New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - August 22, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas
SA □ Herald-Zettung g Friday, August 22,1997
jiff, produce guidelines endorsed
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) —
In an effort to prevent costly food contamination scares, California’s fresh produce industry joined state and federal regulators to announce adoption of voluntary food-safety guidelines.
The guidelines, contained in a slick 31-page booklet, cover food sanitation measures from the field to the table, in many cases offering what industry representatives called “best management practices’’ for implementing what is already state law.
The guideline booklet includes such advice as:
—“Monitor the possibility of drift of manure or compost from open fields into adjacent fields of maturing crops.’’
—“Clean and sanitary water is recommended for use in washing produce in the field. The water may be tested periodically for contaminants.’’
—“All storage, staging and packing areas should be regularly cleaned and monitored for animal or pest contamination.’’
—“The remnants of product left on the belts, tables, lines and conveyors could provide a source for microbial growth; therefore, cleaning by scrubbing to remove particles should be part of the cleaning procedure.’’
Stuttering causes backet o-school woes
When teachers hear a child begin to stutter, the immediate reaction is one of concern mixed with a host of urgent questions.
Should they call on him in class, or will that only make the stuttering worse? How should they handle teasing by other children? What should they do about reading aloud?
The non-profit Stuttering Foundation of America answers these and many other questions in its brochure, “The Child Who Stutters at School: Notes to the Teacher.”
For more information, write the Stuttering Foundation of America,
P.O. Box 11749, Memphis, TN 38111 or call 1-800-992-9392.
Vitamins, minerals may decrease disease risk
Thousandsjif Amen cans are ^ stricken with deadly diseases every year — from cancer to heart disease And while genetics plays a large part in people developing certain diseases, nutrition should not be excluded as a key factor in possible prevention.
In fact, it has been shown that vitamins and minerals found in a variety of foods actually can be disease and illness fighters and should be included in the diet.
Austin Diagnostic Clinic registered dietician Tarie Beldin said that with proper nutritional education, people may be able to eat their way to better health.
Foods such as apricots, pumpkin and carrots all have been shown to be potential cancer fighters because they contain beta carotene Beta carotene is an anti-oxidant that helps protect cells from damage that c lid lead to cancer.
lf an individual wants to potentially decrease his risk of heart disease, a high tiber menu that includes wheat, dried peas and legumes may help reduce cholesterol levels.
In addition, milk and eggs may help to support the functions of the immune system because they both contain zinc.
Asthma patients uaad aa drug company lobbyists
WASHINGTON! AP) -Americans with a h ma became unwitting lobbyist tor the drug industry earlier thi ear after they were stirred up by a oup quietly backed by a pharma* meal firm with a big lake in ii. ’OO million inhaler business.
The Food and Drug Administration has bec ait undai <J with 9,000 letters comp... inga » a plan to phase out meterc i dose inhalers, or MDls, that use a propellant harmful to the I itll protective ozone layer.
Most of the letters are handwritten and make poi^ personal pitches that a corp* lobbyist could not.
Many of the writers were spc into action by a mailing last yea. from a group called the Committee to Protect MDIs — a pitch that doctors, patient advocates and federal regulators say was exaggerated and premature.
The group was financed by Glaxo Wellcome, one of the drug companies that commands a large part of die $761 million-a-year inhaler market and is lagging behind a competitor in the race to produce new, ozone-friendly inhalers.
McKenna Care offers home health
McKenna Care is the home health unit of McKenna Hospital. In keeping with the hospital mission and service to the community, the home health department is another way of delivering quality healthcare to the citizens of Comal County.
The agency provides for nursing services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, home health aide and medical social worker. These services are provided with physician order.
McKenna Care also provides the Lifeline service as a community benefit. These are the devices that people wear to summon help in an emergency. For instance, a person would fall and press the button on the necklace. This action would summon a neighbor, family
member or EMS, depending on the situation. This can save the patient from hours on the floor awaiting help.
