Law to Rein In Hospital Errors Is Widely Abused, Audit Finds
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

Hospitals routinely violate a New York State law requiring that they tell the state promptly about medical errors that harm patients, an audit released yesterday said. The audit found that hospitals often delay for weeks or months reports that might be critical to a timely investigation, and sometimes never report the mistakes at all.

The audit, conducted by the state comptroller, Alan G. Hevesi, found thousands of instances in which hospitals failed to turn over prompt information concerning episodes as serious as patient deaths and mistaken surgery. But the State Health Department punished the hospitals for the lapses only on a handful of occasions, the audit concluded. In fact, Mr. Hevesi said the department had failed to draw up and follow rules detailing when and how to discipline the hospitals for violations of the law.

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Vitamin E 'can restore hearing'

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Vitamin E can help restore hearing in people who become deaf suddenly for no known reason, research suggests.

This natural antioxidant has already been hailed as a potential cancer therapy by preventing or slowing damage caused by certain oxygen compounds.

A study of 66 patients with sudden hearing loss, by the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, found those given vitamin E made the best recovery.

The work was presented at an Ear, Nose and Throat surgery meeting in New York.

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Herbal remedies 'do work'

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Scientific tests on a range of traditional remedies have shown they have "real benefits", researchers say.

Experts from King's College London said the treatments from around the world had properties which may help treat conditions such as diabetes and cancer.

The remedies included India's curry leaf tree, reputed to treat diabetes.

However complementary medicine experts said full clinical trials would have to be carried out to confirm the treatments' benefits.

The researchers examined Indian diabetes treatments, Ghanaian wound healing agents and cancer treatments used in China and Thailand.

They suggest their findings will help local people identify which plants to recommend and could lead to potential new compounds pharmacists to study.

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Vitamin E May Help Reduce Diabetes Risk

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Vitamin E May Help Reduce Diabetes Risk
Thu Sep 23, 2004 08:33 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A daily dose of vitamin E may help delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people at high risk of the disease, preliminary research suggests.

Researchers in New Zealand found that high-dose vitamin E appeared to temporarily improve insulin resistance -- a precursor to type 2 diabetes -- among 41 overweight adults.

Though the improvement was short-lived, another diabetes risk factor -- elevations in a liver enzyme called alanine transferase -- changed for the better throughout the six-month stud

"These results suggest that vitamin E could have a role to play in delaying the onset of diabetes in at-risk individuals," Dr. Patrick J. Manning and colleagues at the University of Otago in Dunedin report in the journal Diabetes Care.

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Deaths induced by medicine have increasingly come under public scrutiny in the last few years. Now there is also a report on medical deaths in Italy, which is being examined today by the first Consensus Conference on Risk Management in health care in Ostia, Rome.

According to the Technical Commission on Clinical Risk, which was set up by the Ministry of Health, there is a problem with medical and hospital errors and it is estimated that these errors cause up to 50,000 deaths a year.

National newspaper Corriere della Sera has a piece on this:

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September 9 - German Cancer Doctor Ryke Geerd Hamer who has had trouble getting his views on the cause of cancer, expressed as "the iron rule of cancer", accepted by the medical community, has been arrested in Spain following a request of the courts in Chambery in France, where he was charged and apparently sentenced in absentia to a three-year prison term. The accusation:

“agitation against medical science and instigation of the New Medicine, with the purpose of its practice”.

The case is full of contradictions as becomes obvious from the account by his supporters, and it underlines how unconventional views are suppressed by our current, pharmaceutically controlled medical authorities.

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Aspartame Poisoning Millions: Betty Martini

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This is why aspartame is so deadly. It is a molecule composed of three components, 40% aspartic acid (an excitotoxin), a methyl ester which immediately becomes methanol (10%), a neurotoxin, and 50% phenylalanine, as an isolate a neurotoxin that goes directly into the brain, lowering the seizure threshold and depleting serotonin. Aspartame breaks down to a witches brew of toxins including diketopiperazine, a brain tumor agent.

Betty Martini goes into detail on aspartame toxicity and how this sweetener is allowed to endanger millions of lives for profit, in a letter to (Australian) ABC television which aired a program saying aspartame toxicity is "a hoax".

