Poor Ventilation Systems in Several Virginia Schools Pose Health Threats to Students

Nov 26, 14 Poor Ventilation Systems in Several Virginia Schools Pose Health Threats to Students

Posted by in Featured, Health

Schools have been bolstering their safety measures for students now more so than ever before, but there’s still one safety concern that many teachers, administrators, and parents tend to forget about: the quality of the air circulating through school buildings. Sure, when the weather starts getting colder every year, adults feel particularly compelled to remind kids a few times a day that colds are spread when someone doesn’t cover their sneeze or doesn’t wash their hands regularly. But local news source 13News Now has been putting a few Virginia schools on the spot, and has taken an in-depth look at the air that’s circulating through these schools. As 13News Now reporter Karen Hopkins notes, the findings aren’t looking too good. The news team’s investigation took a look at four buildings, during three different operating times, for four Virginia schools (Carver, Hidenwood, Lee Hall, and Sedgefield Elementary), and they also looked at the district telecommunications center building during the same three operating times. According to the findings, several school buildings were operating with HVAC systems that are not up to industry standards, and which fail to provide adequate ventilation to filter out harmful bacteria in the air before it gets pushed into the buildings. In Hopkins’s article, building experts explained that the older schools in the district aren’t required to keep ventilation records, since HVAC filtering requirements were lessened in 1981 in order to cut energy costs. Not surprisingly, many students and teachers in those buildings started getting sick during the 1980s due to dirty air flow. Although the HVAC system changes were rescinded and corrected, older buildings, Hopkins explains, weren’t required to change ventilation systems. School officials can certainly argue that it would be too expensive to replace so many HVAC systems at once (Hopkins states that it could cost anywhere from $300,000 to $1 million per building, depending on its size) — but that doesn’t change the fact that most HVAC systems last about 12 to 15 years with proper maintenance. Pushing an...

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Recent Forklift Incidents Spell Danger, Death for Three, Highlighting Need for Safety Observation

Nov 26, 14 Recent Forklift Incidents Spell Danger, Death for Three, Highlighting Need for Safety Observation

Posted by in Featured, Health

On average, it’s estimated that a shocking one in four transport-related workplace accidents will involve a forklift truck. This makes the forklift one of the biggest safety hazards in any workplace where it is used. So it’s not much of a surprise, then, that three forklift-related incidents have taken place across the country — and that two of them proved fatal for the individuals involved. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, a Shelbyville, TN man was killed in while operating a forklift during a construction project in Brentwood. News 2 Nashville reported that Greg Rigney, 45, was unloading construction materials from a flatbed truck when the forklift he was operating tipped over, fatally pinning him underneath. Since Rigney had been working alone, there was no way for him to get help. A teenage boy was killed in the north of Victoria, Australia after being involved in a forklift-related incident on November 15. According to The Age, the boy was 15 or 16 and was dead by the time police arrived. In a non-fatal accident, a Star, ID man became trapped in the front area of a forklift that’s typically used for lifting items, while checking on a malfunction in the forklift, which he owned. The Idaho Statesman reported that the Nov. 22 accident resulted in injuries for the man, but that he was brought to the hospital in stable condition. Because it is so common for forklift-related injury and death to take place, it’s highly essential for any workplace that uses forklifts to instruct personnel on the right steps to take in the event of an emergency. One of the best ways to ensure workers don’t become injured or killed while working around forklifts is to prohibit workers from operating a forklift unsupervised. Having extra personnel on hand is vital to guarantee that the right emergency response steps are taken. What are your thoughts on the frequency of accidents that take place around forklifts? Have any safety tips to share? Feel free to let us know...

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A-list Dermatologist Who Treated Michael Jackson Continues Downward Spiral

Nov 19, 14 A-list Dermatologist Who Treated Michael Jackson Continues Downward Spiral

