Clients of BMC’s violence interventional advocacy program find experience supportive

Published on medicalxpress.com/ July 22, 2014

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) have found that participants who received care through BMC’s Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP)—an interventional program targeting the physical, mental, emotional and social needs of violently injured youths—were less likely to retaliate for their injuries and experienced life changing behaviors through connections to caring, steady, supportive adults who helped them feel trust and hope. These findings are reported in the journal Academic Emergency Medicine

Violence, particularly among persons younger than 24 years of age, is on the rise in the U.S. and is a public health problem. In 2011, emergency departments treated 707,212 patients aged 12-24 for violent injuries, compared to 668,133 in 2007. Most urban violence occurs in poor communities and young, African-American males are disproportionately affected. Up to 40 percent of injured African American youth who are less than 24 years old and hospitalized sustain subsequent injuries. One half of which return as victims of homicide.

In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 VIAP clients who were mostly male, African American and younger than 30, reflecting the typical VIAP clientele. Education level ranged from having some high school or GED to having some higher education. Most reported they had not suffered a prior violent injury before enrolling in VIAP. The interview consisted of open-ended questions structured around the following areas: life pre- and post-injury, hospital experience, VIAP experience, retaliation, and general questions relating to family/friend dynamics, accomplishments in life and goals. All interviews were coded, analyzed and the findings were organized into three main domains: challenges to physical and emotional healing, client experience with VIAP and effectiveness of VIAP.

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FDA Warning: Avoid Pure Caffeine Powder

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By: Joan Salge Blake, Boston.com Correspondent 7/21/14

The FDA is warning consumers to avoid powdered pure caffeine, particularly, the variety being sold in bulk bags over the Internet. These products are essentially 100 percent caffeine. One teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. The FDA is aware of at least onedeath of a teenager, thus far, who had used these products.

According to the FDA, pure caffeine is a powerful stimulant and very small amounts may cause accidental overdose. Symptoms of caffeine overdose can include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat, seizures and death. Vomiting, diarrhea, stupor, and disorientation are also symptoms of caffeine toxicity. These symptoms are likely to be much more severe than those resulting from drinking too much coffee, tea, or other caffeinated beverages. Unfortunately, teenagers and young adults may seek out these products. Individuals with heart conditions should clearly avoid them.

The FDA wants to know about adverse events associated with powdered pure caffeine and other highly caffeinated products. You can report any adverse reactions to the FDA:

• By phone at 240-402-2405
• By email at CAERS@cfsan.fda.gov

Courtesy of: boston.com

New Grant Funding to Create a Centralized Location at Boston Medical Center to Help Marathon Bombing Victims

Many victims are still hurting more than a year after the bombing.

By Faiz Siddiqui | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT   JULY 08, 2014

Many victims are still hurting more than a year after the bombing.

During a golf outing a few weeks ago, Patrick Downes began chatting with a friend about what it might be like as an amputee to raise a child. Downes, who lost part of his left leg in the Boston Marathon bombings, pictured waking in the middle of the night to comfort a crying son or daughter from a wheelchair, or watching the child scurry into the street faster than a prosthetic would allow a father to run.

He found comfort in broaching the subject with a fellow bombing victim.

“We talk about these rich things, but we’re just goofing around on a golf course,” Downes said in an interview. “I want to make it very real for people, so that they can have the opportunity to get together and really heal as a group.”
 
If all goes according to plan, they will soon have such a place. Beginning in August, victims of the Boston Marathon bombings will be able to find mental health, behavioral, and psychological services inside a centralized location at Boston Medical Center, state and federal officials announced Tuesday.
 
Backed by $1.9 million in federal grants, the Massachusetts Resiliency Center will serve as a gathering place where bombing survivors can seek assistance and care, and meet in a central location, free of charge. Victims spanning more than 30 states and five countries will have the chance to receive electronic consultations aimed at finding services and providers in their communities.

Click here to read full article 

Courtesy of Boston Globe. 

With July 4th Around the Corner Here are Some Firework Safety Tips

Leave Fireworks to the Professionals

The best way to protect your family is to not use any fireworks at home. Instead, attend public fireworks displays and leave the lighting to the professionals.
If you plan to use fireworks, make sure they are legal in your area.

Be Extra Careful With Sparklers

Little arms are too short to hold sparklers, which can heat up to 1,200 degrees. How about this? Let your young children use glow sticks instead. They can be just as fun but they don’t burn at a temperature hot enough to melt glass.

Closely supervise children around fireworks at all times.

Take Necessary Precautions

Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
Never light fireworks indoors or near dry grass.
Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush, leaves and flammable substances

Be Prepared for an Accident or Injury

Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
Always have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher nearby. Know how to operate the fire extinguisher properly.
If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don’t allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.

