Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A study showing that children benefit from laws that regulate locations where smoking is allowed was named the “Best Prevention Idea of the Week,” while a study that found that loose infection practices are contributing to problems with infection control at same-day surgery centers was named the “Worst Prevention Idea of the Week."


Smoke-Free Laws Benefit Kids, Too

Kids benefit from laws that regulate locations where smoking is allowed, a new study shows.

Smoke-free-air laws have already been shown to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke among adults. Now a study shows that such laws benefit children and adolescents, too, as long as they don't live with a smoker.

Researchers analyzed data from the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and found that youngsters who live in a county with extensive smoke-free-air laws had a 39% lower prevalence of cotinine in their blood. Cotinine, an alkaloid found in tobacco, is a major metabolite of nicotine and a common biomarker of secondhand smoke exposure. It is detectable in blood for a minimum of several days after exposure to tobacco smoke.


Poor infection control at many surgery centers

A new federal study finds many same-day surgery centers — where patients get such things as foot operations and pain injections — have serious problems with infection control. Failure to wash hands, wear gloves and clean blood glucose meters were among the reported breaches. Clinics reused devices meant for one person or dipped into single-dose medicine vials for multiple patients. The findings, appearing in last Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest lax infection practices may pervade the nation's more than 5,000 outpatient centers, experts said.


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