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Friday, October 31, 2014   2:58 AM   |   67°F

Public Health

Honor for Dental Faculty Member

Congratulations to Robert Barsley, D.D.S., J.D., Professor and Director of Oral Health Resources, Community and Hospital Dentistry.

Dr. Barsley was recently appointed to the Crime Scene / Death Investigation Scientific Area Committee by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Crime Scene / Death Investigation Committee is one of five scientific committees that makes up NIST’s Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC). These Committees, with the Forensic Science Standards Board and other discipline-specific committees establish new forensic science standards and guidelines.

Dr. Barsley is a 1977 graduate of LSUSD, a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, a member of the International College of Dentists, a member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy and a member of the Odontology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has served as a consultant to a number of coroners’ offices in southern Louisiana and is currently on staff at the Orleans and Jefferson Parish Coroners’ Offices. He has also served as the Acting State Dental Director of the Louisiana Office of Public Health. Dr. Barsley is a Past President of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Ebola virus

Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made this collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.

R Statistical Software Available

RlogoR statistical software is now available (by student request) on the 3 Library Commons computers. These computers are available to whenever the building is open and require an LSUHSC login and password.

R is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.

 

E-Cigarettes – Poisoning Children?

As someone who took a puff on her Dad’s pipe as a kid (to my everlasting regret), this study shouldn’t be a surprise…

The CDC is reporting a huge increase in the number of phone calls to poison control centers involving e-cigarettes and children under the age of 5. Liquid nicotine to the eye doesn’t sound good.

CDC Infographic

CDC Infographic

Flu Season Still in Full Swing

Flu Season Still in Full Swing. (reblogged from Blogadillo)

With flu season still in swing, itÔÇÖs more important than ever to get that flu shot and practice good health behavior! As of the week ending on January 4, 2014 at least?á35 states are now showing widespread geographic influenza activity?áaccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to the activity across the country,?áevery state in the South Central Region?áis showing the highest level of influenza activity. The unusually high number of those affected by the flu prompted the CDC to issue an official health advisory notice to clinicians.

The?áhealth advisory notice?ástates

From November through December 2013, CDC has received a number of reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults, many of whom were infected with influenza A (H1N1) pdm09 (pH1N1) virus.?áMultiple pH1N1-associated hospitalizations, including many requiring intensive care unit (ICU) admission, and some fatalities have been reported. The pH1N1 virus that emerged in 2009 caused more illness in children and young adults, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups.

One common misconception of the flu is that fatalities are more likely to occur in the very young and very oldÔÇôthis is not the case with the pH1N1 strain. According to the?áInfluenza Associated Hospitalizations?áin the CDC FluView Weekly Index, those ages 18-64 account for 61% of hospitalizations. This means everyone is at risk for catching the flu, regardless of age and health status. Despite these numbers, those in 18-64 age range are still the?áleast likely to get vaccinated.

To do your part in preventing the spread of flu germs, here are the CDCÔÇÖs?áGood Health Habit tips:

1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

It’s AcWriMo 2013!

Inspired by the hugely successful NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), PhD2Published, a blog dedicated to helping academics publish, has announced that November is also AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month).

AcWriMo is a month long academic write-a-thon for academics at all stages of their careers. ?áPhD2Published will support writers with dedicated posts about academic writing and thousands of Tweets to encourage you to keep going throughout the month.

acwrimo1-01-e1352027638907

 

 

 

According to their website:

“There are 6 basic rules:

1. Decide on your goal. You might count words, hours put in or projects achieved ÔÇô itÔÇÖs up to you. But try and push yourself a bit. (And if you need help counting our?áPhDometer app?áÔÇô the proceeds from which help fund this month-long writing extravaganza ÔÇô was designed for just that!)

2. Declare it! Basically, just sign up on the?áAcWriMo 2013 Writing Accountability Spreadsheet?áand fill in the sections on what youÔÇÖd like to achieve by the end of the month. Being accountable is key to this working for you. You need to feel a bit of pressure to get the work done. So sign up and add your goals as soon as you can.

