Tag Archive | "doctors"

Antibiotics for Asthma Given to Too Many Children

A current study found that close to a million children in the United States are prescribed with antibiotics for asthma even though the actual guidelines do not recommend its use. Dr. Ian Paul, the lead researcher and a professor of pediatrics at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, said that they try really hard not to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics but their study shows that pediatricians are prescribing the drug too often.

Paul said that it is unclear why doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat severe asthma. He, however, said that doctors may feel that they need to cover all bases and also prescribe antibiotics. There are also times when parents themselves ask their doctors for antibiotics.

The one finding that Paul thought to be encouraging is that education regarding asthma plays an important role in the prescription antibiotics. It appears that when astham education was delivered during the visit, antibiotics are only prescribed 11% of the time; in comparison to 19% when asthma education is not given.

Paul further said that this means we can decrease the likelihood of the use of antibiotics in treating asthma by educating families and patients.

In addition, the doctor said that most antibiotics have side effects and patients may develop antibiotic-resistant bacteria which are life threatening. That is why unnecessary prescription of antibiotics is definitely discouraged.

This report was published on “Pediatrics” on the 23rd of May. Pediatrics is an online medical magazine.

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Increasing Costs of Medical Care Affects Children

According to a recent study, many parents are now apprehensive to take their children to hospitals , to a doctor or to purchase prescription drugs due to the increase in the United States medical care costs.

The researchers studied data of 6,273 families that participated in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survery conducted between 2001 and 2006.

Based on the conducted study, one of the most pressing reasons that will increase the likelihood that families would not go to doctors or delay seeking medical attention is financial burden. “Financial burden” in this study is defined as out-of-pocket medical care costs more than 10% of the total family income or insurance premiums.

Some other factors noted in the study are children with activity limitation and parents with intermittent insurance coverage. The researchers also found out that race or ethnicity also play a role in the delay of medical care for children. For example, white families have greater tendencies to delay seeking medical care than black families.

This study was presented Monday during the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting conducted yearly. At this point, the study is still considered preliminary because it has not yet been scrutinized by colleagues in the industry- a requirement before a study is to be printed out in a peer-review journal.

Lauren Wisk, study leader, said that their results show how unfortunate the realities of the United States medical care are. More and more families are deciding to forego medical care because of how high the costs are.

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Sex Offender Set Free in Utah

A judge in Utah ordered a convincted sex offender, facing nearly two dozen of charges against rape, child sexual assault and sodomy to be released from the state hospital because of his mental incompetency to go through trial.

Fourth district Judge James Taylor said he has no legal grounds for holding Lorrie Hyrum Johnson, 38, at a hearing on Thursday. He said the constitution prohibits him from holding a person who cannot defend themselves.

However, the mother of the the alleged victim said Johnson is only faking his mental illness to avoid trial.

Johnson has been diagnosed with a mental disorder. Doctors who assessed Johnson’s condition discovered that his mental competence could not be restored and said that he does not pose any danger to the society. They also said he does not qualify involuntary institutional commitment.

The prosecutors wanted the alleged sex offender to stay at the Utah State Hospital so he could defend himself from the complaints filed against him. However, they did not object the ruling of the judge.

21 sex assault charges were charged to him in 2007. Taylor deemed Johnson incompetent to stand trial on 2008. Under the law of Utah, the defendant fits that decision if he has or is undergoing mental illness.

A lot of professional people reacted against the verdict that he be set free. However, Taylor did not dismiss Johnson’s case. He ordered him to see new psychiatric evaluators in October. A hearing will be resumed on Nov. 17 to check with the recent psychiatric findings.

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Facebook Linked to Teen Depression

A group of influential doctors said that “Facebook depression” may now be added to the list of potential risks associated with social media. They said that obsession to this online site will most likely exacerbate teenage depression. However, some researchers argue that it cannot be considered a separate diagnosis, but rather an extension of the despair teens feel.

Dr. Gwenn O’Keeffe, pediatrician and author, said that the concept of Facebook makes it extra difficult for teenagers who already have self-esteem issues. Because almost everyone posts real-time status updates and photos of them having a great time, Facebook can cause some kids to feel left out and “out of the loop.”

She further said that not being among the “in group” in Facebook is more devastating than eating alone in a cafeteria or other real high school encounters that causes depression to teenagers. She said this because social media gives people a twisted idea of what really goes on in real life.

Abby Abolt, a 16-year old sophomore, said that she is not personally affected by the drama facebook causes but she can totally understand why this can pose a threat to other teenagers like her.

Right now, many pediatricians urge parents to monitor their kids’ online activities so that cyber bullying, Facebook depression, and even “sexting” are avoided.

Gaby Navarro, an 18-year old senior student said that Facebook can be a worldwide platform for bullying. Some kids posted snotty remarks on her friend’s Facebook wall and so she can really imagine how huge of an impact Facebook has on some kids.

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US FDA: 500 Unauthorized Prescription Drugs to be Pulled Out in the Market

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday that it wants to pull 500 unauthorized prescription drugs for allergy, cold, and cough symptoms from the market because of the health risks they might pose to the public.

A list of 500 medications was released by the agency. The medications can only be obtained with a doctor’s prescription. However, the FDA has told drug companies to discontinue manufacturing those medications within 90 days and end shipping the items within 180 days.

Deborah Autor, FDA director of the Office of Compliance, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said that they do not know what those drugs are made of or how they are created. Also, they do not know if those medications will work properly.

She said close to if not all of the drugs are manufactured in United States. She said FDA believes many doctors continue to prescribe those medications. Some are even listed in desk reference books or advertised in journals.

Some of those drugs commonly used or sold in the market include Organidin, Cardec and Lodrane 24D. Another drug is called Pedia-Hist. The medication is not yet cleared by FDA, but it is already given to children as little as one year old.

Doctor Charlie Lee said the medications are chiefly a combination of cold and cough formulas. They have reported complications that include drowsiness, irritability and sedation.

FDA noted that the reports were still limited. It is not yet sure as to how many of the drugs were available on the market. Also, the number of people using the medication is still unknown mainly because most buy medications from the drugstore to treat the said symptoms.

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Trapped Chile Miners Could Be Rescued Within This Month

The 33 miners trapped for almost two months in an underground cave in Chile could be rescued earlier than expected after rescuers drill closer to their location according to Chile’s mining minister, Laurence Goldborne on Friday.

The miners have been trapped about 2,300 feet under the ground since the roof of the mine collapsed on August 5.

Several people around the world monitored every progress from the rescue operations as they fight for their survival. The incident had also drawn support from Pope Benedict, as well as the soccer players from the World Cup.

Originally, the Chilean government announced that the miners might not be rescued until November. But, because of the surge in drilling, they could be rescued durring the second half of October that is two weeks from now.

The drill had already reached a depth of 984 feet, which is halfway to its goal. It is advancing deeper into the ground at around 243 feet per day.

A metal cage designed by the Chilean navy will be used by the rescuers to get all men out one at a time. It is a 925-pound capsule and 21 inches wide, painted with the colors of the Chilean flag.

In preparation, the miners have started exercising for the trip back to the surface, the doctors said. The trapped men, which include a first-time miner, a Bolivian immigrant and former soccer star, have also started sending up the gifts that were sent to them through small channels over the past weeks.

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