Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
FDA Warns Companies About Hand Cleaner Health Claims
Four companies have been sent warning letters telling them to
stop making claims that their over-the-counter (OTC) hand
sanitizers and other products prevent infection from
methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) bacteria, the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
Labeling and marketing materials for the products also claim
that they can prevent infection from other disease-causing germs
and viruses, and some claim to protect against E. coli and the H1N1
swine flu virus. There is no proof to support these claims and the
companies are marketing them in violation of federal law, the FDA
The warning letters were sent to:
The companies were given 15 days to correct the violations.
Failure to do so may result in legal action, including seizure and
injunction, the FDA said.
Cussing Eases Pain: Study
Swearing actually helps soothe pain, a new study finds.
U.K. researchers had volunteers hold their hand in cold water
for as long as they could while repeatedly cursing. They then did
it again while repeating nonswear words. The participants were able
to hold their hand in the cold water longer when they were
The Keele University study appears in the journal
The researchers found that participants' heart rates increased
after they swore, which suggests activation of their
fight-or-flight response. This may be because swearing can boost
feelings of aggression,
Feeding Crucial After Traumatic Brain Injury: Report
Immediate and adequate feeding immediately after a soldier
suffers a traumatic brain injury helps reduce the severity of
damage and improve patients' chances of survival, according to a
U.S. Institute of Medicine report.
In the first 24 hours after traumatic brain injury, patients
need to be given at least 50 percent of their normal calorie
intake, but a higher-than-normal amount of protein. This reduces
inflammation and swelling of the brain and gives the brain the
energy it needs to make repairs, says the report, the
Wall Street Journal said.
The intensive feeding program needs to be maintained for at
least two weeks, says the report, which was commissioned by the
U.S. Defense Department.
The recommendations also have implications for civilians who
suffer severe head injuries in situations such as traffic crashes
and sports, the
Wall Street Journal said.
Hospital Outpatient Care Pricier Than Doctor's Office Visits:
Only five percent of all ambulatory doctor visits in the United
States in 2008 were to doctors in hospital outpatient departments,
but these types of visits accounted for more than 20 percent of the
$309 billion spent on that type of care, says a federal government
report released Wednesday.
The average cost of a hospital outpatient doctor visit was
$1,275, compared to $199 for a visit to a doctor's office,
according to the latest
News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and
The average cost of a hospital emergency department in which a
patient was seen by a doctor was $922. This type of visit accounted
for only four percent of all ambulatory visits but 14 percent of
the total amount spent on ambulatory doctor care.
Patients who received hospital outpatient care from a doctor
were about seven times more likely to have surgery than patients
seen in a doctor's office and four times more likely than patients
seen by a doctor in a hospital emergency department, the report
In cases where patients didn't have surgery, the average expense
per visit for physician care was 44 higher in the hospital
emergency department than in the outpatient department -- $821 vs.
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