3. Draft a strategy. DonÔÇÖt start AcWriMo without doing a bit of planning and preparation. Get some reading done, carve out time slots in your schedule to dedicate to writing, even buy your favorite coffee. Sort out whatever youÔÇÖll need to write, and get it done now, there wonÔÇÖt be time when November comes around.

4. Discuss your progress. OK so being on Twitter and Facebook with us all day isn’t acceptable ÔÇô you’ve got work to do ÔÇô but checking-in at certain times is really important! We want to know how youÔÇÖre getting on? What is working for you and what isn’t? Do you need help? Do you want to share a writing triumph? (YouÔÇÖll find most discussion about AcWriMo on Twitter using the?á#AcWriMo?áhashtag, but if?áFacebook?áis more your thing, go there. Or use your own blog to keep in touch. You can even write little updates you want to share in the?áspreadsheet.)

5. DonÔÇÖt slack off. As participant Bettina said of the first AcWriMo, you must ÔÇÿwrite like thereÔÇÖs no December!ÔÇÖ If you push yourself, youÔÇÖll quickly discover the tips and techniques that work best for YOU and thatÔÇÖll save you even more time in the long-run.

6. Declare your results. ItÔÇÖs great to use the spreadsheet everyday (or as often as you can) to chart how youÔÇÖre getting on, but even if you canÔÇÖt do that, you MUST announce your results at the end of the month. Our writing community benefits not only from sharing in your achievements, but knowing what didn’t work and being reminded that, at the end of the day, weÔÇÖre all human!”

So everyone should go forth and WRITE… That’s what I’ll be doing this month!

1921 Cancer Prevention Film Digitized by NLM

Quack Cure Refuted!

 

Summer 2013 saw the launch of a new digital collection from the National Library of Medicine, Medical Movies on the Web. The first item added to this collection is the Reward of Courage which is a silent film produced by the American Society for the Control of Cancer (which would become the ?áAmerican Cancer Society). Read more about the film at Circulating Now, an informational website from the History of Medicine Division of NLM.

 

As of this moment, the collection only includes 4 titles, but one of them is directed by and stars Gene Kelly! The 1945 Combat Fatigue Irritability?áis just over 35 minutes long. Despite it’s matter of fact name, the NLM information?ásays it “is one of the best military productions of the war. It features a good script, score, editing, direction, and superb acting by an uncredited cast…”

 

Volunteers needed for a Mission of Mercy

The American Dental Association will be meeting in New Orleans October 31 – November 2, 2013. ?áIn conjunction with this meeting, they will be sponsoring Big Easy Smiles, a Mission of Mercy (MOM) providing free dental care on Sunday, November 3rd for the poor and underserved of New Orleans. ?áDuring the event, organizers hope to provide dental care to 1,000 people.

This first Mission of Mercy in Louisiana is a chance to give back to our beloved city and to show the community that we are willing and able to share our gifts with the poor. ?áNOLA Mission of Mercy organizers need 800 volunteers to get this done. ?áYou don’t have to be a dental health professional or student to help! ?áOrganizers are looking for dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, computer – IT, dental equipment technicians, patient ambassadors, food servers, clean-up crew and many other positions. ?áAnyone 18yrs or older can help!

If you, or someone you know, would like to help out, please go to the ADA Mission of Mercy site: ?áhttp://www.ada.org/session/8462.aspx

Please consider volunteering some of your time for this great cause!

 

Wash your Hands!

In the April 2013 issue of Journal of Environmental Health, a study appeared which analyzed the handwashing habits of over 3,500 people in public restrooms. It found that only about 5% washed well enough to kill germs and that 10% didn’t wash their hands at all.

Link to the journal issue is available to LSUHSC faculty, staff & students. It can be accessed off-campus with a valid LSUHSC library barcode & PIN. You can find more information at our remote access webpage.

