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NLM activates the Emergency Access Initiative

National Library of Medicine Logo

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) has been activated to support healthcare professionals working on the Ebola public health emergency in West Africa.

The EAI is a collaborative partnership between NLM and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text from over 650 biomedical journals and over 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. It serves as a temporary collection replacement and/or supplement for libraries affected by disasters that need to continue to serve medical staff and affiliated users. It is also intended for medical personnel responding to the specified disaster. EAI is not an open access collection. It is only intended for those affected by the disaster or assisting the affected population. If you know of a library or organization involved in healthcare efforts in response to the Ebola outbreak, please let them know of this service. EAI was activated four times in the past, including following the earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic in Haiti, flooding in Pakistan and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The free access period is from August 12, 2014 – September 11, 2014

For more information on the Ebola virus visit MedlinePlus.

For updates on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Webinar Series on the NIH Public Access Policy

NIH Public Access Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region will host two free Webinars on the NIH Public Access Policy and the role of libraries.

The NIH Public Access Policy – Information for Librarians
Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT
Presenters:
Dr. Neil Thakur, National Institutes of Health
Kathryn Funk, National Library of Medicine

We will discuss the following topics:

  • Review basics of the public access policy, and the role of librarians;
  • Present the Public Access Compliance Monitor;
  • Answer questions about the policy sent to us in advance via the online registration form;
  • Address issues and questions raised during the Webinar.

Register at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/269124766. Space is limited, so reserve your seat now!

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

The NIH Public Access Policy – Views from the Library Trenches
Date: Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT
Presenters:
Emily Mazure, Duke University Medical Center Library
Susan Steelman and Jessie Casella, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Library
Scott Lapinski, Harvard University, Countway Library of Medicine

You have heard the specifics of the NIH Policy. Now find out how librarians are responding to the need to get researchers up to speed on compliance with the policy. Join us to find out the following:

  • What strategies librarians are using to support their communities. What’s worked; and what hasn’t;
  • How to get started, and which groups to work with at your institution;
  • What tools librarians can use to help researchers and improve compliance rates;
  • How librarians can work with each other to improve outcomes.

This Webinar will feature presentations from three libraries with experience on the ground helping researchers with the NIH Public Access Policy, followed by a Q&A with the audience. The presenters will discuss their unique approaches in the trenches of supporting and providing outreach on the policy.

Join this Webinar at https://webmeeting.nih.gov/npap
Participation limited to 125 connections, so please consider group viewing.
For telephone audio, dial 1-800-605-5167, and enter participant code: 816440

NLM System Shutdown August 13

Update: August 14: 9:30AM all NLM systems were restored.

 

Beginning at 6:00PM, ET, Wednesday, August 13, 2014, the National Library of Medicine will begin a systems shutdown to allow for the emergency repair of the chilled water supply to the NLM Data Center. These systems may be restored as early as 8:00 AM ET Thursday, August 14, 2014, but possibly as late as 11:00 AM.

Most of the databases and systems on the NLM network are expected to be impacted.

Please check the NLM website for updates.

Resources for National Breastfeeding Month

Lact Med Mobile Logo

August is National Breastfeeding Month, first proclaimed by the United States Breastfeeding Committee in 2011. This blog post will highlight resources from the National Library of Medicine (and other authoritative sites) related to this topic.

LactMed: Drugs and Lactation Database is a National Library of Medicine (NLM) database containing information on drugs and other chemicals to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. LactMed offers users the ability to search for a generic, brand or chemical name, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Number, pharmacologic category, and/or subject terms, and retrieve information on the effects the agent has on breastfeeding. It includes information on the levels of such substances in breast milk and infant blood, and the possible adverse effects in the nursing infant. Suggested therapeutic alternatives to those drugs are provided, where appropriate. LactMed is updated monthly. In addition to access through the website, an App is available for both iPhone and Adroid devices.

