Health Highlights: Feb. 11, 201102/11/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Almost 2 Million Summer Infant Baby Monitors Recalled
The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Friday announced the
recall of nearly 2 million Summer Infant video baby monitors after
the devices were linked to the strangulation deaths of two
According to the
Associated Press, the CPSC said the electrical cords on the monitors can pose a danger to babies if placed near the crib. One 6-month-old boy from Conway, S.C. died in November after being caught in the electrical cord of the monitor, which had been left on the crib's changing table, the CPSC said. A baby girl in Washington, D.C., also died in a similar fashion in December.
"I urge all parents and caregivers to put at least 3 feet between any video or audio baby monitor cords and a child in a crib," CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum told the AP. "This simple step can save your child's life."
Woonsocket, R.I.-based Summer Infant is recalling 1.7 million
monitors, sold at major retailers across the United States between
2003 and 2011.
The company is also recalling rechargeable batteries from 58,000
Slim and Secure Video Monitors sold exclusively at Babies R Us in
2009 and 2010, due to a burn hazard.
For more information on the model numbers of the recalled
devices, consumers should contact Summer Infant at
Strokes Hit Movie Stars Too: Study
Being rich and famous doesn't offer protection against stroke,
say U.S. researchers.
The team at the University of California, Los Angeles analyzed
rates of stroke and heart attack among all the best actor/actress
nominees since the Oscars began in 1927 until 2009, the
Associated Press reported.
Of the 409 nominees, at least 29 have had a stroke (including
six that were fatal) and 39 have had heart attacks. The average age
of the nominees when they suffered a stroke was 67, but not all
were old when they had a stroke.
For example, Sharon Stone was 43 when she suffered a stroke in
2001. Her stroke was a type of bleeding stroke, which are less
common than strokes caused by a blood clot. A few years ago, Stone
appeared in a public service video to raise awareness of stroke
Other Oscar nominees who have suffered a stroke include
Elizabeth Taylor, James Garner and Dudley Moore.
The study was presented Thursday at the International Stroke
Conference in Hollywood.
Syphilis Test Wrong in One-Fifth of Cases: CDC
A common test for syphilis often gives incorrect results and
hundreds of people in the United States may have mistakenly been
told they have the sexually transmitted disease, says the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency said a study of five U.S. labs found that about 18
percent of the positive results from the test were actually
Associated Press reported.
The test has been used since the 1980s and is given to all
pregnant women and people considered high-risk for STDs. People who
test positive for syphilis usually receive penicillin, which can
cause side effects in some patients.
The CDC said it doesn't know how widely used this test is
compared to another method. The agency recommends a second test
when there is a positive result, the
Job Seekers Facing Tougher Anti-Smoking Rules
An increasing number of U.S. hospitals and medical businesses
are implementing policies that make smoking a reason to deny a
person a job.
The goal of the new rules, which essentially regard cigarettes
like an illegal narcotic, is to boost worker productivity, reduce
health care costs, and encourage healthier living, according to
The New York Times.
The measures include job applications that warn candidates about
"tobacco-free hiring," requiring job seekers to have a urine test
for nicotine, and firing employees who are caught smoking.
The tougher rules may reflect frustration with less-effective
programs such as smoking bans, cessation programs and increased
health care premiums for smokers,
The Times reported.
Montana's Medical Marijuana Law Faces Repeal
Montana's six-year-old medical marijuana law may be
On Thursday, the state's Republican-controlled House of
Representatives voted 63 to 37 to repeal the law. The move to
repeal the bill will also be considered by the State Senate, also
controlled by the Republicans,
The New York Times reported.
It's not clear what will happen if the bill to repeal the
medical marijuana law makes it to the desk of Gov. Brian
Schweitzer, a Democrat. While he believes the medical marijuana
laws need to be tightened, he hasn't announced his position on
Currently, 15 states and the District of Columbia allow the use
of medical marijuana,
The Times reported.
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