This Month in History: The Hardened Artery Blues

ÔÇ£We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.ÔÇØÔÇöJohn Dryden

Integral to a discussion of health is a discussion of habit. This excerpt from Dryden points out the consequences of habit-forming. Health-wise, each personÔÇÖs habits contribute to that personÔÇÖs overall health including but not limited to how they eat, drink, smoke, and exercise. While this is now a well-known fact of life, bad habits persist.

The 1960s were no stranger to poor health and heart disease. A Times-Picayune article highlights the LSU Medical SchoolÔÇÖs pathology unit of the 1960s and their research into atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries due to plaque formation. Dr. Jack C. Geer and Dr. Henry C. McGill, Jr. sought to study the effects of exercise and diet habits, saturated fat intake, geographic and economic environment, genetic predisposition, and stress levels on arterial health. Scientists began to understand that a low-fat diet is not enough to ensure a strong heart, but is only one aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Along with Dr. Jack P. Strong, Dr. Geer and Dr. McGill were known as “The Three Amigos.” Dr. Strong would become Chair of Pathology from 1966 to 2009 and receive numerous awards and honors. Dr. Geer graduated from LSU Medical School in 1956 and took on the role of Professor from 1956-1966, eventually serving as Chair and Professor of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. McGill served as Head and Professor of Pathology at LSU Medical School from 1960 to 1966 and became one of the founding faculty members at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.

Research for this post lead me to a video interview of Dr. McGill on his lengthy career in pathology. He describes his ideal pathology department as comprehensive: with anatomy, laboratory, and surgery. Dr. McGill endearingly and vehemently promotes preventive care as opposed to treatment plans applied after the damage has been done.?á Unfortunately, he says, ÔÇ£There is no moneyÔÇØ in that game in a familiar trend of “No Pills, No Profit.”?á He mourns the fact that by middle age, it is often too late to prevent the type of lifelong damage done to your arteries as they form the fibrous plaque that leads to heart disease. Watching the video is worth the pearls of wisdom that he offers. One such instance is a life philosophy: “Everybody needs to get fired once in their life.” In describing his classroom experience, he tells that, “The style was to quiz a student until he admitted to absolute ignorance and that was the lesson for the day.”

According to the 2011 edition of The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, atherosclerosis ÔÇ£is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US and in most developed countries.ÔÇØ A big thanks to the work of LSU Medical School’s “The Three Amigos” for doing their part along the line of pathology research to help combat our bad habits.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

 

Library Commons Closed Friday Evening

The 24-hour Library Commons space in the Resource Center building will be unavailable for use from 6pm to midnight this evening (Friday, May 24th) due to a scheduled domestic cold water outage throughout the building. No attempts to use any faucet, toilet, urinal, or water fountain should be made. A great excuse to give yourself a study break!

This Month in History: The Truth and Community Water Fluoridation

We learned from childhood that if you give a mouse a cookie heÔÇÖs going to want a glass of milk. It is lesser known, however, whether an increase in milk consumption in the general rodent population is directly caused by rampant cookie consumption among mice. Correlation does not necessarily indicate causation.?á A similar logical fallacy comes from one member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster who claims that there exists ÔÇ£a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature;ÔÇØ therefore, according to him, more piracy will decrease global temperature and the number of natural disasters. These examples, though silly, illustrate the importance of scientific research in drawing causation in an uncontrolled environment and in distinguishing between folklore, coincidence, and the truth.

One such truth-seeking project involves public health and is the source of long-standing controversyÔÇöthe issue: community water fluoridation (CWF). Beginning in 1954 in New Orleans, a committee of health professionals convened to address CWF. The committee consisted of several area doctors including LSU Medical CenterÔÇÖs Dr. Russell Holman, who served as Professor and Head of the Pathology Department from 1946 until his death in 1960. An article from the New Orleans Item in 1955 describes the committee as divided and unsure with the exception of Dr. Holman, who planted his support firmly on the side of fluoridation. A final decision was made in 1957 to veto CWF due to a need for further study.

