International Business Times – Amid Brussels Attacks, EMTs And Paramedics Face New Reality Of Terrorism And An Evolving Set Of Challenges (featuring APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin)
Sirens blared as an ambulance sped down the street. A team of first responders hoisted what resembled a body from one stretcher to another. A woman held a cell phone to her ear with a bloodied hand.
The string of terrorist attacks Tuesday morning in Brussels that killed at least 31 people and injured more than 200 others was the latest large-scale crisis to test first responders. Training for mass disasters has long been part of the emergency medical curriculum, but paramedics and emergency medical technicians say responding to terrorist attacks poses unique challenges that can evolve with each new event.
CNN – FDA now requires ‘black box’ warning on painkillers
In an attempt to help slow the prescription drug abuse epidemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that immediate-release opioid painkillers such as oxycodone and fentanyl will now have to carry a “black box” warning about the risk of abuse, addiction, overdose and death.
Prescription opioid painkillers are divided into two main classes — extended release, which have more pain-killing opioid per dosage, and immediate release, which have less opioids, but need to be taken more frequently. Ninety percent of opioid prescriptions are for immediate-release painkillers, the FDA said.
The Wall Street Journal – Contraception Controversy Returns to Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is weighing how far the government must go to accommodate religious beliefs when setting public policy, in a case on contraception coverage that could affect hundreds of thousands of workers and future presidential administrations.
The court on Wednesday will hear a challenge from a Catholic bishop and six other Christian plaintiffs to contraception-coverage requirements in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, considering specifically whether a workaround devised by federal officials to address religious objections is sufficient.
The Washington Post – Zika: More than 2,500 babies born with microcephaly in Brazil, WHO predicts
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that it expects Brazil will have more than 2,500 babies born with a severe birth defect known as microcephaly if current trends continue in the Zika virus outbreak.
Data from Brazil, the epicenter of an epidemic that has hit more than three dozen countries and territories in the Americas, show that about 39 percent of 2,212 investigated cases of microcephaly are already confirmed for the rare congenital condition. To date, that’s 863 babies born with the characteristic abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains, WHO detailed at a news conference in Geneva.
NPR – For Chronic Low Back Pain, Mindfulness Can Beat Painkillers
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told doctors they should really, really think twice before prescribing opioids for chronic pain.
And now the doctors are telling us that meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy often work better than pain meds and other medical treatments for chronic back pain.