Archive for April, 2007

DRUG ERROR – COLCHICINE – POSSIBLY LINKED TO FATALITIES

Monday, April 30th, 2007
THIS IS IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE PERSONS SEEKING MEDICAL AIDES AND MEDICAL CURES.  (REFERENCE CITED.)  
 
 
 
 
(generic photos from tufts.edu and generic medicines)
 
 
HeraldNet
The Herald – Everett, Wash. – www.HeraldNet.com

Published: Saturday, April 28, 2007

Toxic drug at Portland clinic causes three deaths

Associated Press

 


PORTLAND, Ore. – Three people in the Pacific Northwest have died after receiving a drug that was erroneously made 10 times more potent than intended, the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday.

ApotheCure Inc., a drug-compounding pharmacy company in Texas, said an employee made a weighing error in the creation of the drug colchicine, which lead to the deaths. Colchicine is commonly used to treat gout, but in these cases it was being given intravenously to treat back pain.

The drug was sent to the Center for Integrative Medicine in Portland, where three people received injections of the defective batch of the drug this spring. All three people, two from Portland and one from Yakima, died between the end of March and beginning of April from the toxic levels of the drug.

The defective doses were sent only to the Portland clinic, ApotheCure said.

The Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating the case but believes the problem has been contained.

The Center for Integrative Medicine has since closed, and representatives from the organization could not be reached.

Colchicine works by stopping cells from dividing, which reduces inflammation in conditions such as gout, said Dr. Rob Hendrickson, associate medical director for the Oregon Poison Center. But in excess doses, the drug stops all cells from dividing – eventually leading to organ failure and death.

The medication is not commonly used anymore and the use as a back pain treatment is less common than for gout.

Gary Osborn, a pharmacist and certified clinical nutritionist for ApotheCure, said the situation could have been contained earlier, but the clinic did not contact ApotheCure until nearly two weeks after the first death. He said the second death occurred before the company was able to complete recalling the batch and sending them a new lot. He said this is ApotheCure’s first incident of this sort.

“We are kind of the leaders in the industry,” Osborn said. “But you know what people say, stuff happens.

 

Copyright ©1996-2007.
The Daily Herald Co.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 
 

SMOOTHIES – ANTIOXIDANTS – FIBERS – ENERGIES “CHRIS’ CHOICE”

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

 

REFRESHING – FAST- EFFICIENT – ONTHEGO- GOODFORYOU   Cool

STRAWBERRIES —– ONE HALF CUP

GOOD VITAMINS

BLUEBERRIES ——- ONE HALF CUP

GREAT ANTIOXIDANT STRENGTH

BANANA ———– ONE

POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENT

NON-FAT YOGURT – TWO CUPS

CALCIUM AND PROTEIN

ICE ————— ONE CUP

CHILL OUT

ORANGE JUICE —- TO THICKNESS

VITAMINS

FLAXSEED ——– TWO TABLESPOONFULS (CRUSHED)

OMEGAS AND FIBER

WHEATGERM —— ONE TABLESPOONFUL

FIBER

ACACIA FIBER —– ONE TABLESPOONFUL

FIBER FOR IBS DISORDERS

BLEND UNTIL SMOOTH.  SERVE COLD.  ENJOYBye

 

POISON CENTERS AND TOXINS AND POISONINGS METH to METHANOL to MUSHROOMS – One Call 1-800-222-1222

Friday, April 27th, 2007

This is the time of year when lawn chemicals, yard cleanups, and neighborhood events start to be exposed and available to little hands.  Certainly many chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, fuels, and cleaning agents are ubiquitous in homes and garages.  But beware.  Many of these chemicals are poisonous and dangerous with regard to flammability, explosiveness, and chemical burns.

Each dollar invested in poison centers saves about seven dollars in expenses not needed if the patients go into their doctor, their clinics, or their hospitals.  This is a great public health service.

