Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Medication Errors Occur Every 8 Minutes in U.S. Children

Medication Errors Occur Every 8 Minutes in U.S. Children

By Tara Haelle
HealthDay ReporterOct.21, 2014  -- A child receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage every eight minutes in the United States, according to a recent study.
Nearly 700,000 children under 6 years old experienced an out-of-hospital medication error between 2002 and 2012. Out of those episodes, one out of four children was under a year old. As the age of children decreased, the likelihood of an error increased, the study found.
Though 94 percent of the mistakes didn't require medical treatment, the errors led to 25 deaths and about 1,900 critical care admissions, according to the study.
"Even the most conscientious parents make errors," said lead author Dr. Huiyun Xiang, director of the Center for Pediatric Trauma Research at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
That conscientiousness may even lead to one of the most common errors: Just over a quarter of these mistakes involved a child receiving the prescribed dosage twice.

"One caregiver may give a child a dose, and then a second caregiver, who does not know that and wants to make sure the child gets the proper amount of medicine, may give the child a dose, too," Xiang said. Other reasons for errors included incorrectly measuring the dosage or overprescription of some medications, he said.  ...  

Living With a Smoker Like Living in a Polluted City: Study

Living With a Smoker Like Living in a Polluted City: Study

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2014-- Nonsmokers who live with smokers are exposed to triple the World Health Organization's recommended safe levels of harmful air particles, a new study warns.
That means that air-particle levels in a home with a smoker are similar to that of the air in large, polluted cities, the study found. Living in smoke-free homes could offer major health benefits to nonsmokers, according to the authors of the study published online Oct. 20 in the journal Tobacco Control.
"Smokers often express the view that outdoor air pollution is just as much a concern as the secondhand smoke in their home," study author Dr. Sean Semple, of the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, said in a journal news release.

"These measurements show that secondhand tobacco smoke can produce very high levels of toxic particles in your home; much higher than anything experienced outside in most towns and cities in the U.K. Making your home smoke-free is the most effective way of dramatically reducing the amount of damaging fine particles you inhale," he advised.  ...

Viagra may be used to treat heart disease

Viagra may be used to treat heart disease

Viagra and similar drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction may have a role to play in treating heart failure and other types of heart disease, according to a review of the latest research.
By Grant Stewart
BMJ Group News

What do we know already?

Most people have heard of Viagra as a drug for treating erectile dysfunction (this is when a man has difficulty getting an erection or keeping one for long enough to have sex). Viagra (sildenafil) is a type of drug called a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i). Other more recent drugs of this type are vardenafil and tadalafil. Doctors think they work by relaxing some muscles and opening up blood vessels to help blood flow more freely.

But you may not know that, back when it was called plain old sildenafil, Viagra was originally developed as a possible treatment for heart conditions including high blood pressure and angina ( angina is chest pain usually caused by narrowing of the arteries). So perhaps it’s not surprising that researchers have now looked again at whether it could be used to help people with heart disease.  ...

Monday, October 20, 2014

The push to better reimburse organ donors

The push to better reimburse organ donors


Ever since the National Organ Transplant Act was established 30 years ago this month, ushering in our current organ donation system, it has been enshrined in the law and the medical community in the U.S. that we don’t pay for organ donations.  But bioethicist Sigrid Fry-Revere is trying to challenge that notion, at least a little.  Currently, there are 120,000 people waiting for a transplant, while only 8,200 people donated organs between January and July 2014, according to statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services. ...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Study shows children who have had enterovirus infection are around 50 percent more likely to have type 1 diabetes

Study shows children who have had enterovirus infection are around 50 percent more likely to have type 1 diabetes

A new study published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, shows that children who have been infected with enterovirus are 48 percent more likely to have developed type 1 diabetes....