Elevated prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder seen in family members of patients with COVID-19 treated in intensive care units; 9 rare respiratory cancers linked with burn pit exposure among veterans; adenovirus suggested as potential cause of unexplained cases of pediatric hepatitis.
A study published yesterday, April 25, in JAMA Internal Medicine indicated that a majority of family members of patients with COVID-19 treated in intensive care units (ICUs) reported significant symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the following months. As reported by STAT News, the study further showed that the prevalence of PTSD symptoms was approximately twice the rate typically observed after a family member’s ICU stay prior to the pandemic (63.6% vs 30%), with Hispanic ethnicity and female gender associated with higher symptoms. Lack of family access to patients was cited as a potential factor behind the elevated PTSD risk, as well as distrust of practitioners.
Stars and Stripes reported on an announcement yesterday by the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) that added 9 rare respiratory cancers to the list of illnesses caused by exposure to burn pits during overseas deployments. The move will lower the evidence required by veterans to receive VA benefits and fast-track disability compensation. The cancers included squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea, adenocarcinoma of the trachea, adenosquamous carcinoma of the lung, large cell carcinoma of the lung, salivary gland-type tumors of the lung, sarcomatoid carcinoma of the lung, and typical and atypical carcinoid of the lung.
The Associated Press reports that adenovirus has emerged as a potential cause of the unexplained cases of hepatitis in children reported across the United States and Europe. Research from British health officials indicated that 75% of confirmed pediatric cases with severe liver inflammation were linked with the presence of adenovirus, which is circulating in children at higher than average levels after falling to unusually low levels during the pandemic. Researchers suggested that children who were not exposed to the virus over the last 2 years may now be experiencing a more severe disease course, with 10 children requiring liver transplants and one death reported.