Volume 114, No. 11Top
November 2018 Edition

Featured CME Program:

They Said It...

"More adolescents die of suicide than all other natural causes combined. We cannot move fast enough to keep up with and thwart this public health crisis." Dr. Katie Hoeveler, attending psychiatrist, Children's Hospital of Phila., on the need for more hospital beds for adolescents with mental health emergencies. You can read her article in the fall issue of Philadelphia Medicine magazine by clicking here.

In the News... 
Fentanyl Surpasses Heroin as Leading Cause of Drug Overdose Deaths in Phila. A1

Fentanyl is now the leading overdose killer in Philadelphia. In 2017, 84% of opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl. The Phila. Dept. of Public Health (PDPH) recommends routine fentanyl testing of all patients seen in the city's hospital emergency departments for suspected drug-related overdoses.

Fentanyl is not detected on most standard urine drug screens. PDPH recommends that all hospital laboratories implement fentanyl testing with a rapid turnaround, such as with an FDA-approved fentanyl immunoassay or rapid CLIA-waved point-of-care testing. There are several affordable and reliable rapid test options for health care facilities that don't have the resources to set up immunoassay-based testing.

Please contact Dr. Jeffery Horn at 215-686-5262, with questions or concerns about fentanyl testing at your facility.

Alarming Increase in Syphilis Cases Among Phila. Women of Childbearing Age A2

PDPH has issued a health advisory on syphilis cases among women. Such cases have jumped 77% from 2015 to 2017, from 80 reports to 142 reports. Most of the women were of childbearing age. PDPH says many of these syphilis cases include women injecting drugs, women having sex with men who inject drugs, and women exchanging sex for drugs or money.

Congenital syphilis occurs when a mother infected with syphilis transmits the infection to her child during pregnancy. Congenital syphilis can cause severe illness in babies, including premature birth, low birth weight, birth defects, blindness and hearing loss. It can also lead to stillbirth and infant death. Early detection and treatment during pregnancy can prevent these complications. As soon as an infection is identified, pregnant women should be treated with a penicillin regimen. The treatment should take place at least four weeks before delivery. Treatment at least 30 days before delivery is 98% effective.

PDPH recommends syphilis screening for women of childbearing age diagnosed with another sexually transmitted disease; pregnant women who end up in an emergency room; women with more than one sexual partner; women who have sex with people who inject drugs or who engage in sex for drugs or money.

For more information go to www.cdc.gov/std/treatment, or call PDPH at 215-685-6737. You can find the complete health advisory at https://hip.phila.gov.

One of Our Own Elected VP of Pa. Medical Society A3

Dr. Michael DellaVecchia, former president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, has been elected vice president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED).

Dr. DellaVecchia will serve as vice president for one year, then become president-elect of PAMED for another year, then in October 2020 will become PAMED's president. He was elected during the October statewide annual meeting in Hershey Pa.

Dr. DellaVecchia has served on the Board of Directors for PAMED's Political Action Committee. He is an ophthalmologist with advanced degrees in engineering and physics with research emphasis in medical devices and photonics.

He holds several U.S. patents and has been a consultant for the Food and Drug Administration and NASA. He has spent much of his career advancing public health and preventive medicine through community volunteer work and veterans groups. He also serves on Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's Opioid Task Force.

Dr. DellaVecchia has participated in Project Orbis, an international flying hospital dedicated to providing hands-on training to local eye care professionals throughout the world. PAMED has 21,000 physician and medical school members. To learn more, visit www.pamedsoc.org.

A Growing Problem: Physician Burnout A4

The New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Insights Council reports that as many as one-quarter of physicians it has surveyed are burned out.

NEJM is offering a collection of original articles, conversations and data on the problem. It's called, "Physician Burnout: The Root of the Problem and the Path to Solutions." The articles report on how physicians can immunize themselves against burnout by, for example, reducing EMR time, creating community-building and physician coaching, and focusing on efficiency, wellness and resilience.

Click here to download a free copy of "Physician Burnout".

Calendar of EventsCalendar

14 - Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Program

Date: Wednesday, November 14
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

The Philadelphia County Medical Society will be hosting an evening program on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, featuring a screening of the documentary Unrest with a panel discussion.

4 - The Child Abuse Prevention Training Program

Date: Tuesday, December 4
Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Place: The Philadelphia County Medical Society, 2100 Spring Garden Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130

All physicians renewing their license are required to submit documentation evidencing the completion of at least two hours of approved continuing education in child abuse recognition. This is a live, state approved program that meets the requirement for the 2018 licensing cycle. This program is FREE for all PCMS physician members. The fee for non-members is $125.

Philadelphia County Medical Society | stat@philamedsoc.org
215-563-5343 | http://philamedsoc.org