Health Updates 8 August 2011

  • Bagged lunches may pose risk for food-borne illnesses: “Nearly all lunches packed from home get too warm to prevent food-borne illness despite the use of ice packs, according to a study of preschoolers’ sack lunches….Even with multiple ice packs, more than 90% of perishables in the lunches [tested] reached unsafe temperatures….While the study didn’t document whether any actual harm resulted, incidence is higher and complications of bacterial infection worse in younger children…The findings likely apply to older kids and adults who carry lunch to work as well”. (MedPage Today)
  • Study okays school sports in heat, but with precautions: “The guidelines replace a more restrictive policy based on old thinking that kids were more vulnerable to heat stress than adults. New research shows that’s not true, the academy says. With adequate training, water intake, time-outs and emergency treatment available on the sidelines, healthy young athletes can play even in high heat and humidity – within reason, the guidelines say.” (Associated Press)
  • Hospitalists may be increasing costs rather than lowering them: “What they found was that while hospitalists’ patients indeed had shorter hospital stays, they were more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days, or to visit an emergency room within that first month.  They also found hospitalists were more likely to discharge patients to nursing homes or rehabilitation facilities, and less likely to send them straight home than the patients’ regular doctors.” (NPR)
  • FDA warns of fake morning-after pill: “The FDA is warning consumers to steer clear of an emergency contraceptive labeled “Evital”, as it may be a counterfeit version of the morning-after pill.  No such product has been approved by the FDA, the agency said, and the pill may not be safe or effective in preventing pregnancy…An FDA spokesperson said the pill is approved in the Dominican Republic, and the agency is concerned that the pill is being distributed in Hispanic communities in the US.” (Kristina Fiore, MedPage Today)

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