Researchers looking for long COVID symptoms find only 7

By Frank Diamond: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s tally of 19 possible long COVID symptoms comes with the caveat that it’s “not a comprehensive list.”

Yale Medicine counts 22 symptoms, while the Mayo Clinic lists 10. And Great Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) puts the number at 16.

These lists can be made even longer. For instance, the NHS has “high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat and changes to sense of smell or taste” as one symptom. Mayo lists “difficulty thinking or concentrating, headache, sleep problems, dizziness when you stand, pins-and-needles feeling, loss of smell or taste and depression or anxiety” as one symptom.

Narrowing down exactly what symptoms point to long COVID would be a start, and researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) think they’ve done just that by slimming the field of long COVID symptoms down to just seven: fast-beating heart, hair loss, fatigue, chest pain, shortness of breath, joint pain and obesity.

Their study in Open Forum Infectious Diseases said that “understanding the population and subgroup risks for long COVID associated with outcomes, including lingering and chronic never-before-experienced symptoms and new medical diagnoses such as those reported here, is important for clinicians and researchers so that clinical guidelines for treatments and symptom management can be more appropriately developed for the growing number of adults affected by COVID-19.”

Opinion: People With Disabilities Deserve Better Health Care. We All Do.

BY TARA LAGU: For Complete Post, Click Here…

IWAS A RESIDENT working in an underresourced health clinic when, one afternoon, my triage paper indicated that my next patient needed a Pap smear. I walked into the room and found a woman sitting in a wheelchair.

Although I smiled and tried help her feel welcome, I felt nothing but panic.

During medical school, I had not been trained to care for people with disabilities. Now a resident, I didn’t even know to ask whether the clinic had access to a height-adjustable exam table. What I did know was that, because of my lack of experience and prior training, there was no chance I could perform a Pap smear for this person today. I apologized for the inconvenience and arranged an appointment for the patient at a women’s hospital on a different day and with a different doctor.

When I became a researcher, this experience, and others like it, led me to explore the disparities in care that patients with disabilities face. Through those studies, I have come to strongly believe that these disparities aren’t just a problem for patients who need sign language interpreters or accessible tables – they’re simply some of the most egregious cases of what all patients face in the United States health care system.

In 2013, my research team and I called a random sample of doctors from four U.S. cities, each time posing as a doctor making an appointment for a patient who used a wheelchair. Of the subspecialists we called, 20 percent said they could not accommodate such a patient. Some lacked adequate training or staff or equipment; a few said that their building was simply inaccessible, even though access to health care settings is a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA.

More recently, we conducted focus groups with physicians to better understand the barriers that exist to caring for people with disabilities. Physicians in our recent study spoke with surprising candor, revealing in some cases profound biases toward people with disabilities. Undark reported on that study in November, which described doctors who reported using excuses in order to avoid treating people with disabilities. Some told prospective patients their caseload was full, or that they didn’t accept their insurance. Others were more straightforward, and simply told patients, “I am not the doctor for you.”

The attitudes and behaviors expressed by doctors in our recent study are inexcusable, unethical, and possibly illegal under the ADA. They also highlight why many patients with disabilities struggle to find doctors who will care for them, and suggest an urgent need to address disparities in health care access and quality.

But these dramatic examples not only provide a window into the U.S. health care system’s failures towards people with disabilities — they also reveal just how broken the system is for all patients.

More Antipsychotics Given for Dementia During Pandemic

By Kate Kneisel: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Maybe the use of them has absolutely nothing to do with any need of the resident, but the desire of staff to knock the residents out and make their jobs easier…

Rates remained high into 2021, despite lifting of pandemic restrictions.

Antipsychotic drug prescribing rates among people with dementia increased markedly during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a multinational database study showed.

Notably, those rates did not return to prepandemic levels after the acute phase of the pandemic had ended, Kenneth K.C. Man, PhD, of University College London School of Pharmacy, and colleagues reported in JAMA Psychiatryopens in a new tab or window.

