Editor in Chief Dr KK Aggarwal, Padma Shri Awardee

Dated: 5th July, 2019

One in five adults experience secondhand harms of drinking

Alcohol’s harm to others is a significant public health issue. One in five adults i.e. an estimated 53 million women and men experienced at least one harm because of someone else’s drinking, according to a study published June 30, 2019 in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

  • Women were more likely to report harm due to drinking by a spouse/partner or family member, whereas men were more likely to report harm due to a stranger’s drinking.

  • Being female also predicted family/financial harms.

  • Younger age increased risk for all alcohol’s harm to others (AHTO) types, except physical aggression.

  • Being of Black/other ethnicity, being separated/widowed/divorced, and having a college education without a degree each predicted physical aggression harm.

  • The harmed individual’s own heavy drinking and having a heavy drinker in the household increased risk for all AHTO types.

  • The risk for physical aggression due to someone else’s drinking was particularly elevated for heavy drinking women.

The study concluded that the secondhand effects of alcohol in the United States are substantial and affected by sociodemographics, the harmed individual’s own drinking, and the presence of a heavy drinker in the household.

CDSCO issues alert for security risk to certain Medtronic insulin pumps

Vide a notice File No: 29/Misc/03/2019-DC (100) dated 2nd July, 2019, the CDSCO has issued a medical device alert for some insulin pumps manufactured by Medtronic.

The MiniMed™ Paradigm™ series insulin pumps (MMT-715, MMT-712, MMT-722, MMT- 754) are designed to communicate using a wireless radio frequency (RF) with other devices such as a blood glucose meter, glucose sensor transmitters, and CareLink™ USB devices. Security researchers have identified potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities related to these insulin pumps.

An unauthorized person with special technical skills and equipment could potentially connect wirelessly to a nearby insulin pump to change settings and control insulin delivery.

The CDSCO has advised the following actions for Medical Directors/Healthcare professionals, Distributors and the Users and Staff involved in the management of patients.

  • Check to see if the model and software version of your insulin pump is affected.

  • Talk to your health care provider about a prescription to switch to a model with more cybersecurity protection.

  • Keep your insulin pump and the devices that are connected to your pump within your control at all times whenever possible

  • Do not share your pump serial number.

  • Be attentive to pump notifications, alarms, and alerts.

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels closely and act appropriately.

  • Immediately cancel any unintended boluses.

  • Connect your Medtronic insulin pump to other Medtronic devices and software only.

  • Disconnect the USB device from your computer when you are not using it to download data from your pump.

The alert comes a week after the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) issued a warning to patients and health care providers that certain Medtronic MiniMed insulin pumps are being recalled due to potential cybersecurity risks… (Source: CDSCO)

Hands-only CPR: A lifesaving technique within your reach

A large Swedish study has confirmed that just like standard CPR, hands-only CPR doubles the chances of survival for a person at least 30 days after cardiac arrest. Researchers analyzed data from more than 30,000 cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest from 2000 to 2017, when hands-only CPR was gradually adopted into Sweden’s CPR guidelines. The use of hands-only CPR increased six-fold over the course of the study.

Overcoming barriers

  • Hands-only CPR eliminates the fear of communicable diseases, one of the main reasons people say they would hesitate to perform CPR.

  • Another barrier people cite is fear of injuring the person, especially by doing compression incorrectly or on someone who does not actually require CPR. It’s true that even correctly done CPR can crack a person’s ribs but this can be corrected.

  • CPR keeps the blood circulating until the heart can be shocked back into a normal rhythm with an automated external defibrillator (AED). Although emergency personnel will bring and use this device, bystanders must be trained to obtain and use public access AEDs if we want to have the most favorable outcomes......read more

Health Implications of Chaturmas

The “Chaturmas” begins on Ekadashi in the month of Ashadha (June/July) and ends with Ekadashi in the month of Kartik (overlaps October/November) and has got both spiritual and health implications. It is a period when no marriages and auspicious functions are held.

The four months of monsoon are called holy months of the year or Chaturmas and coincide with many festivals. Chaturmas starts with Guru Poornima, a festival to worship your teacher. Then comes the month of Shravana, in which Mondays are worshiped for Lord Shiva. The Narali Poornima in this month marks the end of heavy rain and the throwing of the coconut in the sea appeases it and it calms down. Nag Panchami and Gokul Ashtami are also a part of this month......read more

Healthcare News Monitor

Patients save Rs 12,447 crore due to price fixation of essential medicines

ET Healthworld- PTI

New Delhi: Patients have saved Rs 12,447 crore due to fixation of prices of essential medicines by the government, Parliament was informed on Tuesday. Out of the total savings, patients have saved Rs 2,422 crore under National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011 from May 2013 to February 2016, Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Further, a saving of Rs 2,644 crore was made under NLEM 2015 from March 2016 till date, he added. Patients saved Rs 350 crore for cardiovascular and anti-diabetic medicines, Gowda said. Due to fixing of prices of coronary stents and knee implants by the government, patients saved Rs 4,547 crore and Rs 1,500 crore, respectively, he added. Moreover, patients have saved Rs 984 crore for anti-cancer drugs, Gowda said.

Highlighting the role of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Gowda said the Authority has taken important measures to check prices of drugs, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order (DPCO). Since inception of NPPA till May 2019, 2,033 demand notices have been issued to pharmaceutical companies for overcharging, he added.