In keeping with the hospital philosophy, McKenna Care accepts many forms of insurance, Medicare, Medicaide, self-pay and some charity care. The agency provides care based on medical need and not method of reimbursement. The agency accepts patients of all kinds.
Because of the nature of disease and illness to strike at any time of day or night, the agency maintains a registered nurse on call when the office is closed. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If one of the patients should experience a problem, getting help is only a phone call
away. The patient or family member calls the office number. An answering service will take the patient’s name and phone number with a brief message. The answering service will page the nurse, who will call the patient. If a visit is needed, the on-call nurse will make a visit.
Of course, the on-call nurse is not a substitute for EMS. Sometimes, the on-call nurse will phone triage aj^d determine that EMS is the more appropriate response. The nurse then would activate EMS for the patient.
McKenna Care works with many different community resources and agencies to meet the needs of the patients. It coordinates with EMS, outpatient rehabilitation or other facilities if the patient is not able to stay at
home. The staff of McKenna Care supports patient rights and will attempt to assist the patient to carry out the patient’s wishes.
To support patient rights, home health referrals at McKenna Hospital are received by the social services department. The social workers visit with the patient and explain nome health care. The patients are given the choice of agencies to provide the services that the doctor has ordered, lf the patient chooses McKenna Care, then the intake liaison will coordinate the services needed at home.
To learn more abaout McKenna Care or home health, call the agency at 629-7368 and ask for Chartable Neckar, RN,C.
(This article was provided by Health Reach)
Keeping an eye on Texas
Resistant bacteria shows up in U.S.
Melanoma is preventable, curable
Skin cancer is the most prevalent of ail cancers. It is estimated that by the year 2000, the risk of melanoma, the most dangerous skin cancer, among Anglos in the U.S. will be 1 in 90 persons. Prevention is the best defense; cover up with clothing and sunscreens with at a 15 SPF rating.
By TARA MEYER
Associated Press Writer
Melanoma eerty detection
Monthly examinations can catch skin cancer in the early stages, when it is almost always totally curable. Look for any moles with:
Asymmetry — one half of a mole does not match the other.
© order irregularity — the edges are ragged, notched or blurred.
©olor — the pigmentation (coloring) of the growth is not uniform.
ID iameter — greater than 6 mm. (about the size of a pencil eraser)
For more information call 1-900-4-CANCER.
SOURCES John Sharp, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Texas Cancer Registry, arni American Cancer Society
iudy: Extra calcium not needed for breast feeding
BOSTON (AP) — A new study questions the long-held belief that breast-feeding women need to consume extra calcium to protect their bones.
Nursing mothers typically lose about I percent to 2 percent of their total bone mineral density, including 3 to 5 percent in their spines. But they gain it back after they stop breast feeding.
To help make up for the loss, dietary guidelines have long urged women to consume extra cale*"Pi during breast feeding While t’ s advice seemed to make sense, u n.tu never been clearly proven.
Dr. Heidi J. K alk wart and others from Children’s Hospital Medical
Center in Cincinnati randomly assigned 383 new mothers to take either 1,000 milligrams of extra calcium a day or look-alike dummy tablets. All the women were already consuming less than 800 milligrams a day in their regular diets.
The study found the extra calcium had no significant effect. The nursing vomen all lost about 4 percent cl the bone in their spines, regardless of whether they took the Supple swills.
The results were published in Thursday’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, along with an editonal by Dr. Ann Prentice of the Medical Research Council in England.
ATLANTA (AP) — A staph germ that has resisted medicine’s drug of last resort has shown up for the first time in the United States and may soon be unstoppable, the government said Thursday.
“The timer is going off,** said Dr. William' Jarvis, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We were concerned it would emerge here, it has emerged here and we are concerned we’ie going to see it popping up in more places.*’
A strain of staphylococcus aureus bacteria found in a Michigan man in July showed an intermediate level of resistance to vancomycin — one step from immunity to the drug, the CDC said. The CDC and the Michigan department of health would not identify the man or say where he lives.
