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Safely Measuring Kids’ Medicine

Kitchen spoons are great for mixing up your family’s favorite recipes, but when it comes to measuring kids medicine, teaspoons and tablespoons should be left in the utensil drawer, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP is urging parents, physicians and pharmacists to use only metric measurements on prescriptions, drug labels and dosing devices to make sure children receive the correct amount of medication.

“Household spoons vary in size. They are not precise. Parents should use syringes, which is a much more accurate way for them to give their child the intended dose of medication.”

According to the Academy more than 70,000 children visit emergency rooms each year because of unintentional medication overdoses. One recent study found that those errors are significantly less common among parents who use only milliliter-based dosing. The Academy is recommending several changes to improve accuracy, including: The use of standard label language with lower case m and upper case L as the only abbreviation for milliliter. Having pediatricians review milliliter-based doses with families when a prescription is written. Including NO extra markings on dosing devices, as well as the elimination of oversize syringes and cups. And asking manufacturers to eliminate use of all other dosing units other than metric.

To read more about correctly measuring kids medicine go to: http://bit.ly/1GCh06v

Former Smokers Harmed by Tobacco Tell Their Stories

U.S. health officials released a new round of graphic anti-smoking ads featuring former smokers living with the ravages of tobacco.

The new ads highlight the benefits of quitting for the families of smokers and the importance of giving up cigarettes completely, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Bottom line, these ads will save lives and they will also save money,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a news conference Thursday. Tobacco is “public health enemy number one,” Frieden said. “More than 1,000 Americans per day are killed by tobacco — nearly 500,000 every year.”  Yet 42 million Americans still smoke, according to the CDC.

Among those former smokers featured in the ads is Julia, 58, who smoked for more than 20 years and developed colon cancer at 49. “I tried to quit many times,” she said during the news conference. “With the help of my family and my faith, I was able to quit smoking successfully. Unfortunately, I did not walk away from smoking without consequences. The battle I fought with cancer isn’t something I would wish on anybody.”

To read more about the ads go to: http://1.usa.gov/1CMmNiA

NLM Releases TOXinvaders, a Mobile Game about Chemistry, the Environment and Health

The Division of Specialized Information Services of the National Library of Medicine launches TOXinvaders, an environmental health and toxicology game for iPhone and iPad, available from the Apple Store.

TOXinvaders supports middle school science concepts pertaining to chemistry, environment and health. It can serve as an engaging classroom or homework activity for middle and high school students, as well as an entertaining learning activity for gaming aficionados of all ages. In the classroom environment, TOXinvaders works best as a supplement to NLM Tox Town, Environmental Health Student Portal, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus Web sites.

The game consists of four fast-paced levels, in which a launcher is used to annihilate toxic chemicals falling from the sky and earn protective shield points by capturing “good chemicals.” To move on to the next level, players must take a brief quiz about the chemicals. These dynamically generated tests provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about environmental health and toxicology from the game’s chemical information sheet and from NLM Web sites.

Click here for the link to the Apple Store to download the app: http://apple.co/1NvGl6o

 

 

How to Assess the Effectiveness of ACA Outreach and Education Efforts (webinar)

From Community Science

“Join Community Science for a Webinar: “How to Assess the Effectiveness of ACA Outreach and Education Efforts” on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 2:30pm – 4:00pm EDT.  This webinar will provide practical strategies to assess outreach and education efforts used to inform difficult to reach, racially and ethnically diverse populations on the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  In addition, this webinar will provide organizations that are conducting, funding, or planning, ACA outreach and education to racially and ethnically diverse populations with insights on assessing the reach and effectiveness of those activities. The webinar will focus on lessons learned from an evaluation conducted by Community Science.”

Register: http://bit.ly/1HkmzFM

Assessing Patient Health Information Needs for Developing Consumer Health IT Tools (webinar)

From the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality:

“As the development of consumer health IT tools becomes increasingly commonplace, methods for analyzing their personal health information management needs must become an embedded component of the design lifecycle. The projects presented in this Web conference will discuss the identification of users’ personal health information management practices and the context in which these practices occur to inform the development of consumer health IT tools to improve communication of safety concerns of hospitalized patients and effective health management of patients with diabetes and children with asthma.”

Thursday, May 7 1:30-3:00 pm ET

For more information and to register: http://bit.ly/1PDJEqL

NIH Still Active in Gulf Region Five Years After Oil Spill

From the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS):

“Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, researchers at the National Institutes of Health are actively working with Gulf region community partners, to learn if any human health problems resulted from the disaster and establish a new research response plan to be better prepared for future disasters….

An important lesson learned from the Gulf oil spill and other recent disasters is that researchers need to be involved early in the response efforts to collect vital health information, including samples of air, water, and other materials and contaminants. They also need off-the-shelf customizable research tools if they are going to be able to move quickly to launch a research study that meets all guidelines for protecting the rights of study volunteers. As a result, NIEHS worked with the National Library of Medicine, also part of NIH, and other agencies to develop the NIH Disaster Research Response Project. Key elements of this project include publicly accessible field-tested data collection tools, research protocols, training materials and exercises, and development of a network of trained research responders (see http://dr2.nlm.nih.gov).”

For more information about NIH activities in the Gulf region: http://1.usa.gov/1FOghMC

Rural Veteran Outreach Toolkit

“VA’s Strategic Plan recognizes the challenge rural Veterans face in accessing their benefits and emphasizes partnership between VA and community agencies as a means of improving access for all Veterans.”

“This toolkit contains the lessons learned from community focus groups and pilots in three rural communities. Without the support of our community partners, many of whom are Veterans, this endeavor would have been more difficult and we are indebted to them for their assistance.

Using this toolkit can increase partnerships between VA and rural communities and enhance VA’s ultimate goal of “Improving the quality of life for Veterans who live in rural communities.” This toolkit will help:

  • Build a relationship between VA and rural communities
  • Teach rural communities about benefits and services available to Veterans
  • Connect VA programs with community partners to assist Veterans
  • Improve outreach to Veterans living in rural areas
  • Help rural Veterans access local community resources
  • Increase Veteran enrollment in rural areas”

To learn more and download the toolkit: http://1.usa.gov/1H7J1Sr

Think Cultural Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Provides free online and accredited cultural competency continuing education programs for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and social workers.  http://1.usa.gov/1CzdYbu

Workshop: Opportunities and Strategies To Promote Behavior Change in Behavioral Health

April 15, 2015 | 8:30 a.m.–4:45 p.m. Eastern Time
Keck Center of the National Academies

The National Research Council’s Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences has convened an expert committee that will host a 1-day workshop on Opportunities and Strategies To Promote Behavior Change in Behavioral Health. Registration for this workshop is now open.

The workshop will examine the role of intermediate and mediating variables that influence treatment-seeking behaviors and access to care, including:

  • Socioeconomic barriers, social networks and institutions, and cultures, including the social norms, beliefs, and attitudes that are most amenable to positive change
  • Strategies for outcome research and evaluation.

To view the workshop agenda: http://bit.ly/1FmvaIK

To learn more and register: http://bit.ly/1yg7AuX

National Minority Health Month 2015

Prevention is Power! This is the theme of National Minority Health Month, April 2015.  See the HHS Office of Minority Health for activities, events, graphics and a toolkit: http://1.usa.gov/1GLOtda. See also the Centers for Disease Control for ideas and examples: http://1.usa.gov/1a6a3MP.