Over the years since the early 60's, the poison centers have become an integral part of the healthcare network.  Now with the terrorism issues, the poison centers have become an integral monitoring source of information, as many times calls come to the poison centers early and often, thereby making a grid of what is happening and where it is happening.

For instance, when the bad botulism toxin product that was being used by spas and clinics that were trying to save money by not buying and using the approved botulinum toxin brand, the poison centers were seeing a problem early.  Patients across the country, in pockets, were being paralyzed – not just the muscles of the eyebrow, forehead, and other smaller muscles.

The poison centers across the USA now have a single number.  Depending on your area code, your call will be forwarded to the center in your area, or the one contracted by your state officials.  For instance, Idaho calls go to Denver's poison center.  Alaska's poison calls go to Oregon.  Washington's poison center gets all of Washington State's calls.  This year that number will be around 150,000 calls!   Poison calls are answered by an expert group of pharmacists, nurses, Pharm Ds and have backup by physicians specializing in toxicology and poisonings.  It is the number that the experts in all fields, from dermatologists to kidney specialists, call when the patient has been poisoned, or is toxic from unknown sources, or when the patient doesn't act or change based upon "normal" disease states.

The goal of Poison Prevention Week is to reduce illnesses, injuries, and deaths due to poisonings; build safer communities; and reduce unnecessary health care costs for everyone.

 

Here are some ways to be poison cautious:

Obtain syrup of ipecac and keep it in your home – but use it ONLY if instructed to do so by a poison center or physician

Use child-resistant containers and remember, they are not childproof

Keep products in their original containers

Never call medicine candy or take it in the dark

Return products to storage areas immediately after use

Teach children about Mr. Yuk

Put Mr. Yuk stickers on all poisonous products  

Call the Poison Center for a free information packet and Mr. Yuk stickers  

Keep emergency numbers next to your phone:

1-800-222-1222

 

What is National Poison Prevention Week?

Public Law 87-319 authorizes the President to designate annually the third week in March as National Poison Prevention Week. This act of Congress was signed into law on September 16, 1961, by President Kennedy, after which the Poison Prevention Week Council was organized to coordinate this annual event. Congress intended this event as a means for local communities to raise awareness of the dangers of unintentional poisonings and to take such preventive measures as the dangers warrant.

(PC week and listing adapted from WAPC.org website with commentary from castMD.com)

IN MEMORIAM – UNCLE EB AND AUNT JOSEPHINE – VISTA CA

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

?

God bless the Irish and friends
May the wind be forever at your back
May all the roads lead homeward
May all the paths be downhill
May all your dreams come true
May you find your pot o’ gold
May God bless the Irish and friends

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PACK RATS AND SAVERS – CLUTTERERS ADDICTION

Friday, April 20th, 2007

 

Have you ever wondered why you saved something?  You find the dust accumulation, like fresh snow on the sidewalk, on the old book or stack of papers.  You can’t live without it, or them, or the files, or the boxes of the papers or files or smaller boxes.  You absolutely know, beyond any shadow of a doubt – that you, yes you, will indeed, one day, not soon, but some day – require that item to be whole.  Wow….

Why do the savers do this?  I remember walking into an office of a professor once.  Little did I remember of our conversation.  Overwhelming amazement and disbelief warped my mind as the mountains of papers sat from the floor to the ceiling.  Not only papers, but also the books, the binders, the boxes of books, and the boxes of binders.  Why would he need a conference syllabus from 1979? 

That little seashell gift from your Auntie is still valuable and taking up space not only on the mantle, but also in your brain.  She gave that to you in 1960!

Clutter is intimate.  Clutter represents the untapped resource of the final idea.  Clutter is the soul of what can become.  All those articles neatly filed, catalogued, scanned into a progression of finding it someday.  All the unread, partially read, outdated books that may become part of your next book, or writing, or an editorial. 

Possibly the worst offending clutterers?  Certainly teachers hit the top of the list, at all levels.  Hobbiest are great clutterers, never know when you need that spool or dried up glue.  Some of that remaining blue yarn could become the hair of that unique doll for the grandchildren.  But everyone is a clutterer. 

