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Archive for July 25, 2013

OSHA Heat Safety Tool app review: view the heat index for your place of work and take precautions

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Introduction

This app is designed to enable workers and other individuals who are exposed to sunlight for extended periods to obtain a heat index for their place of work in order to determine how much time they can safely spend out in the sun and receive detailed instructions on which precautions to take depending on the intensity of the sunlight.

I think this is a great idea for an app and I’m pleased to see it’s provided free of charge by the U.S. Department of Labor. I’ve been having some issues with the user-interface which keeps crashing on me, but I’ve still managed to get all of the information I’m looking for and the content is definitely very valuable.

Turn Up the Heat

 

I’d like to start this review by addressing one glaring negative point which is that I’ve been experiencing some frustration with the user-interface. It keeps turning completely blank, forcing me to restart the app, and if I attempt to input any data the whole app crashes.

I haven’t noticed any other users commenting on this so I’m hoping it’s an isolated case, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

With the negative stuff out of the way, there are some great features in this app which are ideal for teaching members of staff, regardless of their level of experience, how best to deal with the heat during the scorching summer months, and how to spot various heat-related afflictions such as sun stroke and heat exhaustion by identifying symptoms.

 

 

 

Depending on the heat index which registers for your site, you’ll be presented with some great tips on the precautions you ought to take, and this app is also available in Spanish which is perfect for those of you who employ or work alongside a foreign workforce.

If you frequently work in a hot environment, outdoors or otherwise, OSHA Heat Safety Tool is definitely worth keeping handy on your iPhone because I know from personal experience how easy it can be to neglect your body during a busy day’s work, so with this tool you’ll remember to keep yourself adequately hydrated and protected from any ill-effects.

 

 

Pros and Cons

 

Pros

  • View the heat index for your work site
  • View suggested precautions based on the heat index
  • View detailed symptom lists for heat-related conditions
  • Available in Spanish

Cons

  • Potential issues with the user-interface and stability overall

 

 

99 in the Shade

 

Despite my initial frustration with the instability of this app, which I really hope to see fixed in future updates if it proves to be a recurring issue for other users, I’m impressed by the quality of the content on here and I think the U.S. Department of Labor has done a pretty good job here.

In the context of OSHA Heat Safety Tool, the very best advice I can give is to always remain attentive to your thirst and hunger levels while you work, especially if you’re working in a hot environment, sweating a lot and under direct exposure to sunlight.

There are many serious health issues which can come from being irresponsible with hot and sunny work environments so practice a little due diligence, get this app, and you’ll have some great peace of mind.

 

via OSHA Heat Safety Tool app review: view the heat index for your place of work and take precautions – Apppicker.

Spaghetti with Sun Gold Tomato Sauce

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 sprigs basil

1 sprig thyme

1/2 sprig tarragon

1 whole star anise pod

1 whole clove

4 cups Sun Gold or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 teaspoons Sherry or red wine vinegar

tablespoons Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

12 ounces spaghetti

PREPARATION

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft but not brown, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic, basil, thyme, and tarragon sprigs, star anise, and clove, and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their juices and a sauce forms, 10–15 minutes. Discard thyme, tarragon, and basil sprigs, star anise, and clove. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to sauce in skillet. Cook, tossing and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta, about 2 minutes.

DO AHEAD: Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Reheat before tossing with spaghetti.

via Spaghetti with Sun Gold Tomato Sauce Recipe: Bon Appétit.

Death rates show ‘mystery rise’

There has been an unexplained rise in the number of people dying in England and Wales, according to a report.

The document, seen by the Times newspaper and the Health Service Journal, reported 600 more people died each week last year than the average.

The increase was highest in the elderly, particularly those over 80.

Public Health England said death rates were currently in line with expectation.

About 10,000 people die a week normally, but last year’s figures were about 5% higher than average.

The increase has not been explained although suggested contributory factors include flu, a levelling off of life expectancy and council cuts.

A Public Health England representative said it “uses data on weekly all-cause death registrations in England and Wales provided by the Office for National Statistics to establish a baseline of the expected number of deaths registered in each week”.

“Allowing for variation, we can then determine if the number of deaths are higher than expected,” the representative said.

