Contact Lenses a Danger for Kids?
Contact lenses are the biggest cause of medical device injuries in kids and sent nearly 34,000 children to the ER between 2004 and 2005, according to new research from the Food and Drug Administration. Contact-induced eye damage accounted for 23 percent of the 144,799 medical device-related emergency room visits during that period, agency researchers estimated by tallying injuries recorded in a national database. Infection was a common complication, which may mean kids are leaving their lenses in much longer than is recommended, the Associated Press reports. Among the other problematic medical devices for kids were needles, catheters, heart devices, and gynecological devices, such as those used in vaginal exams. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, did not look at kids who were already in the hospital.
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How Coffee Can Energize Your Workout
Gym bag, check. Car keys, check. Coffee downed, check. Yes, a caffeine kick could be a valuable addition to your pre-exercise routine, delaying muscle fatigue and keeping you focused and energetic. You don't want to overdo it, though. Sleep problems, headaches, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, or maybe even a heart attack can result, writes U.S. News's Hanna Dubansky. Here are ways to work caffeine into your workouts:
Match the amount to your body. "The larger you are, the more metabolically active tissue you have," says Nicholas Gant, director of the Exercise Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. "If you're a small person, your tissues don't use up as much, therefore you need a lesser dose." A very rough recommendation is 0.5 to 1.4 milligrams of caffeine per pound of body weight. Coffee averages about 20 mg per ounce, or 160 mg per 8-ounce cup. That's about the limit for a 130-pound woman, though a 200-pound man could probably down a couple of cups. Go above 4 mg of caffeine per pound and your workout could be ruined by digestive distress, the jitters, and other unpleasant side effects, Dubansky writes.
Track your tolerance. Going by body weight alone doesn't take individual tolerance into account. If you're a caffeine newbie, a smaller dose will initially provide a noticeable difference. If coffee is already part of your daily routine, you're likely to need more for the same effect. [Read more: How Coffee Can Energize Your Workout.]
Patients Beware: Hospitals Are Increasingly Requiring Cash Up Front
Sally Giovinazzo was 57 and employed but uninsured when five months of bleeding finally sent her to a doctor earlier this year. The gynecologist wanted $620 before seeing her; a reading of the lab results ($88) showed stage one uterine cancer. The doctor referred Giovinazzo to a specialist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando, who said he would schedule surgery as soon as she could pay half the estimated $10,000 to $50,000 cost. Giovinazzo, of Dunedin, Fla., would not have been treated but for a stroke of luck: She had a connection who was a friend of Anderson's chief operating officer. She found out her bills would be covered as "charity care," which is doled out on a case-by-case basis, writes U.S. News contributor Eugene Meyer.
For years, medical facilities have asked patients to hand over their insurance copayments—normally $10 to $25 per visit—when they sign in. But recently the business office has gotten more demanding. Many institutions, facing a growing mountain of bad debt, are no longer willing to take it on faith that the bills will eventually be paid and are demanding up-front payments in elective or nonemergency situations. "Large majorities of hospitals have organized their admission process where they want to see a check or credit card before they take you to your room," says Ron Luke, a consultant to healthcare providers in more than 25 states. Among them are hospitals as geographically dispersed as Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia, and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y. Insured workers, too, are feeling the pain, as many are choosing high-deductible plans, and copays and coinsurance charges just keep going up. [Read more: Patients Beware: Hospitals Are Increasingly Requiring Cash Up Front.]
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