Monthly Archives: June 2016

Hot spot for germs

A new study looking at how germs are spread at hospitals has identified a surprising potential culprit: nurses’ scrubs. Specifically, their pockets and sleeves were the most likely spots to be contaminated, reports WebMD.

Another potential hot spot: the bed railings of patients, according to a post about the research at Eureka Alert. The study followed 40 ICU nurses caring for 167 patients at Duke University Hospital.

Samples were collected from the nurses’ uniforms before and after their 12-hour shifts, as well as from the patients and objects in their rooms such as supply carts and beds.

Researchers did not find any instances in which nurses passed along bacteria to patients, but they found that nurses picked them up from patients or the room in multiple instances.

“We know there are bad germs in hospitals, but we’re just beginning to understand how they are spread,” says lead author Deverick Anderson of Duke University.

Of the 22 transmissions they discovered, six were from patient to nurse, six were from the room to the nurse, and 10 were from the patient to the room, reports the CBC.

The researchers looked for five strains particularly vexing to hospitals because of their resistance to antibiotics. They say one takeaway is the need for stricter protocols on hand washing and the use of gloves, even if a nurse doesn’t actually touch a patient while in the room.

Slow signs of aging

Fine lines creeping across your face, and the inevitable aches and pains that come with your advancing years— if you, like most, want to delay the depressing signs of aging, new research suggests a simple answer: Eat your greens.

Evidence suggests it’s more than just an old wives tale, and that by eating more broccoli, cabbage and avocado you can ward off the signs of aging.

A key compound, known as NMN— nicotinamide mononucleotide— lurking in the green fruit and veg helps slow the physical signs of aging, and can rejuvenate the metabolism.

Tests on mice showed it reduces typical signs of ageing including skeletal muscle issues, poor liver function, lower bone density and declining eye function.

As well as worsening insulin sensitivity, immune function, body weight and physical activity levels.

Professor Dr Shin-ichiro Imai at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis said: “We have shown a way to slow the physiologic decline that we see in ageing mice. This means older mice have metabolism and energy levels resembling that of younger mice.”

Tennessee overdose outbreak

Five more people are facing federal drug charges in a fentanyl overdose outbreak that killed two people in Tennessee over 24 hours this summer, U.S. Attorney David Rivera announced Thursday.

The nine-count grand jury indictment in U.S. District Court in Nashville continues a law enforcement push to combat the proliferation of fentanyl. The powerful painkiller can be 40 times more potent than heroin and has caused concentrated spurts of overdoses in several states. The drug is sometimes laced into pills or heroin.

The drug distribution conspiracy charges center on a 24-hour period in July when two people died and more were hospitalized around Murfreesboro from overdosing on fentanyl-laced pills, which were made to resemble Percocet.

“This is clearly an epidemic,” said Christopher Tersigni, Drug Enforcement Agency assistant special agent in charge. “It’s not probably going away any time in the near future. This is something that is going to plague our state. It’ll probably get worse before it gets better. But we all, here, stand committed to tackle this problem.”

Those charged include: Jonathan Barrett, 29, of Murfreesboro; Eric Falkowski, 34, of Kissimmee, Florida; Davi Valles Jr., 25, of Nashville; Johnny Williams, 30, of Murfreesboro; and Jason Moss, 26, of Murfreesboro.

They face 20 years to life in prison if convicted, and up to $1 million in fines for each of the nine counts.

The indictment says Falkowski moved part of his pill producing operation to Tennessee after law enforcement seized equipment from his Florida home.

Two other people were previously charged in the outbreak. One has pleaded guilty. Six of the seven are in custody, while Moss is a fugitive at-large, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

This week in New Hampshire, a federal prosecutor handed down indictments for 25 people on heroin and fentanyl trafficking charges.

There were a dozen overdoses, including one death, in Mount Sterling, Kentucky over two days in August. Two men were indicted on heroin and fentanyl distribution charges in connection to the outbreak.

And an Ohio man was charged with heroin distribution connected to 28 overdoses, including two deaths, in a five-hour span in Huntington, West Virginia in August. Officials believe that batch was also laced with fentanyl.

Over just a few weeks this summer, hundreds of overdoses were reported in the Cincinnati area, with some of the drugs laced with carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer 100 times stronger than fentanyl.