“As acknowledged in Public Health England’s annual influenza report, the number of deaths during 2012-13 was high, especially amongst those 85 years and older and in deaths recorded as resulting from respiratory causes.

“We are currently undertaking further work to understand why there was a rise in mortality rates during the earlier months of this year and the causes behind this.

“The weekly number of deaths are currently within levels expected for this time of year.”

via BBC News – Death rates show ‘mystery rise’.

‘Test-tube baby’ Brown hails pioneers on 35th birthday

Louise Brown is now married and has a son

 

The world’s first “test-tube baby”, Louise Brown, has paid tribute to the fertility doctors who gave her life, as she celebrates her 35th birthday.

She said in vitro fertilisation had helped millions – there are thought to be more than 5.5 million IVF babies worldwide.

She was born in 1978 at Oldham General Hospital after her parents became the first to successfully undergo IVF.

Mrs Brown is now married and has a six-year-old son, who was born naturally.

As she prepared to celebrate her birthday with a private family meal, Mrs Brown said she hoped the public could now see the benefits of the breakthrough.

“When I was born they all said it shouldn’t be done and that it was messing with God and nature but it worked and obviously it was meant to be,” she added.

“It’s helped millions all around the world and if it can help improve success rates, obviously it’s a good thing.

“I’ve now had my own son without IVF and lots of people I know or have heard of have gone on to have children naturally.

“That shows that it is just the beginning of life that’s a little bit different, the rest is just the same.”

Her birth, to parents Lesley and John, attracted controversy at the time. Religious leaders expressed concern over the use of artificial intervention and some raised fears that science was creating babies who could experience medical difficulties later in life.

Mrs Brown, whose younger sister Natalie was also the product of IVF, now lives near Bristol. She is married and has a six-year-old son, Cameron.

She recently unveiled a plaque to honour IVF pioneers gynaecologist Patrick Steptoe and reproductive biologist Robert Edwards at Bourn Hall, the clinic they founded in Cambridge and where the techniques and drugs now used worldwide were first developed.

Their research led to the successful fertilisation of a human egg outside the body and the transfer of the resulting embryo to the womb.

Sir Robert, who was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2010, died aged 87 in April this year. Steptoe died in 1988.

Professor Sir Robert Edwards
Sir Robert Edwards was the physiologist who developed the IVF technique that gave birth to Louise Brown

 

Mrs Brown spoke of her sadness at the death of Sir Robert – who was married with five daughters.

She added that she remembered Steptoe as a “gentle giant”.

“Without Patrick and Bob’s help, Mum wouldn’t have had me,” she said.

“As I got older, Mum explained to me how they had both helped.

“Bob was like a granddad to me and I felt very, very sad to hear of his death.

“He was so well liked and so many people owe so much to his work.”

She called for IVF to be made more readily available and said more people should have access to it on the NHS.

“It is difficult to say what it is like to be the first test-tube baby as I have been brought up with it. People ask what it feels like, but it’s just always been there – it’s my life,” she added.

“I understand more now and I just think my mum was fantastic.

“I think she was just very brave but I suppose if you’re told you can’t have children, you’ll do anything.”

via BBC News – ‘Test-tube baby’ Brown hails pioneers on 35th birthday.

Study confirms cancers-family link

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Cancer risk depends on genes, lifestyles and environment

 

Having cancer in the family can increase your chances of developing not only the same cancer but other types too, research suggests.

A study of 23,000 people in Italy and Switzerland found that for each of 13 cancers, close relatives had an increased risk of the same disease.

But there was also evidence that a family history of one cancer could significantly raise the risk of others.

Cancer charities say risk depends on genes, lifestyle and environment.

The research, published in the journal Annals of Oncology, followed 12,000 patients with cancer at different sites in the body.

They were compared with 11,000 people without cancer.

The researchers collected information on family history of cancer, particularly in a first-degree relative (those who share about 50% of their genes – namely a parent, sibling or child).

They found people with a first-degree relative with cancer of the larynx had triple the normal risk of developing oral and pharyngeal cancer.

Those closely related to someone with oral and pharyngeal cancer had a fourfold increased risk of oesophageal cancer, while breast cancer doubled the risk of ovarian cancer for female family members.

