Study: Teens Teased About Weight More Likely To Become Obese Adults

If you think teasing your teen about their weight is helping them, think again. You may be doing more harm.  Harm that can last well into their adulthood having them turn to more food for comfort.

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Being a teen can be a challenging time for many children and for teens who are overweight or obese, the challenges can be even greater.

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A recent study shows that teens who are teased about their weight are more likely to become obese adults.

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Researchers asked nearly 2,000 school aged children about whether they had been teased by other children, or family members, about their weight.

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When they followed up with these children 15 years later, they found that those who answered ‘yes’ were more likely to be obese adults, struggle with body image and develop unhealthy eating behaviors.

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Leslie Heinberg, PhD, of Cleveland Clinic did not take part in the study, but says the results are a good indication that problems with weight-based teasing need to be addressed early on.

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“”One of the primary ways people cope with this bad experience is by eating – they fall back into comfort eating; they fall into disordered eating behaviors,”” says Dr. Heinberg. “

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“What this study shows, is some of the dieting behavior they utilize can be really unhealthy,”” says Dr. Heinberg.

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Dr. Heinberg says one of the most interesting findings was that girls who were teased about their weight by family members, rather than peers, had the most problems as adults dealing with weight control and emotional distress.

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“”Peers or family members, they might tease, or give somebody a hard time about their weight – maybe not with malicious intent – maybe they think, ‘oh, this will be good. It will motivate them to lose weight, it will motivate them to eat in a healthy manner,’ however, it’s actually more likely to derail them,”” says Dr. Heinberg.

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Dr. Heinberg says home needs to be a place where children feel safe from teasing.

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“The first goal is to make home a healthy and safe environment in which teens aren’’t feeling victimized about their weight, and giving them at least a safe spot at home where they don’’t have those experiences,” she says.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION, Anthony Michael Hall, Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Barron, 1983

For parents who are concerned about their teen’s weight, Dr. Heinberg says it’s best to bring in a professional.

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She recommends having a conversation with the child’s pediatrician before they’re seen.

Doctor Giuseppe Morino measures Mirco Conti, a ten-year-old boy, at the "Bambin Gesu" paediatric hospital in Rome

They can tell you what a healthy weight is and develop appropriate strategies for addressing it.

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OBESITY MAY BE PREVENTED BY:

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

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GOOD NUTRITION
(AVOID SODA, FAST FOOD, PROCESSED FOODS AND JUNK FOOD)

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Teen Nutrition Meal Ideas at: http://www.stack.com/a/teenage-meal-plan

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LESS SCREEN TIME

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MORE SLEEP

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Stay healthy!

maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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SOURCE: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743517301433

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How To Keep Kids Fit Brooklyn Style

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When I was a kid all we needed to stay fit is a stoop and a ball.

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Lucky for us we had a few more things, like a rope to play tug-of-war.

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And touch football in the streets was popular.

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And we loved jumping rope.

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Or playing with hula hoops.

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Girls also played softball & boys were in little leagues. My team was The Monkeys. What?

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We all held hands & sang Ring Around the Rosy and London Bridge Is Falling Down.

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And there was the horse shoe toss game.

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In gym class one kid spotted another one for sit-ups.

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And we did jumping jacks.  Not in boots.  Must have forgotten gym clothes. Happens.

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Another after school favorite activity –rollerskating.

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We didn’t even wear helmets.  And our skates looked more like this.

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We played basketball in the streets.  Darn cars got in our way. We’d make them wait.

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We also loved stickball.  We usually fashioned one out of an old broom.

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We jumped over fire hydrants. Sometimes, all them on the block. One. After. Another.

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And used chalk for hop scotch and other creative games that kept us moving.

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Somebody’s Mom always kept an eye to make sure we didn’t get hit by a car.

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As if they could do anything but scream. They never bugged us dinner.

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Then, we heard some serious yelling to get inside.  NOW!

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Then, it was back to playing outdoors. One kid had a pool. Two words. Marco. POLO!

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We also walked around the neighborhood a lot.  No need to make a play date.

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We played Hide n’ Go Seek or “Tag, you’re it!” and ran around laughing a lot.

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Sometimes, our destination was nearby Dyker Heights Park so we could ride swings.

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As our Dads played Bocci (like outdoor bowling for grown Italian men) there…

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We sauntered to the adjacent golf course & got in trouble chasing & collecting golf balls.

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Kids run REAL fast when men waving golf clubs chase them.  What a workout!

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We also played handball after getting chased off the golf course.

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Or rode our bikes.

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We were always moving.

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Even while indoors, we played games that had us moving, like TWISTER.

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Or we danced to records imitating dancers on American Bandstand and Soul Train.

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It all meant we burned off enough energy to  STOP EVERYTHING for Mr. Softie.

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Then, kids sprinted downstairs or upstairs for money. There was also Danny,

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Danny, the ice cream man. But, we weren’t obese because we weren’t sedentary.

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No iPADS, no iPHONES, no sitting on the couch all day for us.  When school was done, we were outside playing and didn’t go back inside until weheard the screams for dinner.

Since we got out of school at 3 p.m. and dinner wasn’t usually until 7 p.m. we got a full
4-hours of physical activity and that didn’t include gym class at school.

Kids today look more like this.

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Or this when they get home from school.

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A study recently published in Experimental Physiology examined the effects of prolonged sitting (three continuous hours) on girls ages 9 to 12.

