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Trucking Association suggests 5 ways to fight driver fatigue

The American Trucking Association has made five recommendations to the Transportation Department’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to help reduce the hazards associated with driver fatigue. Research has found that truck drivers who feel fatigued will react more slowly and are likely to make more mistakes behind the wheel than drivers who are fully alert. Worst of all, fatigued drivers are at high risk of falling asleep and losing control of their vehicle. Commercial truck drivers have one of the hardest and most dangerous jobs in the country for reasons that are unique to their occupation. On one hand, long ... Read More

Surgeon General returns home to Alabama to talk with oil spill victims

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin returned home to the Gulf Coast, where physical and psychological illnesses triggered by BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have been on the rise. Benjamin, a native of the Mobile area, ran a clinic that provides free and low-cost medical care to poor residents of Bayou La Batre before President Obama appointed her as Surgeon General. Although Bayou La Batre has been repeatedly battered by hurricanes, Benjamin acknowledged that the residents of the town and the wider Gulf Coast face a new and even more formidable challenge – one that is causing great ... Read More

FDA warns public to check for stolen Advair inhalers

Consumers and pharmacists who use Advair Diskus inhalers (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) to treat pulmonary conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should check their inhalers because they may be part of stolen lots of inhalers at risk of compromised safety and efficiency. Certain Advair Diskus inhalers stolen from a distribution warehouse in 2009 have turned up recently in some pharmacies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns. These inhalers may have been stored at improper temperatures or humidity levels, been contaminated, or have lost potency and thus are not considered safe. In August 2009, more ... Read More

Great Value brand chicken nuggets recalled; sold at Walmart

Perdue Farms, Inc., a Perry, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 91,872 pounds of frozen chicken nugget products that may contain foreign materials. The recall involves the 1-pound, 13-ounce bag of GREAT VALUE Fully Cooked Chicken Nuggets. This product is available at Walmart stores. ... Read More

Motorists must use extra caution around heavy commercial trucks

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,261 fatal crashes occurred on U.S. roads and interstates in 2008, the agency’s last complete statistical year. These accidents killed more than 42,000 people — the equivalent of more than 16 average-size passenger airplanes every month or 200 every year. Many of these crashes are the result of driver behavior (two-thirds of all traffic fatalities may be caused by aggressive driving behaviors) or a lack of awareness about various hidden dangers present on the roads every day, such as the unique and often deadly dynamic between passenger cars and heavy commercial trucks. ... Read More

Rheumatoid arthritis drug gets new Black Box Warning

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has placed a new black box warning on Arava (leflunomide), a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, because it can increase the risk of severe liver injury. The drug’s current Boxed Warning states that lefluonmide is contraindicated in pregnant women, or women of childbearing potential who were not using reliable contraception, because the drug could harm the fetus. Leflunomide is used to decrease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and slow the damage to joints caused by the disease. The medication is also sometimes prescribed for other uses. In 2003, the FDA added to the ... Read More

New law would ban BP from new offshore drilling in U.S.

In a 27-21 vote, the House Natural Resources Committee has approved new legislation that would effectively ban BP from future offshore drilling leases in the United States and its territories. The bill, which also strengthens offshore drilling safety standards, now makes its way to the full House for a vote. “While the incident in the Gulf does not signal the end of drilling off America’s coasts, it certainly is a game changer and is proof positive that broad reforms are needed,” Representative Nick Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat and the panel’s chairman, said in a statement. Oil companies with a ... Read More

BP stops the oil completely, waits to see if cap and well will hold

BP announced today that its new cap over the well in the Gulf of Mexico has killed the flow of oil for the first time since April. The company has been gradually closing the vents on the new cap since it was successfully installed on Monday. Although higher pressure within the capping structure could theoretically lead to another blowout, BP executives and government officials are greeting the progress with guarded optimism. So far, engineers examining the structure and the integrity of the wellhead itself have found they are both holding up to the increased pressure. They will continually monitor the structures ... Read More

Diabetic gastroparesis treatment shows well in clinical trials

Tranzyme Pharama says its new treatment for diabetic gastroparesis, a disabling disorder in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents, has shown positive results in phase II clinical trials among diabetic patients with the digestive disorder. The pharmaceutical company was granted “fast-track status” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for TZP-102, a designation that is typically reserved for drugs that treat serious and unmet medical needs. The designation is designed to speed up the review and approval process. Tranzyme Pharma’s drug candidate would be an alternative to a drug for gastroparesis that now carries a black ... Read More

Women with high blood pressure should use caution with ‘the pill’

Women who have high blood pressure should use caution when taking birth control pills because the estrogen in oral contraceptives puts them at greater risk of developing blood clots and heart problems. High blood pressure affects about 74.5 million people in the United States age 20 and older. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because most often there are no symptoms. The symptoms that do occur include chest pain, confusion, ear noise or buzzing, irregular heartbeat, nosebleed, tiredness, and vision changes. Complications from high blood pressure include aortic dissection, blood vessel damage, brain damage, congestive heart failure, ... Read More