The Health News USA November 25 2017

  • Amid reports of another child death, IKEA is reminding customers who purchased some of its dressers that they need to be fastened to the wall or they may tip and fall. The reminder is part of the company’s reannouncement of a 2016 recall of many of its dressers and chests following reports of injuries and deaths of children.
  • According to documents obtained by USA TODAY, people with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August. The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting eighty thousand new soldiers through September 2018 .
  • About fifty employees of Essentia Health, an upper-Midwest hospital chain, didn’t go to work Wednesday. They were fired for refusing to get flu shots. Hospital workers can pass the flu virus to some of the most vulnerable people — frail elderly, babies in incubators, patients with immune systems ravaged by cancer treatment. Vaccinating employees protects patients and the employees’ co-workers.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 25th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/11/21/health/ikea-dresser-recall-eighth-child-death/index.html

Amid reports of another child death, IKEA is reminding customers who purchased some of its dressers that they need to be fastened to the wall or they may tip and fall. The reminder is part of the company’s reannouncement of a two thousand sixteen recall of many of its dressers and chests following reports of injuries and deaths of children. There have been one hundred eighty six reports of Malm dressers tipping; ninety one of them resulted in injuries.  According to IKEA, there have been one hundred thirteen reports of other dressers tipping, fifty three of them causing injuries. In all, eight children have died from injuries from recalled dressers since nineteen eighty nine.

The most recent death was in May, when a two-year-old boy from California who became trapped by an IKEA Malm three-drawer chest that was not fastened to the wall. This death prompted Tuesday’s reminder from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and IKEA. When asked about the six months that have passed since the death, the agency said it launched an investigation as soon as it learned of the incident. The seventeen point three million recalled dressers sold in the United States included child dressers taller than twenty three point five inches and adult dressers taller than twenty point five inches. All were sold online and in IKEA stores between January two thousand two and June two thousand sixteen for seventy to two hundred dollars each. Some additional chests and dressers included in the recall were sold between nineteen eighty five and June two thousand sixteen. The company set up a website to help consumers identify dressers that have been recalled.

Owners of the recalled dressers should stop using them if they are not attached to a wall and should contact IKEA. They can choose between a refund or a free kit to fasten the furniture. IKEA is offering free pickup for those who want to return dressers or free in-home anchoring service on request.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/12/army-lifts-ban-recruits-history-self-mutilation-other-mental-health-issues/853131001/

According to documents obtained by USA TODAY, people with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August. The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting eighty thousand new soldiers through September two thousand eighteen. To meet last year’s goal of sixty nine thousand, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.

Expanding the waivers for mental health is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about each potential recruit, Lieutenant Colonel Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The Army issued the ban on waivers in two thousand nine amid an epidemic of suicides among troops. “The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data which is now more readily available,” Taylor’s statement to USA TODAY said.

But accepting recruits with those mental health conditions in their past carries risks, according to Elspeth Ritchie, a psychiatrist who retired from the Army as a colonel in two thousand ten and is an expert on waivers for military service. She said that people with a history of mental health problems are more likely to have those issues resurface than those who do not.

Recruiting generally is more challenging for the services when the economy is strong. The Army has responded by offering more bonuses to those who sign up for service. In fiscal year two thousand seventeen, it paid out four hundred twenty four million dollars in bonuses, up from two hundred eighty four million in two thousand sixteen. In two thousand fourteen, that figure was only eight point two million dollars. Some recruits can qualify for a bonus of forty thousand dollars.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/they-didn-t-get-vaccinated-now-they-re-out-jobs-n823446

About fifty employees of Essentia Health, an upper-Midwest hospital chain, didn’t go to work Wednesday. But it wasn’t an early start to the Thanksgiving holiday for them. They were fired for refusing to get flu shots. It’s part of a growing trend for hospitals to require flu shots for workers. Public health experts say it shouldn’t be surprising.
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Hospital workers can pass the flu virus to some of the most vulnerable people — frail elderly, babies in incubators, patients with immune systems ravaged by cancer treatment. Vaccinating employees protects patients and the employees’ co-workers. Each year, influenza virus kills between four thousand and fifty thousand Americans, including children who were perfectly healthy before they caught flu. Just about everyone is advised to get a flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual flu vaccines for everyone of the age of six months who doesn’t have a medical reason not to — for instance, an allergy to the vaccine.
But vaccination rates are low, and even among healthcare workers, only around 65 percent get flu vaccines every year, the CDC says. When employers require the vaccine, the CDC found, eighty five  percent of workers get one. Just forty three percent get vaccinated if there is no policy.

Several states, including California, require hospitals to make flu vaccines mandatory and to record and publish their vaccination rates. Maryland has a searchable database telling people a hospital’s vaccination rate. Now, Essentia employees must either be vaccinated or go through a process similar to school enrollment requirements: they must apply for a medical or religious/philosophical waiver. The requests are reviewed by expert committees.

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