Full Articles for 2014
Researcher: 20 Percent Chance Ebola Will Spread to US Within 2 Weeks
September, 2014 Newsmax Health
A top Ebola researcher tells Newsmax Health there is a 20 percent chance that the deadly virus will begin spreading within the U.S. in the next two weeks.
Ira Longini, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida, was part of a team of researchers that used a mathematical model to generate projections of the epidemic spread of Ebola worldwide. The scientists took into consideration daily airline passenger travel worldwide, information about the disease’s spread rate, and other factors.
“As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa continues to spread, isolated cases will likely make their way to the United States,” Longini told Newsmax Health. “Our latest estimates show there is a nearly 20 percent chance that this will occur within two weeks.”
In the long run, the probability the fatal disease will spread here is “almost inevitable,” added Longini, who collaborated in a new Ebola analysis published in the journal PLOS Currents: Outbreaks.
Four Americans with the Ebola virus have been transported back to the U.S. for treatment after contracting the illness in Africa. Longini and his fellow researchers are developing models to predict when Ebola will likely start spreading within U.S. borders.
The tipping point may be disease levels in Nigeria, he says.
As many as 6,000 passengers travel from Nigeria to the U.S. each week, according to the study.
Although cutting off air travel from Nigeria would seem logical, Longini said it would likely only delay the inevitable. “It might slow the transmission of the virus, but it doesn’t change the probability that someone would make it through to the U.S. You can’t quarantine an entire county, so infected people will get out and eventually make their way to the U.S.,” he said.
When the virus does reach the U.S., Longini does not expect it to become a major killer. “The U.S. has sufficient capacity to test people and treat them,” he said. “We would not expect any real transmission here.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has already put into place systems within the nation’s hospitals to recognize, treat, and contain people with the virus, Longini said.
The latest Ebola fatality count is 2,296, according to the World Health Organization, out of 4,293 known cases. The epidemic is anticipated to reach 10,000 cases by the end of September, according to a new report in the journal Science.
Ebola spreads through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. It can take anywhere from two to 21 days between infection and the onset of symptoms, according to the WHO.
Symptoms typically include a sudden fever, muscle weakness, and sore throat, eventually progressing to include vomiting, rash, and bleeding. There is currently no vaccine, although one is being tested and shows promise. Treatments for the illness are also in the experimental stage.
Although Ebola is likely not a major danger to Americans now, that could change if the virus mutates to a form that spreads more easily, Longini said.
“As the virus infects each person and then another and another, it could conceivably mutate,” said Longini. “The longer this situation goes on, the higher the chances are that it could become more easily transmissible and that would change the whole equation.”
A Killer Job Interview
August 2014, reference the Portland Business Journal
Picture this: you are sitting in a job interview with Intel. Well into the interview process, you get dizzy, you loose consciousness, you stop breathing, and your heart stops. Not a good first impression to say the least. That is exactly what happened to Nathan Strutt on Feb. 20 while interviewing in Hillsboro, OR. In a way, he was dying to get the job. Thanks to the quick actions of the trained emergency response team (ERT) at Intel, 27 year old Nathan will live to have another birthday. They utilized basic life support CPR and an AED to start Nathan's heart before he was transported to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center where doctors spent a week trying to diagnose what was wrong. In the end, he received a small defibrillator that was implanted just under the skin. To make a long story short, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute docs implanted a defibrillator in Stutt. Should the Intel ERT no be around, his implanted defibrillator will do the job instead.
Did he get the job? He sure did.
AEDs: A Near Miss on the Target Store Chain
Courthouse News Service
(CN) - The California Supreme Court should provide guidance on demands that all
retailers there need defibrillators for customer emergencies, the 9th Circuit said Tuesday. Mary Ann Verdugo experienced sudden cardiac arrest in 2008 while shopping at a Target in Pico Rivera, Calif. It took paramedics several minutes to arrive, and the 49-yearold died at the scene.
The tragedy is not uncommon, according to the 9th Circuit, which noted that 300,000 people go into sudden cardiac arrest every year in America. Only 8 percent survive, and those who do generally have their heart restarted by an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) within five minutes. While Target sells AEDs on its website, it does not require their
installation in its stores.