One group was asked to sit still, either watching a movie or playing video games for three hours, while another group exercised lightly at the beginning of each hour before sitting again.

At the end of the experiment, researchers found the group that sat still for the entire three hours experienced a major decrease in vascular function.

That 33 percent decrease in function means  the leg arteries were no longer working as well as they should.  In adults, this very thing—over time—has been linked to increased risk of developing heart disease. 

The bottom line is kids suffer from being sedentary just like adults.

When it comes to kid’s fitness it doesn’t cost much to keep them active. So take a note of all the things we did to stay fit while we were kids in Brooklyn to spark a few ideas.

A stick from an old broom, Spaulding ball, hula hoop, a jump rope, a handball, a waffle bat & ball, chalk, radio, roller skates, a rope for tug-of-war, TWISTER game, softball, basketball net, basketball, horseshoe toss –are all things still available and cheap.

Socializing in real life is just as important for kids as it is for adults.

Some of the things we did didn’t cost a penny.  Jumping jacks, dancing, running, walking, swimming and jumping hydrants were all free.  Limit gadget and TV viewing.  Encourage creativity when it comes to keeping them moving while having fun, even while indoors.

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Healthy kids are happy kids that will grow up with healthy habits.

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Stay healthy!

maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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Is It Okay To Drink From A Garden Hose?

 

gardenhose9Drinking out of the garden hose is something many of us did as kids to beat the heat.

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However, according to Dan Allan, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic, drinking from the hose carries some significant risks, and is something parents should try and steer their children away from.

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“”We’’ve learned some things more recently that would certainly talk about the risks,”” says Dr. Allan. “”Probably the biggest risk is some of the chemicals that are in the water itself.””

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Such chemicals include BPA (Bisphenol A) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which have both been banned from children’s products.

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Dr. Allan says these types of chemicals have been linked to cancer, hormone problems and developmental problems in children.

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“”If there’’s lead – that can lead to a host of neurological problems – so there are a lot of things to be concerned about,”” says Dr. Allan.

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While skipping sips from the garden hose all together is the best way to prevent problems, there are some measures parents can take if they just can’t keep kids away.

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Dr. Allan says some hoses are made without harmful chemicals, and are marked as such.

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He says the hose fixture matters as well. Brass fixtures, for example, release lead which will contribute to health risks.

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If drinking out of the garden hose is unavoidable, the best thing to do is to let the water run for a few minutes before taking a drink.

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Doing so will flush out water near the top of the hose that could be contaminated with lead, mold or bacteria.

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Dr. Allan also says to make sure the hose is stored properly.

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“If the hose sits in the sun or is stored in the sun, it will release a lot more chemicals,”” adds Dr. Allan. “

“If you’re going to use a hose for drinking, certainly it should be safe, but store it out of the sun because the sun’s heat will release the chemicals.””

 

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You can find a variety of chemical free garden hoses on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Water-Right-Polyurethane-Drinking-Fittings/dp/B003P9XAAA

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blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Real Deal: No More Needles for Blood Draws

v12Velano Vascular is on a mission to bring compassion to healthcare and make painful blood draws more pleasant for patients.  So far, they’re succeeding. They’ve received their 3rd FDA-clearance to help children and adults who cringe at the sight of needles.

Needlephobia affects 24% of adults and 63% of children.

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The Boy Who Cried Wolf may come to mind when we talk about no more needles for blood draws because of ill-fated Theranos.  They’re the overly-hyped biotech start-up currently under federal investigation by the S.E.C. and U.S. Attorney’s office. Patients initially thrilled about no more needles got hoodwinked by fake news.

Meet the Real Deal.

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Velano Vascular creates a single-use, disposable device called PIVO.

 

It attaches to a peripheral IV line, in hospital inpatients, allowing for lab quality blood samples to be drawn back through the IV –without requiring venipuncture (needle sticks or drawing blood from central lines) .

 

Many of the questions Therano’s CEO never answered, avoided or even got asked by reporters is welcomed by Velano Vascular’s CEO, Eric Stone, who I interviewed.

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WHAT IS PIVO AN ACRONYM FOR?

ERIC STONE, CEO, VELANO VASCULAR:  PIVO derives from “peripheral intravenous catheter,” or PIV, which is a medical term for the standard IV most hospital patients are hooked up to in order to receive intravenous fluids..

WHAT IS PIVO?

STONE: PIVO is a single-use, disposable device that attaches temporarily to an IV line, allowing for needle-free blood draws from this existing line.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

STONE: It enables blood draws to be taken by clinicians from the same intravenous (IV) catheter most hospital patients already have inserted in their arms, instead of poking them again each time they need their blood drawn and instead of accessing larger catheters (Central Venous Catheters) which raise different challenges associated with each time they are accessed.

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WHO DOES THIS DEVICE HELP PEOPLE?

STONE:  The device works for any patient with an IV catheter. Of course, children tend to more commonly have an acute fear of needles, so it can make pediatric care less invasive and painful.

There are also an estimated 30% of our hospital inpatients that are classified as DVA (Difficult Venous Access) because of aging, obesity, disease and more.

PIVO helps practitioners capture critical labs from these growing populations of patients who otherwise may take significant time and expense.

STONE: Also, those in hospitals or other inpatient settings, where the average length of stay is almost 5 days in the U.S. require daily or more frequent blood draws. Many of these patients have problematic veins or skin, which requires a lot of poking and prodding to draw blood. PIVO tackles these issues head on.

