Monthly Archives: October 2011

Latest News

Fuel tanker explodes near Houston

The driver of a fuel tanker told police that he heard a loud pop as he traveled along U.S. 59 in Sugar Land, Texas, Thursday night. He exited the freeway about 11:30 p.m. to investigate and found that the back wheels of his truck, which was laden with 9,000 gallons of diesel, were on fire. The flames quickly engulfed the truck and the vehicle exploded, creating a fire so intense that it burned nearby utility poles and knocked out power to homes and businesses in the area. No injuries were reported. Authorities shut down both the northbound and southbound sections ... Read More

FDA warns adults not to overindulge in black licorice

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a word of warning during this season of abundant candy. Too much black licorice can be hazardous to your health. It’s true. You really can overdose on the old fashioned treat. If you’re 40 or older, eating a mere 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks could trigger irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia. It’s caused by the compound glycyrrhizin, which is the sweetening compound derived from the licorice root. Glycyrrhizin can cause potassium levels in the body to fall, which can cause some people to experience abnormal heart ... Read More

CDC offers emergency preparedness tips in form of zombie pandemic comic

You’ve just finished watching a movie and you stay up late to watch the news. Before you turn in for then night, an emergency bulletin airs, warning the public about a sudden outbreak of a mutated flu virus that turns people into zombies. The federal government advises you to lock your doors and windows, stay inside, and gather some emergency supplies that can improve your chances of survival. You peer out the window and you’re horrified by the sight of the living dead wandering the streets, looking for victims. Your dog begins to snarl and bark about something happening outside ... Read More

Eating and driving: the top 10 worst foods to eat behind the wheel

Thanks to the efforts of safety advocates and awareness campaigns, a growing number of American motorists now understand the dangers of talking on cell phones and texting while driving. But there is another form of driving distraction that is just as prevalent yet more tolerated, perhaps because most of us do it: eating while driving. According to a 2009 study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of all car crashes and 65 percent of near misses are caused by drivers distracted by things such as eating and drinking, which can steal the driver’s focus and ... Read More

FDA considers type 2 diabetes treatments for children, adolescents

Type 2 diabetes used to be a disease that affected mostly adults who were overweight and over 40. But as obesity has grown among children and teenagers, the condition is increasing among youths between the ages of 10 and 19. An estimated 1 in 6 children and teens is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While losing weight through diet and exercise is the first line of treatment for children with type 2 diabetes, many kids may need medication to control their blood sugar. Only one drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... Read More

DePuy Down Under: device maker sponsors Australian orthopedic conference

Earlier this week we wrote about a report that found DePuy and other orthopedic device manufacturers make substantial payments to orthopedic surgeons and academics in the U.S. in exchange for consulting work, but also as a means to “curry relationships” with surgeons, gain market share, and basically sell more hip implants. But the U.S. is not the only place where hip implant manufacturers can influence orthopedic professionals with large payments. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald demonstrates that orthopedic device manufacturers, including DePuy, are getting in good with orthopedic specialists Down Under as well. According to the Morning Herald, ... Read More

14 ways to reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) kills about 2,500 babies in the United States each year. It can happen to seemingly healthy babies, leaving few, if any, clues as to why. But experts have found that taking a few precautions can greatly reduce the risk of babies dying. Get early and adequate medical care. Women should get prenatal care within the first three months of becoming pregnant, and regular checkups throughout the pregnancy. This can reduce the risk for premature birth, which is a risk factor for SIDS. Grow up. SIDS is more common among infants born to teenaged mothers. Pacify ... Read More

Feds give BP green light to resume deepwater Gulf drilling

It’s been little more than a year since BP successfully plugged its blown-out Macondo well, and the effects of that catastrophic oil spill still abound on the Gulf Coast and deep beneath the surface. Years or even decades may pass before scientists finally get a handle on the spill’s impact, but that unfortunate mystery hasn’t stopped BP from acquiring the right to drill another exploratory well in the Gulf much like the Macondo well, only deeper. The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has cleared BP to drill the well about 250 miles south of ... Read More

Report finds hip-implant manufacturers may influence surgeons with large payouts

Medical device manufacturers still exert a strong influence over orthopedic surgeons and academics, even after a 2007 lawsuit challenged the kickbacks those surgeons received from device manufacturers touting their products. According to a report published Tuesday by the Archives of Internal Medicine, four years after settling the kickback case, in which five orthopedic device companies agreed to pay $310 million in fines for persuading surgeons to use their products with large cash payouts, the manufacturers are paying fewer surgeons with more money. The companies cited in the report – DePuy Orthopaedics, Biomet Orthopedics, Stryker Orthopaedics, Smith & Nephew, and Zimmer ... Read More

Agencies offer tips for safe, injury-free Halloween

Whether you dress as a dainty princess or a spooky ghoul this Halloween season, don’t let poor costume choices or allergies turn your night into a fright. The Food and Drug Administration has teamed up with the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Centers for Disease Control to offer “Lucky 13” guidelines on how to keep yourself and others safe and injury-free this Halloween. Wear costumes made of fire-retardant materials; look for “flame resistant” on the label. If you make your costume, use flame-resistant fabrics such as polyester or nylon. Wear bright, reflective costumes or add strips of reflective tape ... Read More