Our weekly roundup of the latest news in the world of health.
The number of children injured while playing in inflatable bouncers has increased rapidly in the last few years. That's the main finding of a study that released this week. U.S. officials announced a plan that they said could lead to an "AIDS-free generation." But a new report showed growth of HIV infection among young U.S. adults. Research released this week offered good news about infection control in hospitals. New procedures adopted by seven hospitals caused a drop in infections after colorectal surgery.
This Issue: Bouncer Injuries Jump in Last 15 Years Reports Face Challenge of 'AIDS-Free Generation' New Germ-Control Tactics Reduce Surgery Infections
In the News:
Bouncer Injuries Jump in Last 15 Years
From carnivals to birthday parties, kids love jumping around inside inflatable bouncers. But thousands of them are hurt every year, a new study shows. And the number of injuries is soaring. The study found that about 30 children a day now are being treated in emergency rooms for bouncer injuries. Researchers got their numbers from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Bouncer injuries treated in hospitals increased from fewer than 1,000 in 1995 to nearly 11,000 in 2010. The numbers doubled just since 2008. Researchers said they were surprised by the rapid increase. Kids most often got hurt by falling inside the bouncer or tumbling out of it. Bumping into other kids also caused injuries. Broken bones, sprains and strains were the most common injuries. Some children had only bruises. But about 7% had concussions. Manufacturers have guidelines designed to promote safe use. They include not allowing too many kids in the bouncers at once and not mixing older and younger kids. The journal Pediatrics published the study online this week. The Associated Press wrote about it.
Reports Face Challenge of 'AIDS-Free Generation'
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a report this week that outlined steps she said could lead to an "AIDS-free generation." The Associated Press (AP) wrote about it. The report said the key step is to provide treatment for people already infected with HIV, including pregnant women. Current treatments can dramatically lower virus levels in the body. This sharply reduces the risk of spreading the virus to others. The report cited a particular need to prevent HIV infection in babies and other young people. Other tactics in that fight would include increased HIV testing, male circumcision and access to male and female condoms. The report came from the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The scope of the report was intended to be worldwide, but meeting the goals even in the United States could be challenging. Another new report said that about 1,000 Americans ages 13 to 24 become infected with HIV each month. About 60% of them don't know they're infected. Gay and bisexual men account for 3 out of 4 new infections among young people, the report said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report. USA Today and AP wrote about it.
New Germ-Control Tactics Reduce Surgery Infections
New ways of controlling germs during colorectal surgery cut infections by one-third, sponsors of a study said this week. The project took place at 7 major hospitals. It was sponsored by the Joint Commission, which regulates hospitals. The co-sponsor was the American College of Surgeons. New practices included having patients shower with germ-fighting soap before surgery. Surgery teams also changed gowns, gloves and instruments during surgery. This helped to prevent spreading germs from the intestines. Some hospitals also used devices over surgery openings to prevent inside germs from reaching the skin. The new practices cut infection rates after surgery from 16% to 11%. Average hospital stays for people who were infected also dropped from 15 days to 13. Shorter stays helped to cut costs. The Associated Press wrote about the study.
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