Health

Cases of Vaping-Related Lung Illness Surge, Vitamin E Acetate One of Many Possible Causes

September 6, 2019 by Source

Indiana announced a third death linked to the illness on Friday. State and federal health officials are working urgently to understand the causes.

By Matt Richtel and Denise Grady / New York Times / Sept. 6, 2019

Federal health officials reported on Friday that the number of people sickened with a severe lung illness linked to vaping has more than doubled to 450 possible cases in 33 states, including three deaths and a possible fourth.

The Indiana Department of Health announced the third death on Friday, saying only that the victim was older than 18. “There is clearly an epidemic that begs for an urgent response,”

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If You Were at This Point Loma Bakery from August 15 to August 18, You May Have Been Exposed to Measles

August 22, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency announced on August 21 that people who had recently visited the Point Loma bakery, 85° Bakery Café on Rosecrans on August 15, 16, 17 and 18 from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. may have been exposed to measles.

In a very recent local case of measles, the person was fully immunized but had exposure to an 11-month-old San Diego resident who contracted measles after a recent trip to the Philippines.

The bakery is located at 3361 Rosecrans. There were two other locations where the public may been been exposed: Min Sok Chon Korean Restaurant, 4620 Convoy St., on Aug. 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Ralph’s, 3011 Alta View Drive, on Aug. 16 from approximately 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

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Water Quality Advisory Still in Effect at OB’s Dog Beach – High Bacterial Levels for 4th Day

August 16, 2019 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego County continues its Water Quality Advisory for OB’s Dog Beach for the fourth day. The advisory – due to high bacterial levels – extends from the San Diego River outlet to 300 yards south.

Ocean goers are urged to avoid water contact in the advisory area as bacteria levels may exceed health standards. And that goes for dogs and pets, too.

The advisory for Dog Beach has been in effect since Tuesday, August 13, 2019.

Here is what the County’s Beach & Bay Water Quality Program website states:

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UCSD Researchers Involved in Risky Eye Study on Babies in China

July 29, 2019 by Source

by Jill Castellano & Brad Racino / inewsource / July 25, 2019

Twenty-one researchers from the University of California San Diego were involved in a study performed on babies in China that has been called unethical, risky and misleading. Experts say the experiment likely would not have passed an ethics review in the United States.

The experiment was a new surgical treatment for infants with cataracts and involved an eye incision in the hopes that the lens would regrow and work properly.

Dr. Kang Zhang, the former UCSD chief of eye genetics who resigned this month, helped design the study.

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2 UCSD Doctors Publish Paper Based on Research From Unethically Collected Samples of Veterans Without Their Consent

June 4, 2019 by Source

by Brad Racino & Jill Castellano / inewsource / May 30, 2019

Two prominent doctors associated with the University of California San Diego and the local VA used blood and stool samples taken from sick veterans to bolster a paper published this month in an academic research journal.

The specimens were not supposed to be used, according to the project’s lead researcher, because they were part of a study that unethically collected biological samples from living subjects without their consent, which investigators called “serious noncompliance.”

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Why You Should Go Camping

May 28, 2019 by Source

By Tim Fox / Camping Guide

Too many people limit their idea of camping to long hikes, tent setups, campfires and awkward conversations with strangers in the wild outdoors – but let us assure you that it is so much more than that.

We all live our day-to-day surrounded by the immense traffic of a relentlessly busy life. Smog, dust, and city lights cloud our vision of the stars at night; skyscrapers and busy streets prevent us from appreciating the beauty of nature.

The solution? A vast expanse of indigo sky watching over you, with stars serving as your rooftop for the night. Camping in the midst of such natural bliss gives us a needed reminder of the beauty of Mother Nature.

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Women in HIV Research Study Were Not Told by UCSD of Data Breach Despite Pleas by Researchers

May 17, 2019 by Source

By Jill Castellano & Brad Racino / inewsource / May 14, 2019

University of California San Diego officials stonewalled attempts to notify women in an HIV research study that their confidential data was breached more than seven months ago, an inewsource investigation has found.

UCSD researchers conducting the EmPower Women study told university officials in October that participants’ names, audio-taped conversations and other sensitive materials were made accessible to everyone working at Christie’s Place, a San Diego nonprofit supporting women with HIV and AIDS.