Womenshealth.gov from the Office on Women’s Health currently has feature articles which address breastfeeding in the work environment, as well as a health topic page devoted to Breastfeeding. The topics page includes links to a fact sheet and other resources and information on: why breastfeeding is important, learning to breastfeed, breastfeeding challenges, pumping and storage of breast milk, and others.

MedlinePlus also has a Health Topics page devoted to Breastfeeding with links to materials in 14 languages other than English and Spanish. The page includes the usual types of information, including several videos, links to ClinicalTrials.gov and journal articles, and information just for dads!

In addition, two organizations provide national and local support for moms who breastfeed (or are considering breastfeeding) their babies: March of Dimes and La Leche League. Both organizations have local chapters and support groups which provide mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and education to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding as an important element in the healthy development of the baby and mother.

New Online Self-Paced K-12 Health and Science Resources Class

Environmental Health Student PortalThe National Network of Libraries of Medicine, South Central Region (NN/LM SCR) is pleased to offer the following new online class in Moodle format: NLM’s Online Playground: K-12 Health and Science Resources from the National Library of Medicine.

This self-paced online class will open August 25, 2014 and remain open until September 12, 2014.. Cheryl Rowan, Consumer Health Coordinator, NN/LM SCR, will be the facilitator for the class.

This online course is designed to introduce the freely available K-12 resources from the National Library of Medicine. Resources will be focused on three broad subject areas: Basic Health Information, Environmental Health and Toxicology, and Genetics. Participants will become familiar with resources in each of these subject areas, with particular attention to resources which can be used to supplement content curricula, health and science programming, and/or provide homework help. Both websites and online exhibitions from the National Library of Medicine will be included. The intended audience for this class is K-12 librarians and science teachers, public librarians, and any other individuals who work with K-12 populations.

Participants may work at their own pace during this class but are expected to interact with other class participants in discussion forums and complete practice exercises and quizzes related to the resources covered.
Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 3 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

Registration for this class is required: http://nnlm.gov/scr/training/register.html?schedule_id=3057

As always, all NN/LM SCR classes are free and open to anyone. Preference during this initial offering will be given to individuals in AR, LA, NM, OK, and TX.

NTC’s PubMed for Trainers offered in SCR in March 2015

PubMed Logo

Would you like to gain new search skills, brush up on existing PubMed skills and collaborate with colleagues to develop training strategies? Join the National Library of Medicine Training Center for PubMed for Trainers in March 2015.

PubMed for Trainers offers an in-depth look at PubMed and provides an opportunity to share training ideas with fellow participants.

PubMed for Trainers is a 4-part series of classes; 3 online and 1 in-person class (at The Texas Medical Center Library, Houston, TX http://nnlm.gov/scr/about/welcome.html) Read the rest of this entry »

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

National Immunization Awareness Month LogoAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month! This year, the National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC) has designated a specific population focus for each week:

August 3-9 — A Healthy Start: Babies and Pregnant Women

August 10-16 — Back to School: Children, Preteens & Teens

August 17-23 — Off to the Future: Young Adults

August 24-30 — Not Just for Kids: Adults

Immunizations are important for individuals of all ages. Often times there are concerns as to whether or not we should continue immunizing our children (and ourselves), however, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) maintains vaccinations are worthwhile:

It’s true, some diseases (like polio and diphtheria) are becoming very rare in the U.S. Of course, they are becoming rare largely because we have been vaccinating against them. But it is still reasonable to ask whether it’s really worthwhile to keep vaccinating.

It’s much like bailing out a boat with a slow leak. When we started bailing, the boat was filled with water. But we have been bailing fast and hard, and now it is almost dry. We could say, “Good. The boat is dry now, so we can throw away the bucket and relax.” But the leak hasn’t stopped. Before long we’d notice a little water seeping in, and soon it might be back up to the same level as when we started.

Unless we can “stop the leak” (eliminate the disease), it is important to keep immunizing. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, if we take away the protection given by vaccination, more and more people will become infected and will spread disease to others. Soon we will undo the progress we have made over the years.

