April 3, 2020

Mayo Clinic in the News Weekly Highlights for April 3, 2020

By Emily Blahnik

CBS News, Mayo Clinic CEO says group working to predict potential coronavirus hotspots — Dr. Gianrico Farrugia admitted that there is "no direct end in sight" for fight against COVID-19. Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin, Med City Beat

ABC News, Chloroquine: Coronavirus savior or the Wild West of medicine? by Dr. Delaram J. Taghipour — Dr. Michael J. Ackerman, Mayo Clinic genetic cardiologist and director of the Mayo Clinic Windland Smith Rice Comprehensive Sudden Cardiac Death Program explains that one of his colleagues described the consequences of using medications “off-label” for COVID-19 as "friendly fire." They throw everything at it and hope the benefits outweigh the risks. However, Ackerman explains that it may have led to the Wild West, where “drugs are being used without proven therapeutic efficacy- based on hope and promise.” He says he does believe they may work, but emphasizes the need for “rational, careful, prudent guidance.”

ABC News, COVID-19 has been compared to the flu. Experts say that's wrong. by Dr. Vinayak Kumar — …"This disease seems to respond to social distancing, and so we can help reduce the number of people dying of COVID-19," said Dr. Pritish Tosh, medical director for Emergency Management at the Mayo Clinic. "This is not overhyping. These rather unprecedented social maneuvers are likely to help to keep otherwise vulnerable people from getting sick and dying." More pronounced symptoms tied to COVID-19 probably would have slowed its spread.

ABC News, Can recovered coronavirus patients help combat the disease? by Dr. Mark Abdelmalek, Christina Ng and Lucien Bruggeman — “We believe it can be disease-modifying and reduce duration and severity in some patients,” said Dr. Michael Joyner, a physiologist and anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, one of the institutions mobilizing to start this.

ABC News, NBA players who've beaten COVID-19 to donate blood for new treatment by Dr. Mark Abdelmalek and Lucien Bruggeman — At least four NBA players who have recovered from COVID-19 plan to donate blood for an experimental treatment that could help high-risk patients overcome the virus, according to Dr. Michael Joyner, a member of the leadership team of the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project. The experimental therapy, called convalescent plasma, utilizes the antibodies in blood donated from recovered patients to potentially curb the virus in the sickest patients. Joyner, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic, said Tuesday that his team will work with players to find donation sites. Additional coverage: ESPN, Newsweek, FOX 10 Phoenix

NBC News, Coronavirus medication shortages will be felt by patients with COVID-19 — and some without by Esther Choo and Vincent Rajkumar — There has been a lot of news about the shortage of testing and personal protective equipment, for good reason. But we are already in the midst of another massive and devastating shortage: medications of all kinds that are critical in the COVID-19 response. As with every other health care resource encountered thus far in this crisis, we are approaching or exceeding capacity in terms of our vital medicine supply. Ordinary supply chains, mechanisms and administrative processes will not be adequate to respond. — Vincent Rajkumar, M.D., is the Edward W. And Betty Knight Scripps Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic.

NBC News, Do you need a mask? The science hasn't changed, but public guidance might by Erika Edwards — On the one hand, experts say people who cover their faces may be more likely to follow other health guidance, such as proper hand washing, social distancing and disinfecting surfaces. What's more, a mask "is a visible, physical memory and behavioral aid to not touch your eyes, nose and mouth without sanitizing or washing your hands," Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious diseases expert and the director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota, said. Additional coverage: WMGT NBC

CNN, Face masks could be part of the answer by Jennifer Lee — It has been suggested by institutions such as the Mayo Clinic that when someone infected with a respiratory viral illness wears a surgical mask it protects others from getting infected because the masks catch the droplets and keep them from reaching other people. But we have also learned that individuals can be infected with the coronavirus and be contagious even when they have no symptoms.

CNN, Documents show backlog of 160,000 coronavirus tests at just one lab company by Drew Griffin — …The Yale New Haven Health System does its own in-house testing for the sickest patients and critical health care workers, but the rest are sent to outside labs."Initially, we sent out a lot of samples to Quest but their turnaround times were quite delayed recently, sometimes over a week," said Steven Choi, the health system's chief quality officer. "We're now transitioning to the Mayo Clinic Labs for our outpatient specimen testing."

CNN, Singing orthopedic surgeon featured on iHeart 'Living Room Concert for America' by Amir Vera — There was a cameo from a singing orthopedic surgeon Sunday as millions watched "The iHeart Living Room Concert for America" on Fox. The man in scrubs performing John Lennon's "Imagine" was Dr. Elvis Francois, a resident at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, accompanied by Dr. William Robinson on the piano.  Additional coverage: HuffPost, Washington Post, Daily Mail, MPR News, KAAL, Star Tribune, FOX News, Becker’s Spine Review, Parade, Tuko Kenya

Today, Watch singing surgeon Dr. Elvis Francois perform 'Lean on Me' live on TODAY by Scott Stump — If anyone needs a dose of the healing power of music during the coronavirus outbreak, just page Dr. Elvis. Dr. Elvis Francois sang a rousing rendition of "Lean on Me" on TODAY Thursday, giving people a sample of the beautiful voice the surgeon has been sharing to lift spirits during a difficult time across the country. Francois, who is finishing his five-year residency as an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, has been sharing videos of his songs on Facebook for the past two years. Additional coverage: NBC New York, NBC Chicago

USA Today, Why are airlines still flying in and out of US coronavirus hot spots and will they continue? by Dawn Gilbertson and Bart Jansen — Infectious disease expert Greg Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group, understands the need for essential travel, even during a pandemic. A neighbor had to fly to Massachusetts last week for experimental chemotherapy treatment, and a relative who is a nurse is due to fly to New York this week to help out. "People have to go to the grocery store ... and there's some that have to fly,'' he said. "We're not shutting down Walmart or grocery stores or things like that, but we are putting what I call contextually appropriate layers of protection.'' Additional coverage: Arizona Republic

USA Today, The first US coronavirus patients are being treated with convalescent plasma therapy. Will it work? Not even the doctors know. by Elizabeth Weise and Mark Johnson — No one is anticipating the treatment will have a "Lazarus-like effect on the really ill," cautioned Michael Joyner, who has been working to set up trials at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he is a professor of anesthesiology. "What's more likely is that the slope of the patient's decline will gradually slow and that they can be weaned off of ventilation," he said.

Wall Street Journal, Coronavirus Survivors Keep Up the Fight, Donate Blood Plasma to Others by Amy Dockser Marcus — At the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., a dedicated email address for volunteers is curated every day to find not only who qualifies but also whether they live locally and can drive to the clinic…Michael Joyner, a professor at the Mayo Clinic and another project organizer, said the consortium has nightly calls to try to smooth out logistics. “If this were a normal time, it would be like falling off a log, but it is not a normal time,” Dr. Joyner said.

Washington Post, Worried the coronavirus came home with you? Tips for cleaning your gear post-trip. by Andrea Sachs — Greg Poland, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said that to contract the virus from your luggage, you would need a very specific series of events to occur. “You’d literally have to have someone sneeze all over it, get mucus on it and then, within minutes to a few hours, you would have to touch your bag and then your face,” he said.