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UCSD Eye Doctor Broke Human Research Rules, Putting Patients at Risk

April 24, 2019 by Source

by Brad Racino & Jill Castellano / inewsource / April 18, 2019

Tens of millions of people have volunteered their time and bodies to help create breakthroughs in medicine. You see the results with the pain relievers in your medicine cabinet, the vaccines that protect you from disease, the pacemakers that keep your heart beating and the innovations happening now with stem cells.

Yet the systems meant to protect those volunteers from harm are far from perfect, and research violations by Dr. Kang Zhang, an eye doctor at the University of California San Diego, show just how easily that well-intentioned framework can collapse. Zhang is the chief of eye genetics at UCSD and has a lab named after him

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After Months of Complaints and Health Concerns About Noxious Fumes SDSU President Holds Meetings

April 11, 2019 by Source

by Brad Racino, Lauren Mapp & Bella Ross / inewsource / April 3, 2019

More than 75 faculty members, staff and students at San Diego State University packed an open forum Wednesday, April 3, to demand answers of campus leadership about noxious odors that have sickened many since January.

Editordude: From an earlier post:

The odors arose from a chemical used during roof repairs to the Professional Studies and Fine Arts building, which was closed on March 13 — six weeks after the university was told of the problem and began air monitoring tests. Students and professors who occupied the building despite the smells said the university did a poor job of notifying them or giving them options. inewsource.com

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Over 80 Women Sue Sharp Grossmont for Secretly Videotaping Their Surgeries Without Consent

April 8, 2019 by Source

by Cheryl Clark / inewsource / April 2, 2019

More than 80 women are suing Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Sharp Healthcare for videotaping them without their consent as they underwent painful and emotional obstetric surgeries, including C-sections.

According to the 15-page lawsuit, the operating room cameras in the La Mesa facility captured videos of about 1,800 women between July 17, 2012 and June 30, 2013. Plaintiffs’ attorneys said Sharp officials disclosed those numbers and dates during legal proceedings before the lawsuit was filed.

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House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Banking Access for Cannabis-Related Businesses

March 1, 2019 by Source

By David Mangone / Americans for Safe Access / February 13, 2019 |

WASHINGTON, DC – On February 13, The House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions held a hearing entitled “Challenges and Solutions: Access to Banking Services for Cannabis-Related Businesses.”

Twenty-three years have passed since California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes in 1996. Today, the adult use of cannabis is legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

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Medicare for All and the Myth of the 40% Physician Pay Cut

September 14, 2018 by Source

By Dr. Carol Paris / Common Dreams

The surge in support for improved Medicare for All—now up to 70% in recent polling—has single-payer opponents ramping up their scare tactics. The Koch-funded Mercatus Center recently claimed that Medicare for all could only work with painful sacrifices from doctors, specifically by paying us Medicare’s current reimbursement rates, which are about 40% lower than private insurance.

If single payer would cost doctors so much, why do a majority of us

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With Labored Breath: The Polluted Legacy of the Steel Mills

September 4, 2018 by Anna Daniels

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

For the children of steel
The Atlantic recently ran an article about the long term impacts of the now largely defunct steel industry in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Braddock resident Tony Buba has produced a short documentary about the environmental racism that has created an overlooked health crisis among residents in the area, particularly among African Americans who were segregated in neighborhoods closest to the mills. The incidences of cancer and lung disease are shocking.

For those of us who lived in any one of the mill towns dotting the Monongahela River (Mon Valley) in southwestern Pennsylvania and lost loved ones to those diseases,

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Marijuana, Opioids, and Alcohol: It Is Time to Change the Paradigm

August 24, 2018 by Source

By Egberto Willies / Daily Kos

America needs a paradigm shift when it comes to how it deals with products that affect our moods, psyche, and our overall well-being. We must do so based on data instead of ideology, and deprogramming many will be difficult. But marijuana must be completely decriminalized.

Houston cannabis activist Ashley Miller appeared on Politics Done Right to bring awareness to many issues about marijuana, aka weed, aka cannabis. Her first goal was to dispel the notion that there are any valid reasons why marijuana is illegal. Second, she hoped to activate Americans both locally and throughout the country. As one listens to all the arguments and discourse about marijuana, there can only be one conclusion: the product should not be illegal.

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Research Continues to Show Benefits of Cannabis in Fighting the Opioid Crisis

May 10, 2018 by Source

By David Mangone / Americans for Safe Access

New research has been released that further highlights the potential role of medical cannabis in combating the Nation’s opioid crisis . Two studies, published on April 2nd by the Journal of the American Medical Association reveal a net decrease in opioid prescriptions in states with medical cannabis laws for Medicare and Medicaid populations.

