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Learning to Prevent Medical Mistakes in Caring for Stroke Patients

StrokeFeb 20 07

Medical errors and adverse events can happen in patients with stroke, and hospital procedures need to be modified to reduce the likelihood of error and patients getting hurt, according to a study published in the February 20, 2007, issue of Neurology®, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

For the study, researchers analyzed provider-reported adverse events and errors within a voluntary and mandatory event reporting system in stroke patients admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, between July 2001 and December 2004. Adverse events are defined as an injury to a patient occurring during medical management, not necessarily because of an error. Medical errors are defined as incorrect actions or plans that may or may not cause harm to a patient.

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Foot Pain Ruining Your Golf Swing?

PainFeb 20 07

The barrier to a perfect golf swing could lie in your big toe. Or your heel. Or on the ball of your foot. Experts with the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) say these are the three areas of your feet most likely to cause pain that can ruin your golf swing.

Behind these pain-prone spots can lie stiff joints, stretched-out tissues and even nerve damage. But pain relief is possible and frequently does not require surgery.
The three most common painful foot conditions that can ruin your golf swing are heel pain, arthritis and pinched nerves.

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Allergies Not Just for Children Anymore

Children's Health • • AllergiesFeb 20 07

What do all these people have in common - a 25-year-old man who sneezes every spring when the trees bloom, a 14-year-old girl who wheezes after petting a cat, a 3-year-old boy who gets a rash after drinking milk, and a 30-year-old woman who gets dizzy after she is stung by a wasp?

They all suffer from various forms of allergies.

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Cancer cells more likely to genetically mutate

CancerFeb 19 07

When cells become cancerous, they also become 100 times more likely to genetically mutate than regular cells, researchers have found. The findings may explain why cells in a tumor have so many genetic mutations, but could also be bad news for cancer treatments that target a particular gene controlling cancer malignancy.

The research was led by Dr. Lawrence Loeb, professor of pathology and biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. Loeb will present his research Feb. 18 at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.

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Tailored diabetes care gets results

DiabetesFeb 19 07

Culturally specific diabetes management programs work better than a one-size-fits-all approach, going by the results achieved with a program tailored to Latino patients.

“This diabetes management program works,” Dr. Todd Gilmer of the University of California at San Diego, the study’s lead author, told Reuters Health in an interview. “For the amount that this costs, you get valuable improvements in health.”

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Boric acid works for yeast infections in diabetics

DiabetesFeb 16 07

Among women with diabetes, boric acid vaginal suppositories clear up yeast infections better than the prescription anti-fungal pill fluconazole, Indian researchers report in the medical journal Diabetes Care.

Dr. Ravinder Goswami, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, and associates note that vaginal yeast infections in diabetic women are often caused by a fungal type known as Candida glabrata, and this tends to respond poorly to treatment with oral anti-fungal drugs like fluconazole.

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Memory loss from shock therapy tied to technique

Brain • • Psychiatry / PsychologyFeb 16 07

Memory loss due to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), commonly known as electroshock therapy, may to a large extent be associated with how the treatment is administered, according to a study of patients referred to one of seven hospitals in the New York metropolitan area for ECT.

Despite ongoing controversy, there has never been a large-scale study of the cognitive effects of ECT, Dr. Harold A. Sackeim of New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, and colleagues point out in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.

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When pregnant mom eats fish, kids do better

Dieting • • Food & Nutrition • • PregnancyFeb 16 07

Children of mothers who ate more fish and other seafood while pregnant are smarter and have better developmental skills than kids of women who ate less or none, researchers said on Thursday in findings they called surprising.

The study, sure to be controversial, sought to assess whether it is wise, as some experts and the U.S. government have recommended, for pregnant women to limit their seafood intake to avoid mercury, a toxin that can harm the nervous system of developing fetuses.

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“Female” knee implants sell, but draw skepticism

ArthritisFeb 16 07

Debate about whether an artificial knee implant designed specifically for women has scientific merit continues a year after the device was launched, even as the orthopedics manufacturer racks up better-than-expected sales.

Many orthopedic surgeons say Zimmer Holdings’ female knee is a marketing gimmick, but admit that they will implant them on request.

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Chronic distress linked to higher dementia risk

Psychiatry / Psychology • • StressFeb 16 07

Older adults who are prone to emotional distress may have an increased risk of developing dementia, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that older men and women with chronic distress were more likely than their peers with low distress levels to develop dementia before they died. However, distress was not related to the plaques, tangles and other brain changes that mark Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

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Kids who eat in large groups tend to eat more

Children's Health • • Dieting • • ObesityFeb 15 07

A new study shows that children consume more snack food - almost one third more than usual—when they eat in large groups.

“This observation makes sense in that people—and animals—perform behaviors ‘more’ or ‘more robustly’ when they are doing the behavior surrounded by others,” Dr. Julie Lumeng who led the study told Reuters Health.

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Mental health bill moves forward in Congress

Psychiatry / Psychology • • Public HealthFeb 15 07

A bill that would require health insurers to cover more of the costs of treating mental health conditions moved forward in Congress on Wednesday with wide backing from employers and insurers.

The Mental Health Parity Act of 2007 cleared the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and now goes to the full Senate for a vote.

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Sexual health funds being diverted

Sexual HealthFeb 15 07

Sexual health clinics are suffering because money they have been allocated is being diverted elsewhere, campaigners said on Thursday.

Two thirds of primary care trusts diverted money intended for sexual health care to other services or to reducing debt over the last year, said a survey by HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust and other groups.

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Fetal cocaine exposure tied to behavior problems

Children's Health • • Psychiatry / PsychologyFeb 14 07

Children exposed to cocaine in the womb exhibit behavior problems up to at least 7 years of age, according to a long-term study that enrolled 1,388 children between 1993 and 1995 at four centers.

Children exposed to cocaine in the womb were matched with a group of nonexposed children. At ages 3, 5, and 7 years, a total of 1,056 children were assessed for behavior problems using the Child Behavior Checklist.

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Stable home may aid foster kids’ behavior problems

Children's HealthFeb 14 07

Children in foster care often suffer from emotional and behavioral problems, but a stable, long-term foster home may help, a new study suggests.

Researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found that foster children who were quickly placed in a stable situation were at less risk of future behavioral problems than children who were bounced from home to home.

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