Washington Post, The Timberwolves prepared for an outbreak but are still left coping with fear and doubt by Ben Golliver — Coach Ryan Saunders leads what team employees like to call “the fittest coaching staff in the league,” and the organization shares a close relationship with the Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic…They offered their downtown Minneapolis practice facility, with its built-in access to medical testing facilities, to the state to use during the pandemic, and all-star center Karl-Anthony Towns donated $100,000 to the Mayo Clinic to aid testing efforts.

Washington Post, Trump keeps touting an unproven coronavirus treatment. It’s now being tested on thousands in New York. by Christopher Rowland, Jon Swaine and Josh Dawsey — The Mayo Clinic issued a warning Wednesday that doctors need to determine which patients are at risk of potentially fatal arrhythmia before they prescribe the drugs. “Correctly identifying which patients are most susceptible to this unwanted, tragic side effect and knowing how to safely use these medications is important in neutralizing this threat,” said Michael J. Ackerman, a Mayo Clinic genetic cardiologist. The drugs also can cause permanent eye damage called retinopathy that can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Washington Post, FDA authorizes widespread use of unproven drugs to treat coronavirus, saying possible benefit by Christopher Rowland — "The concern really is if we’re talking millions of patients, then this issue of drug induced sudden cardiac death is absolutely going to rear its ugly head,’’ said Dr. Michael Ackerman, a pediatric cardiologist and outweighs risk professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science.

Los Angeles Times, Doctors and experts warn of the risks of using malaria drugs to treat COVID-19 by Melissa Healy — With potentially millions of patients taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine, the unexpected appearance of these side effects in even a small percentage of them could spell disaster, said Dr. Michael J. Ackerman, a geneticist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., who co-authored the new report.

New York Times, U.S. Companies, Labs Rush to Produce Blood Test for Coronavirus Immunity — Meantime, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, researchers are preparing to start a clinical trial in which patients who test positive for COVID-19 would have their blood collected at the time of diagnosis, and again 15 to 20 days after that in the patient’s home. The trial is designed to show when people who have COVID-19 infections “seroconvert” - when antibodies produced by the body begin to show up in blood tests. That information will be useful in determining the best time to conduct the tests. “You don't want to do it too soon because of the risk of false negatives,” said Elitza Theel, director of Mayo’s Infectious Diseases Serology Laboratory.

STAT, STAT’s guide to how hospitals are using AI to fight Covid-19 by Casey Ross — Mayo Clinic and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are working with Eko, the maker of a digital stethoscope and mobile EKG technology whose products can flag dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities and symptoms of Covid-19. Mayo is also teaming up with another mobile EKG company, AliveCor, to identify patients at risk of a potentially deadly heart problem associated with the use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug being evaluated for use in Covid-19.

NPR, Just Keep Moving. And Sometimes, Double Your Distance by Tom Goldman — It can be as simple as a yoga mat and a laptop or phone. Or even simpler. "Two words: jump rope," says Mayo Clinic exercise physiologist Dr. Michael Joyner.

The Atlantic, America Needs Plasma From COVID-19 Survivors Now by Sarah Zhang — Michael J. Joyner, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic, likened this phase to the “craft brewing” of convalescent-plasma therapy. It’s available at only a few academic centers, and doctors are reliant on personal connections to recruit donors. Getting to the “national-brewery model,” he says, requires involving bigger players. The FDA could help identify donors, and a network of national blood banks could send COVID-19 plasma to hospitals in small cities and towns.

The Guardian, What happens to spread of virus if Trump loosens restrictions too soon? by Danielle Renwick — Would it be possible to ‘reopen’ the country in two weeks’ time?...Dr Greogry Poland: We won’t reopen in April. The number of new cases we’re seeing now in the United States is increasing by almost 50% every day. We are on the steepest part of the curve right now. What we’re seeing is a reflection of transmission two to four weeks ago, which means whatever you’re seeing now, it will be significantly higher and worse in a few weeks.

Post-Bulletin, I'm a smoker ... And along comes a pandemic by Matthew Stolle — It's never been a great time to be a smoker. Now in the midst of a pandemic, it just got riskier for smokers.  Yet smoking is a coping mechanism for many, and pandemics are nothing if not stressful. Dr. J. Taylor Hays, director of the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center, talked with the PB about the heightened risks smokers face and why now might be the time to quit. Additional coverage: KARE 11, WSIL, WIZM-Radio, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, KAAL, KIMT

Post-Bulletin, Mayo warns drug touted by Trump as COVID-19 cure will "claim lives" by Paul John Scott — Concerned that the sudden interest in their use for coronavirus could cause fatal heart arrhythmias in a small percentage of what could become millions of users, Mayo Clinic on Wednesday, March 25, issued urgent guidance advising cardiac screening of all who take hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, malaria drugs touted by President Donald Trump and others as effective for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. "We thought it was critical to make people aware how to navigate through and around the sudden cardiac drug risk that does exist with these medications," said Mayo Clinic professor of cardiovascular medicine Dr. Michael Ackerman, "and that's why Mayo Clinic urgently assembled this special article."

Post-Bulletin, Mayo shifts into overdrive: 24 hours a day, 4,000 tests and climbing by Matthew Stolle —Testing has been one of the Achilles' heels of the U.S. response to COVID-19. With not enough testing kits, it's been impossible for public health officials to adequately identify and track the scope of the virus across the U.S. But Mayo Clinic has been a bright spot in this fight with its ability to ramp up testing capacity. That was illustrated recently when the clinic helped the Minnesota Department of Health eliminate a backlog of 800 specimens.  The PB talked to Dr. Bobbi Pritt, a testing expert and a director in Mayo's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, about the challenges that lie ahead. Additional coverage: Med City Beat

Post-Bulletin, WATCH: COVID-19 questions answered by a Mayo Clinic expert — Dr. Gregory Poland is interviewed.

Post-Bulletin, Mayo Clinic pharmaceutical partner in China is ramping back up by Jeff Kiger — A Chinese pharmaceutical firm, which has a joint venture with Mayo Clinic and a lab in the One Discovery Square complex, reported revenues of $1.8 billion for 2019 and is now ramping back up as the COVID-19 pandemic slows in China. WuXi AppTec, China's largest pharmaceutical contract research organization, announced that 96 percent of its employees had returned to work at its various sites by March, according to an article in "Chemical & Engineering News."  That percentage includes workers returning to a research center based in Wuhan, where the COVID-19 pandemic began. In a press release, WuXi CEO Ge Li estimated that the pandemic will only delay the company's projects by about two to three weeks.

Post-Bulletin, Mayo expert: 'The landscape of medicine will change as a result of the pandemic' by Matthew Stolle — The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a surge in demand for telemedicine, experts say, as patients stay at home under shelter-in-place  orders and consult with doctors and nurses remotely. And many of these changes will remain, even when the pandemic ends, said Dr. Steve Ommen, associate dean of the Mayo Clinic Center for Connected Care, who talked with the PB about the new world of medicine being created.