Articles within the past few years on nola.com address CWF in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina as being a lack of supply. Now it appears that fluoride has been returned to our water. A 2010 Sewage and Water Board of New Orleans report defines fluoridation as a way ÔÇ£to prevent tooth decay.ÔÇØ Later in the same report, fluoride is defined as a ÔÇ£contaminantÔÇØ: its presence on average .8ppm on the East Bank and .81ppm on the West Bank. Likely sources are listed as ÔÇ£erosion of natural deposits; water additive which promotes strong teeth; discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories.ÔÇØ

Though the addition of fluoride to the nation’s drinking water has become common practice, the matter of its efficacy is still unresolved. In weighing the risks and benefits of CWF, the exact nature of correlation between improvements and harm to the publicÔÇÖs dental health remains unclear. Proponents of community health attempt to account for socioeconomic factors, access to dental care, pyorrhea and periodontal concerns in children and adults, as well as fluorosis, a cosmetic issue caused by over-fluoridation.

The CDC has called water fluoridation ÔÇ£one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,ÔÇØ and in 2010, the center’s statistics show the percentage of the U.S. population receiving fluoridated water at 66.2%. Perhaps we ought to take a cue from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: take to sea, forget dental care, and go marauding!

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.?á

LSUHSC Hosts Asthma Study for Adults

LSUHSC is hosting a free study for adults with well-controlled asthma as part of the American Lung AssociationÔÇÖs Long-acting Beta Agonist Step-Down Study (LASST). People 18 years of age and older who have controlled asthma are encouraged to call 504-568-3450 for more information.

With the high cost of medicine, patients have been known to lower their own dosages as their health improves in order to save money. LASST seeks to study various treatment plans as a way to safely decrease dosages of asthma medication over time. Below is the description of LASST as presented on the American Lung Association website:

ÔÇ£Current asthma guidelines recommend stepping down therapy once asthma is controlled for at least three months. For patients treated with inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) alone, a dose reduction of 25ÔÇô50 percent to a minimal dose that controls disease is established. However, the optimal approach to reducing treatment in patients with asthma that is well controlled on fixed dose combination ICS/LABA (long-acting beta agonists) is not clear. The study will compare three approaches of care to patients with asthma well controlled for three months on combination ICS/LABA therapy: reduction of ICS dose and maintenance of LABA, initial discontinuation of LABA with continuation of ICS and continuation of stable dose ICS/LABA. The data will allow the determination of?áthe optimal treatment strategy?ádefined as that which results in the lowest rate of treatment failure over 48 weeks of follow up. Additional exploratory analyses will include assessing risk factors for step-down failure and assessing the optimal duration of time that asthma control should be maintained before therapy is reduced.ÔÇØ

CDC 2013 Adult Vaccine Recommendations

The Centers for Disease Control have released?á2013 Vaccine Recommendations for adults. Changes include new recommendations for Pneumococcal Vaccine and Tdap/ Td Vaccines.?á There is also a simple quiz to help patients figure out what vaccines may be necessary. For more complete information, see the complete report, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Recommended Immunization Schedule for Adults Aged 19 Years and Older ÔÇö United States, 2013.

Popular health topics of 2012

Last week, MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health’s consumer health database, published the top 10 most?ávisited health topic searches?áof 2012:

Looking at these searches, it would seem that the public are?ásearching for information on?áthe most common health?áthreats in the?áUnited States.?á?áAccording to the Mayo Clinic, the top seven threats to women’s health are?áheart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, accidents, and type 2 diabetes. The top seven threats to men’s health are similar:?áheart disease, cancer, accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and suicide.

Of course the most visited sites could also mean that people who were diagnosed with high blood pressure and diabetes started exercising?ábut they had trouble breathing, had heart palpitations,?ágot sunburned, and hurt their backs!