According to the CDC, an estimated 35M inpatient stays occur in the U.S. alone each year.  So, PIVO is set to  help many millions of Americans, not to mention those inpatients around the world.

HOW IS PIVO MORE COMFORTABLE & LESS DANGEROUS FOR PATIENT?

STONE:  For patients who have their blood drawn for a check-up once a year in an outpatient setting, blood draws are not that disruptive.  For a “frequent flyer” in the hospital, or a DVA (difficult venous access) patient –noted as such upon admission or who has become DVA after 10 or 20 days in the hospital feeling like a pin cushion –removing the needle from the procedure can have a lifelong impact.

Enabling practitioners to avoid accessing central lines (large, surgically-placed catheters) for blood draws aims to reduce the risks of Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infection.

Further, removing the needle from blood draws helps avoid risk of injury and infection for our phlebotomists, nurses and physicians. Hospital leadership is recognizing that an important alternative to a prevalent practice is now available.

IF I GET BLOOD WORK FROM AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL WILL THEY USE PIVO?

STONE:  PIVO requires a Peripheral IV catheter in order to access the vein. The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line PIVO cannot access the vein.

The IV line serves as a temporary conduit to the vein, so without the IV line, PIVO cannot access a patient’s blood.  As such, this procedure is most appropriate for the hospital inpatient setting.

I do envision PIVO will adopted in other care settings, where patients possess an IV line and require frequent blood draws, but the annual physical unfortunately is not one of these.

WHY AREN’T IV’S GOOD FOR DRAWING BLOOD WITHOUT PIVO?

STONE:  IV’s are essentially plastic  tubes which overtime become soft, like a noodle. While a noodle is fine for injecting fluids and medications into a patient, its soft walls collapse under the negative pressure of suction when you try to take fluids out.

There are other reasons why IV’s are less-than-optimal for drawing blood back, but these are quite complex in nature and we’re only just now uncovering some of the novel reasons through our research with leading clinical collaborators.

PIVO simply inserts a small, stiffer tube inside the existing IV tube for the purpose of drawing blood.

It works by propping open and unkinking the IV tube temporarily while enabling lab quality blood be collected.

HOW WAS THE IDEA FOR PIVO ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED?

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STONE:   Velano’s co-founder and physician, Pitamber Devgon had an elderly patient with bruises up and down her arms from repeated needle sticks.  That patient asked him why he was continually sticking her with needles when she already had an IV catheter in her vein. He didn’t know, but began exploring if it was possible to draw lab quality samples out of the IV line using a separate device.

Stone, a Wharton MBA shares, “Most of my career has been in healthcare, plus I am a needle phobic following my childhood diagnosis with Crohn’s disease as a teenager. So, when I was looking for a company start and a product to bring to market and my former graduate school classmates introduced us, I was instantly engaged following years as a serial healthcare entrepreneur and patient advocate.  From that connection,  Velano was born. “

Velano first won FDA approval for PIVO in 2015, and has also obtained multiple U.S. and international patents for it, with additional applications outstanding in the U.S. & abroad.

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STONE: “Five years from now,” asserts Stone, “I believe, without a doubt that PIVO will be the standard of care for inpatient blood draws and vascular access.”

Thanks for a great interview and innovation for healthcare consumers! -Maria Dorfner

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO, Velano Vascular.

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RELATED NEWS:

 

A year ago, Forbes contributor Robert Reiss called Eric Stone “The Steve Jobs of Drawing Blood” and tested PIVO himself.  Reprint of article below courtesy of Reiss.

The Steve Jobs Of Drawing Blood

by Robert Reiss , FORBES CONTRIBUTOR (specializing in writing about CEOs)

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

I was recently at a board meeting at Griffin Hospital and our CEO was telling us about a new product that could transform perhaps the most ubiquitous healthcare practice – drawing blood.

The concept from a company called Velano Vascular repurposes the IV most hospital patients already have in their arms so blood can be drawn without having their veins repeatedly stuck by needles.

It aims to eliminate the associated negatives of traditional blood drawing: the pain and anxiety, injuries, excessive time and cost.

It seemed like such a revolutionary solution to a broad issue – sort of like in 1892 when Keds invented sneakers – and I was curious to understand if this was truly an historic moment where the age old process of drawing blood could once and for all be revolutionized.

It reminded me of one of my first CEO interviews back in 2007 with Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline when he described the driving force behind one of his over 700 patents, “The key to successful innovation is having a better solution for something that’s used everywhere and every day.”

So I decided to experience this innovation firsthand and a few weeks later I intentionally became a patient and experienced this new needleless way to draw numerous samples of blood.

I was amazed, the nurses were able to draw blood easily, and to do so as many times as they wanted without ever having to stick a needle in me again.

I was next introduced to the founder of Velano Vascular, Eric Stone, who I now admiringly call the Steve Jobs of drawing blood, and below are a few insights from our conversation:

Robert Reiss: How much blood is currently being drawn and what are the problems with the current system?

Eric Stone: Blood draws are not fun – and they are overlooked and underappreciated…except by patients. They are likely the most common invasive medical procedure, with an estimated half a billion in U.S. hospitals alone conducted every year, and two to three times this number across all hospitals worldwide annually.

Recognizing that the U.S. represents nearly 40 million inpatient admissions annually, with an average length of stay of five days, and a conservative estimate of two blood draws per patient per day, we are easily conducting hundreds of millions of inpatient draws each year quite readily.

