The Health News USA August 22 2017


  • Robotic-assisted surgeries are no longer a figurative idea of the future. Over just the past decade, we have seen the use of robotics in the medical and surgical community skyrocket – but the development of education and training standards has not kept pace.
  • A 63-year old lady from Los Angeles was awarded $417 million by a jury because she developed ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for decades. The award includes $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.
  • More children and teens are likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure during their annual wellness visits according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. An estimated 3.5% of all children and teens in the United States have hypertension.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 22nd of August 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News

Robots are no longer a figurative idea of the future. Much like computers, robotic assisted surgery – or “computer-assisted surgery” – is here to stay. Over just the past decade, we have seen the use of robotics in the medical and surgical community skyrocket – but the development of education and training standards has not kept pace. For many, it is still an abstract concept to imagine how a robot (computer) can be used in surgery – and the benefits it can bring. Yet we see these benefits every day in operating rooms throughout the country. This past fall, more than forty robotic registry experts from across the country joined the Food and Drug Administration at a conference in Orlando, Florida, with the goal to develop the first national robotic outcomes registry. What we found from both the technology and health industries is the need to develop a system that will encourage our surgeons to continuously improve and learn different surgical skills. We found that we have to educate our communities about the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. We learned that our industry partners must develop smart tools to improve outcomes.

These are tenets of a Japanese philosophy called kaizen, known in the automotive industry, and it suggests that we must continuously improve working practices and efficiency. We cannot allow the opportunity for greater improvement slip away from us due to lack of knowledge. The registry is current in development through the help of these industry leaders, the Institute for Surgical Excellence and the FDA. Major corporations such as Google and Johnson & Johnson are among the many stakeholders who have recognized the need to develop the technology of robotic surgery and the great potential it can bring to patients worldwide. It is our responsibility as physicians and surgeons to deliver the highest quality of surgical care and outcomes for our patients and to utilize the most appropriate tools to help our patients achieve an improved outcome. Regardless if you are a seasoned veteran or a new doctor just out of medical school, it is a physician’s responsibility to know and understand all treatment and surgical options for our patients. Rapidly changing technology, tests and discoveries are the backbone to the medical profession, and will continue to advance us forward.

On Monday, a jury awarded a California woman four hundred seventeen million dollars because she developed ovarian cancer and had used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for decades. Eva Echeverria, a sixty three-year-old from Los Angeles, said she had been using the powder as a regular part of her feminine hygiene routine since she was eleven years old. She stopped using it in two thousand sixteen, after she read a news story about another woman who used it and had ovarian cancer. Echeverria’s is the first of hundreds of similar cases in California to be decided. Juries elsewhere have returned four other verdicts against Johnson & Johnson, and another case in New Jersey was dismissed. There are thousands of similar cases going through state and federal courts right now. Echeverria testified that had there been a warning label on the product, she would have stopped using it.

The company has no legal obligation to put such a label on its product. Because talcum powder is legally considered a cosmetic, it does not have to undergo a review by the US Food and Drug Administration like a drug would. But it would have to be properly labeled with ingredients and other information, and the product “must be safe for use by consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use,” according to the agency.
Some other talc-based powders on the market carry labels that mention possible risk of ovarian cancer after frequent application in the female genital area.Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that it will begin the appeals process in the California case.

More children and teens are likely to be categorized as having abnormal blood pressure during their annual wellness visits, based on new recommendations released Monday by the American Academy of Pediatrics. High blood pressure is mostly a “silent” condition, with no visible symptoms. Yet it can have long-term health consequences, including cardiovascular disease. The new guidelines, aimed at prevention, were published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. They include new diagnosis tables based on normal-weight children. An estimated three point five percent of all children and teens in the United States have hypertension, according to the guidelines. Joseph T. Flynn, lead author of the guidelines and a professor of pediatrics at University of Washington said that the cause of hypertension depends on the age group.
“In infants and very young children, we worry about an underlying cause like kidney disease,” Flynn said. With older school-age children and teenagers, the cause is more likely to be primary hypertension, sometimes called essential hypertension, “where there’s no specific problem,” he said. “This is like adults.” Obesity does contribute to higher blood pressure. Yet the physiological mechanisms causing high blood pressure are very complicated, and not all kids who are overweight or obese are hypertensive, while some normal-weight kids may be.

If, for example, a child is known to have kidney disease or heart disease, then they would be at higher risk for hypertension. Another group would be kids whose parents have hypertension,” Flynn said. The guidelines include updated blood pressure tables based on normal-weight children for more precise classifications of hypertension. As a result, more children will be categorized as needing treatment. “Untreated, we believe that high blood pressure in a child will lead to high blood pressure when that child becomes an adult, so that would potentially lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease later in life,” Flynn said, adding that untreated hypertension can also cause heart and kidney damage.


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