Men had a 3.4-fold increased risk of prostate cancer if a first-degree relative had bladder cancer.

The research also confirmed some known cancer risks. They include a raised risk of women developing breast cancer if they have a family history of bowel cancer.

Lifestyle factors

Study leader Dr Eva Negri, of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, told BBC News: “If you have a relative with one type of cancer your risk of the same type of cancer is increased.

“What this study has highlighted is that sometimes if you have a relative with one cancer your risk of another cancer can be increased.

“The relative risk of a different cancer generally tends to be lower than for the same cancer.”

In some cases, the links between different cancers may be due to shared environmental factors, such as family smoking and drinking habits, she said.

But there was also evidence of genetic factors affecting multiple cancer sites in the body.

Jessica Harris, Cancer Research UK’s senior health information manager, said cancer risk is determined by a combination of genes we inherit from our parents, our lifestyles, and our environment.

“Whether or not someone in your family has had cancer, living a healthy life can really help to stack the odds in our favour, and reduce the risk of cancer,” she said.

“The main things you can do are to be a non-smoker, cut down on alcohol, and stay in shape by being active and eating a balanced diet.”

Eluned Hughes, from the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said some breast cancers do run in the family, however it was vital that women remembered most cases were not hereditary.

“In order to fully understand the causes of breast cancer, we need to study more women over a longer period of time,” she said.

 

“Whether or not someone in your family has had cancer, living a healthy life can really help to stack the odds in our favour, and reduce the risk of cancer”

Jessica HarrisCancer Research UK

 

Cancers studied

  • Mouth and pharynx
  • Nasopharynx
  • Oesophagus
  • Stomach
  • Bowel
  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Larynx
  • Breast
  • Womb
  • Ovaries
  • Prostate
  • Kidney

via BBC News – Study confirms cancers-family link.

My day: Cosmetic surgeon Thep Vejvisith

Dr Thep Vejvisith has run his cosmetic surgery practice in the Thai capital, Bangkok, for the past 25 years, performing nearly 60,000 breast operations. He work is particularly popular among bar girls and ladyboys.

 

I get up at 08:00 and start work in my surgery at 09:00.

Sometimes I stay overnight at the clinic because I do surgery late into the night and I have patients who can’t go home.

Breakfast is very quick. It’s always rice soup and just takes five minutes. I’m from a Thai-Chinese family and every Chinese has rice soup as breakfast.

Everyday starts with breast implant surgery. I do that from 09:00 until 15:00 or 16:00. During that time I do about 10 procedures.

Each one takes about half an hour, though if it’s a bit more difficult, it may be 45 minutes or an hour.

‘60,000 breast operations’

Lots of housewives come to the clinic after they’ve had children. Their breasts shrink so they like to have their previous breasts.

We also get an increasing number of young ladies coming here to have implants because of the influence of the internet and the mass media. They come here because they want bigger ones!

About 20% of the breast operations I do are on transsexuals or ladyboys as we call them here.

Mostly they come here for implants because it’s cheap. I charge 45,000 baht ($1,400, £943).

When I add it up I’ve done nearly 60,000 breast operations in my life. I can’t believe it.

Lots of women here make a lot of money after cosmetic surgery. They go to work in bars and become show women and make lots of money. Often their income increases 10 times or more.

They’re more confident when they have the implants and when they’re more confident they work better. About half of the women and ladyboys who come to my clinic work in tourism and in bars.

I usually have my lunch at about two o’clock. I have curried rice or fried rice. My staff go the vendors in the street outside and buy it for me.

They don’t want me to waste a moment – they want me to do surgery all the time. If they could go to the toilet for me and pee, then I’d never have to pee!

In the afternoon I usually do more difficult and time-consuming surgeries like sex change, facelift or tummy tuck operations. You need about three hours for them.

Sex-change surgery

Compared to Western standards we’re very cheap. For a sex change I charge 65,000 baht, about $2,200.

By law the patient has to go to the psychiatrist first to make sure they are transsexual. That annoys me as I’ve been doing this for 25 years so I know a transsexual when I see one. I even went to the administrative court to try and change the rule – but I failed.

I do a standard surgery for male to female sex change – the same as you’d get in Charing Cross Hospital in London. We remove all the genital contents from the penis and the scrotum leaving just the skin. Then we make a tunnel into the person and use the skin to make a new vagina.

