Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of
More Than 40,000 Drop-Side Cribs Recalled
Concerns that children can be trapped or suffocated spurred the
recall on Friday of more than 40,000 drop-side cribs manufactured
by three companies.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, drop sides
on the recalled Ethan Allen, Angel Line and Victory Land Heritage
Collection 3-in-1 cribs can come away due to faulty hardware or
repeated use, the
Associated Press reported. A child might also topple out of
the crib should the drop-side detach.
Danbury, Conn.-based Ethan Allen says it has received five
reports of such incidents related to its cribs, resulting in three
minor injuries. These cribs were sold at Ethan Allen stores from
2002 to 2008.
Pennsville, N.J.-based Angel Line reports one case of a detached
drop-side on a Chinese-made crib, but no injuries were reported.
Their cribs were sold at Ababy.com, Babyage.com and other online
stores between December 2004 and January 2009.
And Bartlett, Ill.-based Victory Land says it has gotten 17
reports of incidents involving its Heritage Collection cribs,
including three reports of minor injuries. Those products were made
in Vietnam and sold by Kmart from February 2007 to October 2008,
The CPSC is advising parents to not use the cribs and to reach
out to the companies for a free repair kit. According to the
agency, bassinets, play yards or toddler beds can be potentially
safe alternatives, depending on the age of the child.
For more information contact Ethan Allen at 888-339-9398 or
visit any Ethan Allen store, contact Angel Line at 800-889-8158 and
contact Victory Land Group at 866-499-2099.
Obama Urges Bullying Victims to Seek Help
Several recent suicides by young Americans who were bullied for
being gay "shocked and saddened" President Barack Obama, who urged
young people in these types of situations to reach out for
In a video posted on YouTube and the White House Web site, Obama
said these incidents break his heart and are "something that
shouldn't happen in this country," the
Associated Press reported.
"I don't know what it's like to be picked on for being gay. But I do know what it's like to grow up feeling that sometimes you don't belong. It's tough," Obama said.
Victims of bullying should talk to people they trust, such as
parents or teachers, Obama said. "Don't feel like you're in this by
yourself," he said, the
Company Awaits FDA Findings From Closed Texas Food Plant
There's no proof that the SanGar Produce & Processing Co.
plant in San Antonio is the source of tainted celery linked to a
listeriosis outbreak, the company's lawyers say.
They said they're waiting for a separate analysis from the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration and also have an independent lab
re-testing the plant, the
Associated Press reported. The FDA findings were expected as
early as Friday.
State health officials ordered the plant closed and issued a
recall of all produce from the facility after linking it to
contaminated celery that sickened at least six people so far this
year, four of whom died. But a lawyer for SanGar said the state
didn't provide the company with any proof that it was at fault.
A decision on whether to expand the recall will be made once the
FDA learns more about the situation, an agency official told the
Retail Food Facilities Need Food Safety Managers: FDA
Certified food safety managers are needed to oversee safety
practices at retail food businesses such as restaurants and grocery
stores, says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
That's one of the findings released Friday from a 10-year FDA
study tracking the retail food industry's efforts to reduce the
number of people who get sick from contaminated food.
The presence of a certified food protection manager at four
types of retail food facilities (restaurants, delis, seafood and
produce markets) was associated with significantly better
compliance with food safety practices and behaviors, the study
"In looking at the data, it is quite clear that having a certified food protection manager on the job makes a difference," FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods Michael R. Taylor said in an agency news release. "Some states and localities require certified food protection managers already, and many in the retail industry employ them voluntarily as a matter of good practice. We think it should become common practice."
Voters Divided on Repeal of Health Reform Law: Survey
Americans appear as divided about politicians' vows to repeal or
rework the health care reform law as they do about the law itself,
suggests a new survey.
Associated Press-GfK poll found that 36 percent of likely
voters in the Nov. 2 congressional elections want the law revised
to expand its impact on the health care system, while 37 percent
want the law repealed.
Ten percent wanted changes that would narrow the scope of the
law, while only 15 percent said the law should be left as it
The survey also found that 52 percent oppose the law and 41
percent support it. The level of strong opposition vs. strong
support for the law is about 2-to-1, the
Support for the law changed by age and gender, the poll found.
People under 30 were most likely to say that they wanted the
legislation expanded to do even more. And only 26 percent of women
were in favor of repealing the law. Even among Republicans, 52
percent of women supported repeal versus 68 percent of Republican
Among likely voters, 46 percent said they trust the Democrats as
stewards of the health care system, while 47 percent said they
trust the Republicans.
Florida Company Charged in $200 Million Medicare Scam
The largest community-based mental health center in the United
States was charged Wednesday with bilking Medicare of $200
Miami-based American Therapeutic Corp. is alleged to have paid
owners of assisted living facilities and halfway houses to compel
patients to take part in programs at the company's seven mental
health centers in south and central Florida, say federal
Associated Press reported.
Officials also said clinical files were altered so the company
could charge more for services and that some patients benefited
from the scam by providing their Medicare numbers, but others
weren't coherent enough to demand kickbacks.
The investigation was launched last year after an employee of
American Therapeutic Corp. contacted authorities, the
HIV Drug Combo May Hike Heart Risk: FDA
Combining two widely used HIV antiviral drugs can trigger
potentially deadly irregular heartbeats, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration warned Thursday.
The agency said fainting, lightheadedness and even death can
occur if patients combine Roche's Invirase and Abbott Laboratories'
Associated Press reported.
The companies have been ordered to add information about this
risk to the drugs' warning labels and to provide information
pamphlets to patients, the FDA said.
Invirase is often combined with Norvir to improve its
AP reported. The drugs are used to control HIV, the virus
that causes AIDS.