BMC asks people to take medicine to avoid leptospirosis

Moneycontrol- PTI

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said July 3 that people who came in contact with floodwater should take a preventive medicine, available at civic dispensaries, to avoid leptospirosis. Water-logging was reported in several areas over the last two days as the city reeled under its highest rainfall in 24 hours after the July 26, 2005. A senior official of the health department of the BMC said those who walked through floodwaters for some time need to take this medicine within 24 to 72 hours of the contact with water to avoid leptospirosis. The medicine will be distributed free at the BMC's health posts, dispensaries and hospitals after paying a token registration fee, he said. "This medicine is extremely important for those who waded through or walked for long periods in floodwaters and have a boil or open wound (on the body)," said the official, adding that such persons can approach private hospitals too. Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection transmitted through urine or excreta of rats and cattle, can be fatal if not treated in time, he warned. "The bacteria Leptospira interrogans is carried by many animals in their kidneys. It can end up in soil and water through their urine. When you come in contact with the urine of infected animal, the bacteria may invade through your skin through open wounds," he said.

Provide 'partial list' of over the counter drugs to doctors: Delhi HC to Centre

ET Healthworld-PTI

The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Centre to provide a "partial list" of over the counter (OTC) drugs to doctors and pharmacists by September 12. A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the direction on a PIL initiated by the court on its own after receiving a letter from a doctor for formulation of a law relating to OTC drugs and preparation of a list of such medication. "You (Centre) already know which are the scheduled drugs. So, collate the remaining medicines into a list and provide it to them," the court told the central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul, representing the health ministry. Digpaul told the court that a sub-committee constituted by the 52nd Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC) has already examined the issue raised in the PIL and has given a report on several aspects regarding OTC drugs including its definition, basic characteristics, manufacturing, labelling, distribution, sale and pricing. He said that the sub-committee's report was being examined by another sub-committee which shall give its final report in three months to the DCC which will forward it to the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) for further consideration. However, the bench was not impressed and said that going by the status report shown to it, the government appears to "have not understood what they (doctors) are asking for". "As things stand today, it is not that difficult to provide a list of OTC drugs," the court said, directing that a "partial list" be provided to doctors before the next date of hearing on September 12. The PIL was initiated by the court after receiving a letter from Dr K K Aggarwal, a Padma Shree awardee and the National President of Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI), seeking formulation of a law regarding OTC drugs and preparation of a list of such medicines in India.

Mettupalayam Government Hospital staff strike work to protest attack by relatives of road accident victim

The Times of India-Pratiksha Ramkumar

Doctors and other staff members at the Mettupalayam Government Hospital on Wednesday morning launched strike demanding the arrest some people who attacked a doctor, a nurse and a paramedical staff in an emergency ward on Tuesday night. They were attacked by the relatives of a woman who died after meeting with a road accident. The mob assaulted the doctor by banging a tray containing drug vials on his head and pushing him down to a bed. The mob slapped the nurse and hit her on the head, leading to a neck injury. The doctors demanded arrest of the culprits and deployment of police personnel outside the GH. At 8.30 pm, they brought her back to the hospital, he said. “She was brought dead. Once the doctor, Dr Lakshmanakumar, declared her dead after checking her ECG and pulse, around 10 to 15 relatives who barged into the emergency ward took a metal tray with drugs and banged it on the doctor’s head. They later pushed him down to the bed shouting that Rukmini would have survived had we treated her properly,” said Dr Seralanathan. “They later slapped a nurse, Mahalakshmi. They hit her on her head, in a way that her neck was injured,” he said. They also hit a paramedical staff. There were 40 to 50 members outside the hospital. Doctors submitted a complaint along with CCTV footage of the incident to superintendent of police Sujith Kumar on Tuesday night. “We will not resume work till the culprits are arrested and jailed. This is the third time we are being attacked by a mob after an unfavourable outcome of treatment,” said the dean. “No action was taken last two times. This is a life threat to us, and we won’t tolerate it any longer,” he said.

MMC finally clears up Hospicio waste

The Times of India

Uproar over the piling up of garbage on the premises of Hospicio, finally prompted the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) to send in their trucks on Wednesday to clear up the waste, thereby restoring a semblance of order on the sanitation front at the hospital. Sources in the MMC said that while the garbage was collected keeping in mind interests of the patients and the visitors, the civic body’s chief officer, it is learnt, has written to Hospicio authorities to ensure that henceforth, only segregated waste be given to the municipality’s garbage collectors. The hospital authorities, however, blamed the MMC for its failure to collect the waste on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Hospicio’s medical superintendent, Ira Almeida, disclosed plans by the hospital to install a composting machine to treat its organic waste. Meanwhile, MMC has claimed that there has been some improvement in its exercise of collecting segregated waste from across the city. Sources said that the civic body would soon issue a public notice inviting proposals for renting out parcels of land to the municipality for segregating waste, before it is transported to the garbage treatment plant at Sonsodo. MMC has been in the throes of crisis after Fomento Green, the firm operating the garbage treatment plant at Sonsodo, refused to accept unsegregated waste inside the plant.

This Rajasthan-based doctor provides free medical coaching to poor students

News Bytes- Ayushi Chamoli

While lakhs of students move out of their homes every year to join reputed coaching centers for medical or engineering preparation, there are many more who cannot afford it. In a step towards helping such students, Dr. Bharat Saran has been giving free medical coaching in Barmer, Rajasthan, for the past seven years to those who come from poor economic background. While talking to ANI, Dr. Bharat told that his institute, Fifty Villagers, was formed on May 25, 2012, to provide coaching to those students who often quit studies due to financial crunch. "It's a free coaching institute for aspiring medical students from government schools in remote villages. We provide free of cost books, pay school fees and provide food to students," he said.