Article Content

Do You Know What to Do in a Poisoning Emergency?

A poison is anything someone eats (ingestion), breathes (inhalation), enters the eyes (ocular exposure), or contacts the skin (dermal exposure), that can cause sickness or death. Poisons can be found in four forms: solid, liquid, spray, or gas. Millions of people are unintentionally poisoned every year and professionals and consumers should know what to do if a poisoning occurs.

FIGURE. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. No caption available.

Poison Control Centers are available nationwide and are staffed with pharmacists and registered nurses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. They give emergency information and may refer you to a hospital or doctor's office; most poisonings can be treated at home. The nationwide poison control center ([800] 222-1222) can refer callers to a center in their area. Keeping this information on your phone can possibly save a life. For more poison prevention and first aid information visit the American Association of Poison Control Centers at


Possible Changes in Treatment of Cardiac Arrest

Physicians in Europe have stated that people with a hard-to-treat type of cardiac arrest are three times as likely to survive if they are given the drug vasopressin versus the standard emergency treatment, adrenaline. Experts say the information may change the way doctors worldwide treat cardiac arrest, which has had dismal survival rates and leads to more than 600,000 sudden deaths per year in North America and Europe.


Researchers believe vasopressin may work better than adrenaline in certain cases because, unlike adrenaline, it does not deplete desperately needed oxygen in the heart and brain. The American Heart Association is examining the study and considering whether to make changes in resuscitation guidelines.


Source: Wenzel, V. Krismer, A. C., Arntz, A. R., Sitter, H., Stadlbauer, K. H., Lindner, K. H. (2004). A comparison of vasopressin and epinephrine for out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation. New England Journal of Medicine, 350 (2), 105-113.


Are You Nuts Not to Eat Nuts?

Almond Diet May Contribute to Weight Loss

A low-calorie diet that includes almonds may have a "potential role" in fighting the obesity epidemic. California researchers report a low-calorie diet supplemented with almonds, which are naturally high in monounsaturated fats, is a "novel alternative to self-elected complex carbohydrates."


Sixty-five overweight and obese adults participated in the 24-week study and consumed diets with the same total number of calories and protein grams. One group ate a diet enriched with 84 grams of almonds per day (39% total fat, 25% monounsaturated fat, and 32% carbohydrate). The other group ate a diet of self-selected complex carbohydrates (128% total fat, 5% monounsaturated fat, and 53% carbohydrate).


Glucose, insulin, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL (bad cholesterol), decreased significantly to a similar extent in both groups; however, the almond-supplemented group experienced a greater and longer weight reduction during the 24-week study.


Source: Wien, M. A., Sabate, J. M., Ikle, D. N., Cole, S. E., & Kandeel, F. R. (2003). Almonds vs complex carbohyrdares in a weight reduction program. International Journal of Obesity, 27 (11), 1365-?1372.


The Results Are in: Nursing Tops Healthcare Career Opportunities for 2004 (and Beyond)

Americans looking for a career in healthcare will find the highest number of opportunities in nursing, according to a survey of the Top 10 healthcare employment opportunities for 2004 and beyond. Compiled and released by Healthcare Job Bank (an online resource that connects job seekers and employers in the biotech, healthcare, and pharmaceutical professions), the study reviewed the career goals of its 30,000+ job seeker base and the listings posted from its employer base of more than 100 of the leading American corporations and organizations within healthcare and related industries.

FIGURE. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. No caption available.

"There is a shortage of at least a half-million nurses in the U.S. today," says Kaviraj Singh, CEO of Healthcare Job Bank. "At a time when the job market is still very tight, and in view of recent highly publicized health scares regarding the flu and Mad Cow Disease, one would imagine the healthcare industry would be more proactive in recruiting new nurses or in highlighting the career opportunities that exist in nursing."


The Healthcare Job Bank database list for the Top 10 healthcare employment opportunities appears below:


1. Nursing


2. Physicians (including general practitioners and specialists)


3. Pharmacists


4. Research scientists


5. Allied health positions (including radiology technologists, physical therapists, technicians, speech therapists, and medical technologists)


6. Case managers


7. Microbiologists


8. Pathologists


9. Mental health workers and counselors


10. Regulatory compliance personnel For more information visit HealthCare Job Bank:



CMS Medical Review Manual Revised

CMS has converted its medical review activity to a progressive correction action model and all Regional Home Health Intermediaries (RHHIs) should be following these practices. Although the development of a manual outlining these processes contains no surprises, it does provide a short outline of what your RHHI should and should not be doing in medical review. The manual includes sample sizes, notification requirements, and criteria for full medical review. Keeping this guide handy in the event that the medical review you are experiencing seems awry may prove helpful. The text is available at:


USFDA Approves COX-2 Inhibitor Vioxx for Adult Migraine

Merck's arthritis and pain drug, Vioxx (rofecoxib), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of acute migraine with or without aura in adults. Vioxx becomes the first COX-2 inhibitor approved for this indication. Clinical investigator Dr. Stephen Silberstein stated, "Studies have shown that just one Vioxx relieved migraine headache pain for most patients within two hours, a standard measurement for evaluating the efficacy of migraine treatments."

FIGURE. No caption a... - Click to enlarge in new windowFIGURE. No caption available.

The approval of Vioxx for migraine was based on two double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter studies involving approximately 1,600 patients who were treated for a single migraine attack of moderate to severe intensity. Results demonstrated that a single 25-mg or 50-mg dose of Vioxx significantly relieved headache pain compared to placebo. Both doses also reduced migraine-related sensitivity to light (photophobia), sound (phonophobia), and nausea. For more information visit product news at