The results are good – the ladyboys can then go and work in a massage parlour.

I don’t think you’d know they were a transsexual even if you had sex with them, they’re very clever these transsexuals, they’re professionals.

I don’t do female to male sex change because the results are not so good. But in the near future you could have a perfect female to male because they will remove a penis and transplant it on to a female.

I usually finish work at 20:00 or 21:00 every day. Sunday, Saturday even New Year’s Day I’m at work unless I have a meeting or I’m in court.

Constant witness

I’m often a witness for medical malpractice cases.

I go and testify against doctors who have done bad work and many doctors and the medical council dislike me for that. But I don’t mind. I just think the court has to get all the facts before they make a just decision.

I’m at court two or three times a month. I don’t get paid for it – they just pay my taxi fare – about 300 baht.

Lots of ladyboys and Thai women have filler injections into their breasts to make them firmer – but that’s the wrong way to do it. They should instead have surgery.

Sometimes we have to remove nearly the whole breast because they’ve been injected with poor quality fillers. They sometimes inject paraffin, olive oil, Johnson’s baby oil or even worse.

I’ve not had any cosmetic surgery myself – the only thing I’ve had done is knee surgery – so even myself I don’t have a mirror to look at my face everyday

I’ve made a lot of money through my work but I’ve invested it in the wrong way. I bought a lot of bank stock, but lost it in 1997 when our country went bankrupt (during the Asian financial crisis).

My wife is a nurse in a hospital near here. I’ve never allowed my wife to work at my clinic. She’s happy at the hospital.

I’ve given my wife an eyebrow lift but nothing more. She’s not asked for a breast implant and I already have a lot of big breasts here at work.

I have no mirrors here in the clinic even in the toilet. You know why? In the past when people came down after surgery, they’d look and say look at this scar or my nose is so swollen and they’d cry and never go home.

I always tried and to reassure them it’s just an hour after surgery but after a few incidents I removed all the mirrors.

I’ve not had any cosmetic surgery myself – the only thing I’ve had done is knee surgery. So even myself I don’t have a mirror to look at my face everyday. So I never get older because I never see my own face.

Dr Thep Vejvisith was talking to the BBC’s Jonah Fisher in Bangkok.

Dr Thep Vejvisith, plastic surgeon in Bangkok, Thailand
Dr Thep Vejvisith serves as a witness in court cases involving procedures which have gone wrong

via BBC News – My day: Cosmetic surgeon Thep Vejvisith.

防蚊貼布新發明 2天內不被蚊子叮


「防蚊貼布」Kite,標榜讓蚊子48小時不近身。(圖片/取材自「iO9」科學網站)

對你我來說,被蚊子叮雖然很煩,但除了癢,沒什麼大礙;不過,蚊子傳播疾病的能力,對全球的健康問題產生非常大的影響。世界衛生組織(The World Health Organization,WHO)即指出,2010年就有2.19億件瘧疾病例,造成66萬人死亡,主要受害的是非洲人民。

由美國加州大學河濱分校(University of California Riverside)提供技術,ieCrowd公司研發出革命性的產品──Kite,這個小而簡單的防蚊貼布,要取代現今普遍的防蚊噴劑和乳液。它的科學原理,是蚊子被人體釋放出的二氧化碳所吸引,因此,使用方式很簡單,即把貼布貼在衣服上,讓它釋出化學物質,阻止蚊子感應人體釋放出二氧化碳的能力,效力可持續達48小時。

ieCrowd公司總裁指出弗朗森(Grey Frandsen)指出,該公司希望Kite防蚊貼布可取代噴霧劑、洗劑或其他有毒和無毒的化合物,並讓病媒蚊的重災區人們不再受苦,並在Indiegogo網路上徵求網友投資防蚊計畫,以籌資協助在烏干達測試防蚊貼布,網友在網站上花35美元可以收到10塊防蚊貼布,同時該公司也會向烏干達發出同等數量的貼布。

資料來源:ETtoday新聞雲http://www.ettoday.net/

via 防蚊貼布新發明 2天內不被蚊子叮 | 20130725 | 華人健康網.

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