Weekly Health Update
~ Roy T. Bennett
Mental Attitude: Are Coma Patients Conscious?
Sophisticated brain scans may allow doctors to detect consciousness in brain-injured patients who appear unconscious. According to a new study that included 16 severe brain injury patients, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) can help reveal a level of consciousness that can’t be detected by a typical neurological examination. Study author Dr. Brian Edlow adds, “Early detection of consciousness and brain function in the intensive care unit could allow families to make more informed decisions about the care of loved ones… Also, since early recovery of consciousness is associated with better long-term outcomes, these tests could help patients gain access to rehabilitative care once they are discharged from an ICU.”
Brain, July 2017
Health Alert: Opioid Overdoses and Deaths Rising in US Hospitals.
A review of data concerning nearly 23 million adult hospital admissions that occurred between 2009 and 2015 revealed a 34% increase in opioid overdose-related ICU admissions during this time. Furthermore, the average cost of care per ICU overdose admission increased from just under $59,000 in 2009 to more than $92,000 in 2015. Lead author Dr. Jennifer Stevens comments, “Those of us who work in hospital intensive care units need to make sure we have the tools we need to help patients with opioid use disorders when they are at their sickest, because there doesn’t appear to be any end to this epidemic in sight.”
Annals of the American Thoracic Society, August 2017
Diet: Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk.
Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids can inhibit the regulation of the genes associated with the development of colon cancer. This suggests that a diet rich with healthy fats may play a role in reducing one’s risk for the disease.
Clinical Nutrition Research, July 2017
Exercise: Fit Kids Have Better Attendance.
Not only do children who are more active and physically fit perform better in school but a new study indicates that kids with greater cardiovascular fitness are also less likely to miss class due to illness.
Journal of School Health, September 2017
Chiropractic: Musculoskeletal Pain Is a Common Cause of Sick Leave During Pregnancy.
An electronic survey of 6,686 new mothers from twelve European countries revealed that about 50% took sick leave during their pregnancy. Of those who missed work, one in six did so because of pain in their neck, back, or pelvic girdle. The findings reveal the need for musculoskeletal care during pregnancy to help reduce pain and sick leave.
BMJ Open, August 2017
Wellness/Prevention: Cool That Heat Rash.
During hot and humid weather, people can develop the bumpy, itchy skin referred to as a heat rash. To combat this problem, the American Academy of Family Physicians advises the following: stay indoors when it is hot and humid, run air conditioning or use fan to stay cool; apply a cold compress to the rash; keep the affected skin dry; and wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid further irritation.
American Academy of Family Physicians, August 2017
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