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Helical CT Scans and Lung Cancer Screening

Categories: Cancer, Manufacturing, Respiratory Health, Technology

Lung cancer is the foremost cause of death from cancer in the United States, leading to nearly 160,000 deaths in 2006 (USCS). Annually, nearly 200,000 people have a new diagnosis of lung cancer (See related blog on new Surgeon General Report).

Efforts to develop methods to detect the cancer early enough to improve survival of the diagnosed persons have been largely unsuccessful. A recent study of a relatively new form of screening using helical computerized tomography (CT) demonstrated fewer lung cancer deaths among individuals at high risk of lung cancer who received this screening than among a similar group screened with chest radiography (chest x-rays or CXRs). There is great interest in this finding, and there is hope that this might provide new approaches to cancer screening among workers with increased risk for lung cancer because of past occupational exposures.

Warning: Surgeon General Finds that Cigarette Smoking Is Even More Dangerous to Your Health

Categories: Respiratory Health, Smoking

hand holding cigaretteIn 1964, the United States was a place where over 50% of adult males smoked tobacco. Smoking was accepted in any indoor environment, on airplanes, and in elevators. Even Saturday morning cartoon shows had cigarette sponsors. But, on January 11, 1964, Surgeon General Luther Terry released the first Surgeon General’s Report called Smoking and Health and concluded that smoking caused cancer.

Over the next 45 years, 28 additional reports on tobacco smoking followed from various Surgeons General. On December 9, 2010, the current U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin, issued the 30th Surgeon General’s Report on the dangers of smoking tobacco. The 30th Report is entitled How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease.

Assaults on Nursing Assistants

Categories: Health care, Violence, Women

nurse aids patient trying to stand from a seated positionNursing assistants are a critical part of the dedicated staff who work day and night in nursing homes to keep residents safe, secure, cared-for, and comfortable. Yet the very workers ensuring the safety of our seniors are themselves at risk for workplace violence and assaults.

Recent NIOSH research based on the first large, nationally representative sample of nursing assistants reported that that nursing assistants in nursing homes have a high rate of work-related physical injuries from assault.1 Overall, 35% of nursing assistants reported physical injuries resulting from aggression by residents, and 12% reported experiencing a human bite during the year before the interview. Nursing assistants employed at nursing homes with special units for Alzheimer patients had a significantly elevated risk for assault injuries and human bites (37% reported injuries from assaults and 13% reported human bites).

NIOSH and Electronic Health Records

Categories: Policy and Programs, Technology

white-coated man holds pen and regards clipboardYou’ve probably heard about ‘electronic health records’ or ‘EHRs’—either in the news or from people you know who work in the healthcare field. An electronic health record (EHR) (also electronic patient record (EPR) or computerized patient record) is defined as a systematic collection of electronic health information about individual patients or populations.1 It is a record in digital format that is capable of being shared across different health care settings, by being embedded in network-connected enterprise-wide information systems. Such records may include a whole range of information including age, gender, ethnicity, health history, medications and allergies, immunization status, lab test results, radiology images, and billing information.2 EHRs will soon be coming to a healthcare facility near you, if they haven’t already, and will allow your doctors and other providers to communicate essential information about your health more efficiently and more quickly.

 
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