In U.S. Medicare data, the likelihood of dementia patients getting prescribed antipsychotics after the introduction of COVID-19 restrictions rose 43% (95% CI 1.20-1.71) compared with the same period in 2019.

While new diagnoses returned to normal in most of the databases, incidence in the latter months of 2021 remained below the prior 3-year mean in the U.S. data.

The researchers suggested that disruptions in dementia diagnosis services and increased mortality among those who were or would have been diagnosed with dementia were likely behind the changes.

Healthcare-Related Injury Found in Nearly One-Fourth of Hospitalizations

by Crystal Phend: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Study suggests “disturbing” rate of potentially preventable errors.

Nearly a quarter of hospital stays involve adverse events from healthcare errors, and nearly one in 10 cause serious harm, according to a study replicating the landmark 1991 Harvard Medical Practice Studyopens in a new tab or window (HMPS).

In a random sample of 2,809 admissions at 11 Massachusetts hospitals, 23.6% had at least one adverse event, 32.3% of which required substantial intervention or prolonged recovery, David W. Bates, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and colleagues reported in the New England Journal of Medicineopens in a new tab or window.

California’s power outages are a life-and-death issue

By Alice Wong: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-This is a critical issue in Michigan as well. Great problems that laste dfor days to weeks happened in the 2013 ice storm…

A perspective on the impacts of storms for people with disabilities.

The terms atmospheric river and bomb cyclone were not in my vocabulary until recently. During the first two weeks of 2023, however, the San Francisco Bay Area was deluged with a series of storms. I am a disabled person who depends on power to live. When I came home after four weeks in the ICU last summer, I was tethered to a feeding machine that pumps food into my stomach, as well as to a ventilator that’s attached to a hole in my throat, among numerous other devices. The stakes for potential harm during a power outage have exponentially increased. My anxiety, vulnerability and fear are real.

Jan. 3, 2023, 10:44 p.m.: Texted my caregivers on what to do if a power outage happens while I am in bed tomorrow night. Air mattress will deflate, and I will immediately need to be transferred into my wheelchair. I will need to use my backup electric batteries for medical devices such as my suction machine, since I need to suction hourly every day.

Jan. 4, 10 a.m.: Mentally calculating how much battery life some of my machines need before needing to use my backup electric battery. My other devices do not have a built-in battery.

1 p.m.: Bookmarked the link to Pacific Gas & Electric’s (PG&E) Outage Center, so I can look up all the outages by location and report one if it happens in my neighborhood.

1:30 p.m.: Asked my father to make sure my backup electric batteries are fully charged.

2 p.m.: Let my morning caregiver leave her shift early so that she can get home safely before the brunt of the storm arrives. Did not hydrate today, because my nighttime caregiver will not arrive until 9 p.m. Worried for her, and worried for me. I hope I don’t get a full bladder.

3:02 p.m.: Tweeting information about the storm. Noticing that many weather-related Tweets do not have alt text in graphics and captions in videos that contain vital information about the storm, evacuations and road closures.

3:30 p.m.: Watching the news and scrolling Twitter. My father, who thinks I’m being an alarmist, said, “The news always exaggerates the dangers.” After living with me for decades, he still doesn’t understand.

6:01 p.m.: Pre-emptively charging some of my devices, topping them up with power tonight, just in case.

6:19 p.m.Uh-oh. My bladder feels a little full. Let’s see if I can hold on until 9-ish when my caregiver arrives. I hope she makes it.

And Much More…

Woman and her 2 sons die after walking freezing Michigan streets for days

By Dennis Romero: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-Appalling lack of safety net….

A woman and two of her children were found dead in a field over the weekend after wandering the streets of Pontiac, Michigan, for nearly three days amid freezing temperatures, authorities said.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said the deaths could have been prevented.

Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel said at a news conference Monday, “This is a horrible, heart-wrenching tragedy.”

Frequent Use of Antibiotics May Heighten Inflammatory Bowel Disease Risk in Adults Over 40

From Neuroscience News: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Summary: Adult exposure to antibiotics appears to be linked to an increased risk of developing an inflammatory bowel disorder, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The risk appears to be cumulative, greatest around two years after use, and for antibiotics that target gut infections.