This does not even take into account other non-hospital settings where patients require regular blood draws, such as long-term care facilities, skilled nursing homes and more – all locations where patients may have a peripheral IV (PIV) catheter indwelling (a requirement for our innovation to be relevant).

For a procedure that informs nearly 70% of all clinical decisions, it is remarkable that the last major innovation was the abandonment of bloodletting centuries ago.

Whether you’re the parent of a sick child or the son or daughter of an elderly parent, repeat hospitalizations and frequent blood draws hit home for just about everyone. It’s scary, it hurts, and it’s critical that we begin to pay attention and stop taking the steely reserve of our patients for granted.

Herein lies the rub. People scared of needles (trypanophobia) avoid necessary tests and treatment, needles injure healthcare workers more than 2 million times a year in accidents that can lead to serious infection, and the list of dysfunction goes on.

The way we draw blood today has real emotional, clinical and financial consequences. We can, and we must, do better. We can start by paying attention.

Reiss: What specifically is different about the Velano Vascular product?

Stone: Velano’s FDA-approved PIVO™ is a disposable, needle free device that connects to a patient’s existing IV catheter, enabling blood draws during their entire hospital stay without requiring subsequent needle sticks.

It turns out that IVs are great at putting fluids into the body but unreliable at pulling them out – that’s why patients receive so many needle sticks while in the hospital.

PIVO turns the routine IV into a reliable conduit for drawing high quality blood samples. This is an elegant solution to a centuries-old problem.

Now, patients no longer need to feel like a “pin cushions” or experience abrupt awakenings between 2:00 am and 6:00 am for the nighttime needle stick – when 40% of blood draws occur.

The company was founded based on a simple idea back in 2012, and subsequently PIVO has been used in clinical pilots and trials at a number of leading U.S. hospitals since receiving regulatory clearance in early 2015.

It has won a number of awards, including the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award for Vascular Access in 2016 and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation competition at Children’s National Health in Washington, DC.

Reiss: What are the strengths and weaknesses of your methodology on quality outcomes?

Stone: Velano is most often measured by the clinical quality of blood samples drawn and its impact on both practitioner and patient experience.

In thousands of patients, the quality of our blood samples has been definitive and easy to measure, both through clinical studies and “real world,” commercial use.

Blood drawn from PIVO has similarly low hemolysis rates (blood cell shearing or tearing that can relegate a patient to a re-draw and delays in essential care) to needle draws.

Clinical study efforts and pilots with some of the country’s leading healthcare institutions such as University Hospitals Cleveland, Intermountain Healthcare, The University of Pennsylvania Hospital and Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital reflect clinically appropriate laboratory results – confirming that blood drawn with our compassionate technology can become a standard of care for clinical decision-making.

Practitioner and patient experience is harder to quantify, but our surveys and testimonials to-date are resoundingly positive. In fact, patients who receive PIVO draws are requesting PIVO when transferred to floors in the hospital that are not participating in our pilots or upon readmission to the hospital. They are actually asking for the product – it is remarkable.

The onus is on Velano to continue improving our quality measurements to undeniably prove this innovation is truly a win-win-win, as we seek to elevate the quality of care and outcomes for patients, practitioners and hospitals alike.

Reiss: What is the financial model for a user and what is the economic impact nationally?

Stone: The cost of a blood draw is not just the $1 or less spent for a needle. Instead, it is the many billions of dollars a year spent on wasted materials, rejected blood samples, patient and practitioner risks, delayed results, labor costs, central line escalations, and more resulting from this less-than-desirable and madly inefficient procedure.

Some of the financial downsides of traditional blood draw standards are somewhat obscure, however we’ve helped our hospital partners understand the current impact by simply asking sincere questions, seeking to learn, and paying a modicum of attention to the topic.

Think about the blood draw on an elderly or obese or diabetic patient that can take as long as an hour of a nurse’s time and 2-3 needles to find a vein and collect an adequate sample.

Consider that even one single case of an employee blood borne pathogen transmission from a needle stick can cost millions of dollars in exposure for a hospital.

For PIVO, we understand that in an environment of increasing health industry price transparency and pressures, when our entire healthcare system is experiencing economic upheaval, and cost neutrality is required for rolling out true innovation in hospitals.

 

Reiss: Why did you start Velano Vascular and what’s your vision?

Stone: The reason why is very simple – because I am first and foremost a patient, and I am a parent.   25 years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, launching me on a lifelong journey as a healthcare entrepreneur, patient advocate, and National Trustee of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Since a young age, I’ve been motivated by IMPACT.

I started Velano in partnership with an intellectually curious physician inventor intrigued by a seemingly simple question posed by his patient – “why are you repeatedly sticking me with needles [when I already have an IV line in my arm]?”

This simple, yet elegant idea resonated strongly with me, for I am needle-phobic myself, and I have been that “tough stick” patient during my hospital stays. Today, this brilliant idea has become reality.

My vision for Velano is to touch every human being on the planet; for we will all spend time in a hospital at some point in life, and we will certainly need our blood drawn when we do.

 

http://velanovascular.com

 

MEDIA:   Contact: Michael Azzano at 415-596-1978 to set up telephone or on-camera interviews with patients or Eric Stone, CEO of Velano Vascular

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Maria Dorfner founder of NewsMD: What’s Hot in Health

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NewsMD Communications was founded in 1998 to educate healthcare consumers by connecting medical + media to inspire and empower millions to want to live healthy.

