Doctors

During Coronavirus Lockdowns, Some Doctors Wondered: Where Are the Preemies?

This spring, as countries around the world told people to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, doctors in neonatal intensive care units were noticing something strange: Premature births were falling, in some cases drastically.

It started with doctors in Ireland and Denmark. Each team, unaware of the other’s work, crunched the numbers from its own region or country and found that during the lockdowns, premature births — especially the earliest, most dangerous cases — had plummeted. When they shared their findings, they heard similar anecdotal reports from other countries.

They don’t know what caused the drop in premature births, and can only speculate as to the factors in lockdown that might have contributed. But further research might help doctors, scientists and parents-to-be understand the causes of premature birth and ways to prevent it, which have been elusive until now. Their studies are not yet peer reviewed, and

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George Floyd Protests Add New Front Line for Coronavirus Doctors

Outside medical centers across the country, doctors and other health care workers have been stopping work in recent days for 8 minutes and 46 seconds to join in protesting the death of George Floyd, who was pinned down by a police officer in Minneapolis for that amount of time before his death.

For doctors in New York who have strained to meet the challenges of coronavirus care for months, participating in the demonstrations has been especially poignant. Workers at a number of the hospitals hit hard by Covid-19 including Bellevue, Downstate, Lincoln, Mount Sinai and Montefiore have held events displaying their support for the protests this week.

Many say they view the deaths of black people at the hands of police as a public health issue. But they also express worries that large gatherings will cause a second wave of Covid-19 cases, and they are balancing their involvement with calls

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Doctors Heavily Overprescribed Antibiotics Early in the Pandemic

In recent weeks, doctors, researchers and public health experts have been trying to turn the pandemic into a teaching moment. They warn that the same governmental inaction that helped foster the rapid, worldwide spread of the coronavirus may spur an even deadlier epidemic of drug-resistant infections that the United Nations suggests may kill 10 million by 2050 if serious action isn’t taken.

Without new antibiotics, routine surgical procedures like knee replacements and cesarean sections could become unacceptably risky, and the ensuing health crisis could spur an economic downturn to rival the global financial meltdown of 2008, the U.N. report, released last year, said.

“If there’s anything that this Covid-19 pandemic has taught the world, it is that being prepared is more cost-effective in the long run,” said Dr. Jeffrey R. Strich, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and an author of a study published on

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They Evoke Darth Vader, but These Masks May Save Your Doctor’s Life

Even among the surreal sights of an intensive care unit crowded with Covid-19 patients, Dr. Elaine Fajardo’s mask stands out.

Jet-black silicone with magenta-capped filters protruding from both sides, it is more commonly the protection of choice at construction sites and industrial plants. But for Dr. Fajardo, it has been a precious and potentially lifesaving medical resource.

“I think these really saved us from a crisis,” said Dr. Fajardo, a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut.

In the past, Dr. Fajardo, like most health care workers, relied on disposable N95 masks, which are in critically short supply globally because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now she is the beneficiary of a prescient decision: As the virus raged in China, Yale hospital administrators bought about 1,200 of the reusable silicone masks, known as elastomeric respirators, and gave them to doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists starting

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