Local Surgeons & the Oil Spill

WWL-TV featured a story on a couple of local surgeons, including LSUHSC’s own Kamran Khoobehi offering some ideas on how to stop the oil leak, using surgical techniques. Love the out of the box thinking!

Seafood Safe?

School of Public Health Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Department Head, Jim Diaz appeared on WWL-TV on Friday night (April 30th) and stated that the general public does not need to be concerned that “with both the chemical sampling and taste testing that the experts do now, he does not think contaminated seafood will make it to your table.”

Crude Oil Spills and Human Health

The National Library of Medicine‘s Disaster Information Management Research Center
has created a new fact sheet on “Crude Oil Spills & Human Health.” The page is primarily an arranged group of links to other federal and state agencies.

Oil Slick in Gulf

Nasa’s satellite imaging photographed the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the drilling platform accident last week. It was featured in their Image of the Day Gallery on Monday.

Oil Slick in Gulf

Oil Slick in Gulf

Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The CDC states that “in 2007, approximately 794,000 children were confirmed by Child Protective Services as being abused or neglected.” Of that number, over 21,000 are in Louisiana. Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana is a state-wide, non-profit organization dedicated to preventing the abuse and neglect of our state’s children.

World AIDS Day

December 1st is World AIDS Day. 2009 is the 21st observance of this day. AIDS cases in Louisiana have increased with New Orleans ranking 2nd & Baton Rouge ranking 3rd according to a recent WWL-TV report.

The Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program has a “Statewide Coordinated Need & HIV Comprehensive Plan” (pdf) for 2009 which was issued in early November.

Flu Statistics for LA

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals has released its Influenza Surveillance Report through the end of August. It finds that:

  • 11% of swine flu patients are 4 or younger.
  • 70% are 5 to 24 years old
  • 18% are 26-64
  • 1% are 65 are older
  • Further the report states that “there are 737 lab confirmed cases of 2009 Influenza A (H1N1) in Louisiana. Based on an extrapolation from CDC data, the real case count in Louisiana is closer to 39,000.”

    Don’t forget to follow the CDC guidelines for staying healthy.

    Influenza Update

    With reports the past weeks of daycare center closings, sidelined football players, and sniffling sorority girls, clearly Louisiana is not immune from H1N1 outbreaks. As of August 17, 2009, Louisiana reports 449 confirmed cases and 1 related death (also in New Orleans) from the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, aka the Swine Flu.

    For local & state information on influenza, visit www.FluLa.com, from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. There you will find weekly statistics and public health updates, as well as flu information for patients in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. Clinicians can also access an Online Training Course on local flu preparedness, testing protocols, regional OPH offices, and info from the Louisiana Office of Public Health Lab like the Lab 96 form and instructions for swine flu testing.

    For national swine flu information, the CDC is always your best bet: http://cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

    Be Prepared – Storm Season 2009

    I must admit 3 named storms popping up over this past weekend made me a bit jumpy. Here are local resources on disaster preparedness to help make sure we’re all ready in the event of a storm:
    LSUHSC Information
       Chancellor’s Memorandum 51: Policy on Weather Related Emergency Procedures for LSUHSC-New Orleans
       LSUHSC-NO Emergency Alert System

    Parish Information
       Jefferson Parish & its Emergency Alert Service
       New Orleans & its Emergency Alert Service
       St. Bernard Parish
       St. Tammany Parish

    State Information
       Louisiana Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness & its Evacuation Guides

    National Junk Food Day

    July 21st is National Junk Food Day, but try not to go wild. According to the CDC, Louisiana went from having under 15% obesity rate in 1990 to a rate of 25-29% in 2008. If you’re going to celebrate today, just try to be smart and eat healthy the rest of the week.

    Reprimanded, Warned, Summarily Suspended

    You can now easily track disciplinary action against physicians and other licensed health care professionals in Louisiana through the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners homepage.

    There is even an RSS feed available, so you could set up a folder in your Microsoft Outlook email to track who’s been reprimanded, warned or summarily suspended from practice in our fair state. More info on setting up RSS in Outlook here.

    Healthcare for Culture Workers

    A new health care program was founded last year by the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation with the support of the the Lt. Governor’s office and LSU Healthcare Network. The Louisiana Cultural Economy Healthcare Initiative functions similarly to the New Orleans Musicians Clinic (now in its 11th year) except that it expands coverage to all cultural workers; cultural worker areas include music, film, design, literary, historic preservation, culinary arts, performing arts, visual arts and crafts.

    May 18 is HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

    National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases (NIAID) provides Fact Sheets, Brochures, and Questions & Answers about HIV vaccine research and trials.

    HIV Vaccine Researchers are working to develop a vaccine that is 100 percent effective and will protect everyone from HIV infections. HIV research is essential for Louisiana citizens. Look at the facts below.

    HIV/AIDS in Louisiana FACTS
    ?óÔé¼?ó As of March 31, 2008 a cumulative total of 27,744 persons have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana, including 302 cases in children under the age of 13.
    ?óÔé¼?ó There are persons living with HIV in every parish in Louisiana, and this number continues to increase each year, largely due to more effective drug therapies.
    ?óÔé¼?ó A total of 15,795 persons were known to be living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana, of which 8,281 (52%) had been diagnosed with AIDS as of March 31, 2008.
    ?óÔé¼?ó In 2007, 1,152 new HIV cases were diagnosed in Louisiana; 30% of the cases were in Region 1 (New Orleans area) and 28% were in Region 2 (Baton Rouge area).
    ?óÔé¼?ó In 2007, 803 new AIDS cases were diagnosed in Louisiana. Of these cases, 33% occurred in Region 1 (New Orleans) ad 27% occurred in Region 2 (Baton Rouge).
    ?óÔé¼?ó In 2006, Louisiana ranked 5th highest in state AIDS case rates and 12th in the number of AIDS cases diagnosed in 2006.
    ?óÔé¼?ó Baton Rouge ranked 4th for AIDS case rates among the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. in 2006; New Orleans ranked 8th.
    ?óÔé¼?ó In Louisiana, 30% of new HIV cases and 31% of new AIDS cases are among women.
    ?óÔé¼?ó HIV continues to disproportionately affect African Americans in Louisiana. In 2007, 72% of newly diagnosed HIV cases and 75% of newly diagnosed AIDS cases were among African Americans.

    ACT F.A.S.T

    Do this simple test to detect stroke symptoms:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause
  • Stroke mortality rate has declined over the past few years both in Louisiana and the US.

    For 2005:
    ?óÔé¼?ó Louisiana?óÔé¼Ôäós rate was 17% above the national median rate.
    ?óÔé¼?ó Age?óÔé¼?Éadjusted mortality rates were 56.7 per 100,000 population for Louisiana and 46.6 per 100,000 population for the US.
    ?óÔé¼?ó Black females showed the highest stroke death rate of 78.6 per 100,000 population
    followed by black males with the rate of 78 per 100,000.

    Where Circle Bar and Medical History Meet

    A recent inquiry to Blake Pontchartrain, New Orleans Know-It-All, revealed a very interesting link between New Orleans and Medical History.

    According to Blake, “The last house standing at 1032 St. Charles Avenue. . . was once the office of Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, the first woman to practice medicine in New Orleans.”

    The historic building now serves as Circle Bar.

    Dr. Cohen was not only the first woman to practice medicine in New Orleans, but also the first female physician licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana.

    The life of Dr. Elizabeth Magnus Cohen is one with many challenges and triumphs that not only impacted the history of New Orleans, but the role of women in medicine as well.