In 1993, Maria created Healthcare Consumers, Healthy Living, Lifestyles & Longevity and Healthcare Practitioners. The shows aired on CNBC, which she helped launch in 1989.  She is the founder of Cleveland Clinic News Service, helped launch MedPage Today (sold to CNN) and wrote & produced 21st Century Medicine for Discovery Health.  Her awards include Freddie for Excellence in Medical Reporting, Outstanding Leadership Abilities, Media Recognition, Who’s Who, Medical Reporting Scholarship. She produced for Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Report, talk shows & reality programming.

She began as an intern at NBC todaylogo SHOW in NYC in 1983.

This is her blog.

Have an innovative solution healthcare consumers|media should know about?

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com  

Response only if it’s a story of interest. Thank you.

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Reading To Your Baby Early Has Benefits

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Many parents spend countless hours reading bed-time stories to their babies. Does it help?

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Sure does, according to new research. Reading books to infants can boost vocabulary and reading skills for years to come.

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Kimberly Giuliano, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic Children’’s did not take part in the study, but encourages parents to start reading to their babies “as soon as possible.”

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“Dr. Giuliano says, “It’s never too early to start. If you want to read to your newborn – that’’s great. “They get in your arms, they’’re comforted, they hear your voice and it’’s a wonderful bonding experience for parents and babies alike.””

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Researchers monitored 250 pairs of mothers and babies for four years and found book-reading quality during infancy was a good predictor of early-reading skills.

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They also found a combination of book-reading quality and quantity during toddler years was a good predictor of literacy skills, such as name-writing, by age four.

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WHEN IS A GOOD TIME TO START?

Dr. Giuliano says once babies begin opening their eyes more and become more reactive to the world around them, they’’re more than ready for books.

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She says even if they’’re only a few months old, they can still learn.

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“”Young babies, especially those under the age of one, love books that have a little bit more of a sensory feedback to them,” says Dr. Giuliano. “

She adds, “They learn by developing all different types of senses, so if they can hear, see, and touch, it really helps them to understand the concepts that are being presented to them in the book.” It’s important for kids of all ages to spend time relaxing and reading every day.”

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“”The more we engage our brains actively in reading, the better children do academically, the longer their attention spans are, and the more success they’’re likely to have in school,”” says Dr. Giuliano.

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‘Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Bookreading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes’ was originally presented at the 2017 Pediatric Academies Society Meeting on May 8, 2017.

 

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Expert Newborn Screenings A Heartbeat Away!

jimmy-kimmel-baby-billy2-1This week, Jimmy Kimmel shared the emotional story of his beautiful newborn son’s heart surgery.  He and his wife Molly welcomed their second child, William “Billy” Kimmel.

At three days old, Billy had successful open heart surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and is now home with his family.  On his show, Jimmy opened up about his son’s birth and health complications. He also underscored the need for the accurate and timely screening of congenital heart disease (CHD).

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Essential to early CHD diagnosis is the detection of a murmur using a stethoscope during a newborn’s first physical exam.

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But routine neonatal examination without specialist consults fail to detect more than half of babies with heart disease.

Approximately 160 infants pass away from undetected Congenital Heart Defects each year in the United States.

William “Billy” Kimmel, who is absolutely adorable below is one of the lucky ones; looks like he’s already laughing at Dad’s jokes too.

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Billy thankfully had the condition detected early, but many children with CHD get discharged with undetected or misdiagnosed conditions.

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After the events of this week, expecting parents have every right to question if their child is being screened appropriately or if clinicians known to misinterpret heart sounds are interpreting their child’s heart sounds accurately.

Kimmel’s story is really a wake-up call that we need more nurses like the wonderful ones who treated his baby boy.

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Now, there’s a device that will make sure congenital heart screenings more effective for infants.

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And it’s not just infants. Over 1.3 million adults live with congenital heart disease in the U.S, which now surpasses the number of children with congenital heart disease.

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Three entrepreneurs are well on their way to making sure accurate screenings are a heartbeat away. Their innovation paves the way for a new era of cardiac screenings.

They want to do what Shazam did for music, only for heartbeats.

Their new device called Eko [pronounced like Echo, as in a heart echo] offers the potential to dramatically improve the efficacy of newborn screenings, especially for newborns far from a pediatric cardiology center.

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The San Francisco based digital medical device company, launched Eko, an FDA-cleared digital stethoscope that enables ANY clinician, regardless of their training level, to secure a virtual pediatric cardiology opinion on heart sounds recorded with their FDA-cleared digital stethoscope.

It was a pleasure interviewing one of the founders, Jason Bellet.

Bellet says, “The silver lining in Jimmy Kimmel’s story is that the congenital heart failure was detected early through a murmur using a stethoscope and could be treated, but very often these murmurs go undiagnosed and undetected and infants leave the hospital with potentially life threatening situations.” [:27]

“Eko Devices would enable nurses and clinicians to get Cardiologist’s second opinion to immediately decrease the number of missed cases.” [:12]

Bellet is the co-founder and a brilliant former student from the University of Berkley.  He graduated in 2014 and founded Eko Devices with two fellow students, Connor Landgraf and Tyler Crouch out of the Start-up accelerator at Berkley.

The three founders successfully pitched their idea and raised $5M to bring it to market quickly and bring it to as many clinicians as they can.  It received FDA approval in September of 2015.

QUESTION: WHAT IS EKO?

ANSWER:  It’s basically a Smart Stethoscope that can bring the sounds to a trained ear immediately.

