Tag Archives: Dangerous
Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Alcohol causes violent behavior and deaths by liver cirrhosis and alcohol poisoning. People die every day from overdoses of heroin, cocaine, meth, and even legal prescription drugs. Nonetheless, Rep. David Howard (R-Park City), Chairman of the Montana House Human Services Committee, thinks marijuana — a substance that has never caused an overdose fatality — is “the most dangerous drug there is.”
That’s right folks, it’s 2013 and reefer madness is still alive and well in big sky country. Fortunately, science is still alive and well too and begs to differ with Rep. Howard. Here’s what a study published in Britain’s most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, had to say about the relative harms of various popular intoxicants:
As you can see, marijuana (cannabis) is hardly the most dangerous and pales in comparison to alcohol and tobacco, two drugs we’ve had success reducing teen use of lately without throwing tens of thousands of adults in jail.
Unsurprisingly, Howard’s committee blocked four bills that would have rolled back recently passed restrictions on Montana’s medical marijuana law. For now, despite Rep. Howard’s obfuscation, a judge has issued an injunction preventing the worst parts of that law from taking effect. Patients in Montana are awaiting the state attorney general’s decision as to whether or not to appeal that ruling.
UPDATE: Commenter Nathan Pierce points out that Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced Friday he will not appeal the preliminary injunction. Patients and providers are not out of the woods yet though. The constitutionality of Montana’s restrictive law will now be the subject of a full trial, where Fox pledges to “vigorously defend” the law.
CAPE TOWN |
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – One of South Africa’s top skateboarders is facing arrest over a video posted on YouTube of him careering down a Cape Town street at a professed 110 km/h (68 mph) to set off a speed camera, city officials said on Thursday.
The “Spoofing the Traffic Camera” video, which has notched up more than 200,000 YouTube hits, shows skater Decio Lourenco, hands folded behind his back to decrease wind resistance, hurtling down the mountain road in fading light.
Motorists on the opposite side have their headlines on.
Towards the bottom of the run, he throws his hands up in jubilation after a GPS system strapped to his foot showed he had clocked up 110 km/h in a 60 km/h zone, local media said.
“We have handed over the matter to traffic officials and want him arrested,” JP Smith, the Cape Town official in charge of safety and security, told Reuters.
“The speed limit is irrelevant. He is seen careering down the road in a reckless and dangerous manner.”
The road in question, Kloof Nek, is one of Cape Town’s steepest and has been used to host extreme skateboarding events, although only when closed to traffic. The city does not allow skateboarding on public roads.
The threat of arrest for one of their most celebrated comrades has the close-knit skateboarding community up in arms, with posts on the National Skate Collective Facebook page calling for “mass action”.
“The city is trying to shut us down,” said the page, which carries the popular skater tag-line “Skate or Die”.
(Reporting by Samantha Lee and Wendell Roelf; Editing by Ed Cropley and Paul Casciato)
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Cadazolid in Development for Life-Threatening Diarrhea Bug
Sept. 18, 2012 — Hospital patients infected with the dangerous diarrhea bug Clostridium difficile (C. diff) have more than twice the risk of dying compared to patients without the infection, a Dutch study shows.
At the same time, there is hope for a new antibiotic that may lower the risk.
Each year, C. diff strikes about 500,000 Americans, mostly in hospitals and nursing homes. C. diff disease can range from mild diarrhea to life-threatening intestinal inflammation known as colitis. The bug produces toxins that damage the inner lining of the gut.
Most cases of hospital-acquired C. diff occur in people taking so-called broad-spectrum antibiotics. These kill many different types of bacteria (including good bacteria), which allows C. diff to overgrow. Being older than 65 is also a risk factor.
People who have already had a few bouts with C. diff are especially at risk. If you’ve had three or four recurrences, your likelihood of another recurrence is more than 50%.
Marjolein Hensgens, MD, of Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, and colleagues identified 1,366 hospitalized patients with C. diff. diarrhea. Overall, 13.1% died within 30 days.
Then the researchers compared 317 patients hospitalized with C. diff diarrhea and 317 hospitalized patients without diarrhea. Their average age was 63.