Post-Bulletin, Rural county on Minnesota's southern border a coronavirus 'hot spot' by Paul John Scott — Martin County on the state's southern border has more than its share of coronavirus cases…Another possibility lies in the fact that, since March 16, Mayo Clinic Health System has operated a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in Fairmont, potentially increasing the number of persons being tested for an illness widely considered to be underdiagnosed statewide. Mayo Clinic Health System did not provide numbers of how many tests it is conducting daily in Fairmont. Additional coverage: Pioneer Press, Duluth News Tribune

Post-Bulletin, Mayo Clinic's chemotherapy treatments are still happening by Jeff Kiger — Just a quick announcement from Mayo Clinic that chemotherapy treatments are still happening. Here's a note from Mayo Clinic Media Relations representative Joe Dangor…Additional coverage: KAAL, KTTC

Post-Bulletin, First responders still working by Emily Cutts — Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service medical director Dr. Anuradha Luke and crew supervisor Kate Arms said it won’t just be dispatchers who ask those questions either. When first responders show up on scene, each are likely to ask the same set of questions as well. “We are going to double and triple check that we've covered all of our bases to keep the community safe as well as ourselves,” Arms said.

Med City Beat, Pandemic prompts pivot toward telemedicine — For Dr. Adam Anderson, the Mayo Clinic Health System psychology lead for the Southwest Minnesota region, the outbreak of Covid-19 has “dramatically” changed his practice, and he’s glad to see the shift toward telehealth.  “There’s been emerging evidence over time suggesting the equivalence of telehealth and face-to-face therapy,” Anderson said, adding, “when the science tells us something is good or helpful, it’s not always quick that you see a switch in practice.”

KAAL, Mayo Clinic urges caution for health care providers prescribing 'off-label' meds for COVID-19 by Brandi Powell — "Off-label" is a term that's becoming more and more common, so 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked Mayo Clinic Genetic Cardiologist Dr. Michael Ackerman what that really means. "Yes, it's a popular expression," Ackerman said. "... Off-label is when we have an FDA approved medication like hydroxychloroquine, which we are all hearing about, where that drug is an FDA-approved drug for malaria, it's an FDA-approved drug for lupus. It is off-label for COVID-19."

KAAL, Mayo Clinic reporting COVID-19 results to MDH — Mayo Clinic researchers have developed its own testing and uses its own labs to get results in southeast Minnesota. Areas throughout the state test through community health or other medical facilities. Those tests are analyzed in various labs with results given to the Minnesota Department of Health for reporting, including through Mayo Clinic's laboratory.

KAAL, Klobuchar, Rochester community leaders talk COVID-19 response & assistance — Halena M. Gazelka, M.D. Mayo Clinic Medical Director of Public Affairs told Klobuchar that they want to reassure the community that Mayo Clinic is prepared.  Dr. Gazelka said they can currently test more than 5,000 patients and that they are adjusting to the needs of the community as the situation evolves. She also said they're expanding their research data test capability for a vaccine. Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin

KAAL, Parade honors healthcare workers amid pandemic by Miguel Octavio — Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service led a parade of emergency vehicles to honor those on the frontlines amid the COVID-19 outbreak."As a healthcare worker right now, the level of burnout is so high. It's scary, it's overwhelming, we don't know what's coming next," said Kate Arms, assistant supervisor of operations for Mayo Clinic Ambulance. "We're scared for what we're bringing home to our own families." Additional coverage: KROC-Radio, Post-Bulletin

KAAL, VIDEO: Mayo clinic on children and COVID-19 — A Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious disease expert talks about what to do if your child is sick or showing symptoms.

KTTC, Med City experts explain how COVID-19 spreads through our communities by Alex Tejada — It affects everyone differently. The exact reason remains unknown but based on the severe cases so far, experts believe it could be tied to one's immune system. "There's a spectrum that this virus can cause, ranging from no symptoms at all to pneumonia, multi-organ dysfunction and unfortunately, death," said Dr. Nipunie Rajapackse, Mayo Clinic public health and pediatric infectious disease expert.

KTTC, COVID-19 Impact: A paramedic speaks about daily struggles and triumphs by Ubah Ali — "If I get sick, who's going to take care of my family?" said Kate Arms with Mayo Clinic Ambulance Assistant Supervisor. "It's overwhelming. It's scary right now. We never experienced anything like this. We never really thought we would see this type of pandemic in our careers."

KTTC, Mayo Clinic offers patients virtual doctor appointments by Sarah Gannon — At Mayo Clinic, like many other health care facilities across the country, most regular appointments are being postponed. However, a growing number of patients are taking advantage of virtual appointments known as telemedicine. "It's really very similar, in many respects, to the visits I have with my patients when they come to see me in my office," said Dr. Steven Ommen, Center of Connected Care Medical Director at Mayo Clinic. Additional coverage: KIMT

KTTC, Community businesses raise more than $500,000 in COVID-19 relief for Rochester-area nonprofits — A group of community businesses have partnered to provide financial support to Rochester-area nonprofits experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rochester Area Foundation, Mayo Clinic and United Way of Olmsted County have partnered to create a fund called "TOGETHER: Greater Rochester Area COVID-19 Community Support Fund." Additional coverage: KIMT

KTTC, Mayo Clinic reducing use of contractors and supplemental staff amid COVID-19 outbreak — Several contractors and supplemental staffers at Mayo Clinic are out of work for the time being. In a statement to KTTC Thursday afternoon, Mayo Clinic says "The temporary elimination of elective surgeries, procedures and outpatient visits in order to protect our patients and health care providers from COVID-19 and conserve essential personal protective equipment will cause significant declines in revenue."

KIMT, No sports can make an impact on the mental health of athletes by Kaleb Gillock — “It’s a huge part of their life. They only have four years to do their sport,” said Dr. Karen Newcomer. “It’s okay to be sad about it, but then figuring out ways to move onward.” Dr. Newcomer is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician at Mayo Clinic. In a conversation with KIMT News 3 Sports Director, Kaleb Gillock, she said she is concerned about athletes who may experience depression from not being able to play sports. She recommends those athletes find a hobby or ways to continue conditioning by throwing a football in the backyard or putting a golf ball around in the house – anything that will help to stimulate their mind.

MPR News, Mayo Clinic expects COVID-19 antibody test to be ready Monday by Tom Crann and Megan Burks — Researchers at Mayo Clinic expect to release a test that would tell whether a person has had and recovered from COVID-19 on Monday. The Star Tribune reports the University of Minnesota is also narrowing in on an antibody test. The tests would help public health officials understand the scope of the outbreak and identify people who could safely be in public to help with relief efforts. They would also help in an effort to treat critical COVID-19 patients with plasma from individuals who have recovered. Elitza Theel is director of the Mayo Clinic lab testing COVID-19 antibody tests. She spoke with MPR News host Tom Crann Wednesday. Additional coverage: WPR

WCCO-Radio, Dr. Gianrico Farrugia by Dave Lee — Dr. Gianrico Farrugia from the Mayo Clinic joins Dave Lee to tell him what role Mayo Clinic is playing infighting the Coronavirus.

