In Wake of Philips Recall, Patients Still Waiting for Sleep Apnea Devices

by Jennifer Henderson: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Effects of recall reverberate through sleep medicine community.

More than a year after the start of a recall now involving more than 5 million breathing devices, doctors and patients are still feeling the effects as manufacturer Philips continues to remediate machines and weathers scrutiny from federal agencies.

The recall by subsidiary Philips Respironics has affected certain continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines and mechanical ventilators mainly due to potential health risks from polyester-based polyurethane (PE-PUR) sound abatement foam that was used in the machines.

Philips said at the time of the recall that the foam could degrade into particles that could enter the device’s air pathway and be ingested by the user, and that it could off-gas certain chemicals.

The issues, the company said at the time, could result in serious injury that could be life-threatening, cause permanent impairment, and/or require medical intervention. Potential health risks of particulate or chemical exposure range from irritation to toxic and carcinogenic effects, the company said.

Though the recall initially applied to between 3 and 4 million machines, that number has since grown to 5.5 million, according to the company.

Recalling such a mass of critical devices has posed several challenges. Philips still has work to do on a sprawling repair and replacement program, and federal agencies have continued to monitor the company’s progress and communications. On top of that, Philips has agreed to pay $24 million to settle kickback allegations that were being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Those allegations were unrelated to the recall and were originally brought by a whistleblower employee. (See this related story on Philips’ run-ins with the DOJ.)

HIGH RATES OF DEPRESSION AND PTSD FOUND IN FLINT 5 YEARS AFTER WATER CRISIS

BY DUKE TODAY STAFF: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Very high rates of depression and PTSD linked to water contamination.

Data from the largest mental health survey of the Flint, Michigan community indicate that one in five adults, or roughly 13,600 people, were estimated to have clinical depression, and one in four, or 15,000 people, were estimated to have PTSD five years after the water crisis began.

“The mental health burden of America’s largest public-works environmental disaster clearly continues for many adults in Flint,” said Aaron Reuben, a postdoctoral scholar at Duke University who led the research, which appears Sept. 20 in JAMA Network Open.

Setting Standards for Delivering High-Quality Care to Veterans with Invisible Wounds

by Natalie Ernecoff, Carrie M. Farmer, Matthew F. Amidon, Margaret C. Harrell, Jennifer Silva: For Complete Post, Click Here…

For veterans living with invisible wounds of war, care delivery organizations must define and measure standards for high-quality care. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, traumatic brain injury (TBI), substance use disorders, and other “invisible wounds” are common among post-9/11 veterans and can interfere with their employment, family life, engagement with their communities, and overall well-being. Further, many veterans receive care at non-VA facilities, though the quality and programs in non-VA clinical settings are difficult to assess. Although there are effective treatments for these conditions, many veterans face barriers to accessing high-quality care. Therefore, care delivery organizations could work to ensure that the care and resources they provide are of high quality.

As a first step, the Veteran Wellness Alliance, a coalition of veteran peer network organizations and clinical provider organizations supported by the George W. Bush Institute, previously collaborated with RAND researchers to develop a shared definition of high-quality care consisting of four pillars: veteran-centered care, accessible care, evidence-based care, and outcome monitoring to improve access to high-quality care for post-9/11 veterans with invisible wounds.

Final Public Charge Rule Adds Critical Protections for Immigrant Families

By Katherine Villeda, Colin Reusch: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Late last week following guidance from the Biden administration, the Department of Homeland Security released the final Public Charge Rule, taking an important step forward to undo the harm caused by the previous administration’s rule which significantly threatened access to critical services for immigrants and their families. This final rule adds critical protections and affirms that immigrants and their families can safely access health, housing and nutritional programs to which they are entitled to without fear of consequences to their immigration status.     

Here is what advocates need to know:  

  • The final rule goes into effect Dec. 22, 2022. Between now and then, the field guidance from the 1999 rule will continue to be followed.  
  • Immigrants and their families, including citizen children, can safely access non-cash health, nutritional and housing programs they qualify for, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Section 8 housing assistance. Benefits received from these programs will not count towards the public charge test. 
  • Applying for benefits, being approved for benefits, assisting someone else to apply for benefits, or being in the same household as someone who receives benefits will not be counted towards the applicant’s immigration application.  
  • The only programs that can be considered in a public charge determination are Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance, state and locally funded cash assistance for income maintenance, and long-term institutional care paid for by Medicaid (this excludes short term or rehabilitative care and home and community-based services). However, getting these benefits does not automatically make someone a public charge. Other factors such as when benefits were received, length of receipt of benefits, education, skills, income and affidavit of support will be taken into account before making a public charge determination. If a public charge determination is made, immigration officers must now state their reasons as to why someone is a public charge.  

