United States alone. New variants have emerged from the virus, but there appear to be fewer cases overall.

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have been the leading pharmaceutical companies providing preventative vaccinations and vaccine boosters, and Johnson & Johnson has also joined the team for preventive immunizations.

The immunizations and boosters administered have been very effective even though there have been breakthroughs of covid-positive cases. The hospitalization of those patients who tested positive for Covid-19 reduced drastically for the fully vaccinated adults.

This year, both Pfizer and Moderna have requested authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an additional booster to their immunization. The requests were based on the success of the second booster in other countries. The goal is to offer maximum protection to high-risk patients–including adults over the age of 65 and adults with immune-suppressive medical conditions.

The best way anyone can reduce their risk of getting the disease is by getting Covid-19 vaccinations and all the boosters available. The Center for Disease Control’s consistent message to stay healthy continues to be to wear masks in highly populated indoor locations, keep at least 6 feet from others, avoid heavy crowds, and wash our hands.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) still requires face masks on public transportation like buses, planes, and trains. Because of our advancements in the Covid-19 battle, many state legislations have lifted the face mask requirements for restaurants and shopping.

 

2022 covid news

 

Covid testing kits are available from the federal government. Any household in the United States can order up to four rapid tests from www.covidtests.gov or by calling 1-800-232-0233. Medicare beneficiaries can receive up to eight free at-home Covid-19 tests per month in 2022.

In February 2022, the FDA approved a new monoclonal antibody treatment that has shown positive results during treatment against the omicron variant and the omicron sub-variant of Covid-19. This treatment is called Bebtelovimab and is for both adults and children at high risk for severe illness from the Covid-19 variants.

Clinics and Long-Term Care Facilities

Beginning in March 2022, pharmacy-based clinics and long-term care facilities will be able to provide an anti-viral pill for positive-tested individuals. The CDC expects this new “Test to Treat” program to provide immediate help to individuals at high risk and who live in the communities with the most cases.

Even taking all the precautions, some people will come down with Covid-19. There have been various symptoms reported, and these symptoms usually appear within two to fourteen days after exposure. Some of the signs to look out for are:

  • Fever or chills
  • Consistent cough
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Body aches and pains
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If anyone who tests positive with Covid-19 exposes you or if you test positive, CDC advises you to quarantine for at least five days and wear a mask for at least ten days.

 

covid symptoms

Most patients who test positive with Covid-19 recover at home with rest and plenty of fluids. It is wise for a Covid-positive patient to seek medical or emergency help if they become confused or disoriented, have pale or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, cannot stay awake, or have pain or pressure in the chest.

Hospitals and research centers are paying attention to the long-term effects of Covid-19. From statistics provided to the CDC, approximately one-third of the Covid-19 patients have lasting symptoms. The CDC recommends seeking medical advice for treatment.

Prevention is key to getting through this challenging time of Covid-19 infections. Taking extra precautions while traveling and visiting others can help each individual and help those who are high-risk stay free from the disease.

We are making progress on overcoming Covid-19. We will save more lives in the battle if we continue practicing preventive measures and stay educated about the most recent findings.