WCCO-Radio, A Healing Note by Jearlyn Steele — In a time when doctors and nurses are being championed for their scientific humanity and dedication, Dr. Elvis Francois and Dr. William Robinson are also bringing hope through music.  The Mayo Clinic doctors discuss why they decided to post the now-viral videos. Additional coverage: Z93-Radio

PBS Almanac, Coronavirus: An Almanac Special — Dr. Bobbi Pritt is interviewed.

KARE 11, Surge in telehealth use amid COVID-19 by Heidi Wigdahl — "All of the patients that I've taken care of—and I'm a cardiologist—I've taken care of by video for the past three weeks and that's increasing more and more," said Dr. Steve Ommen, medical director for Mayo Clinic's Center for Connected Care.  The Center for Connected Care is behind Mayo's telehealth operations. While Mayo Clinic has practiced telehealth for a number of years, Dr. Ommen said more practice areas are now using it because of the pandemic.

KARE 11, Managing your mental health amidst COVID-19 by Bryan Piatt — KARE 11's Bryan Piatt talks to Dr. Craig Sawchuk, clinical psychologist at the Mayo Clinic, about what we can do to take care of our minds. Dr. Sawchuk says the top three things he's seeing right now when it comes to mental health are worry, sleep disruption and irritability.

KMSP, Five easy exercises to kick off your home fitness routine — With gyms closed the best place to get in a wonderful workout... is your own home. Wellness physical therapist from the Mayo Clinic Dani Johnson joined the Morning Buzz with five (fabulous) exercises anyone can do from the comfort of their living room.

KMSP, Exercise do's and don'ts amid the COVID-19 pandemic by Alex Lehnert — The sun is out and the fresh air is calling your name - and the names of hundreds of your closest neighbors. Suddenly, nearby trails and paths are packed. So are you at risk exercising outside amid the COVID-19 pandemic? What if someone coughs, or sneezes as you’re running by? “We think it’s less likely because there’s going to be airflow and other things outside, but the virus particles can still stay suspended in the air for a certain period of time, so it depends on how close you are to that person - if you’re side-by-side or face-to-face,” said Dr. Maryam Mahmood, an infectious disease physician at Mayo Clinic.

WCCO, How Do COVID-19 Antibody Tests Work And Why Are They So Important? by Heather Brown — “Having a test gives us a sense of the prevalence in the community,” said Dr. Elitza Theel, director of the Infectious Diseases Lab at the Mayo Clinic. “It helps us determine case fatality rate when you have a true denominator of infected people.” The Mayo Clinic has been evaluating commercially antibody tests. Dr. Theel says the Mayo researchers have settled on one test and expect to be begin using it next week. It won’t be widely available to the general population. Mayo is still in the process of determining how the test would be used.

Star Tribune, University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic ready COVID-19 antibody tests in Minnesota by Jeremy Olson — The University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic are close to unveiling antibody tests that can determine if people have already been infected by the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and are no longer threats to get or spread the infection. State health officials see these tests as a key part of Minnesota’s pandemic response, because they could define the breadth of the outbreak and maybe identify previously infected individuals who could move about in public freely and volunteer in response efforts. Additional coverage: MinnPost

Star Tribune, Minnesota virus sleuths looking for COVID-19’s vulnerabilities by Jeremy Olson — Current scientific knowledge about the coronavirus causing a global COVID-19 pandemic is like a television screen with missing pixels to Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Gregory Poland…“The good news is that it is impossible to get infected with this virus if you don’t breathe it in or introduce it to your body with your hands,” said Poland, director of Mayo’s Vaccine Research Group. “There’s nothing exotic about this virus. It’s just a different virus, so if you take the actual precautions [such as hand washing and covering coughs], there’s no way to get infected.” “Therein lies the hard part,” he said, “because human behavior is irrational.”

Star Tribune, COVID-19 vaccine on fast track by Christopher Snowbeck — The race is on to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus. Researchers in Seattle have launched a study to evaluate whether an experimental vaccine called mRNA-1273 could induce an immune response against COVID-19 in 45 volunteers. The National Institutes of Health is trying to develop the vaccine in 12 to 18 months, a much faster timeline than typical for vaccines, said Dr. Gregory Poland, chief of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Mayo is among the centers launching studies, he said. “I don’t think it’s likely,” he said, “that one vaccine alone is going to meet all the different needs we have.” Additional coverage: KMSP, FOX 10 Phoenix

Star Tribune, Minnesota scientists offer hope on COVID-19 — At Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Dr. Michael Joyner is part of a team nationally that is pursuing a back-to-the-future approach. He is working with an effort spearheaded by a Johns Hopkins University doctor to evaluate a treatment used historically to treat infectious diseases before vaccines. It involves taking antibody-rich plasma from the blood of patients who have survived COVID-19, then infusing it into those who are ill to help their bodies fight off the disease. The approach is known as “convalescent plasma treatment.”

Star Tribune, Worry is a destructive habit in life, business by Harvey Mackay — …Dr. Charles Mayo, one of the co-founders of the Mayo Clinic, said: “Worry affects circulation, the heart and the glands, the whole nervous system, and profoundly affects the heart. I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt.” Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, An exercise guide for busy executives – every little bit counts by Laurie Garrison — Danielle Johnson, a wellness physical therapist at the Healthy Living program at the Mayo Clinic, points to four primary reasons why adults don’t exercise: Time constraints. Priority conflicts. Our personal stories about exercise. Not knowing what to do. “The stories we tell ourselves can impact our ability to enjoy physical activity,” said Johnson.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Destination Medical Center investment hit new record in 2019 by Mark Reilly — The state is also investing hundreds of millions in the project, but the taxpayer contribution is linked heavily to how much private investment takes place. Mayo itself accounted for nearly half of of the private sector total in 2019, with projects including a $48 million overhaul of its St. Marys campus. Finance & Commerce has a wrapup of other big private-sector projects, including The Berkman apartments from Minneapolis-based Alatus and The Maven on Broadway from Titan Development and Opus Group. Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin

Pioneer Press, By sharing family’s coronavirus-caused pain, Karl-Anthony Towns may save others by Jace Frederick — His vulnerability and bravery displayed Wednesday are meant to push mankind’s cause forward. Towns donated $100,000 to Mayo Clinic just 10 days ago to aid in its coronavirus testing efforts. That donation was expected to help increase the clinic’s testing capacity from 200 per day to more than 1,000 per day over time. The Timberwolves center has been on this disease from the early stages. And now it has hit him on a close and personal level.

Pioneer Press, Minnesota is testing more people for coronavirus, but you probably still can’t get one unless you’re really sick by Christopher Magan — “We’ve been ramping up now for several weeks,” said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, a professor of clinical microbiology at the Mayo Clinic. “We saw what was happening worldwide, and we realized we are going to have to act locally and make our own test.”

KEYC Mankato, Research for drug to help COVID-19 patients shows a possibility for cardiac death by Mary Rominger — Though, genetical cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Michael Ackerman published research warning that the drugs, have the “potential to prolong the heart’s QT interval” which increases the patient’s chance for the heart to be pushed over the edge causing risk for sudden cardiac death. “When you do this preemptive warning, you never get to know how many hundreds and potentially thousands of lives will now be saved by enabling people to be more aware, to be aware of the risk, identify those at greatest risk to navigate around it or neutralize the threat,” Ackerman.

