HEALTH

CDC releases guides for health professionals, parents on FASDs

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday announced the availability of several new products that can guide in the identification, prevention and management of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders — disorders resulting from women drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

The products include a curriculum development guide for use with medical and allied health students and practitioners, and two reports from the National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect, with recommendations on promoting and improving effective prevention strategies to reduce alcohol use and alcohol-exposed pregnancies, and on improving and expanding efforts regarding early identification, diagnostic services and quality research on interventions for individuals with FASDs and their families.

The products include the Competency-Based Curriculum Development Guide Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders for Medical and Allied Health Education and Practice, a guide designed to improve prevention, identification and management of FASDs, and can be used to develop educational programs and materials in a range of formats based on the needs of learners. Based on seven core competencies, it is intended for use with medical and allied health students and practitioners.

Also listed is the Reducing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies: A Report of the National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect. This report reviews current evidence on prevention strategies to reduce alcohol use and alcohol-exposed pregnancies, provides recommendations on promoting and improving these strategies and offers future research directions in the field of FASD prevention. It also serves as a guide for those in the research and practice fields interested in selecting and implementing effective, scientifically-tested interventions for women at risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy.

And A Call to Action: Advancing Essential Services and Research on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders – A Report of the National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect highlights 10 recommendations to improve and expand efforts regarding early identification, diagnostic services and quality research on interventions for individuals with FASDs and their families. The intent of this report is to guide federal, state and local agencies, researchers and clinicians, family support groups, and other partners on actions needed to advance essential services for individuals with FASDs and their families and to promote continued intervention research efforts.

The CDC also listed five things mothers should know about drinking during pregnancy:

  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born with birth defects and have disabilities. These conditions, called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, or FASDs, are among the top preventable birth defects and developmental disabilities. FASDs can cause problems in how a person grows, learns, looks and acts. FASDs can also cause birth defects of the heart, brain, and other major organs. These problems last a lifetime;
  • There is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to drink while pregnant. All drinks with alcohol can hurt an unborn baby. A 12-ounce can of beer has as much alcohol as a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 1-ounce shot of liquor;
  • There is no safe time to drink during pregnancy. Alcohol can harm a baby at any time during pregnancy. It can cause problems in the early weeks of pregnancy, before a woman even knows she is pregnant;
  • Too many women continue to drink during pregnancy. About 1 in 12 pregnant women in the United States reports alcohol use. And about 1 in 30 pregnant women in the United States reports binge drinking (having five or more drinks at one time);
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are 100% preventable — if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.

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Home Diagnostics’ TRUE2go receives design award

BY Michael Johnsen

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Home Diagnostics on Monday announced that the company’s TRUE2go blood glucose meter was awarded a Medical Design Excellence Award.

“Our team is honored to be recognized for our commitment to innovation and design with a Medical Design Excellence Award for TRUE2go,” stated Joe Capper, president and CEO of Home Diagnostics. “This award is a testament to the dedication of the Home Diagnostics team for creating products that deliver outstanding performance and value while helping people with diabetes manage their disease in a way that fits their individual lifestyles.”

The MDEA competition recognizes the achievements of medical product manufacturers responsible for the innovations that are changing the face of healthcare. Small enough to twist and attach to the top of a vial of test strips, TRUE2go delivers precise results in as fast as four seconds using only 0.5 microliters of blood. In clinical testing, TRUE2go achieved a high degree of accuracy and repeatability, and was considered easy to use. TRUE2go uses the company’s new TRUEtest platform of blood glucose test strips featuring the company’s patent-pending GoldSensor laser accuracy and TRUEfill beveled tip, which ensures highly accurate test results and first test success.

The 2009 Medical Design Excellence Award winners will be honored at a ceremony during the Medical Design & Manufacturing East Conference and Exposition, June 9-11, 2009, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

TRUE2go is available at retailers nationwide for only $9.99 in many retail locations.

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Study shows drinking diet soda may inhibit calcium stones

BY Michael Johnsen

LINTHICUM, Md. Patients with stone disease could benefit from drinking diet soda, according to new research from the University of California, San Francisco.

The research suggests that the citrate and malate content in commonly consumed sodas may be sufficient to inhibit the development of calcium stones.

Increased alkalinity is proven to augment citraturia, a known factor for calcium stones. Malate increases the amount of alkali delivered. Researchers measured the citrate and malate content of 15 popular diet sodas. The researchers found that Diet Sunkist Orange contained the greatest amount of total alkali and Diet 7-Up had the greatest amount of citrate as alkali.

“This study by no means suggests that patients with recurrent kidney stones should trade in their water bottles for soda cans,” stated Anthony Smith, spokesman for the American Urological Association. “However, this study suggests instead that patients with stone disease who do not drink soda may benefit from moderate consumption.”

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