Source: BMJ

Frequent use of antibiotics may heighten the risk of inflammatory bowel disease—Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis—among adults over 40, suggests research published online in the journal Gut.

The risk seems to be cumulative and greatest 1-2 years after use and for those antibiotics targeting gut infections, the findings indicate.

5 ways to maintain fitness in winter if you have a disability

By Georgina Moore: For Complete Post, Click Here…

With a new year comes new goals and keeping fit is often one of them. Maintaining fitness is important for your health and wellbeing, but can come with challenges if you’re disabled, especially during the colder months. That’s why boccia player, Georgina Moore, has put together 5 ways to maintain your fitness in winter if you have a disability.

As a boccia athlete, I must keep as fit as I can all year round, which can be difficult during the colder and darker months. The motivation to go out to exercise is lacking and this is even more apparent now the cost of living is so high and Covid cases are rising once again. 

Living with a severe physical disability my whole life has meant I have had to adapt my fitness regime to my capabilities. I am still feeling levels of Covid anxiety at the thought of going to the gym or swimming. I can also no longer afford the membership for these activities. 

I am sure many of you are in the same position as me, so here are my top tips for maintaining your fitness levels at home. Please remember to seek advice from a professional to ensure these exercises are suitable for you.

1. Resistance bands

and much more…

Tranq Dope: Animal Sedative Mixed With Fentanyl Brings Fresh Horror to U.S. Drug Zones

By Jan Hoffman: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Over a matter of weeks, Tracey McCann watched in horror as the bruises she was accustomed to getting from injecting fentanyl began hardening into an armor of crusty, blackened tissue. Something must have gotten into the supply.

Switching corner dealers didn’t help. People were saying that everyone’s dope was being cut with something that was causing gruesome, painful wounds.

“I’d wake up in the morning crying because my arms were dying,” Ms. McCann, 39, said.

In her shattered Philadelphia neighborhood, and increasingly in drug hot zones around the country, an animal tranquilizer called xylazine — known by street names like “tranq,” “tranq dope” and “zombie drug” — is being used to bulk up illicit fentanyl, making its impact even more devastating.

Xylazine causes wounds that erupt with a scaly dead tissue called eschar; untreated, they can lead to amputation. It induces a blackout stupor for hours, rendering users vulnerable to rape and robbery. When people come to, the high from the fentanyl has long since faded and they immediately crave more. Because xylazine is a sedative and not an opioid, it resists standard opioid overdose reversal treatments.

More than 90 percent of Philadelphia’s lab-tested dope samples were positive for xylazine, according to the most recent data.

“It’s too late for Philly,” said Shawn Westfahl, an outreach worker with Prevention Point Philadelphia, a 30-year-old health services center in Kensington, the neighborhood at the epicenter of the city’s drug trade. “Philly’s supply is saturated. If other places around the country have a choice to avoid it, they need to hear our story.”

A study published in June detected xylazine in the drug supply in 36 states and the District of Columbia. In New York City, xylazine has been found in 25 percent of drug samples, though health officials say the actual saturation is certainly greater. In November, the Food and Drug Administration issued a nationwide four-page xylazine alert to clinicians.

245% Increase in Abuse: Children Are Ditching Alcohol for Marijuana

From By TAYLOR & FRANCIS GROUP: For Complete Post, Click Here…

A new paper has revealed 338,727 instances of intentional misuse and abuse for children aged 6 to 18 years old.

A recent study published in the journal Clinical Toxicology has found that marijuana abuse among adolescents in the United States has increased 245% since 2000, while alcohol abuse has decreased over the same period.

The study, which tracked intentional misuse and abuse reported to the National Poison Data System (NPDS) until 2020, found 338,000 instances of intentional abuse or misuse among American children aged 6-18. The majority of these cases involved males (58.3%), and more than 80% of all reported cases occurred among teenagers aged 13 to 18. In total, over 32% of these instances resulted in “worse than minor clinical outcomes.”