KEYC Mankato, COVID-19 Quarantine: A look at stress coping strategies to keep a healthy mindset by Bernadette Heier — As people across the world self-isolate amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayo Clinic licensed Psychologist Dr. Lisa Hardesty stresses the importance of keeping a healthy and positive mindset. “We should focus on what we can control. I know that was an intervention that I even implemented on myself. I drew little circles of what I could control and what I could not. Remind yourself of times you’ve gotten through difficult situations or events and what did I use...what were some of those resources?" said Hardesty.

KEYC Mankato, Mayo Clinic Health System brings video visits to 17 area nursing homes, expanding telemedicine options by Mitch Keegan — “Many of our nursing home patients are the most vulnerable, and they’re in an age group that is associated with higher risks for complications and death from COVID-19,” Susan Laabs, M.D., regional medical director for Senior Services at Mayo Clinic Health System said in a statement. “These patients can’t receive visitors, and they can’t leave the facility for care, so this is a good way for our providers to meet with our patients and provide care exactly where they are.” Additional coverage: Mankato Free Press, KTOE-Radio

Mankato Free Press, A silver lining: Gary Pettis got lucky when he was hit by an SUV by Dan Greenwood — “I could hear his wheels screech a little bit and he accelerated straight into me,” Pettis said. “I discharged from my bike and was in the air a little bit. My glasses flew when I landed on my back. Luckily, the guy who hit me was a stand-up guy because he stopped.”…Urologic Oncology Fellow Dr. Vignesh Packiam, from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, just happened to be working in the emergency department in Mankato that day. Packiam was able to take a closer look at the imaging and discovered the tumor was beginning to invade a vein that eventually led to his heart — meaning they would have to act soon before it spread.

Mankato Free Press, Young people also at risk for COVID-19 by Brian Arola — The age range for Minnesotans who’ve had COVID-19, however, is about as inclusive as it gets. Infants as young as 4 months old and adults as old as 104 have had it. So the disease may be less deadly for young, healthy people, but they still get it and can give it to others. Those factors explain why younger people should be taking social distancing seriously, said Dr. Brian Bartlett, an emergency medicine physician with Mayo Clinic Health System. “Let’s do it for our parents, grandparents and our community,” he said. “This is really a social responsibility for all of us.” Additional coverage: KEYC Mankato

KTOE-Radio, Mayo Offering Drive-Up Anti-Coagulation Clinics by Ashley Hanley — Mayo Clinic Health System is offering drive-up anti-coagulation clinics in Fairmont, Mankato, Montgomery, St. James, St. Peter and Waseca. The drive-up clinics, housed in tents, are being implemented to continue providing anti-coagulation patients with safe and efficient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albert Lea Tribune, Mayo Clinic continues steps in effort against COVID-19 — While numbers locally remain fairly low compared to national averages — 10 in Mower County, none in Freeborn of Faribault counties, five in Dodge County and five in Steele County — Mayo Clinic Health Systems is continuing to take steps to try and stay ahead of the crisis, which promises to see an increase in Minnesota. “I think if we look at international trends in terms of how this proceeds, I’m hoping that with the governor’s order yesterday of having people shelter in place, really adhere to it and stay home we can slow the spread,” said Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Deepi Goyal Thursday morning. “That said, I think we can fully anticipate those numbers to rise.” Additional coverage: Austin Daily Herald

Albert Lea Tribune, Mayo goes blue to signify hope during COVID-19 pandemic — In honor and support of the community and dedicated staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayo Clinic Health System in both Albert Lea and Austin has joined other Mayo Clinic facilities in going “Mayo blue.”  Front entrance areas in both locations were lit up in blue beginning at dusk Friday, in conjunction with the activation of the Minnesota statewide shelter in place order.

Albert Lea Tribune, First responders implement extra safety measures during pandemic by Sarah Stultz — Mayo Clinic Ambulance Medical Director Dr. Anuradha Luke said patients are asked screening questions that assess their risk of the virus, and if they have symptoms of COVID-19, then patients are always masked when emergency crews arrive. Then, based upon the paramedics’ initial assessment or the assessment of a patient obtained by dispatchers over the phone, this determines what level of personal protective equipment EMTs wear during their response to reduce the risk of contracting the virus. Additional coverage: Post-Bulletin

KBJR Duluth, Mayo Clinic ambulance implement COVID-19 protocol by Emma Quinn — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues those out on the frontlines are changing standard procedures to ensure safety. Mayo Clinic Ambulance Services which serves many communities in the Northland has made changes relating to safety precautions to help flatten the curve. “We’re essential co-workers we still have to come to work. We just want to make sure we’re protecting ourselves so we’re not spreading it in the community," says Mayo Clinic Ambulance Operations Supervisor Kate Arms.

Duluth News Tribune, Why do children make up few serious COVID-19 cases? by John Molseed — Preliminary numbers show children account for only about 1.5% of COVID-19 cases in Italy and China — two of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic so far, said Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, Mayo Clinic pediatric infectious disease and public health expert…“Testing has really been mostly limited to people who have been hospitalized or have more severe signs of illness,” she said. “We only test those that are symptomatic.” Additional coverage: Grand Forks Herald, KIMT

St. Peter Herald, Hospitals prepare for pandemic peak, advise residents to heed experts by Philip Weyhe — “Most importantly, and it can’t be overstated, the public plays a crucial role in reducing the impact of a hospital surge,” said Dr. Eric Gomez, an infection disease specialist with Mayo Clinic Health System. “Following the guidance of public health agencies, by practicing social distancing, using proper hand hygiene and staying home, can make a difference.”

WisContext, Wisconsin's Race To Roll Out More COVID-19 Tests, Despite Shortages Of 'Everything' by Kate Archer Kent — Mayo also operates a hospital and satellite clinics in the La Crosse area, along with sites throughout west and northwest Wisconsin. The clinic began developing its own COVID-19 test within a week of a Feb. 4 federal declaration that opened the door to private labs seeking to make an alternative to the test developed and controlled by the CDC. Mayo began developing its test a week later. "We started diligently working at really an unprecedented pace to develop and implement the test," said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, a microbiologist at Mayo who coordinates its laboratory response to disease outbreaks.

La Crosse Tribune, Mayo, Gundersen prepare for COVID-19 hospital surge in La Crosse by Emily Pyrek — Mayo and Gundersen Clinic Health Systems have been preparing for the appearance of COVID-19 in the Coulee Region for weeks. And in the days since the first positive case was reported March 18, efforts have ramped up exponentially, with staff stepping up to help other departments and hospital officials doing everything in their power to keep supplies in stock and beds at the ready. Since the second week of March, Mayo’s Hospital Incident Command System team has been running at full force, with medical officers, security, operations members and more meeting daily to examine hospital policies, implement a labor reserve to repurpose staff and find ways to accommodate patients via telephone and video visits.

La Crosse Tribune, Viterbo donates medical supplies to Mayo in La Crosse — Viterbo University made a donation Thursday of medical supplies to Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare-La Crosse. The donation included: 300 fluid-resistant procedure face masks, 20 N95 face masks, 60 isolation gowns, 170 pairs of laboratory glasses, 7,000 cotton swabs, 13,000 gloves in various sizes.

