The Health News USA February 21 2018

  • A new study suggests that a shortage of clinicians specializing in pediatric behavioral and developmental disorders is translating into long wait times for new patient appointments amid surging demand. Researchers noted in Pediatrics that developmental and behavioral problems are common, affecting about 15% of U.S. children. But as a growing number of kids seek care for increasingly complex conditions, the number of available specialists is set to decline as retirements loom and fewer younger clinicians pursue this type of work.
  • Frustration is mounting in the medical community as the Trump administration again points to mental illness in response to yet another mass shooting. Under gun industry pressure, U.S. government research on firearm violence has been limited for decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 38,000 U.S. gun deaths in 2016, slightly more than the number of people who died in car crashes.
  • A US study suggests that the number of babies dying of suffocation before their 1st birthday has been rising in recent years, driven at least in part by an increase in the number of parents sharing beds with their infants. Researchers reported in Pediatrics that from 1999 to 2015, the suffocation death rate for babies younger than 1 year climbed from 12.4 to 28.3 fatalities for every 1,000 U.S. infants.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 21st of February 2018. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-pediatrics-doctor-shortage/u-s-faces-shortage-of-developmental-and-behavioral-pediatrics-specialists-idUSKCN1G02KO

A new study suggests that a shortage of clinicians specializing in pediatric behavioral and developmental disorders is translating into long wait times for new patient appointments amid surging demand. Researchers noted in Pediatrics that developmental and behavioral problems are common, affecting about fifteen percent of U.S. children. But as a growing number of kids seek care for increasingly complex conditions, the number of available specialists is set to decline as retirements loom and fewer younger clinicians pursue this type of work.
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Patient demand is surging at least in part because improvements in treatment and diagnosis in recent years have made it possible for a growing number of children to survive beyond early childhood with complex chronic health problems. More children are also being diagnosed because general practitioners are better today at detecting problems and referring children to specialists for care. For the study, researchers examined survey data from five hundred fifty eight physicians and one hundred twenty five nurse practitioners. A majority of the physicians worked full-time, an average of forty eight hours a week. They typically saw an average of about six new patients and sixteen established patients each week.

The survey found that constraints on seeing more patients included paperwork, the complexity of the patients’ conditions and a lack of clinical support.  Doctors also reported spending about fifty percent additional time on patient-related activities they could not bill for, with more non-billable minutes for new patients than for returning patients.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/doctors-blast-trumps-mental-illness-focus-fight-violence-53199960

Frustration is mounting in the medical community as the Trump administration again points to mental illness in response to yet another mass shooting. Doctor Louis Kraus, forensic psychiatry chief at Chicago’s Rush University Medical College said “The concept that mental illness is a precursor to violent behavior is nonsense.”
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Nikolas Cruz, the nineteen-year-old charged with killing seventeen people on Valentine’s Day at his former high school in Parkland, Florida has been described by students as a loner with troubling behavior who had been kicked out of school. His mother recently died and Cruz had been staying with family friends. Since the shooting, his mental health has been the focus of President Donald Trump’s comments.

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Mental health professionals welcome more resources and attention, but they say the administration is ignoring the real problem — easy access to guns, particularly the kind of high-powered highly lethal assault weapons used in many of the most recent mass shootings.
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Under gun industry pressure, U.S. government research on firearm violence has been limited for decades. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about thirty eight thousand U.S. gun deaths in two thousand sixteen, slightly more than the number of people who died in car crashes.

Before he was a candidate, Donald Trump at one point favored some tighter gun regulations. But he embraced gun rights as a candidate, and the National Rifle Association spent thirty million dollars in support of his campaign. His latest budget request would slash Medicaid, the major source of federal funding for treating mental health problems, and cut school safety programs by more than a third. Last year, he signed a resolution blocking an Obama-era rule designed to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/02/19/more-u-s-babies-dying-suffocation-often-in-bed.html

A US study suggests that the number of babies dying of suffocation before their first birthday has been rising in recent years, driven at least in part by an increase in the number of parents sharing beds with their infants. Researchers reported in Pediatrics that from nineteen ninety nine to two thousand fifteen, the suffocation death rate for babies younger than one year climbed from twelve point four to twenty eight point three fatalities for every one thousand U.S. infants.

In two thousand fifteen alone, this translated into one thousand one hundred infant deaths that were entirely preventable. The majority of these suffocation fatalities occurred while babies were in bed.

The study found that suffocation and strangulation deaths increased across the board for boys and girls regardless of race, ethnicity or whether they lived in urban or rural communities.

Some fatalities that were attributed to sleep-related causes like sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS at the start of the study might have been categorized as accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed by the end of the study period.

SIDS deaths are still far more common than strangulation and suffocation fatalities and are the most common cause of sleep-related fatalities. Bed-sharing is rising the most among black and Asian American families, and these are also populations with the highest rates of sleep-related infant deaths.

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