Military Personnel to Handle Coronavirus Patients at Facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas

(Brett Samuel) Military personnel will begin treating coronavirus patients at new medical facilities that have popped up in the cities of New York, New Orleans and Dallas, the White House said Thursday, marking a shift in policy for how the Pentagon is aiding in the medical response to the pandemic.

The post Military Personnel to Handle Coronavirus Patients at Facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

75% Of Children Who Received Vaccines In Mexican Town Now Dead Or Hospitalized

(Mike Adams) Despite the insidious attempts of the corporate-controlled U.S. media to censor the stories about the deadly side effects of vaccines, the truth keeps surfacing. The latest vaccine tragedy to strike has killed two babies in La Pimienta, Mexico and sent 37 more to the hospital with serious reactions to toxic vaccine additives.

The post 75% Of Children Who Received Vaccines In Mexican Town Now Dead Or Hospitalized appeared on Stillness in the Storm.

American Cancer Society: Start Colorectal Cancer Screenings at Age 45, Not 50

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is urging people to start having colorectal cancer screenings at age 45, not 50, as previously advised. [1]

Colorectal cancer is the 4th-most diagnosed cancer, and the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

In the past, adults were advised to undergo screenings starting at age 50 to catch slow-growing malignancies. But in a paper published by the ACS on May 30, the group said that screenings should start 5 years sooner.

Dr. Richard Wender of the ACS said:

“There is compelling evidence that the optimum age to start is now 45. People born in the eighties and nineties are at higher risk of developing colon cancer, particularly rectal cancer, than people born when I was born back in the fifties. We just have to face reality. We just don’t know why it’s increasing.”

Wender noted that there has been a sharp increase in the number of deaths caused by cancers of the colon and rectum in adults under 50.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force and other groups continue to recommend age 50 as the best time to start getting screenings.

According to Dr. Robin Mendelsohn of New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, her hospital has seen 4,000 new cases of colorectal cancer in patients under 50 in the last decade, and the majority of them don’t have any of the traditional risk factors, such as obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, or high-fat diets.

Read: Colorectal Cancer is Widespread in Parts of the South

Disturbingly, many of them are remarkably healthy individuals. In many cases, according to Mendelsohn, their doctors told them they were “too young” to have cancer.

“[Some] are marathon runners who don’t eat red meat, don’t smoke, do everything right and say ‘Why did this happen to me?’”

A Rise Due to Improved Screenings? Maybe, Maybe Not.

Part of the uptick in diagnoses could be the result of improved screenings, the organization explained. If so, that would be a positive thing, as it means doctors are catching more cancer cases before they have a chance to become untreatable.

However, there is likely more to the story. The risk of developing colon cancer is twice as high as it was years ago, and the risk of developing rectal cancer is 5 times higher, according to Wender. [2]

There has been an increase in obesity in the U.S. Consider the following data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), published in a report titled “Obesity Trends Among U.S. Adults Between 1985 and 2010”:

  • In 1990, among states that participated in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 10 states had a prevalence of obesity less than 10% and no states had prevalence equal to or greater than 15%. [3]
  • By 2000, no state had a prevalence of obesity less than 10%, 23 states had a prevalence between 20%-24%, and no state had prevalence equal to or greater than 25%.
  • By 2010, no state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-six states had a prevalence equal to or greater than 25%; 12 of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence equal to or greater than 30%.

Wender said that “we don’t think that explains the entire change. There is a great deal of interest and a lot of research beginning to try to answer that question.” [2]

Some of the other culprits researchers are investigating include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and antidepressants, in addition to multiple vitamins, probiotics, and other dietary supplements.

Read: Overuse of Antibiotics Linked to Precancerous Colon Polyps

In the report, the ACS said the best methods for colorectal cancer screenings are colonoscopies, visual tests, and a high-sensitivity stool-based test. In addition, the organization said it categorized screenings for adults ages 45-50 as a “qualified recommendation,” while tests for people over 50 are categorized as a “strong recommendation.” [1]

The good news is that the rates of colorectal cancer deaths have been falling for decades, thanks, in part, to better screening and treatment methods. [4]

However, this year an estimated 140,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and about 50,000 may die from it.

Sources:

[1] UPI

[2] NPR

[3] U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[4] CBS News

Thousands may Have Been Exposed to HIV, Hepatitis at NJ Hospital

It was a harrowing holiday season for more than 3,000 patients who were treated at a New Jersey surgical center after they were told they may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis at the facility.

People who underwent surgery at the HealthPlus Surgery Center in Saddle Brook, New Jersey, between January 1, 2018, and September 7, 2018, are being encouraged to be tested for HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. This is because “deficiencies in infection control” in the center’s cleaning and medication injection processes put them at risk.

As of December 26, 3,778 patients treated at HealthPlus had requested to take a blood test. The center’s administrator, Betty McCabe, said in a statement that no infections or illnesses had been reported thus far.

All 3 illnesses cause no symptoms at first, and acute symptoms can easily be mistaken for the flu or cold if they appear. There is currently no cure for AIDS, the disease caused by the HIV virus, but it can be managed with lifelong antiviral medications. Hepatitis B and C can become chronic silent infections. Left untreated, the illnesses can permanently damage the liver and lead to cancer. [2]

HealthPlus Surgery Center was shut down in September after the New Jersey Department of Health found that employees were not following proper sterile processing procedures or regulations for the dispensing or storage of medication. The center reopened September 28. [1]

McCabe said:

“We have taken this issue very seriously. The New Jersey Department of Health’s move to close the facility provided an opportunity to focus more intently on quality, safety, and a consistent adherence to sound policies and procedures.”