La Crosse Tribune, Photos: A look at the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in the La Crosse area — Mayo Clinic Health System medical technologist Marcia Metry gives blood after being set up by Mayo phlebotomist Rae Dehnart, left, during an employee blood drive March 19 at Mayo’s La Crosse campus.

La Crosse Tribune, Mayo honors doctors with food pantry donations — In recognition of its physicians on Doctors Day, March 30, Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse donated funds to local charities in honor of its physicians. Additional coverage: WKBT La Crosse

WXOW La Crosse, Mayo Clinic Health System changes hours of operations at all locations by Chip O’Brien — Mayo Clinic Health System has changed its hours of operation due to the state guidelines to ‘stay at home'. In a news release from the Health System, it said, "Mayo Clinic Health System is committed to taking care of patients and staff amid this COVID-19 outbreak. This includes helping patients ‘stay at home’ offering care visits via telemedicine, our Mayo Clinic online portal, telephone, and other methods."

WEAU Eau Claire, The criteria a COVID-19 patient needs to meet to constitute as recovered — While Mayo wants to re-swab for negative results as much as possible, it says test availability will dictate that, although some cases will require it. "The ones that we definitely want to re-swab are the ones that we worry about spreading to others, so healthcare workers are going to be required to have negative swabs before being able to return to work," said Matt Thoendel, a Mayo Infectious Disease physician. Mayo says the recovered cases prove that people can and will get over this disease.

WEAU Eau Claire, Mayo Clinic Health System to us virtual visits by Duncan Goldberg — Mayo Clinic Health System's are doing all they can to stop the spread of COVID-19. If a visit can safely be deferred eight or more weeks without negatively affecting a patient's health, the appointment may be rescheduled or may be converted to a telephone or virtual consult. While Mayo Clinic Health System has postponed elective surgeries, procedures and office visits to ensure the safest possible environment for patients and staff, they still continue to meet with their patients who have acute care needs, such as illnesses, injuries or required monitoring.

RiverTowns.net, Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing designates respiratory clinic area, asks patients to call before coming in — Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing now has a designated space for treating respiratory illness and is asking patients to call ahead before coming to the clinic in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Patients who call in or send a message through Mayo Clinic's online portal will be directed on where to seek in-person care, according to a news release Friday, March 27. Additional coverage: WEAU Eau Claire

Volume One, Staying Safer (and Healthier) at Home by Andrea Paulseth — Volume One talked to Dr. Mollie Meagher, a Family Medicine Resident Physician with Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, about how we can keep ourselves and our families healthy and happy during this unusual, stressful time.

Volume One, Blugold Grad Leads Mayo Team Developing COVID-19 Tests by Judy Berthiaume — Working under pressure takes on a whole new meaning when you’re overseeing a team charged with developing a test to detect the virus that’s causing a worldwide pandemic. Fortunately, a UW-Eau Claire graduate and the Mayo Clinic team she oversees was up to the challenge. Sara Lassila, who earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from UW-Eau Claire in 2005, is a test development supervisor at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Florida Times-Union, Coronavirus: Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville begins testing for its patients by Matt Soergel — Established patients of Mayo Clinic can now get drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at the Jacksonville campus, where a new lab is expected to be able to process more than 1,000 tests a day gathered from Mayo and other regional medical centers. A conference room at Mayo was quickly turned into a laboratory as the novel coronavirus pandemic grew. “In the days and weeks to come, we will be working closely with other health care institutions in the region to assist in processing some of their test samples and significantly increase the overall volume of COVID-19 testing done,” Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo in Florida, said Tuesday morning. Additional coverage: Action News Jax, First Coast News, News4Jax, Jacksonville Business Journal, WOKV-Radio

First Coast News, American Heart Association warns people with high blood pressure or heart disease may be more vulnerable to COVID-19 — Dr. Leslie Cooper, Mayo Clinic, is interviewed.

First Coast News, Friends manufacturing potentially life-saving products for health care workers nationwide by Josslyn Howard — Zitiello’s nonprofit, Champions for Hope, normally funds research for pancreatic cancer. But with this pandemic, they wanted to reach into their pockets to make sure healthcare providers in our area are safe. The organization purchased 10 boxes. “This is really a great way our community can participate in this epidemic,” said Dr. Michael Wallace from Mayo Clinic. “I think we feel a little helpless and wonder what we can do.”

WJCT, Your Coronavirus Questions, Answered Here by Jessica Palombo — Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, at 4500 San Pablo Road S., is offering drive-up testing for its established patients only from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Testing requires prescreening by a Mayo Clinic physician. Mayo Clinic says it can return results within 24 hours and can process more than 1,000 tests per day.

WOKV-Radio, Mayo Clinic expert says we haven’t hit the peak of coronavirus by Rich Jones — We sat down on Tuesday, March 31st with Dr. Greg Poland, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Mayo Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota.  Dr. Poland says our world has changed in a matter of weeks, and the worst is yet to come.

Arizona Republic, University of Arizona's Tucson medical school allows early graduation for COVID-19 fight by Rachel Leingang — As of Thursday, other medical schools with sites in Arizona said they weren't considering early graduation at this time. The Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine said it does not have any plans for early graduation at this point. Creighton University, which has a medical school in Phoenix, said no plans were under consideration at this time.

Arizona Republic, Arizona hospitals looking at churches, hotels, sports fields to get 8K beds ready for coming coronavirus cases by Stephanie Innes and Chris Coppola — We do have some contingency plans in place. We're taking time now to match that up with the timelines and the things the governor is talking about," said Dr. Richard Gray, CEO of the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, speaking within hours of Ducey's order. The Mayo Clinic is in the midst of doubling the size of its Phoenix campus, which includes increasing patient beds by 25%, from 280 to 374, though the timing of the governor's order is much faster than Mayo officials had planned.

Arizona ABC 15, Unproven therapies and misleading COVID-19 claims by Monica Williams — …Back to the ad linking Hydroxychloroquine and COVID-29 with their Artemisinin IV Treatment, Dr. Denise Millstein the Director of Integrative Medicine and Health at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, says drawing a connection between the two can be dangerous. "They do both have some history of investigation to see if they've effective for treating Malaria," said Dr. Millstein, "that is where the similarities end."

Phoenix Business Journal, Valley nurses fearful as hospitals gear up for demand surges as COVID-19 cases rise by Angela Gonzales — Mayo Clinic has set up additional triage areas outside its hospital emergency room to separate patients with respiratory concerns. It also has mobile collection units in its parking lot to test for COVID-19, said James McVeigh, spokesman for Mayo Clinic's Arizona operations. "While this is a rapidly changing situation for hospitals, contingency planning has been underway for some time by Mayo Clinic and other community providers," he said. "Some of the actions we have taken include deferring all elective appointments and procedures, planning for increased capacity, redeploying staff, repurposing equipment and engaging staff in supply conservation measures."

