Health Threats Don’t End for Some Sepsis Survivors

FRIDAY, Aug. 9, 2019 — Sepsis is a life-threatening infection that lands its victims in the hospital, but the dangers don’t end for survivors who have high levels of inflammation long after being discharged, a new study finds.

“Sepsis is the leading cause of death among hospitalized patients. Patients discharged from the hospital aren’t out of the woods yet. Approximately one out of every three sepsis survivors will die in the following year,” said study lead author Dr. Sachin Yende. He is a professor of critical care medicine and clinical and translational science at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine.

“Our new findings about chronic inflammation post-discharge suggest that addressing this condition may be important to improve patients’ long-term outcomes,” added Yende, vice president of critical care and deputy chief of staff at Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

Nearly all sepsis patients have increased inflammation in their bloodstream during the first few days of hospitalization, but how long the inflammation can persist and what effects it might have were unclear.

To find out, the researchers followed 483 people who survived hospitalization with sepsis at 12 U.S. hospitals between 2012 and 2017. They were assessed at three, six and 12 months after hospital discharge.

Up to a year after hospitalization, about one-fourth of the patients had elevated levels of inflammation and half had elevated levels of immunosuppression biomarkers, the findings showed.

These patients had higher rates of hospital readmission (particularly due to heart disease and stroke) and death than patients whose inflammation levels returned to normal after hospitalization.

According to senior study author Dr. Derek Angus, “The participants with increased inflammation had levels that were twice as high as levels in healthy individuals, and that elevated inflammation persisted long after hospital discharge.” Angus is chair of the department of critical care medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

“Sepsis increases risk of heart disease and stroke, and, for the first time, we’ve linked these adverse outcomes to persistent inflammation,” he said in a university news release. “This opens the door to future studies into why high levels of inflammation persist for at least a year after hospital discharge, and the development of treatments aimed at modifying the inflammation with the hope that will improve health.”

The study was published online Aug. 7 in JAMA Network Open.

Sepsis affects more than 30 million people worldwide every year, according to the World Health Organization.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on sepsis.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Heat Waves Are Health Threats

SATURDAY July 2, 2016, 2016 — Heat waves are more than uncomfortable, they can be deadly.

That’s especially true in large cities. And, seniors, children and people with chronic health problems are at higher risk for heat-related illness and death, according to Dr. Robert Glatter. He’s an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“Those who have high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, as well as those who suffer with mental illness, may be at risk for heat-related emergencies, including heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), heat exhaustion, as well as heat stroke,” he said in a hospital news release.

“Various classes of medications including beta blockers, as well as diuretics, can impair sweating — ultimately disrupting the body’s ability to cool itself. Other medications including antihistamines, as well as antidepressants and sedatives, may also impair your ability to sweat, leading to heat-related illnesses,” Glatter said.

But young, healthy people also need to heed hot and humid weather, he added.

To beat the heat, drink water when you feel thirsty, but don’t drink more than necessary. If you’re physically active outdoors in the heat for more than an hour, it’s a good idea to consume sports drinks, Glatter said.

And watch for signs of heat-related illness, he added.

“A high pulse rate, headache, dizziness, nausea, as well as shallow breathing, may be the initial signs of dehydration that may precede heat-related illness,” Glatter said.

An air-conditioned location is the best place to be on hot and humid days. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, use a fan and a spray bottle with cool water to prevent your body from overheating, he suggested.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about extreme heat and health.

Posted: July 2016

View comments

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Lawmakers Question Postal Service About Marijuana Ad Threats to Newspapers

A group of members of Congress is demanding the U.S. Postal Service explain a memo it recently issued warning newspapers not to mail any publications containing advertisements for marijuana.

“It appears a clarification of USPS policy is needed for state-legal marijuana businesses who seek to mail advertisements, as well as newspapers or periodicals that may run ads from marijuana businesses and who rely on the Postal Service to distribute their publications,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter on Thursday.

Signing on are U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Suzanne Bonamici. All four Oregon Democrats have sponsored cannabis law reform legislation this year.

“Small businesses and community newspapers rely on advertising to be successful, and our interest is to ensure that these businesses have a clear understanding” of when and how USPS intends to punish publishers who print and mail cannabis ads, says the letter, which is addressed to Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

The USPS memo in question, dated November 27, says that it is illegal to “place an ad in any publication with the purpose of seeking or offering illegally to receive, buy, or distribute a Schedule I controlled substance.”

The one-page document was prepared by the Postal Service’s Portland District office and was reportedly delivered to a number of news organizations in Oregon, where legal recreational marijuana sales began two months ago.