The vision is to bring machine learning and physician support tools to every clinicians stethoscope to make their screening process as easy as Shazaming a song.

QUESTION:  HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR EKO?

ANSWER:  The idea stemmed from the fact that we realized the stethoscope is used as the primary screening tool for cardiac health, including for newborn babies.

But, it’s extremely outdated and ultimately leading to misdiagnosis and lack of cardiac conditions because you hear the heart sounds, but don’t understand what you’re hearing.

Cardiologists are the ones who can differentiate what is normal and what is not.

So, what we wanted to do was make it easy for clinicians to modernize their own stethoscopes to bring it into the modern era and send concerning or confusing heart sounds immediately to cardiologists in real time using this platform or capture it to send it to a specialist.

QUESTION:  There are other digital stethoscopes out there. Why is this one unique?

Bellet says, “Our digital stethoscope is the first to allow clinicians to stream sounds wirelessly from the stethoscope to a smartphone and to a cardiologist anywhere in the world.”  [:15]

QUESTION: Is it HIPPA compliant?

ANSWER:  It’s the ONLY digital stethoscope on the market that has built a HIPPA compliant software platform to stream heart sounds from any clinician to any specialist anywhere in the world.

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QUESTION: THAT’S GROUNDBREAKING. WHERE IS IT CURRENTLY BEING USED?

ANSWER:  Eko is now used at over 700 institutions across the country and has been adopted by pediatric cardiology programs.

QUESTION: WHO NEEDS EKO?

The technology is applicable in many aspects of patient care, but especially in newborns.

QUESTION:  WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL WITH EKO?

ANSWER: The ultimate goal is bringing it even one step further.  Our idea is have machine learning tied directly into the stethoscope itself, so one day clinicians can be as accurate as cardiologists in their initial interpretation of what they hear.

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Next, I spoke with renown adult congenital heart disease specialist Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C. who says identifying congenital heart disease in the community can be challenging at any age whether we are trying to identify a high risk newborn like Jimmy Kimmel’s or catching congenital heart disease in a school age student or adulthood.

Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C.  is director of outpatient cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston as well as a renown adult congenital heart disease specialist.  She innovates with the Healthcare Transformation Lab, serves as a scientific advisor for Eko Devises and runs a telemedicine practice.  She can be reached at mghachd@partners.org

Bhatt says,  “Because congenital heart disease is relatively rare it’s difficult for clinicians to identify it. The use of digital stethoscopes and other telemedicine technology which can connect the patient and caregiver in the community with experts at academic centers can improve initial diagnosis AND longterm followup.”

QUESTION:  WHAT HAPPENS WHEN KIDS WITH CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE AGE?

ANSWER:   Two things. One, as kids with congenital heart disease age, we know there are complications that may arise. Technologies like digital stethoscopes and the use of algorithms can help monitor their progression and track changes in disease BEFORE they progress too far.

And two, lack of follow-up is a persistent problem with children with congenital heart disease become adults. One of the main drivers is the challenge of access to subspecialty care.

Additionally, distance from medical centers, along with the time it takes and sometimes the cost of being away from work and family drives young adults to ignore their own healthcare needs.

The advent of digital health in congenital heart disease care empowers the patient to engage in a partnership to their health without taking away from their ability to live a full and active life.

QUESTION:  DO YOU THINK TECHNOLOGY HELPS OR HINDERS DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONS?

ANSWER: As the delivery of healthcare changes, caregivers are desperate to return to the ideal  doctor patient relationship, which is based on a human connection. As we build digital technology, and use machine learning to support our physicians at at time when there are so many diagnosis to be made, it allows us to concentrate on a shared patient and provider centered experience.

QUESTION:  HOW DOES AN ADULT KNOW WHEN TO GET THEIR HEART CHECKED?

ANSWER: If they had heart disease or heart surgery as a child, they should check in with their cardiologist to find out if they need any longterm care.

QUESTION: HOW DO THEY FIND A SPECIALIST?

There are advocacy websites, such http://www.ACHAheart.org which report self-identified Specialists in congenital heart disease or they can call a major center like Massachusetts General who can find a local center that can partner in their care.

QUESTION: HOW CAN THEY FIND OUT WHO USES THE EKO DEVICE?

ANSWER: If they want to find a specialist using the Eko Device people can contact Massachusetts General http://www.massgeneral.org\adultcongenitalheart for more information and ask about centers near them. They can also contact any hospital and ask for their telemedicine department and inquire if they use Eko.

QUESTION: HOW DO CLINICANS FIND EKO IF THEY’RE INTERESTED IN USING IT?

ANSWER:  Clinicians are able to access the device by going to the Eko Devices website at http://www.ekodevices.com and then if they’re interested in testing it they can purchase a unit directly from the website and send it back if they don’t like it. But that’s a rarity as the success rate has been high with over 5,000 clinicians across the country using it.

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This truly is a hot technology that will save kids like Jimmy’s, as well as those who aren’t at top hospitals in the country.

Billy will have another open-heart surgery within six months to repair the hole, and Our thoughts, well wishes and prayers are with him and his family.

“As a cardiologist, we sometimes worry about technology interfering with the doctor patient relationship. However, in these cases, it is technology that brings us to meet the patient where they live. Technology is finally bringing us home.” 

-Ami Bhatt, M.D. F.A.C.C.