Yahoo!, What is chloroquine and could it cure the coronavirus? by Issam Ahmed — About one percent of people are at high risk of blackouts, seizure or even sudden death from cardiac arrest because of heart rhythm issues they may themselves be unaware of, Michael Ackerman, a genetic cardiologist at Mayo Clinic told AFP. Medical teams must therefore perform electrocardiograms to inform their risk analysis before using these medicines, he said. "All focus is placed on the hope for therapeutic efficacy of these medications, without any reasonable amount of respect, not fear, but respect for what the potential side effects of these very powerful medications are," said Ackerman.

BuzzFeed News, Survivors Of COVID-19 May Hold The Key For Everyone Else — In Their Blood by Stephanie M. Lee and Dan Vergano — “This is your by far fastest shot-on-goal,” Michael Joyner, a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist who is helping lead what’s being called the COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project, told BuzzFeed News. “If we can just keep a small fraction of people headed to the ICU out of the ICU, we’ll be beneficial to the whole ecosystem.”

Quartz, If you’ve recovered from Covid-19, here’s one way you might be able to help others by Tim McDonnell — Michael Joyner, a physiologist at the Mayo Clinic who is helping organize the project, said it’s too soon to know how effective this first round of treatments, which were administered to severely ill patients in the ICU, have been. Data about how many patients were treated and their outcomes should be available later this week. “These patients are pretty sick, so it will take a few days to know,” he said. “For people in the ICU, you wouldn’t expect a Lazarus-like effect.” Additional coverage: Elemental

Wired, Everything you need to know about coronavirus symptoms by Maria Mellor — For those who do have symptoms there is the question of when to seek medical assistance. Gregory Poland, director of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic, an academic medical centre, says that if you have a high fever that won’t go down, are having trouble breathing, or are becoming at risk of getting dehydrated because you can’t eat or drink, you need immediate medical attention. “The issue is not so much having some mild symptoms as there's no treatment anyway,” says Poland. “It is spiralling into a medical situation where supportive care is needed to lessen the severity or save your life.”

Live Science, Coronavirus testing is ramping up. Here are the new tests and how they work. by Stephanie Pappas — These privately developed tests differ slightly from one another. They may home in on different regions of the coronavirus genome, for example. And some are made to work with a specific company's RT-PCR equipment, said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, a pathologist and microbiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. But these technical differences don't change how the tests function.  "They're all detecting the viral genetic material," Pritt told Live Science.

CBS Los Angeles, Maintain Normal Routines, Stay Productive During Coronavirus Isolation — Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a psychologist with the Mayo Clinic, gave Suzanne Marques a few tips on dealing with stress an anxiety during this unprecedented time.

WGN-TV, Mayo Clinic doctor shares ways families can cope during stay-at-home orders — Dr. Jeffrey Staab, a Mayo Clinic psychiatrist, said this is a very stressful time for families. Here are some way families can cope…

US News & World Report, FDA Approves Malaria Drugs to Treat COVID-19, Despite Little Proof They Work by EJ Mundell — One of the biggest side effects involves alterations in the heart's rhythm, said Dr. Michael Ackerman, a pediatric cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The malaria drugs are tied to a prolongation in the QTc -- a measurement of the heart's electrical recharging system. Prolonged QTc can trigger sudden cardiac death. "Correctly identifying which patients are most susceptible to this unwanted, tragic side effect and knowing how to safely use these medications is important in neutralizing this threat," Ackerman said in a Mayo Clinic news release. Additional coverage: Daily Mail, Washington Times

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, UW-Madison will be a clinical trial site for a coronavirus treatment that uses plasma from recovered patients by Mark Johnson — …"They're hoping to take this nationwide sooner rather than later," said Michael J. Joyner, who has been working to set up trials at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he works as a professor of anesthesiology. "Everybody is on the same page."

WKRC Cincinnati,Face masks could raise your risk of catching COVID-19 by Duane Pohlman — In a Mayo Clinic post, Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, who specializes in infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic, states, "People who are wearing masks tend to touch their face more than those who are not, which can paradoxically result in an increased risk of infection."

San Angelo Standard-Times, Quarantined in San Angelo: local woman shares her story amid the COVID-19 outbreak by John Tufts — …"No test is ever perfect," said Erin Graf, co-director of Microbiology at Mayo Clinic Arizona. "Sometimes if the level is too low, we might get a false negative result." The reason samples aren't collected from a person's lower respiratory tract, or lungs, is because doing so is a lot more challenging, according to Graf…"Because the test is so exquisitely sensitive, a small amount of contamination ... could really impact the testing," Graf said.

Native America Calling, Getting facts on coronavirus by Art Hughes — Dr. Gregory Poland is interviewed.

Becker’s Hospital Review, 9 ways hospitals can leverage AI to combat coronavirus by Mackenzie Garrity — 7. Track patients outside the hospital: Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic and Pittsburgh-based UPMC are working with the maker of a digital stethoscope and mobile EKG technology. When patients are sent home, the technology can flag dangerous heart rhythm abnormalities and COVID-19 symptoms.

Fierce Biotech, Mayo Clinic, Amazon, others launch collaboration to increase COVID-19 testing, vaccine development — An industry coalition of health systems, tech giants and healthcare vendors are collaborating to increase COVID-19 testing and coordinate early therapies. The private industry effort, spearhead by Mayo Clinic's John Halamka, M.D. and other industry leaders, plans to leverage the strengths of healthcare organizations, technology companies, non-profits, academia, and startups to provide a focused response to the coronavirus outbreak. "Each coalition member is bringing its unique assets, sharing resources and plans, and working together to support those on the front lines in responding to COVID-19," the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition said in a press release.

Fierce Healthcare, HITAC sets up COVID task force to focus on tech issues impeding frontline clinicians by Heather Landi — Carolyn Petersen, co-chair of the HIT advisory committee and senior editor for the Mayo Clinic’s health information website cautioned that the industry needs to balance public safety and personal privacy. "The things we do today, as far as relaxing regulations on patient consent and notification on when personal health information has been shared, will have long-term implications for patients and the healthcare system," she said.

HealthDay, More Evidence COVID-19 Survivors' Blood Could Help Very Ill Patients by Amy Norton — Use of convalescent serum "is a good idea. It's something that's been used before, and we know how to do it," said Dr. Gregory Poland, who heads the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. That's not to say doctors can just start doing it. "You still have to go through the FDA," Poland said, referring to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

HealthDay, Pain Is a Growing Threat to the Nation's Surgeons, New Research Reveals by Robert Preidt — The Mayo Clinic study was recently published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. It noted that physical injuries can lead to missed work and burnout for surgeons, which affects patients' access to care. "This makes the problem of the surgeon workforce shortage even more severe," Money said. "This will increasingly come into play as our population continues to age." Study senior author Susan Hallbeck said researchers expected to see some neck pain after longer surgeries, but not as much as they found. "And we didn't expect surgeons would be in these extreme angles that long," she added in the release. Hallbeck is a scientific director in Mayo Clinic's Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery in Rochester, Minn. Additional coverage: US News & World Report

TCTMD, UK TAVI: Real-world TAVR and SAVR Have Similar 1-Year Mortality by L.A. McKeown — Responding to a question from panelist Rick A. Nishimura, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), about the incremental value to clinicians of this pragmatic approach to trial design compared with standard randomized trials, Toff said the findings support those of earlier TAVR trials while being “more reflective of the real world.”

