Health Highlights: June 7, 2012

HealthDay SHARE
  • Children's Vaccines Often Stored at Wrong Temperature: Report
  • Introvale Birth Control Pills Recalled
  • Singer Sheryl Crow Has Benign Brain Tumor
  • 'Pink Slime' Rejected by Most School Districts

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Children's Vaccines Often Stored at Wrong Temperature: Report

Many providers of immunizations for low-income children store vaccines at improper temperatures, which could make them ineffective, says a U.S. government investigation.

A team from Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General checked the offices of 45 providers in five states who provided free immunizations under the federal government's Vaccines for Children program, ABC News reported.

The investigators found that 76 percent of the providers stored the vaccines at temperatures that were either too hot or too cold, and 13 percent of the providers stored expired vaccines with nonexpired vaccines.

Improper storage could reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines and put children at risk of contracting serious diseases, ABC News reported.

Nationwide, about 44,000 offices and clinics participate in the Vaccines for Children program.


Introvale Birth Control Pills Recalled

Ten lots of Introvale birth control pills are being recalled after a consumer reported that the white placebo tablets were in the wrong row, drug maker Sandoz announced Wednesday.

The consumer found that the placebo tablets were in the ninth row (labeled "Week 9") of the 13-row blister card, rather than in the correct position in the 13th and final row.

While it is easy to distinguish the white placebo pills from the peach-colored active pills, there is the potential risk for an unintended pregnancy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

The numbers of the recalled lots are: LF00478C, LF00479C, LF00551C, LF00552C, LF00687C, LF00688C, LF00763C, LF00764C, LF00765C and LF01261C. The lots were distributed only in the U.S. between January 2011 and May 2012.

Consumers who find a white placebo pill in any position other than the 13th and final row should immediately being using a non-hormonal form of birth control and contact their doctor, the FDA said.


Sheryl Crow Has Benign Brain Tumor

After being diagnosed with a benign brain tumor, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow described it as a "bump in the road" and told fans not to worry about her.

"Please don't worry about my 'brain tumor,' it's a noncancerous growth. I know some folks can have problems with this kind of thing, but I want to assure everyone I'm OK," Crow wrote on her Facebook page, CNN reported.

She was diagnosed with meningioma a few months ago. She doesn't require surgery for this common type of brain tumor but will have periodic brain scans to monitor its growth.

"It's a tumor that typically grows between the outer layer of the brain and the brain itself. So it's not actually inside the brain," explained CNN Chief Medical Correspondent and neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta.

Depending on the size, some people have this type of tumor removed immediately while others may never need surgery or treatment, Gupta said.

Crow is a breast cancer survivor.


'Pink Slime' Rejected by Most School Districts

A beef product widely referred to as "pink slime" is off the menu in most school districts across the United States.

The vast majority of states that participate in the National School Lunch Program have decided to order ground beef that doesn't contain the filler product known as lean finely textured beef, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

The USDA said only three states -- Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota -- ordered beef that may contain the filler, the Associated Press reported.

After a public outcry early this year, the USDA said in March that it would change its policy and offer schools the choice to purchase beef without the filler for the 2012-13 school year.

Lean finely textured beef is made of fatty beef chunks that are heated and then treated with ammonia to kill bacteria. The USDA says it's a safe, affordable and nutritious product, the AP reported.