Verdugo's mother and brother sued the retailer for wrongful death, but Target disputes that it has a duty to install AEDs in its stores.
After a Los Angeles federal judge ruled for Target, the Verdugos insisted in their appeal that California common law does create this duty. They said the three-judge 9th Circuit panel should certify the question to the California Supreme Court if it found otherwise. Noting that existing California precedent does "not provide a clear answer to the question of whether Target had a duty under California law to purchase AEDs," the panel did just that Tuesday.
"The resolution of the question presented by this case implicates strong state interests and could have wide-reaching effects in the state of California," the order states. "The Verdugos seek the announcement of a common-law rule that would require many retail establishments across the state to acquire AEDs."
The panel certified the following question to the California Supreme Court: "In what circumstances, if ever, does the common law duty of a commercial property
owner to provide emergency first aid to invitees require the availability of an AED for cases of sudden cardiac arrest?"
In June of 2014, the Supreme Court of California ruled against this motion with the following conclusion, "Accordingly, in response to the Ninth Circuit’s request, we conclude that, under California law, Target’s common law duty of reasonable care to its patrons does not include an obligation to acquire and make available an AED for the use of its patrons in a medical emergency."
Brothers Create Device to Improve Bystander CPR Rates
June, 2014 USA Today
According to the World Health Organization, the H7N9 bird flu virus is one the most lethal influenza strains ever identified. The first case appeared in China in late February and has since spread to scores of others, with at least 109 cases having been reported to WHO thus far, 22 of which have resulted in death. This amounts to a kill rate of 20%. These are laboratory confirmations, so in all likelihood there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others who may be infected with the virus that haven't received medical attention. To read the full article and to find out how to prepare your family for any viral outbreak, read the article at
Safest Seats on an Airplane
Can where you sit make a difference in surviving an air-crash? Most airlines and aeronautic experts say there isn't a difference but, Popular Mechanics did a study of air crashes from 1971 and found some interesting information.
It is recognized that there are two times during an air flight when more accidents occur. In fact, over 75% of all accidents occur either during the take-off or the landing of the aircraft. But don't let this fact deter you from flying. The statistics show that flying, by commercial aircraft, is 22 times safer than driving a motor vehicle on US roadways.
Also the type of crash had an influence. Certain crashes changed the desired safest seat location, but on average the seats located towards the rear of the plane had the best survival rates. You may be giving away some comfort by choosing a seat towards the rear since the most stable seats especially for those of you that contend with motion sickness, would be the ones directly over the wings.
First class passengers may be more comfortable than the rest of the passengers, but the front of the plane has the lowest survival rates in air-crashes.
Here is the breakdown on survival rates:
First Class 49%
Ahead of Wing 56%
Over Wing 56%
Rear Cabin 69%
So if you are susceptible to motion sickness you may want to consider a seat with the least movement (over the wing), but if you are looking for just safety, then selecting a seat towards the rear of the plane as your best bet.
When Do You Need Stitches?
What are the signs of a wound which would indicate that for proper healing it will need stitches? First off, stopping the bleeding is always your first priority. Best practice is to use direct pressure upon the wound site. Elevating the wound above the heart is no longer a recommended treatment for bleeding by the American Heart Association.
Clean the wound to remove any dirt or debris. Generally plain soap and water work best. Wounds should be addressed within 8 hours, though in certain situations stitches can be administered up to 24 hours. The longer the delay the higher probability of bacteria setting in. So it is best to get medical attention as soon as reasonably possible.
Now that the bleeding has stopped and the wound has been cleaned, let's look for certain signs that would indicate sutures or stitches would be required. The following are wounds or cuts that most likely will need the assistance of stitches:
1. Any cut that is deep where muscleor yellow fatty tissue is visible.
2. Wounds 1 inch or longer in length.
3. Cuts around joints, where movement of the joint would prevent proper healing.
4. Jagged or gaping wounds.
5. Torn sections with either an open flap or three sides torn away.
6. Cuts to the face or head.
The emergency room is well equipped to handle cuts and wounds. These doctors put in stitches several times a day and are well versed in the process, but cuts to the face should be treated by a plastic surgeon to reduce the possibility of excessive scaring.
