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Parents (and Grandparents) of Young Kids Should Not Have These Productsin the Home, Experts Say

A growing number of small children are getting their hands and mouths on colorful detergent pods, with serious and sometimes fatal consequences, a new study finds. Among more than 62,000 calls made to emergency departments for poisoning from any kind of laundry or dishwashing detergent from 2013 to 2014, 17 children were in a coma, six stopped breathing, four had fluid in their lungs and difficulty breathing, and two died. "Over 60 percent of these calls were due to laundry detergent packets," said lead researcher Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio. "Over the two years of the study, poisoning from detergent packets increased 17 percent, and in 2015 there was another 7 percent increase," Smith said. Laundry detergent packets are more toxic than other forms of detergent and cause more hospitalizations and serious medical problems, Smith explained. These packets look attractive to children, who could mistake them for food or candy, he said. "All they have to do is put them in their mouth and bite down and the packet will burst, and once these toxic chemicals get down their throat the game's over," Smith added. Given this growing problem, Smith said that parents of children under the age of 6 years should not have these products in the home. "They should use traditional detergents, which are far less toxic," he said. Home care clinicians should advise their patients not to use these detergent pods if young children live in or visit the home.

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Many Heart Bypass Patients Don't Take Needed Meds, Cardiologist Says;They Need to Understand Surgery Is Not a 'Cure' for Their Disease

HealthDay News: Many heart bypass patients are skipping medications meant to maintain smooth blood flow in their repaired veins, a new study finds. "It is important for patients to understand that bypass surgery is a second chance, not a cure for their disease," Dr. Michael Savage, a professor of cardiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. Research has shown that taking statins and aspirin helps keep vein grafts used in bypass surgery open over the long term, and the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend taking both medications unless they are unsafe for a patient. But among the more than 400 patients in the study, only 52% were taking the recommended combination of statins and aspirin. Sixty-seven percent were taking just a statin and 75% were using aspirin only. Those who were not taking a statin had higher levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, the researchers found. "This [finding] suggests complacency, not only among patients, but also among health care providers regarding the need to continue appropriate prevention measures after successful heart surgery," said Savage, who is director of the Angioplasty Center and Cardiac Catheterization Lab at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Study first author Dr. Kevin Curl added, "Our findings highlight the need for coordinated efforts in educating health care providers and patients to improve long-term medication usage in this high-risk population." Curl is with the division of cardiology at Thomas Jefferson. The study was published recently in the American Journal of Cardiology.

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