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View Full Version : Various MEDNEWS items



Herman J. Woltring
06-18-1990, 08:16 AM
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A selection from Medical News in HICN18 NWS - HICN20 NWS (LISTSERV@ASUACAD)
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Copyright 1990: USA TODAY/Gannett National Information Network
Reproduced with Permission

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May 17, 1990
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THE PUBLIC IS NOT PROTECTED:

The public is not being protected from contact with dangerous levels of
radioactive and toxic substances, says a Congressional report prepared by the
Office of Technology Assessment. Findings show 17 of the 25 most prevalent
pollutants released in the environment by industry have neurotoxic potential.
(From the USA TODAY News section.)

CHEMICALS HAVE DAMAGE POTENTIAL:

Neurotoxic chemicals include pesticides, pollutants, cosmetic ingredients,
food additives and illicit and prescription drugs. Exposure can cause
symptoms ranging from impaired movement to memory loss, convulsions and death.
The OTA report suggests chemicals play a role in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and
Lou Gehrig's disease. At highest risk: infants and the elderly.

NEW SPINAL CORD DRUG:

Treatment within the first 8 hours of a spinal cord injury with an anti-
inflammatory drug, methylprednisolone, can reduce chances of paralysis.
Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine says since the drug was introduced
in March, 800 people have been treated with it. Doctors say it often makes the
difference between being confined to a wheelchair or being able to get around
on crutches.

CRACKDOWN AT THE FDA:

The Food and Drug Administration will ban more than 250 ingredients
considered in 21 classes of non-prescription drugs. The FDA says they are
either ineffective or unproven. The drugs are used to treat everything from
acne to warts. (From the USA TODAY Life section.)

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May 24, 1990
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POLICIES AID THE DISABLED:

Federal and state policies have improved life for people with developmental
disabilities, says a National Association of Developmental Disabilities
Council survey of 14,000 disabled people. The study also says the disabled
still face major barriers to becoming independent, productive members of
society. (From the USA TODAY Life section.)

DOCTORS BECOMING COST-CONSCIOUS:

Doctors who are aware of the costs of routine medical tests tend to order
fewer of them, says a report in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. A
study at an Indiana medical clinic found when costs were included on a
computer system doctors used, the number of tests ordered fell 15 percent.
Average savings: $7 per patient visit.

BLOOD PRESSURE AND EXERCISE:

Exercise can stack the odds in favor of high blood pressure sufferers
resulting in a longer life. Researchers at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas tested
18,000 men with high blood pressure over eight years. Men in the bottom 20
percent of fitness were three times more likely to die than men who exercised
the equivalent of a brisk 30-minute walk five days a week.

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May 25-27, 1990
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HOPE FOR PATIENTS WITH MS:

Doctors have located two types of blood cells that react against nerve
tissue, which could become the first candidates for a possible treatment
against multiple sclerosis. The discoveries will not translate into a
treatment for several years, but researchers say they do represent one of the
most significant advances in the past 20 years. (From the USA TODAY Life
section.)
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May 29, 1990
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KOOP SPEAKS OUT ON HEALTH CARE:

The USA's health care system needs "profound change," former Surgeon
General C. Everett Koop told Brown University medical school graduates Monday.
Koop said many Americans are upset that medical costs are rising, but care
quality is not. Koop rejected a nationalized health program. (From the USA
TODAY News section.)

SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS EXIST:

Serious side effects went undetected or undisclosed for several years for
more than half of new prescription drugs. A General Accounting Office study
finds 102 of 198 drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration from 1976
to 1985 had side-effect woes. Effects included heart failure, heart attack,
convulsions, kidney and liver failure and birth defects.

LOW QUALITY AT VA HOSPITALS:

A study by the Los Angeles Times of 116 veterans hospitals shows they are
more likely than other hospitals to fail standards in emergency services,
surgery and anesthesia, special care, surgical case review, alcohol and drug
treatment planning and fire safety. The study did not identify hospitals by
name. (From the USA TODAY News section.)