Health Updates 28 July 2011

  • Hypnosis helps ease pain of surgery and recovery: “These patients are sedated but aware, and doctors say their recovery time is faster and their need for painkillers reduced.  This method is feasible for only certain types of operations.” (Associated Press)
  • Medical drug plan reduces hospital costs: “A new study suggests that Medicare’s 5-year old prescription drug plan is keeping seniors out of hospitals and nursing homes, saving the federal program an estimated $12 billion a year in those costs.  The savings only offset a portion of the $55 billion a year the government spends on Medicare Part D, as the drug plan is known.  But the study’s authors say it means seniors are staying healthier and enjoying a better quality of life.” (Associated Press)
  • Federal judge rules that federal funding can continue in stem cell research: “The decision from Judge Royce C. Lamberth in Washington, DC, threw out a 2009 lawsuit challenging Obama administration policy that expanded funding for the controversial research, which had been limited under President George W. Bush.  The plaintiffs – researchers Theresa Deisher of AVM Biotechnology in Seattle and Dr. James Sherley of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute – argued that the policy ran afoul of a federal law known as the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which prohibits government funding of research that involves the destruction of embryos.” (LA Times)
  • Youth vaccination debate continues as CDC considers adding more vaccines to the recommended list: “The influence of these [anti-vaccination] groups has caused anxiety over vaccines, leading to clusters of partly or wholly unvaccinated children.  Health officials worry that if more parents opt out of vaccinating their children, rare childhood diseases will resurge.  And that makes introducing a new recommendation to the schedule a sensitive event, leading the CDC to gather public input about their latest proposed addition.” (LA Times)


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