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Nurses Helping Nurses

Nurses House is a national fund organized to provide short-term financial assistance to help nurses in need. Nurse House was founded in 1922 as an actual home built with funds bequeathed by Emily Bourne, a friend to nurses, to build a respite facility. The home was sold in 1959 to reorganize funding assistance; such assistance helps nurses in need pay for rent, mortgage, utilities, or health insurance. A passing of the "cap" at the ANA House of Delegates meeting in Washington, DC, in June 2005 raised $2356 for Nurses House.


Rachel Anderson is a pseudonym for an RN who has written and published three volumes of short stories based on her home health nursing experiences. The books are entitled A Nurse's World, volumes 1, 2, and 3. Proceeds of sales of the books are donated to Nurses House.

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This is a worthy nonprofit organization to which nurses might want to consider a donation. Please see the organization's Web site at for more information and to obtain a copy of A Nurse's World.


Sources:; MARN-Massachusetts Report on Nursing, June 2005


Inhaled Insulin

In three studies performed by the University of Vermont College of Medicine (sponsored by Pfizer and its partner, Sanoli-Aventis), Eli Lily, and Generex Biotechnology, inhaled insulin development is proving to be possible.


Individuals with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes would have a pain-free option for treating this chronic disease and maintaining closer glycemic control. The studies found that quality of life improves for those with diabetes and for many patients who have resisted their physicians' advice to begin using insulin when poor glucose control warrants a change to insulin. The option of inhaled insulin made it three times more likely that a patient would choose insulin therapy.


Among those offered inhaled insulin, 43.2% chose insulin treatment. Among those offered only insulin, 15.5% took the insulin option. Phase II studies have demonstrated that inhaled insulin is as effective as regular injectable insulin and that inhaled insulin results in better control for patients who do not have well-controlled diabetes with the use of oral agents.


In one 12-week study, no pulmonary problems arose, even among patients who also have asthma. Studies for longer periods are being conducted.


The powder is administered through a device about the size of a cell phone. The patient cocks the handle that fills the lower chamber with compressed air. A blister pack of powdered insulin is inserted and ruptured, and the patient inhales the powder and air mix.


Sources: WebMD Health, Voice of the Diabetic, National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.


Virtual Colonoscopy

Virtual colonoscopy, called computed tomographic colonoscopy, is a noninvasive screening method for detecting colon cancer. It uses a series of images to visually reconstruct the interior of the colon on a computer. Unlike standard colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy sees the surrounding areas of the lower torso. Virtual colonoscopy can find cancers and other "clinically important" conditions that could be missed with the standard colonoscopy.


However, the use of virtual colonoscopy remains a matter of controversy because of concern that "extracolonic findings" could trigger more expensive testing that finds no pathologic conditions.


In the August 2005 issue of Radiology (vol. 236, no. 2), Dr. Judy Yee notes that aneurysms or suspicious lesions or masses of the solid organs of the abdomen may be visualized. Yee's concern related to conventional colonoscopy is that less than 30% of individuals are screened regularly. Dr. Yee's study, at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, found that of 500 virtual colonoscopies, there were "extracolonic findings" for 315 patients, and 45 patients had "clinically important" findings. The additional cost to look for these conditions was $28.12 per exam.


Dr. Herman Kattlove, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society and an oncologist, remains skeptical. Additional clinical studies are needed to determine the long-term benefit. Until then, encourage your family, friends, and patients to undergo a screening colonoscopy as recommended by their physician.


Further information can be found at the American Cancer Society Web site,


Source: Healthfinder, A Service of the National Health Information Center of the US Department of Health and Human Services at


Glucosamine and Diabetes

Dr. Daren Scroggie and associates from Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, studied the effects of glucosamine on glucose levels in individuals with diabetes.


Clinical studies have demonstrated that patients with diabetes who are taking glucosamine need not worry about their blood sugar levels rising. Some previous animal studies had shown a slight effect on glucose levels.

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This is great news for individuals with diabetes and arthritis because the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can mask pain and have important side effects. Glucosamine is thought to have a lasting effect on joint pain, and its effects may last even after one stops taking it. Glucosamine is a safe alternative for individuals with diabetes and arthritis pain that functionally alters their lifestyle.


Source: The Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center on the World Wide Web (


Metered-Dose Inhalers and the Atmosphere

The production of ozone-depleting substances is being phased out worldwide under the terms of an international agreement called the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Because most metered-dose inhalers (MDIs) available in the United States contained ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), many of these MDIs are being reformulated to no longer use CFCs. The reformulation effort is under way, and several non-CFC products are approved or marketed, including non-CFC MDI versions of albuterol, beclomethasone, fluticasone, and ipratropium, and dry-powder versions of fluticasone, formoterol, and salmeterol. Several more non-CFC products are in development.

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Many have expressed concerns that the inhaled medications they use to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma will become unavailable. The Food and Drug Administration indicates that no medicines will be removed from the market until sufficient alternative medicines exist and after public discussion has occurred.