Your next dinner party, social engagement, or backyard barbe will prove my point.  Just look around.  Why is the broken golf ornament still on his desk?  Big Bird finger puppet – thought he went out years ago?  What’s behind that door?

Offices, garages, and closets make great hideaways for the clutterer’s calmness.  But overall the problem rests somewhere between poverty, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADD, and depression, all mixed for normality to hypomania.  Within all of this, is creativity.  Clutterers are creative, like the addictive mind.  They find the place, the time, the hidden capacity to make the world around them in the mirror look normal.  But the reflection from the mirror tells a different truth and perspective.

Now, not all clutterers, savers, and pack rats deserve such painful insight.  But as the time train continues the “eternal project” remains incomplete for another day. 

The rules:

1.  Experiment with throwing something away.  Calculate in advance how you will feel, then, in a day or so, compare your reality with what you calculated.  Pain or gain?

2.  Start clearing by starting with smaller boxes of items, a drawer, a desk, a closet.  Can’t eat the elephant with one bite.

3.  Feel good about donating to others who might use it, like Goodwill or other charitable agencies.

4.  With the modern day video cameras, photograph the things that represent memories and get rid of the junk.   It is the memory we clutch to, not really the item.

5.  Talk with your family, friends, colleagues.  They do it too.  Every family has one !

6.  A nice compromise for families that distress over the junk…make a memory box.

7.  Remember, only the feelings are real, the uncompleted task is still part of the soul. 

8.  Professional counseling is required to break the grip of this strange yet sometimes funny process of the human spirit.

 

Well, today, I was going to go find a cheap storage unit.  Which stack of paper was that ad in?  Which box?   Which room?  Oh, ya, in the bathroom…oh, it was at work…….

 

 

(adapted from The Magazine, 2007 Jan. with significant commentary by CastMD)

USS NEW YORK BUILT TO SALUTE THE FALLEN

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

 

USS New York

 

It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

It is the fifth in a new class of warship – designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was  there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there."

 

USS NEW YORK

 

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

The ship's motto? "Never Forget"  And we should not !

STROKE – BRAIN ATTACK – MRI OR CTSCAN

Friday, April 13th, 2007

When it comes to having a stroke, with a sudden loss of movement, speech, thought processes, or consciousness – the quick response to get to 911 and get the patient to the hospital is paramount.  Once in the hospital, sometimes a "clot buster" drug can be used, just like in heart attacks, to restore function.  There are very strict timeline and symptom criteria for use of such "clot busters" in the setting of an acute stroke – "cerebrovascular accident" or CVA.

 *****

Stroke is a medical emergency. Know these warning signs of stroke and teach them to others. Every second counts:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

Call 9-1-1 immediately if you experience symptoms!
Time lost is brain lost!

***** 

But how does the doctor know if a stroke has happened and where is the stroke?  New modalities of computerized tomography of the brain (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other imaging techniques tell the doctors more information about the stroke.

Some strokes are not the "clot or blocking artery" type – as some are bleeding types and yet others are "embolic" types, or clots that have travelled from some other area of the body.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of NIH has conducted the largest study of these patients to determine which imaging study might be best to see the stroke in the brain.

A non-dye MRI showed five times the sensitivity compared to and twice the accuracy of a non-dye CT scan.  Both MRI and CT not using dye again, were about equal in seeing the bleeding type of stroke.

Independent neuroradiologists read the studies and both studies were conducted on each patient in the study. Of the 356 patients with suspected stroke, the MRI showed superior for diagnosis.

If you or anyone you know, develops sudden loss of speech, motor control in an arm or leg, loss of consciousness, or confusion – call 911 immediately.  Time is so important in this disease.  Just as in a heart attack, let your doctor know of any concerns you have with regard to stroke.

 

HAPPY EASTER FROM CASTMD

Sunday, April 8th, 2007