Even after taking into account age, sex, and underlying illnesses — all of which can affect the risk of death — people with C. diff. died 2.5 times more frequently than people without the infection.
According to the death certificates, 4% of all hospitalized patients with C. diff die of causes related to their infection, Hensgens says. Most die in the first 30 days after diagnosis, she says.
Most of the C. diff. patients were treated with the antibiotics metronidazole (Flagyl) and vancomycin (Vancocin). Studies have shown they wipe out C. diff in 80% to 90% of patients. But after seemingly successful initial treatment, symptoms come back in 25% or more of patients.
“The study really shows a big need for new antibiotic treatments,” Hensgens says.
The findings were presented at the 52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
New Antibiotic for C. diff
A second early-stage study presented at the meeting looked at the safety of one new antibiotic in development — cadazolid — in 64 healthy men.
Results showed that the drug, given at various doses twice a day for 10 days, was well tolerated. The most common side effect was headache.
“Cadazolid looks promising,” says Thomas Louie, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Calgary, in Canada. He was not involved with the study but will lead a mid-stage trial of the drug that will try to pinpoint the correct dose.
“We also will look at whether patients get better and whether the drug prevents recurrences,” he says.
Development of a new antibiotic is difficult because you want to kill the bad bacteria without destroying the good bacteria in the gut, Louie says.
The research was funded by Actelion Pharmaceutical. Louie consults for Actelion and a number of other pharmaceutical firms.
These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary, as they have not yet undergone the “peer review” process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.
Car Crashes Are Leading Cause of Death Among U.S. Teens and Young Adults
July 19, 2012 — The most dangerous city for driving in the U.S. is Orlando, Fla., according to a new government report.
Although rates have declined in recent years, car crashes still are a leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2009, 34,485 people died in car crashes in the U.S., and 22% of them were aged 15 to 24. The new findings appear in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report(MMWR).
Researchers compared rates of motor vehicle crash deaths across cities and the 50 most densely populated metropolitan areas in the U.S. The overall rate of car crash deaths in the U.S. was 11.1 per 100,000 residents, ranging from just less than four to Orlando’s high of 19.4. Among individuals aged 15 to 24, this rate in the top 50 metropolitan areas was 13.0 per 100,000 and ranged from a low of 7.3 to a high of 25.8.
10 Most Unsafe Cities to Drive In
According to the new findings, the 10 most unsafe cities for driving in the U.S. are:
- Orlando, Fla.
- Memphis, Tenn.
- Glendale, Tenn.
- Miami, Fla.
- Las Vegas
- Birmingham, Ala.
- Sacramento, Calif.
- Tampa, Fla.
- San Antonio, Texas
- Jacksonville, Fla.
10 Safest Cities to Drive In
And the 10 safest cities for driving in the U.S. are (in alphabetical order since there were no significant differences between them):
- Buffalo, N.Y.
- Hartford, Conn.
- Newark, N.J.
- Plano, Texas
- Providence, R.I.
- Salt Lake City
- Santa Ana, Calif.
- St. Paul, Minn.
Teens Bear the Brunt of Car Crashes
Car crashes are the No. 1 cause of death among teens and young adults aged 15 to 24, but some communities are implementing programs to try and lower this risk.
“Proven population-based intervention such as strong graduated-driver licensing and alcohol-impaired driving prevention polices offer the potential to reduce more vehicle crash deaths among teens and young adults,” conclude researchers led by the CDC’s Scott Kegler, PhD.
Graduated-driver licensing limits the type of driving that teens can do on their own initially. Sobriety check points and ignition interlock programs for drivers who have been convicted of drunk driving are other ways to curb alcohol-related crashes. Young drivers are disproportionately involved in alcohol-related crashes.
Safety 1st Toilet and Cabinet Locks Recalled Due to Lock Failure; Children Can Gain Unintended Access to Water and Dangerous Items
More than 800,000 Safety 1st cabinet and toilet locks recalled. These are in addition to different cabinet locks recalled in March.
US Consumer Product Safety Commission – Recent Recalls and Product Safety News