KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE
September is National Childhood Injury Prevention Month. Experts advise parents to teach their children about home safety to minimize their risk of getting hurt. One way to do so may be to use a new product called Herbie Hydrant. The electronic unit is designed to help children learn how to react during emergencies in the home. Originally designed for fire safety education, the product combines an alarm, flashlight and booklet of home safety tips. In the event of a home intrusion, natural disaster, storm, power loss or fire, children are taught to grab Herbie Hydrant to help get them to a safer place. Once lifted from the battery-charging base, Herbie's flashlight shines, an alarm bellows and strobe lights flash. The alarm and flashlight can help alert parents about a possible emergency and can help scare off a would-be intruder, said New York firefighter Mike Lucas, who invented the safety tool after he failed to find two youngsters in a burning home until it was too late. Herbie's flashlight was designed to help children find their way to safety and the alarm and strobes, to aid rescuers in locating a child who may be trapped, Lucas said.
COLD, POORLY HOUSED FACE HIGH HYPERTENSION RISK
Researchers have established a link among cold climate, poor housing and high blood pressure. The scientists found that people living in north and west Britain in poor quality housing are at a significantly greater risk of high blood pressure than are those living in warmer climates and better quality housing. In the study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, investigators from Imperial College London, the University of Edinburgh and University College London identified an "inverse housing law" -- people in colder climates such as the north and the west were on average a third more likely to live in poorer quality housing than those in the south and the east. The researchers then discovered a link between the "inverse housing law"and the risk of high blood pressure. Those who lived in colder climates, in poor quality housing could be up to 45 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure. "The findings of this study show how long-term exposure to an adverse environment can have a serious impact on health," said Dr. David Blane of Imperial College London at Charing Cross Hospital.
CELL TRANSPLANTS MAY HELP STROKE RECOVERY
Using transplants of bone marrow cells improved the recovery from stroke in rats. The findings, reported in the journal Neurology, have human implications, the authors said. "We believe this therapy shows promise in treating stroke, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury," said study author Michael Chopp of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich., and Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. In the experiments, the rats treated with an intravenous transplant of adult human stromal cells -- mature cells from bone marrow -- had significant improvement in their ability to function 14 days after the stroke, compared to rats that did not receive transplants. "These are smart cells that selectively migrate to the site of injury and become little factories producing an array of helpful molecules to repair the tissue," Chopp said. Next, the procedure will be tested in a small number of humans to make sure it is safe. Marrow stromal cells have been used in human cancer patients. The treatment appears to give doctors a longer window of time to treat stroke patients than do current treatments, said neurologist and stroke recovery researcher Dr. Thomas Kent of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.
MOOD DISORDERS INCREASE STRESS RISK
Most breast cancer patients will not develop post-traumatic stress disorder because of their diagnosis and treatment, a study suggests. The patients most at risk appear to be those who had previously suffered from depression, anxiety or other mood disorders, said the study authors from Ohio State University. They found 75 percent of breast cancer patients with PTSD had previous mood disorders. "PTSD does occur in breast cancer patients, but not at greater rates than other psychiatric problems such as depression," said Deanna Golden-Kreutz, research associate in psychology. The findings suggest doctors should not focus on PTSD when evaluating cancer patients for psychological problems, said Barbara Andersen, professor of psychology. "It's important to screen cancer patients for all kinds of depressive and anxiety symptoms and disorders, particularly asking about the past history of mood disorders," Andersen said. The results were reported at a meeting of the American Psychological Association.
(EDITORS: For more information about SAFETY, contact Todd Brabender at 785-842-8909 or email@example.com; about COLD, contact Tony Stephenson at 44 (0)20 7594 6712 or firstname.lastname@example.org; about STROKE, contact Kathy Stone at 651-695-2763 or email@example.com; about MOOD, contact Jeff Grabmeier at 614-292-8457 or Grabmeier.firstname.lastname@example.org.)