Health Highlights: Sept. 27, 2013

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Artifical Pancreas System Approved by FDA

The first artificial pancreas system for people with diabetes has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The MiniMed 530G with Enlite automatically stops insulin delivery to diabetics when glucose levels reach a certain point, Bloomberg News reported.

The FDA approved the system for use by people with diabetes who are at least 16 years old. The system is made by Medtronic Inc. of Minneapolis.

The new system's improved accuracy and ability to turn itself off for two hours is an advance over existing machines, which sound an alarm when glucose levels reach a preset level, Bloomberg reported.

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First Reported Cases of Krokodil Drug in U.S.

The first calls in the United States about the use of a dangerous drug called krokodil were received in the past week by a poison control center in Phoenix, Ariz.

"As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we're extremely frightened," Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director at Banner's Poison Control Center, told CBS News.

The real name for Krokodil, known for its use in Russia, is desomorphine. It is an opioid derivative of morphine and, like heroin and other opioids, it has a sedative and analgesic effect.

The drug is fast-acting and eight to 10 times more potent than morphine. It's easy to make a homemade version of the drug using codeine, iodine, gasoline, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid, lighter fluid and red phosphorus, CBS News reported.

"They extract (the drug) and even though they believe that most of the oil and gasoline is gone, there is still remnants of it. You can imagine just injecting a little bit of it into your veins can cause a lot of damage," LoVecchio said.

About 1 million people in Russia use krokodil and it has been found in other European countries as well, according to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

Krokodil is Russian for crocodile and the nickname was given to the drug because users can develop scale-like, green skin, CBS News reported.

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Kids' Sunscreens Recalled for Potential Contamination

Some Badger baby and children's sunscreen products are being recalled in the United States and Canada due to microbial contamination.

All lots of the company's 4-ounce SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion and one lot of its 4-ounce SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion are being recalled after tests revealed contamination with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida parapsilosis and Acremonium fungi, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

The affected lots include:

  • SPF 30 Baby Sunscreen Lotion 4oz (UPC: 634084490091 & 634084490114) Lot #'s 3024A, 3057B, 3063A, 3063B, 3132A, 3133A.
  • SPF 30 Kids Sunscreen Lotion (UPC: 634084490145 & 634084490169) Lot # 3164A.

The sunscreen products were sold online and at major retailers, pharmacies and independent food co-ops. Consumers with the products should not use them and may return them to the point of purchase for a full refund, the FDA said.

Consumers can also contact W.S. Badger Co. Inc. at 1-800-603-6100.

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