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Herman J. Woltring
08-09-1990, 11:52 AM
Dear Biomch-L readers,

Further to today's previous posting, the following items may also be of inter-
est to many of us. With kind regards -- Herman J. Woltring.

Selected from: file HICN328 NEWS MEDNEWS at LISTSERV@ASUACAD.BITNET

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Medical News
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Medical News for Week Ending July 29, 1990
Copyright 1990: USA TODAY/Gannett National Information Network

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July 23, 1990
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WORK-RELATED INJURIES ADDRESSED:

For the first time, federal guidelines will address work-related injuries
in jobs where employees repeat hand and arm movements, says the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Hardest hit occupations include meat
cutters, assembly line workers, carpenters, grocery checkers, and workers who
use video display terminals. (For more, see special Injuries package below.)

EXCESSIVE EXERCISE RISKS HEART:

The most serious risk of excessive exercise, especially to those over 35,
is damage to the heart, says Dr. Neil Coplan of New York. He says that cardiac
screening and stress testing can help detect level of risk and may prevent
exercise-related death from coronary disease. Monitors that measure heart rate
during exercise can help determine the appropriate amount of exertion for the
individual.
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SPECIAL PACKAGE ON INJURIES

WORK-RELATED INJURIES SKYROCKET:

Reports of work-related injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome have
skyrocketed in the past decade and now account for half of all occupational
illness. More than 115,000 cases of cumulative trauma disorder were reported
to the Bureau of Labor statistics in 1988 - five times higher than in 1981.
(From the USA TODAY Life section.)

GUIDELINES TO PREVENT, MONITOR:

OSHA's new guidelines should give employers solid information on how to
prevent work-related injuries and monitor their development in the workplace,
says an OSHA spokesperson. The disorders affect the nerves, tendons and joints
of the arms and hands. Symptoms range from minor aches to severe pain,
numbness and loss of muscle function.

DISORDERS FROM REPETITIVE TASKS:

Work-related injuries, also called cumulative trauma disorders, arise when
a person must repeat movements of the hands, fingers or arms thousands of
times a day, say industry experts. Most involve performing the repetitive task
against pressure or force - a common practice in industrial jobs - and seen
increasingly in jobs that require typing on video display terminals, experts
say.

SYNDROME MORE PREVALENT:

One of the most serious and increasingly prevalent disorders is carpal
tunnel syndrome, says Dr. Gary Franklin of Olympia, Wash. He says the average
rate of carpal tunnel syndrome in general industry is 0.8 cases per 1,000
workers. But in industries involving highly repetitive tasks, such as
fisheries, and the automobile and electronics industries, the rate is 25 cases
per 1,000 workers.

TENDONS IRRITATED BY MOTIONS:

Carpal tunnel syndrome arises when tendons that pass through the arm into
the hand are irritated by repeated motions, say medical experts. They say the
irritation results in swelling and compression of the median nerve. It is
treated primarily by immobilizing the wrist with a splint for two or three
weeks and with anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce tendon swelling.

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July 24, 1990
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CFS TEST MAY BE DEVELOPED:

A test for chronic fatigue syndrome could be developed in the next few
months, says leading AIDS researcher Dr. Jay Levy of the University of
California, who has turned his attention to CFS. The test would identify a
specific immune system imbalance found in CFS patients and not in healthy
people. CFS symptoms include: crippling fatigue, weakness, foggy thinking,
sleep disturbances.

VDT USERS CAN REDUCE STRAIN:

Users of desktop computers and video display terminals can reduce muscle
strain during repetitive tasks - maybe as easily as adjusting the height of a
chair, say industry experts. Other tips for VDT users include: Hands should
extend straight out from the wrists; adjust the height of VDT screen so the
the top is just below eye level; and take frequent short breaks from typing.

ORAL IMPLANTS TRIPLE:

The use of oral implants - devices surgically placed in the jawbone to hold
false teeth - has tripled since 1986, according to a survey by the American
Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Cited: the aging population,
public awareness and more data on long-term successes. In 1989, surgeons
performed an average of 48 oral implants each, compared with 17 in 1986.

SOUTHERN WOMEN BREAK HIPS MORE:

More over-65 white women break their hips in Southern states than their
Northern counterparts, says a study in the Journal of the American Medical
Association. No definitive evidence explains this, but hospital records of
elderly white women with broken hips showed the highest cluster in the
Southeast, authors from the University of Illinois School of Public Health
said.

DOLPHINS HELP HANDICAPPED KIDS:

Swimming with dolphins helps to reach out to handicapped children, research
shows. Dr. David Nathanson, founder of the Dolphin Research Center in Florida,
says a handicapped child learns two to 10 times more material in the water
with a dolphin than in a traditional classroom. Cited: being in water relieves
stress.