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Heart Disease CAN Be Prevented - By Natural Means

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Heart disease is one of the main killer diseases in Western countries. One would think that with all that attention on cholesterol and with numerous drugs to combat heart disease, that the incidence should be lower than in the less developed countries. The contrary is the case. Could we be medicating ourselves to death?

Thanks to JoAnn Guest for forwarding this great article on the Alternative Medicine Forum.

Mainstream Heart Treatments: More Imminent Dangers Involved
JoAnn Guest
Sep 17, 2004 21:12 PDT

Recent studies indicate that cholesterol 'contributes' to heart disease ONLY when it undergoes 'oxidation', or is subjected to "free radical" damage.


Cholesterol damaged by "free radicals" is taken up by our white blood cells (macrophages) and deposited in fatty streaks on artery walls. This condition fosters plaque buildup in our arteries and plays a key role in the development of heart and artery disease.

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Thu 16 Sep 2004

Millions Deficient in Vital Vitamin D, Experts Warn
By John von Radowitz, Science Correspondent, PA News
(go to original)

Millions of Britons are deficient in a vitamin that protects against a host of diseases including rickets, diabetes and cancer, it was claimed today.

Experts called for urgent action to raise vitamin D levels, particularly among pregnant women, young children, and people with dark skin.

They suggested that one remedy might be widening vitamin D fortification of food, possibly to include bread and milk.

At present only breakfast cereals and margarines are fortified with vitamin D in the UK.

The experts also recommended taking vitamin D supplements such as cod liver oil capsules.

Fear of the sun and an "indoor" culture were both said to have contributed to vitamin D deficiency in Britain and other western countries.

About 80% of the vitamin obtained in the body is synthesised through the conversion of chemicals in the skin by sunlight.

But in Britain, from October to the end of March, the sun is too weak to produce any vitamin D.

Professor Graham Bentham, from the University of East Anglia, said: "During these winter months we rely on what we have stored in our body from summer exposure and what we get from diet."

Although oily fish and egg yolk are good sources of the vitamin, it is not abundant in many foods.

The importance of vitamin D to all-round good health has only come to be recognised in the last two decades, the experts said.

Before then it was only thought to benefit the bones, and in particular protect against rickets.

Today it was clear that vitamin D deficiency was associated with a wide range of diseases, and that the vitamin was needed in higher doses than previously thought.

Dr Birgit Teucher, from the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, who joined three colleagues to talk about vitamin D in London today, said: "Since the 1980s it has become increasingly apparent that vitamin D has important roles apart from its effects on bone.

"Shortage of vitamin D may be associated with a whole range of diseases, including muscle weakness, hypertension, auto-immune diseases including multiple sclerosis, certain types of cancer, and cardiovascular disease."

There was evidence that the vitamin protected against breast, prostate ovarian and colon cancer, and had a major impact on diabetes.

It also reduced tissue damage caused by certain infections such as tuberculosis, leprosy and gum disease, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.

Diabetes expert Dr Barbara Boucher, from St Bartholomew's and the London Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry, said vitamin D was needed for insulin to be released effectively.

Worldwide there had been an "explosion" of Type 2 diabetes, which was four times greater in black and Asian people living in the West. People with dark skins were less able to manufacture their own source of vitamin D from the sun.

Rates of insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetes were also rising "like mad", said Dr Boucher.

Three different studies had shown that vitamin D supplements given to breastfeeding mothers and young children reduced the incidence of Type 1 diabetes by 60% between birth and the age of 30.

Dr Boucher also pointed to increased rates of colon and prostate cancer as evidence of a lack of vitamin D in the population.

Professor Brian Wharton, from the Institute of Child Health in London, said there were many reports of rickets making a comeback, especially among Asian and Afro-Caribbean children.

He believed an over-reaction to "cover up" campaigns aimed at protecting people from skin cancer was partly responsible for the nationwide lack of vitamin D.

"I think it has played a role," he said.

"There's certainly no doubt that if you wear sunscreen vitamin D conversion goes down.

