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Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Complementary Therapies and Traditional Healing Resources from NLM

Medical treatments not considered part of mainstream medicine are often called complementary, integrative, or alternative medicine. Examples include herbal supplements, acupuncture, meditation, and other forms of treatment. NLM’s Arctic Health portal defines traditional healing as treatment that focuses on the health and wellness of the individual in the context of culture and community, and it incorporates Native beliefs, practices, and traditional ecological knowledge. Traditional healing may be practiced by Native American communities across the U.S., including Alaska and the Arctic region. Resources for both complementary medicine and traditional healing are available through the National Library of Medicine for many different populations, including:

  • For the General Public – MedlinePlus provides an overview of various complementary and alternative therapy health topics, as well as reliable information on the health benefits and possible side effects for a long list of herbs and supplements.
  • For Older Adults – NIH Senior Health discusses a variety of topics on complementary health approaches, including information on natural products, mind and body practices, the safety of these complementary health approaches, and how to be an informed consumer with complementary health treatments.
  • For Native American Communities – The American Indian Health portal includes a list of traditional healing resources, with resources for community members, researchers, health professionals, educators, and the general public. The Traditional Healing section of the Arctic Health portal lists organizations and programs, stories, research and learning tools, and teaching tools for traditional healing practices of Native American communities in the Arctic region.

NCBI to Retire Leiden Open Variation Database (LOVD) on September 30

NCBI is retiring the Leiden Open Variation Database (LOVD) on September 30, 2016. LOVD has been used to capture information about novel human variants. Past submitters of human genetic variations to LOVD are encouraged to transfer their information to the ClinVar database. To add new human variation data, please review the instructions on submitting to ClinVar. The submission wizard may ease the process. While the LOVD site will be retired on September 30, an FTP archive will continue to store LOVD data for download after this date.

September is National Preparedness Month

The theme for 2016 National Preparedness Month is Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today. Ready.gov and CDC suggest weekly themes as reminders to take different types of action toward preparedness. NLM Disaster Health has paired some of its best preparedness resources with the weekly themes:

Week 2: Preparing Family & Friends
The Community and Personal Preparedness page is relevant throughout the month and year. Don’t forget your furry, feathered, and scaly friends when you prepare. Meanwhile, this week the CDC focuses on the critical role of Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs).

Week 3: Preparing Through Service
This week, focus on serving your larger community. Think about what your community can do to help prepare the very young, the very old, the disabled, and others with special needs. Meanwhile, the CDC suggests we learn more about what state and local health departments can do to be prepared.

Week 4: Individual Preparedness
Ready.gov suggests downloading disaster apps to your mobile devices. This would be a good week to check out the list of Disaster Apps for Your Digital Go Bag. The CDC proposes studying what resilient communities have in common.

Week 5: Lead up to America’s PrepareAthon
As National Preparedness Month draws to a close, Ready.gov suggests you “be counted and register your preparedness event.” Consider listening to an archived NLM Disaster Health webinar in which librarians and other information specialists discuss their roles in the disaster life cycle. The CDC reminds us this week to prepare ourselves; just in time for America’s PrepareAthon on Friday, September 30!

Major Content Update for NLM’s Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) Resource

Since the last major content and design update to the National Library of Medicine’s REMM resource in September 2015, significant content updates have occurred, including the following highlights:

  1. New York City Department of Health gave REMM permission to host and publish their Field Guide for Health and Safety Officers: Radiological Incidents. This is an extraordinary asset for local planners and first responders.
  2. Major update to the Myeloid Cytokines page reflecting FDA approval of a new drug for neutropenia. This was accompanied by required changes to:
  3. Significant updates to the Protective Actions Guides (PAGs) page reflecting the ongoing updates to the EPA guidance.
  4. Inclusion of link to important new video explaining Operational tactics for the first 100 minutes after an outdoor explosive Radiological Dispersal Device.
  5. Major update to the Potassium Iodide page, reflecting FDA guidance on liquid countermeasures for children and other prescribing information.
  6. Major addition to the multimedia assets content with tools created by CDC.
  7. Major update to the content on the Nuclear Power Plant page.
  8. Complete redrafting of the radiation Labels and Placards page, with key, new graphics.
  9. Major update to the Planners page, including reorganized references to the National Response Framework.
  10. Link to important new document about Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is included on the REMM nuclear detonation page.
  11. Link to very important new reference from HHS (Coleman CN, Koerner JF) about using biodosimetry following a large scale radiation incident is included on the REMM biodosimetry references page.
  12. Update to the retrospective assessment of dose information on the software tools page.
  13. Update of HHS information including TRACIE (Technical Resources, Assistance Center and Information Exchange).
  14. New links to complete set of IOM (National Academies) monographs on Crisis Standards of Care, (volumes 1-7). Links are on the REMM Crisis Standards of Care page.