“Regardless of how you feel about our failed prohibition of marijuana, every American should agree that the U.S. Postal Service should not be censoring what is or is not published in newspapers,” Blumenauer, who has led House efforts to allow medical cannabis access for military veterans, told Marijuana.com via email.

The USPS memo isn’t the first time federal authorities have levied threats against news organizations for working with marijuana providers. In 2011 a federal prosecutor in California issued a warning to media outlets over marijuana ads, though never followed through by brining charges or seizing assets.

The new document “seems to prohibit mailers that USPS had previously allowed,” the members of Congress wrote to Brennan. “In order to ensure both the integrity of the USPS and the many businesses that this policy impacts in Oregon, an explanation of how or why the decision to restrict all advertising for marijuana products and businesses outlined in the document would be helpful.”

The lawmakers say they want the postmaster general to answer several questions, such as whether USPS intends the memo to have legal effect in all 50 states. “If not, is it customary for individual districts to create their own policies that may contradict how other districts are operating?” they ask. “What discretion does a regional postmaster have in enforcing or implementing these policies, specifically in states where marijuana is legal?”

They also invoke a Congressionally-approved budget rider that prevents the Justice Department from interfering with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. “DEA would arguably not be able to enforce polices regarding the in-state mailing of advertisements for state-legal medical marijuana products,” the letter reads. “If this is a policy with legal effect in all 50 states, then why is the USPS helping to uphold laws in medical marijuana state that cannot be enforced by the DEA per the appropriations language?”

The letter ends with an ominous question possibly intended to uncover evidence the Department of Justice isn’t abiding by Congress’s medical marijuana interference ban.  “Did the USPS cooperate with anyone at DEA or DOJ in establishing this policy? If so, please detail the nature of this cooperation.”

The Postal Service has not yet commented on the lawmakers’ letter or on the memo itself.

Read the full letter from the members of Congress below.

Marijuana

Connecticut woman makes bomb threats to hide dropout status from family

(Reuters) – A woman who dropped out of Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University was arrested Sunday night after admitting to calling in two bomb threats in an effort to keep her family from learning she had dropped out of school, police said.

Danielle Shea, 22, of Quincy, Massachusetts, made the threats after arriving at the ceremony in a cap and gown with her mother, who didn’t know she had dropped out, and told police she “panicked” when relatives noticed her name was not on the list of graduates.

Police said Shea called in two bomb threats to the library so the graduation ceremony would be canceled. Instead the Sunday evening ceremony was delayed 90 minutes and moved a mile (1.6 km) to a different campus of the university.

Local police responded to the Quinnipiac University library as an estimated 5,000 people, including the 388 graduates, evacuated the area and quickly moved to the indoor location, according to John Morgan, university spokesman.

“We cannot speculate what she was thinking,” said Morgan. “But we had to act quickly in the interest of safety.”

Police in the town of Hamden, where the school is located, said a female caller contacted school security twice on Sunday, first saying, “Bomb in the library,” and calling back 20 minutes later to say, “Several bombs are on campus. You haven’t cleared out graduation. That’s not a good idea.”

Police said they tracked the caller down by tracing the phone number she called from.

Shea was charged with threatening in the first degree and falsely reporting an incident. She was detained at police headquarters on a $ 20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on May 30.

Shea could not be reached for immediate comment.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Chris Reese)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

A Survival Guide for Winter’s Threats

SUNDAY Feb. 2, 2014, 2014 — Every winter, many Americans suffer broken bones, muscle tears, sprains and strains from shoveling snow or falling on icy sidewalks and streets.

Orthopedic surgeons at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City are offering tips to help prevent fall-related injuries.

  • One suggestion is to ask your doctor about strengthening exercises that will improve your balance, which can make a big difference when walking on ice.
  • Try to avoid icy spots. But if you have to venture over them, remember that walking in a shuffle or moving your feet only slightly apart will give you better balance than using your normal stride. Keeping a slight bend in your knees also helps.
  • If you’re walking on an ice-covered hill, turn sideways and avoid crossing one foot over the other. Instead, take sidesteps in which you bring your other foot along to meet your lead foot. Keep your knees bent for better balance.
  • Always check for icy patches when walking, or getting out of cars, buses and trains or when going up and down outdoor stairs.
  • To protect your dominant arm if you fall, carry an object or bag in your dominant hand. This will make you more likely to use your non-dominant arm to break a fall.

The surgeons also outlined ways to reduce the risk of injuries while shoveling snow.

