What’s the latest in healthcare, April 3



 doctorsHere are your healthcare updates on this first April weekend. Have fun reading!

What’s New?

President Barack Obama Announces Key FDA Appointments and Tougher Food Safety Measures
In his weekly address to the nation, the American president also announced (in addition to key FDA appointments) moves to increased food safety. These include upgrading food safety laws, closing a loophole “to prevent diseased cows from entering the food supply“, modernizing labs, and increasing the number of food inspectors.

What’s Still Here?

Still Time for Trouble
The flu season is not yet over, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). It started rather late this winter season – around February – so “there’s still time for trouble.” The flu season is expected to last till May!

What’s Up?

Teen Birth Rates Up Slightly in 2007 for Second Consecutive Year
Teenage birth rates are up again in 2007 – for the second year in a row. It has been declining for 14 years till 2006 when it jumped up by 3%. This was followed by another 1% increase in 2007. Let’s see what the 2008 statistics say.

What’s Increasing?

New Report Reveals Treatment Admissions for Prescription Pain Killers are on the Rise
Treatment admissions due to prescription pain killer misuse is on the rise. Admissions due to traditionally abused substances such as alcohol are still highest but is on the decline, whereas those due to heroin remain more or less the same.

What’s In?

Drugs team give out cocaine straws
The Maidstone-based Kent Drug and Alcohol Action Team, (KDAAT) in the UK gave out pieces of paper that were designed for cocaine snorting. The common practice about drug users is using a “cocaine straw” by rolling up bank notes. However, these straws can help in spreading diseases, including hepatitis C. By distributing free, clean cocaine straws, KDAAT hopes to discourage straw sharing and prevent disease transmission.

What’s Out?

FDA: Insulin Pens and Insulin Cartridges Must Not Be Shared
Single-use insulin pens and cartridges aren’t to be used in multiple patients, the US FDA warns health care professionals. Like their predecessors the syringes, these devices can also transmit blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis even if the disposable needles are changed with each patient. The warning was issued because of reports of 2 hospitals using a single pen in multiple patients. The FDA emphasizes that all insulin pens are approved only for single-patient use (one device for only one patient).

What happened?

CDC Hosts 43rd National Immunization Conference
On March 26, 2009, health experts from all over met in Dallas Texas for the 43rd National Immunization Conference with the there “Immunization – Blazing the Trail to Healthier Living.” Discussed were the “latest developments in vaccine science, policy, education, technology, and planning issues related to immunization in general and vaccine-preventable disease.  Topics will include the impact of new vaccines on health, addressing vaccine hesitancy, monitoring vaccine safety, effect of state laws on uptake of recommended vaccines…”

Photo credit: stock.xchng

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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