NLM’s ChemIDplus Now Includes New Internet Locator Link for EPA Chemical Safety for Sustainability CompTox

A new internet locator link, CompTox, has been added to the National Library of Medicine’s ChemIDplus resource. The link connects ChemIDplus users to over 155,000 chemicals in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chemical Safety for Sustainability CompTox. The interactive CompTox dashboard is part of a suite of databases and web applications developed by the EPA interactive Chemical Safety for Sustainability (iCSS) Research Program. These databases, dashboards, and apps support EPA’s computational toxicology research efforts to develop innovative methods to change how chemicals are currently evaluated for potential health risks. Information for over 720,000 chemicals is accessible in CompTox. Other locators recently added to ChemIDplus include DrugBank and European Medicines Agency (EMA).

ChemIDplus is a dictionary of over 400,000 chemicals (names, synonyms, and structures). ChemIDplus includes links to NLM and other databases and resources, including links to federal, state and international agencies. ChemIDplus Lite is designed for simple searching on name or registry. ChemIDplus Advanced helps users draw their own structures and perform similarity and substructure searches.

Updated NLM Hurricane and Flood Information Resources

The tropical storm moving up the East coast, the recent severe flooding in Louisiana, and the near miss of two storms in Hawaii are reminders about the devastation and health consequences that wind and rain can bring to communities. To help you prepare and/or respond with authoritative health information resources, NLM’s Disaster Information Resource Management Center has updated its Hurricanes and Floods Information Guides. It’s also possible to embed the content from one or both of these pages on your own website by accessing the Health and Human Services (HHS) Content Syndication Storefront so that when any of the pages are updated, your pages will be automatically updated as well.

Hurricanes

Floods

Coping with Disasters, Violence and Traumatic Events

Household Products Database Provides Access to Safety Data Sheets

The National Library of Medicine’s Household Products Database (HPD) provides access to manufacturer developed Safety Data Sheets (SDS; formerly called Material Safety Data Sheets, MSDS) which describe the chemical properties of each product, including physical data, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, handling, disposal, personal protection, and spill/leak procedures. As required by OSHA, information within each SDS is targeted to help those exposed to chemicals at work. Consumers may also find information that can help them safely use a product. To find an SDS for a specific household product, look for the link labeled “Complete MSDS for this product” above the “Health Effects” section of the brand page. To learn more, visit the HPD FAQ page.

Freely Available Print Guides for NLM Resources

The Outreach and Special Populations Branch of the National Library of Medicine provides a variety of brochures, fact sheets, and wallet cards related to consumer health, minority health, HIV/AIDS resources, and many other important health topics. Following are a few of the useful resources that can be downloaded as PDFs, printed, and shared with patrons, students, patients, and colleagues:

  • Consumer Health Resources Wallet Card (PDF, 600 KB) – A list of online health resources from NLM that will be useful to the general public, on a foldable card that can be stored in any wallet or billfold.
  • Resources for Public Health Professionals Fact Sheet (PDF, 250 KB, October 2015) – Brief descriptions and links to important NLM online resources, including emergency/incident planning and response resources and NLM mobile resources and applications.
  • HIV/AIDS Information Resources Flyer (PDF, 860 KB, May 2015) and Wallet Card (PDF, 412 KB) – NLM resources that will be helpful in locating general information, treatment information, clinical trials, multilingual resources, and training resources related to HIV/AIDS.

New NN/LM Collaborative Webinar Series Begins September 28!

Registration is available for the inaugural session of a new bi-monthly NN/LM collaborative webinar series, NN/LM Resource Picks, which will be held on September 28, 12:00-1:00 PM PDT. Every two months, NN/LM and/or NLM staff will highlight NLM resources. Coming up first is Don’t Wait, Communicate About Disaster Preparedness, hosted by the NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region.

Two Updated Self-Paced Disaster Information Specialization Courses Now Available!

One of the core competencies of disaster medicine is knowing how to “identify authoritative sources for information in a disaster or public health emergency.” Librarians and information professionals with this competency can support their communities with high-quality information throughout the disaster cycle of mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The National Library of Medicine has developed a series of courses with an emphasis on disaster health information. The courses are currently being updated and formatted for self-paced study online. Two courses listed below are now available. The courses meet the requirements for the Medical Library Association Disaster Information Specialization, as well as core competencies for public health professionals and others through the Public Health Foundation’s learning management system, TRAIN. By the end of the year, there will be four more courses: US Response to Disasters and Public Health Emergencies; Information Roles in Disaster Management; A Seat at the Table: Working with Local Responders; and Health and Disasters: Understanding the International Context.

Disaster Health Information Sources: The Basics
This class provides a comprehensive overview of the essential resources needed to provide health-related information services for supporting disaster mitigation, planning, response, and recovery. This self-paced course introduces key sources from the National Library of Medicine, federal and nonfederal agencies, and international organizations. Tools for locating, organizing and disseminating disaster health information are covered.

CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive): Health Information Resources
This class provides an overview of the concepts of CBRNE, including a review of National Library of Medicine resources and tools that provide health-related information to support planning, response, and recovery from the effects of these potential hazards.