Medical practice

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APOLOGY 60 YEARS AFTER PRISONERS AND MENTALLY ILL GUATEMALANS DELIBERATELY INFECTED WITH SYPHILIS BY US GOVERNMENT

Sixty years ago the US government deliberately infected hundreds of Guatemalan mentally ill patients and prisoners with syphilis and gonorrhea in an experiment. The aim, apparently, was to test some vaccines for sexually transmitted infections (venereal diseases). None of the infected individuals had given their consent.


REVIEW OF NEW COUNTERMEASURES FOR BIOTERROR AND PANDEMIC THREATS - INITIAL $2 BILLION INVESTMENT, USA

Kathleen Sebelius, US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) Secretary, says that the USA needs to have a system that is nimble and flexible enough to rapidly produce medical countermeasures in the face of known or unexpected attacks or threats. Medical countermeasures refers to a government system to produce medicines, vaccines, medical devices and diagnostic equipment supplies required for a health emergency.


OLYMPICS 2010; AT LEAST ONE IN TEN ATHLETES WERE INJURED IN VANCOUVER

According to research found in the esteemed British Journal of Sports Medicine, at least one in 10 athletes sustained an injury during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada. Aside, one in 14 fell ill during the games. These relatively high numbers are more than likely to still be an underestimate, authors of the study suggest.


PRESCRIPTION DRUG USE RISES 10%, SPENDING MORE THAN DOUBLES IN ONE DECADE

The number of people in the USA who took one prescription medication in a one month period rose 10% during the decade up to the end of 2008. Americans spent US234.1 billion on prescription medications in 2008, more than double the figure in 1999, according to a report published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).


HOSPITAL ERRORS AFFECT ABOUT 1 IN EVERY 3 PATIENTS IN THE USA

Out of every 3 patients who go to hospital in the United States, 1 will encounter a hospital error, according to an article published in Health Affairs. The authors, from the University of Utah reveal that mistakes made in hospital are ten times higher than previous estimates. The researchers used a new tool for measuring hospital mistakes.


UP TO 4,000 NURSES TO STRIKE, SAYS NURSING UNION, CALIFORNIA

On December 22, up to 4,000 nurses who work for the Sutter Corporation are going on strike, protesting against sweeping cuts in healthcare coverage and patient care protections, according to the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. Almost 2,000 nurses at Long Beach Memorial, a major hospital in Southern California, will join in the strike, protesting at the proposed reduction in health coverage for nurses, as well as putting off concerns regarding patient care.


PEDIATRIC PROS: 1976 TOXIC SUBSTANCE CONTROL ACT NEEDS UPDATING

Common household products are great disinfectants and ways to keep your habitation germ free, but there is still a high risk for children in particular who have not yet built up a solid immune system to be affected by exposure to chemicals. As a result, The American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for stronger federal regulation of chemicals in consumer products.


ADDITION OF NEW INFANT ACETAMINOPHEN CONCENTRATION, 160 MG/5 ML, SAYS FDA

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) says it has added a new concentration of acetaminophen aimed at infants, which is now available at retail outlets. The 160 mg/5 mL concentration has been added to the existing 80 mg/0.8 mL or 80 mg/mL concentrations. People who are used to the existing liquid acetaminophen concentrations should take note, the Agency emphasized.


MEDTRONIC AWARDS $2.5 MILLION TO YALE TO REVIEW ITS BONE GROWTH PRODUCT

Medtronic Inc. has announced that it has provided a $2.5 million grant to Yale University to oversee independent, systematic reviews of the safety and efficacy of its recombinant bone morphogenic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) product. In June, The Spine Journal and Journal Sentinel/MedPage Today claimed to have revealed misleading studies about the product, known as Infuse - they claimed the studies exaggerated the benefits and played down the risks.


GUATEMALAN STD EXPERIMENTS IN THE 1940S, BIOETHICS COMMISSION CONCLUDES INVESTIGATION

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has concluded its investigation into STD (sexually transmitted disease) experiments carried out in Guatemala in the 1940s without people's consent. The US government had deliberately infected hundreds of Guatemalans, including mentally ill patients and prisoners, with gonorrhea and syphilis in an experiment to test some STD vaccines.


