Late Breaking News
July 2009 Issue
Pressure and time: combine the two and you can get a multitude of results. Apply the two to coal and you’ll eventually get diamonds. Apply them to human flesh, and in a much shorter time, you will get pressure ulcers…painful areas of necrosis and ulceration that are a bane for any patient confined to a bed for long periods of time. They are also a frustrating fact of life for anyone confined to a wheelchair, especially those patients who have little or no feeling in the lower half of their body.
WASHINGTON—Federal agencies must take appropriate measures to protect employees on the job from the H1N1 virus, Senate members told federal officials last month. “The activities of agencies critical to Americans’safety, health, and well-being cannot be allowed to stop during a pandemic…neither can we endanger the dedicated men and women who carry out those duties,” said Sen Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, who chaired a Senate subcommittee hearing on the efforts of federal agencies to prepare for a pandemic.
WASHINGTON—HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the availability of nearly $200 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support student loan repayments for primary care medical, dental, and mental health clinicians who want to work at National Health Service Corps (NHSC) sites.
WASHINGTON—Current patterns of care and treatment for glaucoma are a cost-effective way to slow or prevent vision loss and should be continued, according to a CDC funded study published in the May issue of Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the last 5 years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has been in the midst of a process to realign its capital assets—closing some facilities, opening others, and shifting resources around—in an attempt to keep pace with the geographic location and health care needs of the veteran population. This endeavor is guided by a 5-year-old report that may no longer present an accurate picture of veterans’ needs and what changes VA needs to make. Some legislators and veteran’s advocates are questioning whether VA’s plan is out of date, and raising the possibility that it was inherently flawed to begin with.
BETHESDA, M.D.—When traditional medicine fails, patients frequently turn to other sources of hope and healing. In 2007, 83 million adults used some form of complementary or alternative medicine, according to the National Health Interview Survey. This is equal to about 38% of the entire population. Those 83 million people made 354 million visits to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers and spent $33.9 billion doing so, making up more than 10% of the total out-of-pocket health care costs for Americans in 2007.
As chief of acute pain medicine and regional anesthesia at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Army Col. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier’s days are filled with helping others mitigate their pain. Pain, as he explains it, is a subject that touches every aspect of medicine.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Better battlefield lifesaving techniques—more advanced armor, quicker transfers from theater to hospitals—have resulted in more and more veterans surviving life-threatening injuries. Subsequently, this has resulted in an increase in those veterans who are greatly injured and in need of full-time care and support, even after they leave the hospital. That support frequently comes from family members who act as caregivers, making sacrifices themselves in terms of time and money, and overcoming the steep learning curve necessary to care for their veteran family member.
WASHINGTON—A national organization comprised of top military and civilian trauma injury experts from around the country is working to draw attention to the need for more trauma injury research. The National Trauma Institute, based in San Antonio, was formalized in 2006. With no single national institute or center devoted exclusively to the funding and development of trauma injury research, the organization has set out to help fill that research and funding gap.
WASHINGTON—The Indian Health Service is making sure that its health facilities are ready to deal with a possible widespread outbreak of H1N1 in the fall. “We are not letting our guard down now. I see a lot of people kind of backing off and it is not in the news as much, but we are staying focused on it…We are focused on the fall to make sure we are prepared,” said Cdr Darrell LaRoche, USPHS, IHS director for Emergency Services.
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