For more information on vaccines and immunizations, visit the CDC website. On this page you’ll find topics such as Basic & Common Questions, information on Vaccine Side Effects & Safety, recommendations for parents, and immunization schedules for all populations.

To participate in National Immunization Awareness Month, download the toolkit from NPHIC and join the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag #NIAM14.

August Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

August NIH News in HealthThe August issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research is now available:

Features:

Can You Recognize a Heart Attack or Stroke? What to Do When Every Moment Counts
How would you react to a medical emergency? When it comes to life-threatening conditions like heart attack or stroke, every minute counts.

Surviving Sepsis: Taming a Deadly Immune Response
Many people have never heard of sepsis, or they don’t know what it is. But sepsis is one of the top 10 causes of disease-related death in the U.S. The condition can arise suddenly, and it’s often hard to recognize.

Health Capsules:

Transplant Reverses Sickle Cell Disease

Mind and Body Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Featured Website: Diabetes Health Sense

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.
Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!
Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.

 

Ebola and the West Africa Outbreak

Ebola

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ebola hemorrhagic fever or Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe and often deadly virus found in humans and primates such as chimpanzees and gorillas. It is still unknown how the virus first appears in humans at the start of an outbreak, although scientists believe an individual is infected through contact with an infected animal.

In humans, the virus can be passed from person to person in a number of ways including direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected individual and exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been in contact with infected secretions

Because of the nature of transmission, Ebola can spread quickly within health care settings without adequate sterilization procedures and those working with infected individuals are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, as are friends and family. Symptoms of Ebola typically include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. These symptoms can occur anywhere from 2-21 days after exposure to the virus, however most begin around days 8-10. Some infected individuals may recover, while many do not (Ebola outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90%). There is currently no cure for Ebola, therefore treatment is limited to balancing the patient’s fluids, maintaining oxygen status, and treating complicating infections. Isolation precautions and proper sterilization are the primary methods of prevention.

As of August 1, 2014, “the World Health Organization, in partnership with the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria announced a cumulative total of 1603 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) and 887 deaths”. This is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first of its kind in West Africa. Because of this, the CDC has issues a number of level 3 travel notices and has set up a screening process for those traveling to and from Africa. 

Currently, no individuals have contracted Ebola in the United States, however two American healthcare professionals working in Liberia have contracted the virus and been transported for treatment to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. In light of this, a number of precautions have been put into place and the CDC has determined that the spread of Ebola poses no significant risk in the United States.

For the most recent updates on the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, visit the CDC’s West Africa Outbreak page. Information for the public, travelers, and healthcare workers is also available from the CDC.

Changes to PubMed Commons

PubMed Commons

The National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) has recently announced changes to PubMed Commons. PubMed Commons is a pilot commenting system for authors in PubMed. PubMed is the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s database of the biomedical literature. PubMed Commons enables authors to share opinions and information about scientific publications in PubMed. All authors of publications in PubMed are eligible to become members.

Members play a pivotal role in ensuring that PubMed Commons remains a forum for open constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues. They can comment on any publication in PubMed, rate the helpfulness of comments, and invite other eligible authors to join.

Among the changes are modifications to streamline the homepage.  Information about joining and using PubMed Commons has been consolidated in a single page to help you get started.  There will be synopsis of the most recent blog post at the top of the homepage to help you stay up-to-date on PubMed Commons.

For several months, comment rating has given members the chance to weigh in on what comments they find useful. Visitors to PubMed can see these ratings alongside comments. Ratings are a key element in calculating the comment and commenter scores that determine the appearance of comments in the “Selected comments” stream on our homepage.

Some new site modifications will highlight contributions to PubMed Commons. On homepage, “Top comments now” will feature the top three recent comments. On PubMed records, “Selected comments” (from the homepage stream) prompt the appearance of an icon above abstracts, directing readers to comments below.

In response to community feedback, corresponding authors of comments on their publications are being contacted to invite them to join PubMed Commons.  This new procedure has resulted in an increase in author responses.

More information is available on the PubMed Commons Blog.