Monday, July 13, 2009

Health Headlines - July 13

Scrub tech causes major hepatitis scare in Colo.

Kimberly Spencer's 9-year-old son went to Audubon Ambulatory Surgery Center last month for what was supposed to be a routine surgery. The rambunctious child stuck a BB in his ear and doctors had to operate to remove it.

What happened next shocked the family. They were notified that their son is one of 6,000 patients who may have been exposed to hepatitis C by a painkiller-addicted technician who had the disease and allegedly passed on dirty syringes to patients.

The technician has been jailed, thousands of rattled patients have been getting hepatitis C tests, and two medical facilities where she worked have been bombarded with questions about how they let it happen. Ten cases of hepatitis C have been linked to Rose Medical Center, where Kristen Diane Parker worked until April.


House boosts funding for veterans programs

The House has passed a bill giving a big budget boost to provide health care to injured soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan and other veterans.

The 415-3 vote again demonstrated sweeping bipartisan support for veterans on Capitol Hill. It came as the House approved a $132.4 billion funding bill for the upcoming budget year.

The 12 percent increase for veterans medical services follows a string of increases.

The veterans funding measure would pay to hire about 1,200 additional claims processors to relieve backlogs and provides money to cover more veterans whose health problems are not related to their service.

The bill also boosts funding for military construction projects, including new barracks, day care centers and fitness facilities.


Tests reveal some pet supplements skimp on meds

Arthritis supplements bought by millions of pet owners for their dogs, cats and horses sometimes skimp on the ingredients the makers claim can help aching paws and aging joints, and some contain high amounts of lead, an independent laboratory found.

Four of the six joint supplements for animals tested by lacked the amounts of glucosamine or chondroitin promised on their labels or had other flaws, such as lead. Wider testing by a trade group of 87 brands found that one-quarter fell short.


Bayer says Alzheimer test shown to work in study

Bayer's Alzheimer's disease (AD) marker florbetaben was shown to help detect the illness in eight out of 10 cases in a Phase II study, possibly offering a way to diagnose early onset.


Omega-3 Fatty Acid Falls Short in Alzheimer's Trials

Two trials that looked at whether the omega-3 fatty acid DHA might treat or prevent Alzheimer's disease have produced mixed results.

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