The first study, conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia, found that states with active medical cannabis dispensaries saw 3,742,000 fewer daily doses per year filled for prescription opioids under Medicare Part D (typically enrollees are over 65) compared to states without medical cannabis programs. This decrease equates to about a 14% reduction in opioid prescriptions in states with medical cannabis laws.

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Millions Made From Medicaid by San Diego Couple Who Run Managed-Care Plan

February 21, 2018 by Source

By Retired OBcean

I belong to a Medicaid managed-care plan called Community Health Group. It covers me when I go to a local nonprofit clinic in my neighborhood. I really don’t have any complaints about the clinic’s service or of the plan.

The Plan – which has annual revenues of $1.2 billion – serves nearly 300,000 poor and disabled patients in San Diego County – all under a state contract funded entirely by taxpayers. Reportedly, Community Health Group has earned above-average ratings for patient care. But I just found out .

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Burying 3.6 Million Pounds of Nuclear Waste at San Onofre State Beach Is a Terrible Idea

January 3, 2018 by Source

It’s heating up around the shuttered nuclear plant at San Onofre because locals are not happy with the plan to bury 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste at San Onofre State Beach. There were protests recently in the nearest city, San Clemente, against this plan.

Meanwhile, a local group, Citizens Oversight, has submitted a formal petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under NRC Regulations that govern how the nuclear industry handles spent nuclear fuel. They believe the containers of the toxic nuke spent fuel should be designed for 1,000 years rather than the current requirement of only 40 years.

Everybody is talking about San Onofre. In the current San Diego Reader, Don Bauder has a piece about how nuclear waste in the sand now will create a toxic ocean later. Sarah “Steve” Mosko, at Boogie Green writes there’s a ticking time bomb at San Onofre Nuclear Plant.

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Do Nukes Kill? – Nuclear Shutdown News – December 2017

January 2, 2018 by Michael Steinberg

By Michael Steinberg

Do Nukes Kill?

While the decline of the nuclear power industry has become undeniable, one of the more significant aspects of this story still receives scant attention. In order to function, nuclear reactors generate radioactive materials and must release them into the air and water of surrounding communities. This doesn’t just happen during serious accidents as at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, but during day-to-day operations at nuke plants.

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A Summary of Nuclear Waste Issue at San Onofre

October 23, 2017 by Source

By Gary Headrick

I was recently asked to clear up some confusion about our nuclear waste strategy in an email thread between some good friends. I thought it might be worth sharing a refined version of my reply with you.

Also if you have not signed and shared our Petition yet, please do.

Here is the basic objective:

Delay the date for silos on the beach to get loaded with extremely radioactive waste.

This allows time to consider better alternatives that make us safer while deadly waste remains here cooling off for perhaps decades before it can be moved. We must deal with the fact that they are using canisters that can’t be monitored to prevent leaks, can’t be repaired

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Follow The Money to Understand Graham-Cassidy. Use Your Heart to Stop It.

September 22, 2017 by Doug Porter

Facts don’t matter when it comes to the Graham-Cassidy ‘get rid of Obamacare’ scheme. But feelings do. They had seven-plus years to come up with a plan. The best the Republicans could do earlier this year was to create underfunded versions of the Affordable Care Act. Facing a September 30th deadline for getting a bill passed using 51 votes, they have opted to blow up the law entirely.

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It’s Do or Die Time : San Diegans Joining Nationwide Trumpcare Protests

June 26, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

This is the week that will determine the future of healthcare and a lot more in the United States for the foreseeable future. If there ever was a time to stand up and be heard on the topic the time is now.

There will be political actions aimed at pressuring elected officials nationwide. On Tuesday, July 27, local activists will add to the chorus against this abomination of a bill in San Diego and Vista.

Here are this week’s protests in anticipation of the Trumpcare vote in the Senate:

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Rachel Maddow Nails Senate Bill’s Axing of Medicaid

June 23, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

Thursday night, June 22nd, Rachel Maddow on MSNBC took on the newly-exposed Senate Republican health care proposal and making no bones about it summarized that it “takes a meat ax” to Medicaid, America’s number one insurer.

Republicans want to ax more than $800 Billion from Medicaid. (That’s “B” for billion.)

