Public Health

Avoidable harm to patients is still too high in healthcare in the UK and across the globe -- making safety a top healthcare priority for providers and policy makers alike.

These are the findings of two reports launched today by researchers from Imperial College London. Both reports, produced by NIHR Imperial Patient Safety Translational Research Centre (PSTRC), provide evidence on the current state of patient safety and how it could be improved the future. They urge healthcare providers to embrace a more open and transparent culture to encourage continuous learning and harm reduction.

Formaldehyde is back in the news because a company called Lumber Liquidators has been found to have exposure levels higher than previously believed. While three times effectively zero is still zero, fundraising groups like Natural Resources Defense Council have pounced on the opportunity to promote fear and doubt and talk about EPA regulations they have conspired with lobbyists to create.

There are rows upon rows of packaged snack foods in supermarkets, including snack bars made from muesli, cereal, nuts, seeds and fruit. Many of the labels on the packages shout out words such as “natural”, “protein”, “oaty”, “super-food”, “wholegrain”, “light”, “gluten-free” and “97% fat-free!”.

But these words can mask unhealthy products. Many processed snack bars are high in added sugar, refined starch and fat.


You might think your options for arthritis hip exercise are limited due to range of motion problems, as well as your pain. However, you might be surprised at just how many choices you have. Of course, you need to work with your doctor to find the best combination for your situation and you may need to start small and work your way into more complicated forms of exercise.

Here are some options for arthritis hip exercise. Mix and match until you find the right combination:

An analysis of scientific reports and comments on the health effects of a salty diet reveals a polarization between those supportive of the once-popular belief that population-wide reduction of salt intake is associated with better health and those that content it has been more hype than science. They used a citation analysis method of reviews, a little different from a traditional method, which basically just averages out other studies and attempts to control for differences.

In all, 54 percent were supportive of the hypothesis; 33 percent, not supportive; and 13 percent inconclusive, finds the article in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Nine weekly sessions of acupuncture lessen perceived pain intensity, and improve functional capacity and quality of life, in people diagnosed with the blanket pain condition called fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia diagnoses are based on claims of chronic widespread pain, along with fatigue, disordered sleep patterns, and/or depression.  Surveys show that 90% of people who have fibromyalgia try some form of alternative medicine, including massage, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture. Clinical trials have shown acupuncture doesn't work but the authors of the new paper say the lack of efficacy is because those were clinical trials of standard, rather than individually tailored, treatment.

The cover of Time magazine 3/2/15 features an Anglo baby (so remarkably cute one wonders whether he isn't a computer generated composite of everything we like about babies) with the statement (not question, statement) THIS BABY COULD LIVE TO BE 142 YEARS OLD.

Smoking cigarettes dramatically increases a person's risk for a host of diseases. The nicotines is addiction but it's the hundred other chemicals in cigarette smoke that are toxic. 

Because e-cigarettes are simply diluted nicotine vapor, no cigarette smoke, they should be less harmful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies many liquid flavorings in e-cigarettes as "Generally Recognized as Safe," for oral consumption. Though it sounds like waffling, that is the default categorization. 


In an unprecedented decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has sort-of overruled a lower Circuit Court's decision to allow the "Clean Power Plan" to proceed pending final adjudication. The Supreme Court had never before granted a request to halt a regulation before review by a federal appeals court.