1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN

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Flying? Don't drink the water. In January 2004 the Environmental Protection Agency announced the results of its second round of testing of airplane water. The results weren't good. The agency first tested samples taken from 158 randomly selected airplanes, and roughly 13% of the samples contained bacterial contaminants. A follow-up in November revealed that levels hadn't gone down. More than 17% of random samples were positive for coliform bacteria. The agency recommends that airplane passengers with compromised immune systems drink only beverages that come in bottles or cans and avoid anything-such as tea, coffee, and ice cubes-made with the water on board.


Breast cancer survivors suffer fractures significantly more often than other post-menopausal women do, according to an observational study of more than 86,000 women that was recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Survivors' fracture risk remained significantly elevated after adjusting for differences in hormonal factors, leaving the association between breast cancer and increased fracture risk incompletely explained. But breast cancer survivors who suffered fractures tended to be older, were more likely to be depressed, had more medical and musculoskeletal problems (such as osteoporosis), had poorer overall physical function, and fell more frequently than those who remained fracture free. Prevention efforts can begin by targeting those risk factors that can be altered by changes in behavior.


The New Jersey Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NJANA) loses court battle. After months of legal proceedings, the NJANA was unable to defeat a new regulation mandating that nurse anesthetists be supervised by a physician when providing conscious sedation in office settings. New Jersey is now the first and only state with such a mandate. The NJANA did petition the state supreme court and on February 1 got a stay of order to keep the new regulation from being implemented. The court is planning to hear the case this month. Angela Richmond, executive director of the NJANA, said, "I am optimistic that we will win this battle."