TCTMD, Genotype-Based P2Y12 Prescribing Post-PCI Falls Short in TAILOR-PCI by Yael L. Maxwell — “We set a high standard for ourselves, but we observed a 34% risk reduction and hence we were statistically not significant,” said Naveen Pereira, MD (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN), who presented TAILOR-PCI today during the virtual American College of Cardiology 2020 Scientific Session. “I think the frustration here was it was almost positive.”

MedPage Today, Malaria Drugs in COVID-19: Hope or Hype? by Pippa Wysong — Part of that came from clinical experience using chloroquine with SARS and MERS, as well as the in vitro and experimental use of these drugs against both those diseases. These "provided the rationale for the use of these drugs for SARS-CoV2, which is a related coronavirus," said Raymund Razonable, MD, an infectious diseases specialist and professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. But it is not known exactly how they behave in patients with COVID-19.

MedPage Today, Can Daily Aspirin Slow Dementia? by Judy George — Aspirin has anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to reduce embolic and thrombotic vascular events, noted David Knopman, MD, and Ronald Petersen, PhD, MD, both of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in an accompanying editorial. "It is reasonable to believe that the role of aspirin in the reduction of small brain infarcts or in inflammation could translate into preservation of cognitive function," they wrote. "With some caveats about trial design, we can conclude that ASPREE offers no support for aspirin in either role as a preventive treatment for cognitive impairment."

MedPage Today, Inclisiran Tx Dramatically Cuts LDL in Pooled Analysis by Ed Susman — Treatment with an investigational PCSK9 inhibitor reduced LDL cholesterol by more than half in patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), according to pooled analysis of three trials. In the analysis of the ORION 9, ORION 10, and ORION 11 studies, the primary outcome -- mean percent change in LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) at 510 days -- was -56 in the inclisiran group compared with 1 in the placebo group (P<0.0001), reported R. Scott Wright, MD, of the Mayo School of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota.

Medscape, ASRS Guidance on Managing COVID-19 Risk in Retinal Procedures by Becky McCall — The alert aims to facilitate the safety of patients and staff involved in retinal practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is far from easy and is where the "art of medicine comes in," said Sophie Bakri, MD, professor of ophthalmology, vitreoretinal diseases, and surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Decision making "involves balancing the risk of vision loss without treatment, in the big picture of COVID spread, and the high risk of COVID complications in our patients, who are often older and more vulnerable, given their multiple medical comorbidities."

Neurology Today, In and Out of the Hospital, Neurohospitalists Shift Course for the Surge in COVID-19 by Susan Kreimer — David Freeman, MD, FAAN, a neurointensivist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL, interfaced with him via telemedicine. The virtual visit averted a trip to a hospital emergency room teeming with potentially contagious patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Freeman's patient, who had had a brain aneurysm before age 40 several years ago, had slurred speech and numbness and weakness on one side of his body. To arrange a virtual consultation, Mayo Clinic's care team guided the patient, a former Florida resident who lives a one-hour drive away in Georgia, in how to access telehealth software on his home computer and connect with Dr. Freeman.

Neurology Today, A Blood Test for Tau Is Consistent with PET and CSF Measures for Alzheimer's Dementia by Dan Hurley — “The fact that these two studies both nicely complement each other and replicate our findings is really promising,” said Michelle M. Mielke, PhD, professor of epidemiology and neurology at the Mayo Clinic. “But I would like to see more replication in community-based studies rather than just in studies from memory clinics.” Her 2018 study, part of the ongoing Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, is now looking not only at plasma p-tau181 but also at plasma p-tau217.

Healio, In acute MI, care of homeless differs from general population — Researchers observed several significant differences regarding in-hospital care, CV risk profile and rehospitalization rates in patients with acute MI who were homeless vs. those who were not, according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. “These findings should raise awareness that managing cardiovascular disease in homeless patients has its unique challenges due to the high burden of psychiatric illnesses among them and the clear disparities in provision of care for the homeless in the medical system,” Mohamad Alkhouli, MD, interventional cardiologist and senior associate consultant at Mayo Clinic, told Healio.

CNA Lifestyle, COVID-19 news making you anxious? Heed these expert tips on how to stay calm by Khoo Bee Khim — …Another way is to focus on the task that you are doing, even if it's just a household chore, said Jennifer Wickham, a psychotherapist from the US-based Mayo Clinic Health System. “It is effective at giving your mind something to do other than worry. This will help reduce your experience of anxiety and the stress your body feels from anxiety,” she said.

Radio Free Europe, Interview: U.S. Lung-Disease Expert On Coronavirus Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention by Ajla Obradovic — Ognjen Gajic, a lung expert and critical care specialist at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in the northern U.S. state of Minnesota, was interviewed by Ajla Obradovic, a correspondent with RFE/RL's Balkan Service, about the coronavirus and the disease’s symptoms and treatment.

Pekin Daily Times, Postponed medical procedures are helping area hospitals prepare for COVID-19 by Leslie Renken — Connolly suffers from gastric problems caused by a congenital issue. The issue was fixed with a surgical procedure about 20 years ago, but as he aged, things needed to be re-done, and the subsequent operation failed. Over the last year he’s been working with Mayo to do a different type of procedure to correct the problem. He had hoped to be on the mend this summer. “I don’t think that’s going to happen now,” he said. “It was a big disappointment.”…“If you have ever been in Mayo Clinic, it reminds you of an airport,” he said. “Thousands of people are there from all over the world, every day. With this going on, we can’t have that many people together.

Korea Biomedical Review, Myongji Hospital shares COVID-19 experience with Mayo Clinic by Lee Han-soo — Myongji Hospital said Monday it held a webinar last Friday to share its experiences in containing new coronavirus with the Mayo Clinic Care Network (MCCN). According to the hospital, about 170 medical experts from 40 MCCN hospitals, including the U.S. Mayo Clinic itself, took part in the online seminar, presided over by Myung Hospital Chairman Lee Wang-jin. The hospital hosted a similar webinar last Wednesday and Thursday, joined by 1,359 government officials and other specialists from 161 countries at the request of the United Nations.

Guam Daily Post, Mayo Clinic joins quest for COVID-19 vaccine — The National Institutes of Health is trying to develop the vaccine in 12 to 18 months, a much faster timeline than typical for vaccines, said Dr. Gregory Poland, chief of the Vaccine Research Group at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Mayo is among the centers launching studies, he said. “I don’t think it’s likely,” he said, “that one vaccine alone is going to meet all the different needs we have.”

VEJA, Scientists from all over the world seek vaccine and treatments for Covid-19 by Giulia Vidale — A pulmonologist, Clayton Cowl, director of preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, one of the most respected hospitals in the United States, said: “The world is united in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. We will solve the mystery and prevent something similar from happening in the coming years ”. It's a promise, for now, but almost a certainty when the machine is running.

If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Emily Blahnik with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.

To unsubscribe: To remove your name from the global distribution list, send an email to Emily Blahnik with the subject: UNSUBSCRIBE from Mayo Clinic in the News.

Editors: Emily BlahnikKarl Oestreich

Tags: Uncategorized

Contact Us · Privacy Policy