Posted by in Entertainment

Dr. Arnold Klein, the A-list dermatologist who once treated several of Hollywood’s biggest stars, continues his steady decline that started after the 2009 death of his long-time patient Michael Jackson. Once deemed the “the father of modern cosmetic dermatology” by his office manager, Jason Pfeiffer, the celebrity skin doctor fell into financial trouble in the early 2000s, according to Radar Online. At that time, many of his A-list clients stopped coming in for treatments, causing the dermatology practice to suffer. Despite the loss of a big chunk of his business, Klein continued to excessively spend money as he had before, purchasing lavish vacation homes, expensive art and jewelry. Jackson, who returned to the U.S. in 2009 after having lived abroad, made numerous visits to Dr. Klein’s office for treatments in the months before his death. Klein provided the King of Pop with injections of Demerol, a strong painkiller, among other medications. Jackson’s bills totaled $80,000. His old office manager claimed that Klein “did think that Michael Jackson was the savior and he was going to put him back on the pedestal,” according to Radar Online. After the death of legendary singer in June of 2009, Klein’s reputation went down the drain, and the dermatologist found himself worse off than before. In the beginning of 2011, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Bradley Sharp, the trustee who has been supervising Klein’s bankruptcy, recently stated in a court docket that the case was littered with inconsistencies and misconduct. It was discovered that Klein’s real estate value, which he claimed to be a whopping $28 million, was only worth $13 million. He also placed an art and memorabilia collection at $7 million, but the collection, containing items that had belonged to Michael Jackson, sold for a mere $1 million. Sharp has requested that the court change the bankruptcy filing from Chapter 11, which involves a reorganization, to Chapter 7, which requires the individual to liquidate bills. The court is expected to accept the request in order to...

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Tracking Psychosocial Factors in Electronic Records Could Lead to Better Overall Health, Panel Suggests

Nov 18, 14 Tracking Psychosocial Factors in Electronic Records Could Lead to Better Overall Health, Panel Suggests

Posted by in Featured, Health

Electronic medical records have been touted as an easy and effective way of keeping track of all the little things doctors check at routine visits — blood pressure, weight and so forth — as well as preventing treatment errors in emergency situations and increasing the efficiency of medical administration (by about 6% annually). But there’s currently no agreement on what social data should be viewed as medically relevant and therefore included in EMRs. A panel convened Nov. 13 by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies is seeking to change that, however, by releasing a set of 12 behavioral and social factors it believes should be included on patients’ electronic records in a standardized fashion. “The inclusion of social and behavioral data routinely into electronic health records can lead to real transformations in the ways in which doctors use information to diagnose and treat patients, and is also of enormous value for understanding the health of populations and what we can do to improve health for all,” said Ana Diez Roux, who served on the committee and is the dean of the Drexel University School of Public Health, in a statement released by the university. In other words, the goal of such standardization is to both improve individual clinical decisions and to collect data for evidence-based policy decisions. Psychosocial Aspects of Health These social and behavioral factors are called “psychosocial vital signs,” and measure health and risk in a broader way than purely physical indicators of health. The panel, which weighed factors of medical relevance, research significance and practicality of collection, recommends that medical personnel record the following information about each patient:   Residential address   Race and ethnicity   Education   Census tract-median income   Alcohol use   Tobacco use and exposure   Depression   Financial resource strain   Intimate partner violence   Physical activity   Social connections and social isolation   Stress   Clinical Focus Only four of these psychosocial vital signs (race, address, alcohol use and tobacco use) are currently routinely recorded in...

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Police Body Camera Bill Approved by Baltimore City Council

Nov 13, 14 Police Body Camera Bill Approved by Baltimore City Council

Posted by in Featured, Legal

Baltimore police officers may soon be equipped with body cameras, after the City Council voted on Monday to make the equipment a requirement for every officer in the city. The councilman behind the body camera bill, Warren Branch, has said that an overwhelming number of Baltimore residents have reached out to him personally, arguing that body cameras will help prevent police brutality. A driving force behind the recent push for body cameras was the death of Tyrone West, who died while in police custody, and another incident caught on camera that revealed a suspect being severely beaten by an officer. While the bill may have good intentions, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said that she will immediately veto it as soon as it hits her desk. She believes that body cameras have their place in the police force, but says that the bill was written too hastily and is full of legal flaws. “I refuse to roll out a program that has not been carefully thought through. I’d rather be thoughtful and right than fast and wrong…. If I have to stand alone in making sure we get this right in Baltimore, then I will,” said the Mayor, according to the Baltimore Sun. In the 12-1 vote over the legislation, City Councilwoman Rochelle “Rikki” Spector was the only one to vote against it, saying that the measure is illegal. After a consultant’s report from last year recommended that the city do a trial run of police body cameras, Mayor Rawlings-Blake proposed a plan to stop police brutality that included the creation of a task force to study the effectiveness of the cameras. Of the three council members she asked to be on the task force, only one accepted. Over 70% of state and highway police currently have in-car cameras, but in the past neither in-car or body cameras have been common among local police departments. Recently, more and more local agencies across the country are adopting legislation to require in-car and body camera implementation. The...

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