POLICE TO INTERVIEW 500 MORE PEOPLE AFTER SALINE DOPED WITH INSULIN TIED TO DEATHS AT UK HOSPITAL

After dropping charges against a suspected nurse on Friday, UK's Greater Manchester Police (GMP) revealed they plan to interview 500 more people in connection with suspicious deaths and up to 40 cases of patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Cheshire, being poisoned after saline drips were found to be contaminated with insulin.


30 PATIENTS WITH CHRONIC NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS TREATED WITH EXABLATE® NEURO

It has been announced that the ExAblate® Neuro system, pioneered by InSightec Ltd and limited to investigational use only, has been used to treat 30 patients suffering from chronic neurological disorders in clinical investigations. The studies are being carried out by functional neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuroradiologists in Switzerland and the United States, to examine the safety and primary effectiveness of the system for treating Essential Tremor, Neuropathic Pain and Parkinson's Disease.


EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT VISITS FOR YOUTH WITH TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY HAS RISEN BY 60%

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last 10 years emergency department visits for recreation- and sports-related traumatic brain injuries has increased by 60% among children and adolescents. Experts at the CDC believe the increase is due to more adults becoming aware that the young individuals needed to be seen by a health care professional.


16-POUND BABY BORN IN TEXAS

Last Friday Janet Johnson gave birth to her fourth child, a 16-pound (7.257kg) baby boy - that is twice the weight of an average healthy newborn. The baby was two-foot long, has a 17-inch chest and a full head of hair. As Ms. Johnson had developed gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, doctors had warned her the baby might be large - perhaps 12 to 13 lbs, they had said.


LOW NEWBORN APGAR SCORE LINKED TO LOWER ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AT AGE 16

Babies with low Apgar scores at birth have a higher risk of having special education needs during adolescence, Swedish researchers reported in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Apgar is a way of evaluating the health of a newborn shortly after birth. The Apgar score is a number which is added up by scoring respiratory effort, heart rate, skin color, response to a catheter in the nostril, and muscle tone.


MORTALITY AMONG 15 TO 24 YEAR OLDS OVERTAKES THAT OF 1 TO 4 YEAR OLDS

Premature death among young people globally used to be concentrated on 1 to 4 year old children, not any more. Now, in a reversal of patterns, mortality among 15 to 24 years old is higher in all countries, both rich and poor. Young men aged 15 to 24 are dying prematurely at three times the rate, compared to boys aged 1 to 4.


UNDIAGNOSED CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME (CFS/ME) RESPONSIBLE FOR TIME OFF SCHOOL FOR 1% OF CHILDREN

According to research published in BMJ Open, undiagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME) may be responsible for almost 1% of non-truant children who miss extended time off school. The authors state that earlier estimates, based on findings in just less than 3,000 pupils aged between 11 to 16 years at three secondary schools in the southwest of England, where specialist CFS/ME services are well established, have indicated that CFS/ME affects between 0.


VITAMIN A SUPPLEMENTS FOR CHILDREN - 600,000 LIVES COULD BE SAVED PER YEAR

According to a study published on bmj.com today, children in low and middle-income countries should receive vitamin A supplements to prevent death and illness. Researchers believe further trials to be unethical as the effectiveness of vitamin A supplementation is extremely well documented and press the need to provide supplements for all children at risk of deficiency to policymakers.


PFIZER FACING HUGE LITIGATION BILL FOR HRT MEDICATIONS, SETS ASIDE $772 MILLION

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. acknowledged it faces huge settlements for hormone-replacement therapy drugs. The company said in an SEC filing that it has put aside $772 million to resolve claims. Experts expect the amount to be much higher, and so does Pfizer. The company wrote that the amount it put aside is "the minimum expected costs to resolve all of the other outstanding.


1-MINUTE CPR VIDEO EFFECTIVE IN GETTING LAY PEOPLE TO DO IT

A hands-only CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) video got untrained lay people to perform CPR significantly better than untrained individuals who never saw the footage, researchers revealed in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Out-of-hospital cardiac arrests affect approximately 300,000 people annually in the USA.