The patient, who suffered kidney failure, had been taking vancomycin for a year and a half for a recurring infection from an abdominal catheter used for kidney dialysis. He was successfully treated with a combination of drugs, including vancomycin, Jarvis said.
The Michigan discovery came three months after a similar resistant strain was found in Japan.
In May, the CDC reported that a 4-month-old Japanese infant developed staph from a boil after heart surgery. That strain of staph also showed an intermediate resistance to vancomycin, and the baby was treated with other drugs.
U.S. hospitals were alerted to watch for the strain here.
“Now that you have two in such a short time, there will be heightened concern,*’ said Richard Schwalbe, director of clinical microbiology at the University of Maryland.
Staph bacteria are the No. I cause of hospital infections. They are blamed for about 13 percent of the nation's 2 million hospital infections each year, according to the CDC. Overall, the 2 million infections kill
Thm finn nr Is nninn
concerned n would
III I BOI HO Bld TO) n nos
wa’ra going to Mt It popping up In mom places.’
— Dr. William Jarvis medical epidemiologist
60,000 to 80,000 people.
The bacteria can collect on clothing, blankets, walls and medical equipment. Hospital workers can pass them on by hand, and they can cling to tubes inserted into the body.
To combat their spread, many hospitals across the country have restricted use of their most potent antibiotics and isolated their sickest patients.
Dr. Robert Haley, chief of epidemiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, said there’s no reason hospitals can’t eradicate resistant staph.
“These are unique, special strains that can be eradicated,’* said Haley, former chief of the CDC’s hospital infections branch. “There needs to be
aggressive surveillance in hospitals. Once you see it, don’t let it stay and spread around the hospital until you can’t get rid of it’*
For patients, the rise of drug-resistant germs means that the medicine they get for their infection may not make them better, forcing doctors to switch to one or more of the IOO antibiotics now on the market
However, many fear the time is growing near when there will be no alternative antibiotic to turn to.
Penicillin was a wonder drug that killed staph when it became available in 1947. Within a decade, some strains grew resistant a development attributed to overuse of antibiotics and the failure of some patients to take their medicine properly.
Then came methicillin in the 1960s, then vancomycin, which was so potent it was regarded as the “silver bullet” against staph. J “There’s going to be a lot Of throwing up of arms with doctors saying now we have to live with this,” Haley said. “That is not true. We must fight it vigorously. We arc also going to have to be much more stingy with our use of vancomycin.” Pharmaceutical companies are working to develop new antibiotics.
An experimental new antibiotic called Synercid, made by Rhone-Poulenc, killed the strain found in the Japanese infant_
Moms not aware of possible dangers in giving infants water
(AP) — It is unnecessary and possibly dangerous to give young babies water in addition to breast milk or infant formula, federal researchers say.
Many mothers are unaware of the potential danger and give their infants water on a regular basis, a audy found.
' an infant ingests too much water, baby can suffer “oral water toxication.’’ which occurs when ie necessary odium in the blood •ecoiiRs so voluted that the body n’t fundi* properly.
I he result can be an altered mental st te, abnormally low body tem crature, bloating and even • i ires. Babies less than a month ole are especially susceptible because they cannot filter water out of their systems as fast a Miler infants.
A 1993 survey of more than 1,600 mothers nationwide revealed that one-fourth gave water to their newborns at least three times a week, said researchers led by Dr. Paula D. Scariati of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No difference was found in amounts given during summer and winter, the researcher! reported in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, published by the American Medical Association.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has said that except in hot weather, human milk or formula provides nursing infants with all the water they need to replace what they lose through normal bodily functions.
The federal researchers found that
rates of giving babies water were higher among women who used infant formula instead of breast feeding, among women with less than a high-school education and among mothers with less than $22,500 in family income.
The report contained no information on whether any of the babies given water became ill.
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