  • Warm up your muscles with 10 minutes of light exercise before your start shoveling.
  • Use a shovel that suits your height and strength. Don’t use a shovel that is too long or heavy for you.
  • Try to push the snow instead of lifting it. If you must lift snow, squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs.
  • Carry small amounts of snow to where you want to place it. Don’t toss snow over your shoulder or to the side. This type of twisting motion stresses your back.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about winter health and safety.

Posted: February 2014

View comments

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Former United Airlines attendant sent bomb threats to carrier

Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:32pm EDT

(Reuters) – A former United Airlines flight attendant made repeated bomb threats against his former employer, mostly by calling 911 from pay phones, according to a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors in California.

Prosecutors said that Patrick Cau, who was fired from United two years ago after 16 years with the company, has admitted to making eight separate bomb threats targeting United flights, starting last October and continuing for four months.

He went on to work at American Airlines, a rival company. American, a unit of AMR Corp, said it had dismissed Cau in April, after his name came up on a no-fly list and that the airline had “followed all required security procedures.”

The agreement said the threats had caused significant disruptions and cost United $ 267,912.

In early October, for example, Cau called an internal United number to report a flight from London to Los Angeles would be bombed. In the other incidents, he made similar threats from pay phones in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and Seattle, according to the plea agreement.

Cau’s lawyer, Craig Charles, declined to discuss the charges but said Cau had grown frustrated with United after bringing sexual harassment charges against a male supervisor. Charles said that Cau believes his dismissal was in retaliation for that complaint.

A United spokeswoman would only say that Cau had been employed by United and otherwise declined comment.

Cau, a Los Angeles resident, will appear in federal court next Monday. He faces a maximum sentence of five years behind bars.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky)


Reuters: Oddly Enough

Three Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Washington State Close Under Federal Threats

Federal prosecutors in the state of Washington have succeeded in closing down 3 medical marijuana dispensaries, with the usual threatening letter to the landlords of the buildings where the dispensaries were located.

The letter was sent last week by Eastern Washington U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby, and threatened to seize the properties and to fine and/or imprison the landlords.

Medical marijuana store operator Eric Cooper says the letters prompted three existing dispensaries to close immediately. He says the fourth shop in the area is staying open a little longer but also intends to close.

420times 000015340911XSmall1 150x150 Three Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Washington State Close Under Federal Threats“We all probably got spooked a little easier than we should have,” said Cooper, who has operated a medical marijuana dispensary called Apple Capital Holistic Care since May.

But the operators did not want to face criminal records, Cooper said.

So the feds are again successful in shutting down functioning businesses with minimal effort.

“We ran a really nice, clean professional operation in a nice location here in Wenatchee,” Cooper said. “We were doing everything by the book.

“I don’t feel good,” he said, adding the closing of his shop put seven people out of work.

As the federal government has shown, jobs are not a priority, even 3 years into the worst “recovery” in this country’s history. Political crusades and campaign money from Big Pharma is much more important.

– Joe Klare

Filed Under: Exclusive Web ContentMedical Marijuana NewsPoliticsThe War On Drugs

The 420 Times

Emery Supporter Sent Death Threats To Federal Prosecutors

An unhinged Canadian man with a diaper obsession has been charged with sending a series of death threats to federal prosecutors in Seattle just before “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery’s extradition to the United States to face marijuana charges.

Paul George Cartier, 50, has “a history of other threats,” according to the U.S. Secret Service, reports Keegan Hamilton at the Seattle Weekly, including once having mailed a letter to the White House containing white power labeled “anthrax.”

Emery, the B.C.-based marijuana seed millionaire, pleaded guilty in 2008 to exporting cannabis seeds to the U.S. After having been indicted in Seattle, Emery almost worked out a deal under which he could have served his time in a Canadian prison, but when that fell through, the feds were busily working to get the Prince of Pot on the American side of the border.

Bragging that he made $ 2 million a year from his mail-order marijuana seed business, Emery cut a flamboyant and outspoken figure in the cannabis community, crusading for pot law reform and donating to various weed-friendly causes. He was a major contributor to the 2008 presidential campaign of libertarian Republican Ron Paul.

Emery’s high-profile case and apparent martyrdom “spawned a devoted following,” the Weekly reports, and on the afternoon of December 10, 2009, “perhaps his most fanatical minion dialed the Western Washington U.S. Attorney’s office.”