Maddow neatly and clearly laid out all what Medicaid provides, but with the punch line that the drastic cuts could affect 75 million Americans. Here, in brief, were her major points about Medicaid:

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The Inevitability of Universal Health Care

April 26, 2017 by Source

Why It’s Not Crazy to Think That Trump Could Champion Universal Health Care

By Bill Adams / San Diego Free Press

Universal health care in the U.S. is inevitable. It’s inevitable as long as this country remains among the league of economically developed countries. This inevitability stems from the answer to the fundamental moral question: Do all persons, regardless of wealth, deserve medical treatment? This question is essentially a rhetorical question.

The only acceptable answer in a modern civilized country is “yes.” Yet, the barbaric U.S. health care system tolerates the death of thousands of people per year attributable to lack of health coverage.

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Editor Dude is on Vacation!

April 11, 2017 by Patty Jones
Thumbnail image for Editor Dude is on Vacation!

Frank is taking a much needed break and won’t be posting much for the rest of the week. Keep posting your nominations for the best and worst parts of OB and have a great week!

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Vaping Is Much Safer than Smoking Cigarettes

April 4, 2017 by Source

By Brian Fojtik / New York Post / March 29, 2017

New York Gov. Cuomo’s Department of Health last week released survey data that he’s using to bolster his case for a $12 tax on 30 ml bottles of vaping liquids and a ban on vaping indoors. Yet the survey data — and much other evidence — undercut his case.

That hasn’t stopped legislators from piling on with efforts to ban coupons for vapor products, prohibit sales in pharmacies, ban flavored e-liquid and even ban the sale of liquid used in vapor products altogether.

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Nuke Shutdown News for March 2017 : San Onofre Nuke Waste to Be 100 Feet from Ocean

April 3, 2017 by Michael Steinberg

Nuke Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear industry in the US and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world. Here’s our March 2017 report:

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

San Onofre nuke owner wants to put lots of high level nuclear waste 100 feet from the Pacific Ocean.

On March 20 Surfer Magazine reported:

“They’re going to put nuclear waste 100 feet from the water.”

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San Diego Second Worst City for Renters in Nation

March 24, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

According to an annual list of best and worst cities for renters by Forbes real estate research company, San Diego ranks the second worst city in the nation. Just behind Miami as the worst.

Marcus & Millichap calculated their results based on data collected from monthly rental costs in 2016, rent changes, and vacancies. Importantly the percentage of shared income that goes into paying for rent is a big factor.

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Town Halls in San Diego: Darrell Issa Deflects, Duncan Hunter Sings Off Key

March 14, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter

As town halls in San Diego featuring Representatives Darrell Issa, Duncan Hunter and Susan Davis drew big crowds and garnered national attention, the American Civil Liberties Union rolled out the inaugural event of People Power, with more than 2,200 events in cities coast-to-coast. (See additional coverage of the ACLU campaign here.)

There were more than a dozen expressions of activism on Saturday, March 12th ranging from the raucous to the reserved in venues large and small throughout the region.

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San Diego Indivisible to Rally Tuesday March 14th Against GOP Health Care Bill

March 14, 2017 by Source

Senators Feinstein and Harris Asked to Host Town Halls in San Diego – Duncan Hunter to Be Called Out on Ethics Violations

From Indivisible San Diego Media Team:

SAN DIEGO – Following a successful weekend mobilizing thousands of members at four congressional town halls, San Diego Indivisible will rally this week to stop the TrumpCare legislation proposed by Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act and to call out Rep. Duncan Hunter for his ethics violations. They will also ask California’s two U.S. senators to hold town halls in San Diego during the April recess.

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San Diego Lifeguards Want to Leave the Fire Department Because of New Dispatching Procedures

March 10, 2017 by Frank Gormlie

San Diego City lifeguards and their union are seriously considering getting out from under the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The lifeguard union leader claims that recent changes in dispatching procedures initiated by the new fire chief, Brian Fennessy, now route all water-related 911 calls to the fire department instead of directly to lifeguards- who have historically made all water rescues.

This is leading to longer response times and a waste of resources, says Sgt Ed Harris of the lifeguard union.

In a recent Op-Ed piece in the OB Rag, Harris wrote:

“We cannot afford to have the Fire Department divert our trainers, personnel and budget. … Teaching Fire Fighters how to swim and perform river rescue is not acceptable.”

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