Category: Living Well Written by Michigan Chronicle
Findings from a recent Beaumont Health System study encourages hospital ER staff to be more prudent before ordering a repeat CT scan for patients with nontraumatic abdominal pain.
Their research demonstrated that repeat CT scans, after a negative initial scan, had a significantly lower diagnosis rate.
A consequent reduction in CTs would decrease the patients’ exposure to radiation. It would also reduce costs and result in high-value health care.
Nontraumatic abdominal pain is one of the most common reasons for a trip to the emergency room. It accounts for nearly 10 percent of all ER visits.
Over the past 20 years, the use of abdominal CT scans to evaluate these patients in the ER has increased dramatically.
Repeat CTs for patients with nontraumatic abdominal pain accounts for nearly half of all the CT scans done in the ER. More than half of the imaging procedures do not reveal the cause of the pain. Abdominal CTs expose patients to radiation and are expensive.
“Our study suggests that medical teams in the ER should be more cautious in ordering repeat abdominal CTs when the initial CT is negative,” explains Mitchell Cappell, M.D., Ph.D., chief, Gastroenterology, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.
“This should not only reduce the patient’s exposure to potentially harmful radiation, but also medical costs.”
The study, “Utility of Repeated Abdominal CT Scans After Prior Negative CT Scans in Patients Presenting to ER with Nontraumatic Abdominal Pain” was recently published in the Digestive Diseases and Sciences.
All three authors – Borko Nojkov, M.D., Michael Duffy, M.D., and Mitchell Cappell, M.D, Ph.D., are Beaumont Health System physicians.
Because there is little data on the diagnostic value of repeated abdominal CT scans on repeat ER visits after an initially negative scan on an initial ER visit, Beaumont researchers set out to compare diagnostic rates.
They also sought to determine if they could decrease the patient’s risk of radiation exposure.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 January 2013 08:00
Category: Living Well Written by Michigan Chronicle
Pathological gambling affects up to 2 percent of the population in North America, and as legalized gambling increases, this percentage will likely grow. Pathological gambling is an impulse control disorder consisting of persistent gambling that the gambler cannot stop and often damages significant relationships of the inflicted. It can lead to severe financial, legal, family, social and psychiatric consequences including increased risk for suicide and illegal activities. In a recent paper published in the American Journal on Addictions, researchers from Wayne State University compared treatment- and community-recruited pathological gamblers.
According to David M. Ledgerwood, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry & behavioral neurosciences in WSU’s School of Medicine, it is rare for people to seek treatment for gambling problems even though treatments work to reduce the burden of problem gambling.
“Some have suggested that problem gamblers who do not seek treatment have much less severe problems, and that we overestimate the co-occurring difficulties of problem gamblers by studying primarily those who are in treatment, who may have more difficulties overall,” said Ledgerwood. “Those who are enrolled in treatment tend to experience greater distress related to their gambling, and are more likely to have gambling-related legal and depression problems and are more preoccupied with gambling.”
According to the study, the research team found that other than these factors, there were not many factors that distinguished treatment-seeking problem gamblers from non-treatment seeking problem gamblers. “Our findings suggest that data from treatment-recruited participants may, in many cases, be generalizable to the pathological gamblers from the general population, but some specific differences are important in terms of treatment and prevention,” said Ledgerwood.
According to the study, the two groups were very similar with respect to demographics, and the study showed important characteristics of problem gamblers who seek treatment that should be further explored to increase motivation and treatment compliance. “By gaining a better understanding of personal distress leading to and resulting from problem gambling, as well as what leads to gamblers enrolling in treatment, we may be able to provide a clearer direction to developing more effective and targeted outreach, prevention and treatment initiatives,” added Ledgerwood.
The study was supported by the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre and National Center for Responsible Gaming as provided by the Institute for Research on Pathological Gambling and Related Disorders, and Joe Young Sr. Funds from the State of Michigan.
About Research at
Wayne State University:
Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit http://www.research.wayne.edu.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 January 2013 08:00
Category: Living Well Written by WWJ
PONTIAC (WWJ) – Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) is urging Michigan residents to take preventative action and get vaccinated against seasonal flu in the wake of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that said there has been a rapid increase in flu cases in the state.
In addition, the Michigan Department of Community Health has upgraded flu activity in the state from “sporadic” to the next higher level of “local,” reflecting recent increases in confirmed influenza cases and a facility outbreak from the southwest region of the state. Both Influenza A/H3N2 and Influenza B are noted to be circulating and showing increases in several other areas of Michigan.
“Most of the flu cases seen this year are well matched to this season’s vaccine, so a flu shot can offer good protection,” Kathy Forzley, an OCHD health officer, said in a statement.
Flu shots are available for $16 at OCHD offices from noon to 8 p.m. Monday and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Offices are located at:
1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
Residents may pre-register for an appointment by calling 248-858-7350 (Pontiac) or 248-424-7120 (Southfield). Walk-in appointments are welcome. Walk-in payment options include Medicare, Medicaid and cash (no credit cards, checks or money orders).
“Flu is a life-threatening disease, especially for the elderly and infants who are at greatest risk of contracting illness. If you are around these high-risk populations, it’s also important to protect yourself so you protect them.” Forzley said.
Health professionals recommend individuals six months and older should get vaccinated against seasonal flu every year. It can take about two weeks after the vaccination for the body to develop protection.
Flu can be spread to others up to about six feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own eyes, nose or mouth.
To avoid this, wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. The flu usually comes on suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness, and at times lead to death.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
Fever or chills
Runny or stuffy nose
Muscle or body aches
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
For more information, visit www.oakgov.com/health.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2012 10:41
Category: Living Well Written by Felicia Vance, BDO Staff Writer
Research has shown that the quality of indoor air can be worse than that of outdoor air. Many homes are built or remodeled more tightly, without regard to the factors that assure fresh and healthy indoor air. Our homes today contain many furnishings, appliances and products that can affect indoor air quality.
Signs of indoor air quality problems include:
Unusual and noticeable odors.
Stale or stuffy air.
Noticeable lack of air movement.
Dirty or faulty central heating or air conditioning equipment.
Damaged flue pipes or chimneys.
Unvented combustion air sources for fossil fuel appliances.
Presence of molds and mildew.
Health reaction after remodeling, weatherizing, using new furniture, using household and hobby products, or moving into a new home.
Feeling noticeably healthier outside.
Surprising Sources Of Indoor Air Pollution
Air fresheners may cause breathing difficulties and headaches for some people. In a study, nearly one-third of people with asthma said they had breathing problems when exposed to air fresheners. Tests by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that some air fresheners contain phthalates, a chemical linked to child developmental and hormonal issues. Instead, use natural herbs like rosemary, basil, or mint and good ventilation to freshen air.
Improperly installed or vented gas stoves can release harmful gases into your home. At low levels, carbon monoxide can cause fatigue. Higher concentrations can cause nausea, headaches, confusion, and even death. Nitrogen dioxide can cause respiratory problems — especially in children. Make sure burners are adjusted correctly so that flame tips are always blue. Vent the stove with a fan that blows outside.
The next time you pick up your clothes from the cleaners, take a whiff. Dry cleaning most often uses perchloroethylene, a chemical that has been found to cause cancer in animals. When you bring freshly dry-cleaned clothes into your home, your family may be inhaling this potentially harmful chemical. Air dry-cleaned clothes in the garage for several days before wearing them or wash clothes the traditional way.
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Last Updated on Monday, 10 December 2012 09:57
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