Doctors cannot disclose any protected health information on social media

  • Administer antiviral medications to all hospitalized, severely ill and high-risk patients with suspected or confirmed influenza: The flu strain primarily responsible for this pronounced increase in viral activity is influenza A (H3N2). This strain has been associated with increased hospitalizations and deaths among elderly adults and young children in previous flu seasons. Additionally, the flu shot has displayed less efficacy against the H3N2 strain than other influenza A strains and influenza B. CDC has recommended “all hospitalized patients and all high-risk patients (either hospitalized or outpatient) with suspected influenza should be treated as soon as possible with a neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral.”
  • A patient may share whatever he/she wants on social media. But, clinicians need to follow HIPAAs dictates, which say that a clinician may share a patients protected health information only for the purpose of treatment, payment, and healthcare operations. Use of social media isnt treatment. So, doctors cannot disclose any “protected health information,” which is any information created or received by a healthcare provider relating to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition, including demographic information and any healthcare provided.
  • Norwegian investigators studied the risk for autistic traits in the offspring of close to 105,000 mothers with epilepsy and found those who used an anti-epileptic drug during pregnancy had a 5 to 8 times increased risk of having a child with autistic traits if they did not use folic acid during the peri-conceptional period.
  • Typbar typhoid conjugate vaccine can now be supplied globally: Bharat Biotech has received a pre-qualification from the WHO for Typbar Typhoid Conjugate Vaccine. Typbar TCV is the first typhoid vaccine clinically proven to be administered to children from 6 months of age to adults, and confers long-term protection against typhoid fever. With WHO-SAGE recommendation, for use of TCV for use in infants between 6 and 23 months of age and catch up vaccinations for children between 2 and 15 years of age, countries could introduce the vaccine into their immunization programs. The company has priced Typbar TCV at $ 1.50/dose for procurement for GAVI-supported countries. The company has announced a further reduction to around $1.0 or below/dose, post procurement of 100 million doses for LIC’s and LMIC’s.
  • General Secretary of the Ayurveda Hospital Management Association Baby Krishnan said he does not agree with the bridge course proposed by NMC. The basic tenet of Ayurveda will be lost with such a course. The integrated diploma in indigenous medicine, which was brought in long before establishing Ayurveda colleges, was considered a kind of bridge course. However, it was abandoned as it did little to promote the traditional medicine system.
  • Ayurveda Medical Association of India president G. Vinod Kumar says that NMC in present format will be a major setback to the growth of Ayurveda.
  • Research Director at the Amrita School of Ayurveda P. Ram Manohar said the bridge course was not pragmatic. “It is a myopic view of seeing and resolving issues and will make a mockery of traditional medicine.
  • Patients who were prescribed varenicline to stop smoking, treatment was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular events, researchers report online December 20, 2017 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
  • Avoidance of cows milk in infants at high risk for type 1 diabetes doesnt prevent development of the condition during childhood. Long-term results of the randomized multinational Trial to Reduce Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus in the Genetically at Risk (TRIGR) study were published in the January 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association by Mikael Knip, MD, PhD, of the University of Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues.
  • The Global Burden of Disease study estimated that there were 33.4 million cases of rheumatic heart disease worldwide in 2015 (N Engl J Med. 2017; 377:713).


Dr KK Aggarwal


Padma Shri Awardee Vice President CMAAO Group Editor-in-chief IJCP Publications

President Heart Care Foundation of India

Immediate Past National President IMA

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