A further analysis of the final rule can be found here.   

Family Caregiver Services by State

From The Family Caregiver Alliance: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Our Family Caregiver Services by State tool helps you locate public and nonprofit programs and services nearby, no matter where you live in the United States. Resources include government health and disability programs, legal, in-home, out-of-home care, and more. Caregiving is challenging, but there are resources to help. Choose a state in the dropdown menu, or click on a state in the map for state-specific resources, then filter by topic to help you find what resources are available to help with your situation.

Select a state…

Up to 4 million people may be out of work due to long Covid, new research suggests

By Aria Bendix: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Up to 4 million people may be out of work because of long Covid in the U.S, according to a report published this week by the Brookings Institution.

In lost wages, that could add up to at least $170 billion per year, the report suggests.

the Brookings report determined that 2 million to 4 million people in the U.S. are working less or not at all because of their illness.

“This is a shocking number,” said Katie Bach, the report’s author and a nonresident senior fellow at Brookings.

“If this looks like other post-viral illnesses, some people will recover, but there will be this big stock of people who don’t, and it will just continue to grow over time,” she said.

COVID-19 Mortality Burden and Comorbidity Patterns Among Decedents with and without Intellectual and Developmental Disability in the US

By Scott D.Landes, Julia M.Finan, Margaret A.Turk: For Complete Post, Click Here…

COVID-19 was the leading cause of death among decedents with IDD in 2020, compared to the 3rd leading cause among decedents without IDD. The proportion of deaths from COVID-19 was also higher for decedents with compared to without IDD. Comorbidities resulting from COVID-19 were similar among decedents with and without IDD, but there were some differences among reported pre-existing conditions, notably higher rates of hypothyroidism and seizures among decedents with IDD.

The COVID-19 mortality burden was greater for people with than without IDD during the first year of the pandemic. The continued practice of postmortem diagnostic overshadowing prevents analyzing whether this difference continues through today. Action is needed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to mitigate this data inequity. Out of an abundance of caution, medical providers should carefully monitor symptoms among COVID-19 patients with IDD diagnosed with hypothyroidism and/or seizures.

10 Signs of Unresolved Trauma You Would Never Think Of

By Gillian May: For Complete Post, Click Here…

For example, being bad with direction or needing everything to stay the same may be signs of unresolved trauma.

Let’s look at 10 signs of unresolved trauma that we rarely mention or think about. Many of these symptoms are embedded in the body and indicate a stressed nervous system. The energy of trauma never leaves our body until we process it. In some ways, these symptoms are the body attempting to process and resolve the excess energy of trauma.

Many trauma therapists know that this can occur, and they often work on these symptoms with their clients to help them integrate and become more aware of what’s behind the symptoms.

Shaking

Skin and hair picking

and many more…

The fight to keep little-known bacteria out of powdered baby formula

By Laura Reiley and Jacob Bogage: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Parents aren’t adequately warned about the risks of cronobacter, say food safety experts. ‘I fed my daughter like I was supposed to,’ said Megan Surber, whose child is now disabled.

Jeanine Kunkel had been the healthy twin, the one who came home from the hospital that day in 2008 while her brother James stayed a few nights in intensive care. But within days of arriving, she spiked a fever that sent her back to the hospital.

The newborn had developed an infection — caused, her doctors said, by ingesting formula tainted with the bacteria Cronobacter sakazakii. The infection led to a severe case of meningitisthat caused irreparable brain damage. Jeanine’s family sued the formula maker, Abbott Laboratories, arguing the company was responsible for her illness, but a jury found the company not liable. The company’s lawyers dredged up incidents from the family’s past and argued that the bacteria could have come from anywhere, including the family kitchen.

Jeanine’s situation is rare, but not isolated. 

Use of Telehealth During the Pandemic Tied to Fewer Opioid Overdoses

by Shannon Firth: For Complete Post, Click Here…

“Protective effect” for Medicare patients with OUD who used telehealth services, says researcher.

Medicare enrollees with opioid use disorder (OUD) who took advantage of the expanded telehealth access during the pandemic had lower odds of needing treatment for an overdose and were also more likely to stay on medication for OUD, a longitudinal cohort study found.

And the receipt of OUD-related telehealth services also increased the odds of OUD-medication retention among enrollees (aOR 1.27, 95% CI 1.14-1.41), demonstrating a “protective effect” for this population, Jones told MedPage Today.