That would be Cartier, and his rambling voice message — left for a deputy assistant federal prosecutor identified in court documents only as T.G. — included the following choice phrases:

Hey, go fuck yourself ‘cuz you touch him, you extradite him, you’re gonna be dead. Your office is gonna be taken out and you’ll be killed. I’m not messin’ around here. I’ve got some hit men who’ll get ya, and I’ve got some people in the U.S. Government, and the CIA, and this is for real. Don’t touch Marc. You leave him right where he is. He’s not coming to Seattle. You do not handle him or touch him. […] You’re dead already.

Apparently leaving a voice message with a death threat wasn’t enough of a day’s work for Cartier, because he then also sent a fax to the U.S. Attorney’s office a few minutes later. Here’s what the fax said:

Cartier still wasn’t done after sending the fax; he then made a brief phone call to the receptionist in the U.S. Attorney’s office, according to court documents saying “I’m going to fucking kill you and [prosecutor] T.G. when I get to town.”

After a week of quiet, Cartier, on December 17, allegedly left another voice mail, this time calling himself “666” and repeating his extremely odd “diapers” death threat. He ended the message with the phrase “You’re all dead.”

After another threatening phone exchange with the receptionist, federal investigators indicted Cartier on December 23, 2009 on felony “interstate threat” charges.

After two and a half years, Cartier was finally arrested on May 8. He’s being held in federal custody pending a mental competency exam.

More links from around the web!

Toke of the Town

Medical marijuana dispensaries on hold in Rhode Island as governor bows to federal threats

(Providence Business News) PROVIDENCE – Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee said Monday he has put a hold on the state’s medical marijuana certificate of registration program after receiving notice that it could violate federal law.

The news comes after the U.S. attorney for the district of Rhode Island told the governor in a three-page, hand-delivered letter on Friday that the state law establishing up to three medical-marijuana centers could lead to civil and criminal prosecution.

Chafee explained that the letter “clarified” the U.S. Department of Justice’s position on medical marijuana.

“The Department of Justice previously indicated that it would not focus its limited resources on doctors and their sick patients who prescribe and use marijuana if such use was permitted by state law,” Chafee said in a news release.

Chafee said he has placed a hold on the certificate of registration program, “in light of the U.S. Attorney’s articulate position on closing compassion centers, seizing proceeds and prosecuting business enterprises that market and sell medical marijuana.”

Is there not a governor in any of the fifteen medical marijuana states who will show some leadership and challenge the federal government’s bullying?  The feds don’t even acknowledge such a thing as “medical marijuana”!  The US Dept. of Justice’s position is that anyone anywhere in the United States in possession of a single joint is committing a misdemeanor worth a year in prison and anyone growing a single plant is committing a felony worth five years in prison.

So merely by having a medical marijuana program, Gov. Chafee, your state is engaging in a conspiracy with hundreds of Rhode Islanders to break federal controlled substance laws.

It’s not the medical marijuana patients the feds care about; it’s the medical marijuana industry.  So long as it is a husband tending a pot garden for his wife who’s a patient, it’s all fine.  But if it is a businessman tending pot forests for 500 patients, then the feds can’t have it.  Those businessmen might build loyal voting blocs and raise substantial money for lobbying and initiative campaigns and primary challengers.  And they might show the public an example of what a well-run, tightly-controlled, safe and clean distribution system for legal marijuana would be like.  Next thing you know, people start to wonder why we don’t just legalize it for healthy people, too, and raise a bunch of tax revenue.

When the feds raid these compassion centers, they don’t even bother to arrest and charge anyone!  No, that would lead to a court trial and the government having to explain to a judge and some news media why drastic measures had to be taken to shut down a place where cancer patients get medicine.  Instead they just bust down the doors, smash the cabinets and displays, destroy the security cams and monitors, seize the computers and cash and records, and send everyone on their way.  It’s an institutionalized thuggery that would make the mafia jealous.

The NORML Stash Blog

Washington: Raid Training Planned In Wake Of Federal Threats

?”Our community would do well to prepare itself, to brace for impact”~ Rachel Kurtz, Cannabis Defense CoalitionIn the wake of threats this month from two federal prosecutors in Washington state, medical cannabis activists are staging raid preparedness trainings in cities across the state. The move comes as Governor Chris Gregoire contemplates the fate of a bill to license cannabis providers and create a state registry of medical marijuana patients.”The medical cannabis bill is a ghost of its former self, and could get dramatically worse if the governor exercises her sectional veto power,” said Rachel Kurtz of Seattle-based patient advocacy group the Cannabis Defense Coalition.

Continue reading “Washington: Raid Training Planned In Wake Of Federal Threats” >

Toke of the Town