If you haven’t seen Jimmy Kimmel’s story see it on Emmy-award-winning @GMA:

WATCH: @jimmykimmel shares emotional news about newborn son’s emergency heart surgery; son now at home recovering. http://abcn.ws/2pSPakE

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QUICK FACTS:

According to the CDC, 40,000 babies in the U.S. are born each year with congenital heart disease.

Recent studies estimate approximately 160 infants or 1 in 25,000 live births die per year from unrecognized CHD.

The reported sensitivity for detection of a pathologic heart murmur in newborns ranges from 80.5 to 94.9 percent among pediatric cardiologists, with specificity ranging from 25 to 92 percent.

A study in the American Journal of Medicine discovered internal medicine residents misdiagnose as many as 75% of murmurs with a stethoscope.

Routine neonatal examination fails to detect more than half of babies with heart disease; examination at 6 weeks misses one third.

A normal examination does not exclude heart disease.

Babies with murmurs at neonatal or 6 week examinations should be referred for early pediatric cardiological evaluation which will result either in a definitive diagnosis of congenital heart disease or in authoritative reassurance of normal cardiac anatomy and function.

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Take care of your heart everyone!

 

For more on Eko visit: http://www.ekodevices.com

UPDATES:

Good Morning America
ABC NEWS
May 9, 2017
Jimmy Kimmel returns to TV with update on his son’s health, defends his call for children’s health care coverage

One week after Jimmy Kimmel revealed that his son, Billy, had been born with a heart defect, the comedian returned to host his late night show with an emotional update on his son’s health and a defense of his foray into the country’s heated debate on health care.

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” also thanked his fans for their “humbling outpouring of support” and said that he and his wire “very grateful” for the multitude of donations made to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, where his son was treated.

“First I want to tell you because so many people have asked: Our son Billy is doing very well,” Kimmel said. “He’s eating. He is getting bigger. He is sleeping well. He can read now — which they say is unusual [for a child his age].”

Kimmel, 49, revealed last Monday that his son underwent surgery on his heart three days after he was born, and will require another procedure when he’s a little bigger in three to six months.

During his monologue, Kimmel asked all politicians to come together to ensure healthcare for all Americans, especially those who have pre-existing health conditions.

Though there were many who supported Kimmel’s point of view, he noted that there were many others who called him an “out of touch Hollywood elitist.” To those critics, the late night host offered a sarcastic apology.

“I’d like to apologize for saying that children in America should have health care,” he joked. “It was insensitive – it was offensive – and I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”

To further the conversation, he interviewed Bill Cassidy, a Republican senator from Louisiana who last week tweeted that there should be a “Kimmel Test” for any healthcare bill passed.

The Jimmy Kimmel Test, he noted, would be in place to ensure that any healthcare plan would adequately cover pre-existing conditions “but in a fiscally conservative way that lowers cost.”

“I happen to like [it] a lot,” Kimmel said. “He is a doctor – a gastroenterologist. He is married to a retired doctor — his wife Laura, was a surgeon. And he co-founded the Greater Baton Rouge Community Clinic, which provides free dental care and health care to the working uninsured. So obviously – this is someone who cares about people’s health.”

 

 

New Study: High Tech Baby Monitors

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SO MANY NEW SMART PHONE MONITORS AIM TO GIVE PARENTS PEACE OF MIND.

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BUT A RECENT STUDY LOOKS AT THEIR REAL SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS.

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DOCTOR KIMBERLY GIULIANO OF CLEVELAND CLINIC CHILDREN’ S DID NOT TAKE PART IN THE STUDY, BUT SAYS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CONCERNS DOCTORS HAVE ABOUT THESE MONITORS IS THEY’ RE NOT REGULATED.

CG: Dr. Kimberly Giuliano/Cleveland Clinic Children’s [19:10:35-19:10:47] “They are not tested and regulated by the FDA, so they don’ t have to go through the same rigors that medical equipment would. So it’ s quite possible that something could happen to a child that the monitors wouldn’ t necessarily pick up on.”  [00:12]

THE TYPE OF MONITORS STUDIED ARE THOSE WITH SPECIAL SENSORS TO ALERT PARENTS WHEN THERE IS A PROTBLEM WITH A BABY’ S PULSE OR HEART RATE.

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STUDY AUTHORS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER THESE MONITORS TRIGGERING FALSE ALARMS, WHICH CAN CAUSE UNNECESSARY STRESS TO PARENTS AND BABIES.

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DOCTOR GIULIANO SAYS WHEN IT COMES TO MONITORING A HEALTHY BABY, A DEVICE THAT WILL AID YOUR ABILITY TO HEAR OR SEE THE BABY IS ENOUGH.

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SHE SAYS VIDEO MONITORS HELP BECAUSE WHEN YOU CAN SEE THE BABY ON YOUR SMART PHONE SCREEN, YOU CAN SEE IF THEY’ RE JUST CRYING BECAUSE THEY WANT TO BE HELD, OR BECAUSE SOMETHING HAPPENED AND YOU NEED TO GO IN AND HELP.

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WHAT MOST PARENTS AND DOCTORS WORRY ABOUT IN THE FIRST YEAR OF LIFE IS ‘ SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME,’ WHICH IS AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH OF A SEEMINGLY HEALTHY BABY DURING THEIR SLEEP.

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DOCTOR GIULIANO CAUTIONS PARENTS FROM ALLOWING ANY MONITOR TO GIVE THEM A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY.

