Health Highlights: Oct. 19, 201010/19/10
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of
NFL Players Will Be Suspended For Illegal Hits
NFL players will be suspended for dangerous and blatant hits
that violate rules, the league announced Tuesday.
The crackdown will begin immediately and suspensions could be
handed out for dodgy hits that occurred last weekend and led to the
decision to start handing out suspensions, the
Associated Press reported. Several of those tackles resulted
Previously, players were either fined or ejected from a game for
illegal hits, especially those that target the head.
"We're certainly concerned," vice president of football operations Ray Anderson told the AP. "The fundamentally old way of wrapping up and tackling seems to have faded away. A lot of the increase is from hits to blow guys up. That has become a more popular way of doing it."
"Yes, we are concerned they are getting away from the fundamentals of tackling, and maybe it has been coached that way. We're going to have to look into talking to our coaches," he said.
Drug Companies Pay Doctors To Promote Their Products
Some doctors are being paid large sums of money by drug
companies to speak to other medical professionals about
pharmaceutical products at company-sponsored and scripted events
across the United States.
For example, a database compiled by the national investigative
news organization ProPublica shows that 11 Illinois physicians each
earned more than $100,000 between January 2009 and June 2010 from
seven drug companies, and another 13 medical providers earned
between $75,000 and $100,000, the
Chicago Tribune reported.
The doctors were paid for taking part in speakers' bureaus and
educational forums. Other doctors made smaller amounts of
Drug companies and the doctors receiving the payments claim that
their goal is to provide physicians with education about how drugs
work and can be used to treat various illnesses. But critics charge
that doctors involved in these programs are compromising their
independence and patient care.
"Let's be honest: The purpose of these talks is to influence doctors to buy a company's drugs," Eric Campbell, an associate professor of health policy at Harvard Medical School, told the Tribune.
Phthalates Found In Wallpapers And Floor Coverings
Many wallpaper and flooring products sold in the United States
contain phthalates, hormone-like chemicals that have been linked to
asthma, birth defects, reproductive changes, learning disabilities,
liver toxicity and cancer, says a nonprofit environmental group
called the Ecology Center.
The Michigan-based organization tested more than 2,000
wallpapers and floor coverings for toxic substances and found that
most of them contained some level of phthalates. Some flooring
contained more than 12 percent phthalates and at least one
contained banned phthalates,
The chemicals were not found in floor coverings made of
hardwood, cork, bamboo and natural linoleum, the Ecology Center
In 2009, Congress banned phthalates from children's toys and
child care products,
FDA OKs Sales by Iowa Egg Farm Involved in Salmonella
One of two farms linked to last summer's nationwide egg
salmonella outbreak and recall will be allowed to start selling
eggs again, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
In a letter dated Oct. 15, the agency told Hillandale Farms of
Hampton, Iowa that it could ship eggs to the table market from
three of its egg-producing houses.
The decision is based on the company's response to inspections
in August, the FDA said. In addition, extensive testing of the
three egg houses has revealed no evidence of Salmonella
contamination. The company said it would begin shipping eggs from
the three egg houses on Oct. 18.
Four other egg houses overseen by HIllandale are undergoing
further testing before the FDA considers allowing egg shipments
from those facilities.
The other egg producer involved in the salmonella outbreak is
still prohibited from shipping eggs. The FDA sent Wright County
Eggs of Iowa a warning letter about the company's failure to
correct sanitation violations, the
Los Angeles Times reported.
Tylenol Maker Announces Another Recall
Complaints of a moldy or musty odor have prompted the recall of
Tylenol 8-hour caplets 50 count in the United States and Puerto
Rico, says McNeil Consumer Healthcare.
The company said it believes the odor is caused by trace amounts
of a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole and that the "risk of
adverse medical events is remote,"
Consumers can call 1-888-222-6036 or go to McNeil's Web site to
find out how to receive a refund or replacement product, said the
company, which is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.
Unusual odors have forced McNeil to issue several recalls so far
this year of non-prescription pain and cold drugs including
Tylenol, Benadryl and Motrin. The recalls have led to a
Nature's Scenes, Sounds Reduce Pain of Bone Marrow Procedure:
The pain of bone marrow extraction can be eased by showing
patients nature scenes and playing nature sounds such as chirping
birds, trickling water or ribbiting frogs, according to a new
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore tested
these methods on cancer patients undergoing bone marrow aspiration
BBC News reported.
They compared the effects of nature scenes and sounds to city
scenes and sounds. The scenes were painted on hospital bed
curtains. The patients exposed to nature scenes and sounds showed a
significant reduction in pain levels during the bone marrow
procedure, while those exposed to city scenes and sounds had no
The study was published in the September issue of the
Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
The researchers said the nature scenes and sounds offer a cheap
and easy way of reducing patients' pain,
BBC News reported.
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