The center said it will cover the blood tests free of charge. Patients can visit specific locations in New York and New Jersey to obtain a test provided by the center, or they can visit their own doctor for the test, though doing so may require them to pay a copay or deductible. However, the center will reimburse patients who choose to get tested by their personal physician. [2]

Sources:

[1] Time

[2] Gizmodo

How and Why You Should Review Your Medical Records

You expect your doctor(s) and their staff to be familiar with your medical history. You probably also assume the information in your records is correct. But your doctor and nurses are only human, and mistakes can happen. Unfortunately, errors on your medical records can be hazardous to your health and even your life, so it’s important to give your records a once-over every so often to ensure accuracy. [1]

According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, nearly 1 in 10 people who access their records online end up requesting that they are corrected for one reason or another.

An incorrect diagnosis, scan, or lab result can find its way into your medical records, increasing the likelihood of an inappropriate medical evaluation or treatment. Other things, like allergies not being noted or lab tests not being recorded, can also have adverse effects.

Kaiser Health gives the example of Susan Sheridan, a woman who learned this lesson the hard way after her husband, Pat, had surgery to remove a mass in his neck. In Pat’s hospital pathology report, the mass was identified as synovial cell carcinoma, a type of cancer. But that diagnosis never reached Pat’s neurosurgeon, so the neurosurgeon assured Pat that the growth was benign.

In reality, the mass found on Pat’s neck was life-threatening, and when he went back to the hospital 6 months later in distress, that’s when the omission was discovered. By then, his untreated cancer had metastasized to his spinal canal. Two-and-a-half years later, Pat was dead.

Sheridan, director of patient engagement with the Society Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine, said:

“I tell people, ‘Collect all your medical records, no matter what’ so you can ask all kinds of questions and be on the alert for errors.”

My Own Experience with Medical Errors

I, too, have had my own experience with potentially-dangerous medical record errors. Just over a year ago, I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. Based on the images my gynecologist sent the hospital where I was being treated, it appeared that I had, and I quote, “a fairly aggressive” form of cancer. But due to my young age and no family history of gynecologic cancer, my oncologist requested the actual slides from my gynecologist. (At that point, they had only included copies of the biopsy results.)

I was extremely fortunate that my cancer turned out not to be cancer at all. Rather, I had precancerous cells in my uterus. I ended up having a partial hysterectomy, but I could have ended up having a full hysterectomy without the full information. And I can’t tell you the emotional stress I was under, thinking I was perhaps on death’s doorstep.

My oncologist had been trying to mentally prepare me for a tough fight. It is not lost on me that had the situation been reversed – if my doctors didn’t think I had cancer at all, but I really did, and if my oncologist hadn’t had the forethought to ask for the actual slides – I could have died at a very young age.

My situation also points to the importance of making sure your family medical history is accurately recorded. Imagine your mother or sister had breast cancer and you find a lump in your breast. If that information isn’t accurately recorded, your doctor could be less inclined to take you seriously, or less inclined to order appropriate tests.

It’s also important to make sure that your name, home address, phone number, and personal contacts are listed in your records. On more than one occasion, a doctor was unable to reach me because the staff failed to update my contact information. Not documenting the correct emergency contacts could prevent your doctor or a hospital from notifying loved ones in an emergency.

How to Check Your Records and Point Out Errors

You have every right to review your medical records, and the law is on your side. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 allows you to ask for a correction if you spot an error in your medical records. [2]

Under this law, patients have the right to get some or all of their medical records upon request. If you’re worried about psychotherapy notes, don’t be; these can be excluded.

Hospitals, medical clinics, physician practices, pharmacies, and health insurers are required to make this information available within 30 days (sometimes a 30-day extension can be granted) at a reasonable cost in whatever format the patient chooses, be it a paper copy, fax, electronic copy, or CD.

At the hospital I was treated at, medical records could be immediately obtained in paper form by simply going to the records department, and it didn’t cost me a cent. Within an hour, I had everything I needed.

New guidelines issued by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in January 2016 prohibit per-page charges and recommend a maximum price tag of $6.50 for patients. The guidelines also clarify patients’ rights to have records sent to 3rd parties, including family members or professionals advocating on their behalf.

The process is remarkably simple. Ask your doctor if he or she has an online portal where you can see and download your health information. If no such portal exists, ask the receptionist for a “Request for Health Information” form. If you need help, talk to the medical records department in your doctor’s office or hospital. [3]

Doctors can only deny your request under 2 conditions:

  • They are worried that doing so could endanger your life or physical safety, or someone else’s. [1]
  • In cases where facts or medical judgments are in question. For example, if a patient requests that information concerning their excessive opioid use is eliminated, or if a patient wants a diagnosis eliminated. [2]

If a hospital or doctor’s office gives you guff about trying to obtain your medical records, you can download a model of a medical records release form provided by the American Health Information Management Association, which you can bring with you to gently “remind” them of your rights.

Sources:

[1] CNN

[2] Kaiser Health News

[3] GetMyHealthData