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.

Autism and Lying

By Mette Harrison: For Complete Post, Click Here…

I find it excruciating to lie. But let me clarify a bit here. To me, lying is not what most other people would call lying. I say other people are lying a lot of the time because they say things that I consider “contrary to fact.” Most people, when I point these out, give me a funny look and say something like, “that’s not a lie.” They think of these things as “white lies” or something don’t think of them as lies at all. This is largely because their brains are not as literal as mine is. But if you tell me something that is an exaggeration or a social nicety, I will call that a lie. And you will be confused. This is often a subject of argument between me and people who are neurotypical who have no idea what I think of as a lie.

There are two kinds of lies that I see most often in the world.

1. Lying to make someone else feel better

2. Lying to make yourself look better

Most people only consider the second one a lie, and only in extreme circumstances. If you lie to make someone else feel better (“flattery” perhaps you might be able to call this), then you don’t think of it as a lie because that is what normal social interaction is. This is exactly why autistic people struggle so much with learning how to interact normally in the social world of neurotypicals. We don’t understand why flattery is necessary or good. We don’t understand how other people want to be seen (as smarter than they are, as thinner than they are, as prettier or stronger or taller than they are or whatever), so we really struggle with compliments.

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.

Subtitle the world

ByAmanda Florian: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Sirens blare and the roar of impatient drivers echoes in the background. Jake Giovanni, who is deaf, sits across from me in his apartment in Charlotte, North Carolina, to test out XRAI Glass—new tech that produces captions in real time for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Giovanni, 24, is one of the first in the US to see the tech in action. A compatible smartphone running XRAI Glass software captures audio while a pair of augmented reality glasses—in this case, the Nreal Air AR glasses created by Beijing-based Nreal—display captions on Giovanni’s lenses. After selecting “start captions,” the app begins captioning our interview as if we were watching a TV show or film with subtitles.

“I’m really thankful that somebody’s doing this,” he said. “You have to start somewhere. And the impact that this could make on someone’s life is incredible.”

On the top left of Giovanni’s lens is a small icon that shows network strength, and in the middle is me. The sleek glasses, tinted—with space for prescription lenses—allow a person to view what’s in front of them as captions appear on the bottom left side. London-based tech startup XRAI Glass provided Morning Brew with a compatible device from Nreal in order to test the software with interviewees.

Giovanni, a consulting analyst, explained his profound hearing loss was caused by a mutation in a particular gene on his X chromosome.

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…

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.

10 TikToks to Watch If You’re Struggling With Suicidal Thoughts Right Now

By Sky Taylor: For Complete Post, Click Here…

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. If you need support right now, you can call, text, or chat the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988, or text HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line if you are in the U.S. A list of crisis centers around the world can be found here.

When people are struggling, especially with their mental health, we tell them to reach out. Talk to someone. Tell a trusted adult. But the unfortunate reality is that not everyone has a person they can text when suicidal thoughts get too loud and the pain gets too heavy. Even if someone has a great support system, when you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, feeling like a burden can make it incredibly difficult to reach out. And yes, crisis lines exist, but they have a time and a place (and plenty that needs fixing). Sometimes you just need the face of another person who understands, spending 60 seconds with you, being supportive and empathetic.

That’s why I’m thankful for TikTok, and especially these videos. People can say what they will about screen time and mindless scrolling, but there are far more destructive coping mechanisms, and I’m certainly not one to judge. I know how lonely and isolating living with suicidal thoughts can be. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve watched these videos on repeat, and how many times they’ve saved me. If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts right now, I want you to know I see you. And I hope you find as much comfort and support in these videos as I have. Save them, bookmark them, come back to them when you need to, they’ll be here.

1. POV: You see us struggling with suicidal thoughts.

A wildly popular mental health advocate with years of lived experience, Jazz Thornton is always there to remind you the world is better with you in it. The way she uses her story to help so many who are struggling with such dark thoughts, is inspiring. This point-of-view style video, talking di

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.