Courtesy of https://www.safekids.org/tip/fireworks-safety-tips

CPSC Reports Increase in Fireworks-Related Deaths and Injuries in 2013

Release Date: June 26, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges consumers to celebrate safely. A new CPSC study issued today highlights an increase in the number of fireworks-related deaths and injuries. Device malfunction and improper use are associated with the most injuries.

In 2013, there were eight deaths and an estimated 11,400 consumers who sustained injuries related to fireworks. This is an increase from 8,700 injuries in 2012. Sixty-five percent, or 7,400, of the injuries in 2013 occurred in the 30 days surrounding July 4, 2013. CPSC staff reviewed fireworks incident reports from hospital emergency rooms, death certificate files, news clippings and other sources to estimate deaths, injuries and incident scenarios. Injuries were frequently the result of the user playing with lit fireworks or igniting fireworks while holding the device. Consumers also reported injuries related to devices that malfunctioned or devices that did not work as expected, including injuries due to errant flight paths, devices that tipped over and blowouts.

“CPSC works year-round to help prevent deaths and injuries from legal and illegal fireworks,” said Acting Chairman Bob Adler.  “We engage the fireworks industry, monitor incoming fireworks shipments at the ports, and enforce federal safety rules, so that all Americans have a safe Fourth of July.”

Last year, children younger than age 5 experienced a higher estimated per capita injury rate than any other age group. Past reports indicate that consumers sometimes feel comfortable handing off to children fireworks devices perceived to be less powerful, such as sparklers and bottle rockets. In 2013, sparklers and rockets accounted for more than 40 percent of all estimated injuries.

According to the report, fireworks incidents become deadly when banned, professional and home-manufactured devices are involved. In each of the eight fireworks-related deaths recorded in 2013, the victim was manipulating (or was a bystander to someone who was handling) a banned, professional or home-manufactured device.

CPSC enforces the mandatory fireworks requirements in the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) , by working with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the U.S. Department of Justice.  Together, these agencies monitor products entering the country, stop illegal use and distribution of fireworks and prosecute violators of the federal requirements.

CPSC and CBP staff sampled and tested a select number of imported fireworks in 2013. Of those tested, 33 percent were noncompliant with federal regulations. Violations most often involved overloaded report composition and failure to meet fuse burn-time requirements. These violative devices never reached the shelves of American stores or fireworks stands.

Consumers who decide to purchase legal fireworks are urged to take the following safety steps:

  • Make sure the fireworks you want to buy are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks, including sparklers. Parents may not realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees─hot enough to melt some metals.
  • Always have an adult close by to supervise fireworks activities if older children are allowed to handle devices.
  • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper, which is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and could pose a danger to consumers.
  • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
  • Never try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time, then move away from them quickly.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding the device to prevent a trash fire.
  • ATF encourages the public to report the manufacture or sale of illegal fireworks to your local law enforcement agencies or to the ATF hotline at 1-888-ATF-BOMB (1-888-283-2662).

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction.  Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals – contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

Courtesy of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission – News Release 

2014’s Best and Worst States for Teen Drivers

by John S Kiernan, WalletHub.com

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In American culture, getting a driver’s license at 16 is considered a rite of passage. But lately, it has grown from an exciting stage of growth to a death sentence for thousands of teens every year. Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 19 — they have the highest crash rate of any age group.

In addition, the financial implications of those statistics are staggering. Although young people aged 15 to 24 represent only 14 percent of the population, they account for about 30 percent of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. That’s not counting auto maintenance, high insurance premiums, possible traffic citations and other vehicular incidents that can rack up expensive costs over time.

Looking ahead at the summer season, it is prudent to reflect on the fact that more teens will be obtaining their licenses during this time, when an average of 260 teens are killed in car accidents each month. More than ever, it is imperative to take precautionary measures to ensure teens’ safety behind the wheel.

Using 16 key metrics, WalletHub has identified the Best & Worst States for Teen Drivers. We took a close examination of various elements — ranging from the average cost of car repairs and the number of teen drivers in each state to impaired-driving laws and teen driver fatalities. By doing so, we aim to equip parents and other concerned adults with facts that will help them safeguard against unforeseeable events when their teens are on the road. After all, parents are the ones to shoulder both the emotional and financial burdens of their children’s actions. Check out the Methodology section below for more detailed information on how we ranked each state.

Courtesy of http://wallethub.com/edu 

Click here to read full article 

Dr. Burke and Joe B participated in a training exercise on field amputation at the Massachusetts Task Force 1 (MA-TF 1)

Peter Burke, MD, FACS and Joe Blansfield, NP participated in a training exercise on the considerations involved in performing a field amputation on entrapped victims in a rubble pile at the Massachusetts Task Force 1 (MA-TF 1) Urban Search and Rescue Team (US&R) in Beverly, Massachusetts. The US&R teams are comprised of Police, Fire, EMS and Civilians and respond to major disasters under a contract with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Medics from the Massachusetts National Guard were present as well.  This was a valuable training exercise providing hands-on experience delivered by experts in the field. 

 

 

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