Patients with severe leg injuries often face a difficult choice of whether to have multiple operations to repair their damaged limb or undergo amputation. With advances in medical technology, limb reconstruction has replaced amputation as the primary treatment at many trauma centers. But a new study finds that patients have similar outcomes regardless of the treatment. The study, coordinated by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was conducted at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center and seven other trauma centers across the country. It found that while patients who undergo reconstructive surgery have a higher risk of complications, additional surgeries, and hospitalizations, they fared about the same as those patients who have a leg amputated. After two years, both groups had similarly high levels of disability and psychological distress, and only about half of the people in each group were able to return to work.
Researchers report that satellite imagery could be used to determine areas at high-risk for exposure to Sin Nombre virus (SNV), a rodent-born disease that causes the often fatal hantaviral pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans. According to the researchers, satellite imaging detects the distinct environmental conditions that may serve as a refuge for the disease-carrying deer mice. Higher populations of infected deer mice increase the risk of HPS to humans.
Environmental enrichment that stimulates brain activity can reverse the long-term learning deficits caused by lead poisoning, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It has long been known that lead poisoning in children affects their cognitive and behavioral development. Despite significant efforts to reduce lead contamination in homes, childhood lead poisoning remains a major public health problem with an estimated 34 million housing units in the United States containing lead paint. The Hopkins study is the first to demonstrate that the long-term deficits in cognitive function caused by lead can be reversed and offers a basis for the treatment of childhood lead intoxication.