Aspirin is as effective as warfarin for heart patients
Aspirin is most commonly used as a painkiller and anti-inflammatory, but its ability to treat a range of medical conditions is frequently discussed in the healthcare industry.
And according to the latest claims, aspirin is just as effective as the popular blood thinner warfarin as a treatment for heart failure patients.
A major international study found that both drugs were able to prevent strokes, although they both carried their own risks.
In the end the research team came to the conclusion that there was no reason to prescribe patients with warfarin over aspirin.
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As part of the study, 2,305 heart failure patients spread across 11 countries were given daily doses of either warfarin of 325mg of aspirin.
In total the study lasted 10 years and the progress of the patients was reviewed every six years on average.
It was discovered that when combined, the risk of death, cerebral haemorrhage or a stroke was 7.47 percent a year in those taking warfarin and 7.93 percent a year in those taking aspirin.
In the warfarin group the number of strokes was half that of the aspirin group, but there were twice as many major bleeds.
“Since the overall risks and benefits are similar for aspirin and warfarin, the patient and his or her doctor are free to choose the treatment that best meets their particular medical needs,” commented Dr Shunichi Homma, the lead researcher.
“However, given the convenience and low cost of aspirin, many may go this route.”
The study was funded by the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke in America, and Dr Walter Koroshetz, the organisation’s deputy director, added: “Patients and their physicians now have critical information to help select the optimum treatment approach.
“The key decision will be whether to accept the increased risk of stroke with aspirin, or the increased risk of primarily gastrointestinal hemorrhage with warfarin.”
Meanwhile, Ellen Mason, the Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation charity also said: “Warfarin and aspirin each have their own relative benefits and risks.
“Yet, this research shows that neither has an advantage over the other overall in preventing stroke or death in the long term.
“This finding should give patients reassurance when discussing their medication with their heart failure specialist, and more freedom to choose the treatment which works best for them.”
She added: “However, this research does not apply to people with an irregular heart rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation.
“People with this condition will most likely continue to require warfarin to prevent stroke.”
Heart failure is thought to affect six million people in the US and 900,000 people in the UK.
The results of the study have now been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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LG launches purpose-built smart TV for hospitals
LG Business Solutions USA has announced two new hospital TVs that are designed to improve patient management and engagement while adhering to critical safety standards for healthcare facilities.
One of the TVs is LG's biggest ever screen for a hospital - the 65-inch 4K Ultra HD model. It has LG’s NanoCell display technology, enabling it to display vivid pictures, and provides built-in support for hospital pillow speakers and embedded broadband LAN capability, so hospitals can deliver video on demand without requiring a separate set-top box in the patient room.
It also includes configuration software with an intuitive interface for setting up the TV to work in a hospital setting, plus a software-enabled access point feature that turns the TV into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The second TV screen is the 15-inch Personal Healthcare Smart Touch TV with a multi-touch screen. It is designed to be installed on an adjustable arm for use in shared spaces or smaller patient rooms and will support LG's new, modular LG AM-AC21EA video camera, and HD video communication.
Both include support for video conferencing, and are UL Certified for use in healthcare facilities, a global safety standard. They also feature LG’s integrated Pro:Centric hospital management solutions, allowing hospitals and LG’s patient engagement development partners to personalise a patient's room, providing entertainment, hospital information, services, patient education, and more.
Additionally its communication platform makes it possible to conduct video calls between patients and clinicians or family.
“Our newest LG hospital TVs reflect ongoing feedback from the industry and include capabilities integrated to meet the unique needs of a critical market” said Tom Mottlau, Director of Healthcare Solutions, LG Electronics USA.
“Our healthcare patient engagement development partners requested an upgradable version of webOS for our Pro:Centric smart TV platform so they could more easily introduce new features for their hospital customers. For the latest versions of webOS, LG worked closely with our partners to make their request a reality and to deliver a hospital TV platform that can evolve over time.”