"I'm certainly not promoting sun `bingeing' but we do need some sensible use of the sun, and we've been swinging too strongly against it."

Dr Boucher said the way many people spent much of their lives indoors may be another factor.

"Indoor activities, such as working out in the gym or sitting at computers all day, might contribute to vitamin D deficiency," she said.

Lack of exercise could also be involved, since fat acted as a "sink" which soaked up and stored vitamin D.

However she and other experts warned against seeking a solution from the sun. The UVB rays that produced vitamin D also caused skin cancer, and the disease was on the increase.

In 2003 there were 1,600 deaths from skin cancer in the UK, a rise of 7% on the previous year.

All agreed that dietary intake of vitamin D had to be increased.

In the United States milk was fortified with the vitamin, but not sufficiently. New studies had looked at the possibility of fortifying orange juice and bread.

But care had to be taken not to overdose the population. Very high levels of vitamin D could be toxic, leading to kidney and brain damage.

There is currently no recommended level of vitamin D intake between the ages of four and 64.

Infants are supposed to get about 10 micrograms a day but on average receive three to four micrograms.

Professor Bentham suggested that everyone should be taking about 12.5 micrograms of the vitamin.

Dr Boucher thought the right level was more than 5 micrograms and less than 25.

She said: "The one message that should come out of all this if you want to reduce the burden of chronic disease in years to come is that no-one should be short of vitamin D."

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Risks of Antidepressants: FDA Looks The Other Way

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Thu, 16 Sep 2004

An April, 2004 editorial in the New York Times noted: "What seems most astonishing is the skimpy evidence that these drugs work at all in most young patients."

What is astonishing is how the commercial / academic psychiatric drug establishment -- including the American Psychiatric Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, academic opinion leaders of psychiatry, including the "expert consensus panels" who make treatment determinations -- were able to fool the American public for over a decade with false claims about the safety and efficacy of the new "miracle" antidepressants -- the SSRIs.

The overall risk of suicide is characterized as "low" - two to three young people out of 100 patients are likely to have more suicidal thoughts compared to those given placebos.

But, as the Times Journal notes: "those numbers are flat out worrisome given the fact that the pediatric use of anti-depressants is soaring in the United States."

FDA's advisory panel recommendation is being criticized by both those with a stake in the drugs who regard any warning as "alarmist" and by those who want the drugs banned altogether: "The bottom line in the FDA panel's recommendations is akin to changing the Hippocratic oath - "First do no harm" - with one that says, "Give it a shot, but warn them first."

The Times Journal reports: Dr. Thomas Newman, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, who was member of the FDA advisory panel, offered this summation: "We have very good evidence of harm and very little evidence of efficacy."

The truth about the antidepression hoax has been laid out in numerous books and articles, but the authors were pilloried by industry's stakeholders.

Until now, the public has been deceived by a highly organized, extremely well financed promotional apparatus. Fake science has been passed off as "evidence-based" treatment strategies; selective, partial data has been manipulated to show "positive" results; physicians and parents have been deceived -- and children were put in harm's way, exposed to potentially lethal drugs that have not demonstrated an effect greater than placebo.

In today's editorial (Sept. 16) the Times acknowledges: "The latest medical verdict on the use of antidepressant pills to treat teenagers and children is every bit as depressing as the original warnings raised months ago. There is remarkably little evidence that most of the pills are effective in treating depression in such young patients and increasing evidence that they can lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior ... Unfortunately, nothing in their arsenal is notably effective."

Based on the scientific evidence, it is clear that the safest and most effective treatment for childhood depression is placebo. Placebo carries no adverse side-effects, causes no stigma, and is free. To elicit a placebo effect, parents would do well to create a nurturing environment, provide lots of personal attention, listen attentively, and convey sense of optimism in the effectiveness of the treatment.

For parents who still want to expose their children to the drugs, an informed consent process must be established so that the risks are explained to parents BEFORE they are issued a prescription -- NOT an after the fact Medication Guide.

ALLIANCE FOR HUMAN RESEARCH PROTECTION (AHRP)
Vera Hassner Sharav
Tel: 212-595-8974
e-mail: veracare@ahrp.org

Here is the New York Times article and other pertinent links:

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