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.)

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…

The best way to get a crying baby back to sleep? Researchers say they’ve figured it out

By Jordan Mendoza: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Nearly every newborn parent has dealt with it: a crying baby that just won’t go to sleep, or an infant who wakes up in the middle of the night and won’t let anyone go back to bed.

Regardless of the countless hours of sleep lost, people have endless amounts of remedies and tricks to get a baby back to sleep. Now, researchers say they have figured out – scientifically – the best way to get a newborn back in their crib, and it involves moving around.

The findings, published Tuesday in the peer reviewed journal Current Biology, suggest the best method is to hold a crying baby and walk with them for five minutes. After that, researchers say to sit and hold the baby for five-to-eight minutes before putting them to bed. The walking-to-sit method even worked in the daytime, the results showed.

Medicare Assistance Programs Go Unused Despite Need

By Julie Carter: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Older adults and people with disabilities may face barriers to programs that could help them pay for Medicare and other basic needs, like food, housing, and utilities. These challenges range from confusing or restrictive application and eligibility rules to simply not knowing about a program’s existence. As costs continue to rise, it is increasingly important to ensure that people who need help get it.

For example, Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) pay Medicare premiums for eligible enrollees and, in some cases, cover cost-sharing like copayments and coinsurance. But MSP enrollment is consistently low, despite widespread efforts to increase use and outreach. This is likely from a combination of people not knowing about or understanding the program and administrative inefficiencies like complex enrollment or asset documentation processes. Medicare Rights continues to suggest ways states could address these problems and increase MSP uptake, like making better use of existing technology and data, implementing automatic renewals, increasing income eligibility thresholds, and removing asset limits.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is another critical but under-enrolled program. Food insecurity is widespread among older adults with an estimated 9.5 million people 50 or older and 5 million people 60 or older facing limited or uncertain access to adequate food. Despite this need, SNAP participation rates for the older adult population are low, with an estimated 29% of those eligible participating. In a series of reports earlier this year, AARP explored the reasons for this and identified several policy changes that could bolster older adult participation: higher eligibility limits, outreach to eligible people, streamlined application processes, and increased minimum benefits.

Other benefit programs are also underused by older adults, leaving many struggling to afford basic needs. Medicare Rights recommends contacting your local Area Agency on Aging and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), as well as using online tools like Benefits Checkup, to see if you or a loved one are eligible for assistance programs in your area. Eligibility rules and access vary by state and community, so we advise people to check even if they feel certain they do not qualify.

Simple & Easy: Daily Multivitamin May Improve Cognition and Protect Against Mental Decline

By WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Could taking a daily multivitamin supplement help maintain cognitive health with aging and possibly prevent cognitive decline? According to new research, it might. A new study found that taking a daily supplement may improve cognition in older adults, but additional studies are needed to confirm these findings before any health recommendations are made. The study also showed that daily use of a cocoa extract supplement does not benefit cognition.

“Our study showed that although cocoa extract did not affect cognition, daily multivitamin-mineral supplementation resulted in statistically significant cognitive improvement,” Baker said. “This is the first evidence of cognitive benefit in a large longer-term study of multivitamin supplementation in older adults.”

According to the researchers’ estimations, three years of multivitamin supplementation roughly translated to a 60% slowing of cognitive decline (about 1.8 years). The results showed that benefits were relatively more pronounced in participants with significant cardiovascular disease, which is important because these individuals are already at increased risk for cognitive impairment and decline.

Out-of-Pocket Cost of Naloxone May Keep Many Uninsured from Using Lifesaving Treatment

By Evan D. Peet: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The cost of buying the opioid antidote naloxone is out of reach for many uninsured Americans, a hurdle that may keep the treatment from saving more people who overdose on opioids, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

While laws making it easier to prescribe and obtain naloxone have increased use of the medication, the out-of-pocket cost of the drug for the uninsured has risen sharply even while falling for many who are insured.

The study found that the average out-of-pocket cost per naloxone prescription among those who have health insurance declined by 26 percent from 2014 to 2018, while out-of-pocket costs increased by more than 500 percent for people who are uninsured. Uninsured Americans are a vulnerable population that represent about 20 percent of adults with an opioid-use disorder and nearly one-third of opioid overdose deaths.

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. 

Long COVID’s link to suicide: scientists warn of hidden crisis

By Julie Steenhuysen and Jennifer Rigby: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The 56-year-old, who caught the disease in spring 2020, still had not recovered about 18 months later when he killed himself at his home near Dallas, having lost his health, memory and money.

“No one cares. No one wants to take the time to listen,” Taylor wrote in a final text to a friend, speaking of the plight of millions of sufferers of long COVID, a disabling condition that can last for months and years after the initial infection.

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.

Year of the Tiger: Debut memoir by Alice Wong

From Disability Visibility Project: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Friends, the time is meow. Today my debut memoir, Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life, is available in paperback, audiobook, and e-book.

It’s been a hell of a summer and I am grateful to be alive to tell my story.

Free discussion guide by Sandy Ho: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Discussion-Guide_YOTT_Ho-Remediated.pdf

Official book playlist https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2vN4440v9Lz9RegPjVpEev?si=b924c148e58046b2

Plain language summary (coming soon), online book events, and more: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/book/tiger/

This labor of love has been a collective effort and I hope you love it as much as I do!