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CG: Dr. Kimberly Giuliano/Cleveland Clinic Children’s [19:08:41-19:08:57] “The biggest thing that we’ re concerned about when babies are sleeping at night is SIDS, is ‘ Sudden Infant Death Syndrome,’ and that’ s silent. There’ s nothing that’ s going to show up on a monitor that’ s necessarily going to tell us that. So just because you’ re not hearing anything, doesn’ t always mean that everything is one hundred percent okay.”  [00:16]

DOCTOR GIULIANO SAYS THE MOST VITAL THING WHEN IT COMES TO LAYING BABY DOWN TO SLEEP IS TO RECALL WHAT DOCTORS CALL THE
‘ A-B-C’ S’ OF SLEEP.

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THIS MEANS A BABY MUST SLEEP ALONE, ON THEIR BACK, AND IN A CRIB, TO MINIMIZE THE RISK FOR ACCIDENTAL SUFFOCATION.  AGAIN, THAT’S:

Alone

Back

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COMPLETE RESULTS OF THE STUDY CAN BE FOUND IN JAMA.

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(Media:  Cleveland Clinic News Service 9500 Euclid Ave. / JJN4-01Cleveland, OH 44195 Phone: 216.444.0141 “Study Looks at Safety, Effectiveness of High Tech Baby Monitors”April 26, 2017 Sound Bites/Voice Over Pathfire#: A)

It begs the question why a sensor product for newborns was able to raise $25M with no proof that sensors keep babies safe.  In fact, $3M of that funding came from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) –the government.

If the National Institutes of Health wants to conduct a study on how to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or how to keep newborns safe –why wouldn’t it perform an independent study.

In 2013, a Baby Monitor Sensor pad product was recalled after two babies died. The cord attached to the baby monitor’s sensor pad, which was placed under the crib mattress caused strangulation. There have been 7 reports of strangulation by baby monitor cords since 2002.

According to the CDC, almost 2000 babies die each year under SIDS circumstances.

Placing a foreign object inside the crib or worse on your baby with a sensor is not the answer.

Remember, the most effective thing you can do to help reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS, say pediatricians, is to maintain a safe sleep environment—and not one that involves complicated home monitoring devices.

“If sleep position and infant bedding are appropriate, there shouldn’t be much SIDS left to try to prevent with home monitors,” Dr. Alan Jobe of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital wrote in an op-ed for the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001.

Sixteen years later, the thinking remains the same. The American Academy of Pediatrics revised and expanded its SIDS prevention recommendations.

In addition to putting your baby to sleep on his or her back, APA recommendations include sharing a room with your infant but, crucially, not a bed; keeping baby’s sleeping area clear of any loose bedding, pillows, toys, or cords; and making sure your baby isn’t too warm when sleeping.

Nos. 12 and 13 on the APA’s list of guidelines?

“Avoid commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS. … There is no evidence that these devices reduce the risk of SIDS or suffocation or that they are safe.”

And:

“Do not use home cardiorespiratory monitors as a strategy to reduce the risk of SIDS. … They might be of value for selected infants but should not be used routinely.”

(In fact, there’s some evidence that they might not be safe: In November, monitor behemoth Angelcare voluntarily recalled 600,000 under-mattress sensor pads after two infants died of strangulation when the cord attached to the pad wrapped around their necks.)

The point is clear: Infant monitors, even the newest generation of smartphone-friendly wearable tech, do not reduce the risk of SIDS.

Bottom line:  Exposing your newborn or infant to an unregulated sensor gadget placed so close to their tiny body isn’t deemed safe or advisable by physicians.

Safewise rates 10 Best Baby Video Monitors for 2017 here:
http://www.safewise.com/resources/baby-monitor-buyers-guide

 

Summer Safety by Water

TO MINIMIZE  RISK YOU SHOULD NEVER SWIM ALONE.

ALSO, NEVER DIVE INTO A LAKE OR RIVER BECAUSE WATER LEVELS FLUCTUATE.

CHILDREN AND NON-SWIMMERS SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR A LIFEJACKET.

DON’T OVERESTIMATE YOUR SWIMMING ABILITY.

AND IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO SPEND YOUR HOLIDAY POOLSIDE, DR. TALLMAN AT THE CLEVELAND CLINIC HAS A MESSAGE FOR PARENTS.

CG: Dr. Tom Tallman/Cleveland Clinic
“When parents are taking young children to swimming pools don’t rely on just the lifeguards who are there to save them. They still need to keep an eye on the kids and watch them very carefully.”

 

 

DR. TOM TALLMAN IS AN EMERGENCY ROOM PHYSICIAN AT CLEVELAND CLINIC.
HE SAYS THERE IS ONE THING ALMOST EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING IN THE WATER.

CG: Dr. Tom Tallman/Cleveland Clinic
“Everybody should know basic CPR because when someone has had a water-related injury, such as that, resuscitation can be rather simple.

CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

LEARN CPR

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STAY OUT OF WATER WITH ANY DANGER OR WARNING SIGNS.

GET OUT OF WATER IMMEDIATELY IF IT MAY RAIN.

DROWNING IS SECOND LEADING CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL DEATHS FOR
15 – 44 YEAR OLDS.

 

MOST PEOPLE DROWN WITHIN 10 – 30 FEET OF SAFETY.

BOATERS SHOULD ALSO BE ON HIGH ALERT.  COAST GUARD RESEARCHERS SAY DROWNING WAS THE REPORTED CAUSE OF DEATH IN ALMOST THREE-FOURTHS OF RECREATIONAL BOATING FATALITIES LAST.