Stitches can remain in place from 5 to 14 days depending upon the location of the wound. Always keep stitches dry for the first 24 hours to prevent infections. Afterward immediately dry the affected area after bathing. Clean your stitches twice a day and apply an antibiotic ointment. If pus, increased redness and swelling occur or if the wound begins to smell bad, the wound maybe infected and see your physician immediately.
Limitations on "Compression Only CPR"
On April 2nd, 2011 the American Heart Association (AHA) gave a Call to Action for bystander witnessed out-of-hospital cardiac arrest of probable cardiac origin. The news media picked this up and announced to the public that the new AHA recommendation is to do compression only CPR. From the number of calls we received there seems to be a lot of confusion.
This call to action for bystander does NOT apply to:
1. unwitnessed cardiac arrest,
2. cardiac arrest in infants, children, or cardiac arrest presumed to be of non-cardiac origin, such as
5. airway obstruction,
6. acute respiratory disease and
7. apnea (such as associated with drug overdose).
What it does apply to:
Witnessed adult cardiac arrest when you suspect the victim just had a heart attack.
Now my clarification begins to sound confusing. Let me try to simplify. The "Compression Only CPR" seems to be directed to the non-trained rescuer. The idea of having more people getting involved, in providing care, would lead to more successful resuscitation. Many people may be reluctant to get involved due to fear of contracting a disease (through mouth to mouth breaths) or being unable to provide proper CPR skills. The new guidelines are as follows:
If a bystander is not trained in CPR, then the bystander should provide hands-only (compression) CPR, pushing in the middle of the chest hard and fast until an AED arrives or emergency personnel take over the care of the victim.
If a bystander was previously trained in CPR skills and is confident in his/hers ability to provide rescue breaths with minimal interruptions in chest compressions, then the bystander should provide conventional CPR using the 30:2 compression to ventilation ratio.
If a bystander was previously trained in CPR skills and is NOT confident in his/hers ability to provide conventional CPR, then the bystander should provide hands-only (compression) CPR, pushing in the middle of the chest hard and fast until an AED arrives or emergency personnel take over the care of the victim.
If you know your skills and are confident in performing them, the best care for the victim is still CPR with compressions and rescue ventilations. On the other hand if you are reluctant or have not had proper CPR training, then beginning chest compressions alone without rescue ventilations is beneficial to the victim and should be start immediately.
For further information go to the following link:
Hidden Threats to Young Athletes
January, 2014, Washington Post On-line
In February of 2013, hundreds of youth sports safety advocates convened at a Washington hotel. They were determined to talk about something other than concussions, a counterintuitive ambition considering the rampant worry about the effects of head trauma in young athletes.
But the Washington group knew something most do not: the No. 1 killer of young athletes is sudden cardiac arrest, typically brought on by a pre-existing, detectable condition that could have been treated. Another substantial yet hidden lethal threat is heat stroke, a condition considered completely preventable.
Concussions are receiving attention nationwide, but death from a blow to the head is exceedingly rare. In contrast, a young athlete dies from a cardiac incident once every three days in the United States, researchers say. In hot months like August, heat stroke often causes the death of a young athlete every other day on average.
Concussion victims almost always get a second chance, said Laura Friend, an attendee at the Washington summit whose 12-year-old daughter, Sarah, died of sudden cardiac arrest while swimming at a Texas community pool in 2004. When your heart fails from something that could have been treated which happens all the time you don't have another chance. As someone told me, sudden cardiac arrest is not rare; surviving it is.
Heat stroke, also known as exertional heat illness, has been a focus of sports safety advocates because of simple, common-sense preventive measures, like introducing gradual levels of exercise at the beginning of a sports season in hot temperatures.
When my son died, people treated it as a freak thing, said Rhonda Fincher, whose 13-year-old son, Kendrick, died in 1995 from heat stroke sustained during a season-opening football practice in northwestern Arkansas. The ignorance was unacceptable because, unfortunately, it is not infrequent. And we should all know that.
No healthy child should be sent off to a routine practice and die from it.