FDA Launches SAFEKIDS Initiative to Assess Safety of Anesthetics And Sedatives In Young Children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on March 13, 2009, agreements with five partners to study the effects of anesthetics and sedatives on the neurocognitive development of infants and young children. Exposure to some anesthetics and sedatives is associated with memory and learning deficits and other neurodegenerative changes in the central nervous system, according to research using juvenile animal models by the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR). Insufficient human data exists to either support or refute the possibility that similar effects could occur in children. The FDA hopes to develop this data through the Safety of Key … Read the rest

Protect Your Children from Exposure to Lead Resulting From Home Renovation, Repair, and Painting Activities

Home renovation, repair, and painting activities cause elevated blood lead levels in children no doubt about it. A 1997 analysis conducted by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) indicated that home renovation, repair, and painting (RRP) activities were important sources of lead exposure among children with blood lead levels (BLLs) >20 g/dL in New York state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report dated January 30, 2009 identified RRP activities as being the probable source of lead exposure in 139 (14%) of the 972 children in New York with BLLs of over 20 … Read the rest

1789 Law and Nuremburg Code Intersect to Permit Claims To Proceed Against Pfizer For Conducting Medical Experimentation Without Consent

The Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. 1350, a 1789 law, gives foreigners the right to raise tort claims in federal court to vindicate violations of ‘the laws of nations.’ The 10-principle Nuremberg Code was formulated as part of a war crimes trial conducted after World War II in which 15 doctors were convicted of crimes against humanity for conducting non-consentual experiments. Seven of the doctors were sentenced to death.

The 1789 law and the 20th Century Nuremberg Code intertwined recently as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit revived Nigerian families’ damage claims for billions of dollars against … Read the rest

Even With All the Attention on Bruce Springsteens Concert Later Today (A Football Game Is Sandwiched Around It), The NFL Still Cant Avoid a Concussion Discussion

Super Bowl hoopla did not prevent a meeting this week in Tampa with the attendees urging the NFL to join them in researching the connection between football and progressive brain damage and declaring that a concussion crisis exists in football. Among those at the hotel meeting were former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, eight-year NFL special teams standout Isaiah Kacyvenski and 73-year-old Bernie Parrish, who played eight seasons for the Cleveland Browns and now spends much of his time battling the NFL Players Association, which he says refuses to adequately represent retired players. Joining them were several doctors from the Boston … Read the rest

FDA Approves Tapentadol Hydrochloride, The First New Drug In Its Class In More Than 25 Years for the Relief of Moderate to Severe Acute Pain

According to the American Pain Foundation, more than 25 million Americans experience acute pain each year as a result of injuries or surgeries, and a recent study estimated that 42 percent of U.S. hospital emergency department visits were due to pain-related problems. Acute pain is a symptom of many medical conditions and can significantly interfere with a person’s quality of life and general functioning. Arthritis is the most common chronic debilitating disease in the United States (more than 43 million people or 1 in 6). Osteoarthritis of the knee is a very common and a major cause of disability.

The … Read the rest

First Nationwide Hospital-By-Hospital Survey Of Patient Satisfaction Released: Results Not Flattering for Long Island Hospitals

For the first time, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted consumer survey information on its Hospital Compare Web site (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) that attempts to capture the experiences of a patients in a hospital. It is a unique attempt by the government to evaluate hospital care from the perspective of the patient.

Unfortunately for Long Islanders, on average, Long Island hospitals scored lower in patient satisfaction in eight out of 10 measures compared with other hospitals statewide or nationally. The Island’s largest health system, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, did not fare well on the survey. Long … Read the rest

Study Finds that Waiting Time in the ER More than Doubled; Possible Violations of Federal Law (EMTALA)

An analysis by researchers at the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School found that the median waiting time to see a physician in hospital emergency departments jumped from 22 minutes in 1997 to 30 minutes in 2004, a 36% increase.

Ominously, according to results published in the journal Health Affairs, wait times more than doubled for the sickest heart attack patients. In 1997, half of them got to see a doctor within eight minutes; in 2004 it took 20 minutes. For a quarter of the heart attack patients, the wait reached 50 minutes or more – a particularly disturbing … Read the rest

Serving Chili Peppers (sort of) to Patients Undergoing Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery to Reduce Post-Surgical Pain

Researchers are “hot” on the trail to finding a new way to decrease post-surgical pain following painful operations such as knee and hip replacements. Surgeons are experimenting by dripping capsaicin – the ingredient that gives chili peppers their fire, directly into open wounds during knee replacement surgeries hoping that bathing surgically exposed nerves in a high enough dose will numb them for weeks. The theory takes root from the fact that when you bite into a hot pepper, after the initial burn your tongue goes numb.

Research shows that capsaicin targets key pain-sensing cells in a way that blocks pain … Read the rest