Extra Extra : Health

Cirque du Soleil show has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries

Cirque du Soleil’s Kà features a dizzying array of bodies suspended in the air. The show also had one of the highest rates of serious injuries of any workplace in the country, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of safety records. A fatality during a performance in 2013 put in stark relief the question of how much risk is acceptable for the modern, corporate circus. In 2012, the most recent year for which data were available, Kà had 56 injuries per 100 workers — four times the average injury rate for professional sports teams. Kà’s workplace injury rates ...

Read more ...

After 13 years of wariness, FDA approves five potentially harmful new diet drugs

After 13 years of rejecting new diet drugs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has allowed five potentially harmful products on the market in the last three years — including two in the last four months. The agency approved the drugs despite the potential for serious side effects — including suicidal thinking, increased heart rate and cancer risk — and no proof the drugs improve the main health concern posed by obesity: heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. 

Critics worry the new products will repeat the diet-drug mistakes of the past, which have led to decades of injuries, deaths and, in the ...

Read more ...

Extra Extra Monday: Tracking charges for cops, undocumented overtime, police failure in Sharper case

A record of trouble | The Marshall Project

As California prepares to greatly expand its use of halfway houses for people leaving its overcrowded prisons, state officials have turned for help to a private halfway house operator that has been cited in other states for inadequate care, unchecked violence and repeated escapes at its facilities.

State DNR veterinarian says she was forced our over ‘on-the-record’ moose calf study objections | Timberjay

A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources veterinarian found herself the subject of an internal investigation within days of expressing “on-the-record” concerns about the inhumane treatment of moose calves during the first ...

Read more ...

Extra Extra Monday: Buffett's mobile-home trap, Rolling Stone's UVA failures, women incarcerated

City doesn’t track return on incentives | Cincinnati Enquirer

When the Enquirer asked Cincinnati about $250 million in incentives granted to business and developers since 2008 and how return on that massive investment is tracked, city officials couldn't provide answers. The newspaper's reporters then created and scoured a database of seven years' worth of deals and determined the city gave tax breaks and other types of incentives more than 200 times since 2008, with beneficiaries ranging from Procter & Gamble to the owners of fraternity houses.

 

The mobile-home trap: How a Warren Buffett empire preys on the poor | The ...

Read more ...

Extra Extra Monday: National Guard cronyism, forfeiture abuse, a web of lawyers

Racial bias, cronyism tearing apart N.J. National Guard, senior officers allege | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The New Jersey National Guard prides itself on rigor and readiness, and, from its sprawling base southeast of Trenton, its members became a beacon of help after Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy ravaged portions of the state. But internal records obtained by NJ Advance Media show the Guard now faces a storm of its own, with at least four senior officers, including two top minorities, alleging a "toxic command climate," fueled by racial discrimination and retaliatory actions.

Iowa forfeiture: A ‘system ...

Read more ...

Chemical known for lung destruction still unregulated

For nearly two decades, federal regulators tasked with overseeing worker safety in the United States have been well aware of the lung destruction tied to diacetyl. But the federal government failed to regulate exposure to the chemical. An investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found the chemical is now a problem for those working in the coffee industry and diacetyl has quietly seeped into other products, this time being inhaled straight into the lungs of a growing number of consumers as they smoke or "vape" e-cigarettes. Inhaling the chemical can quickly destroy the lungs, according to more than a dozen ...

Read more ...

Public and private schools lacking in measles vaccination rates

According to a USA TODAY analysis of immunization data in 13 states, nearly one in seven public and private schools have measles vaccination rates below 90% — a rate considered inadequate to provide immunity. 

Among the 13-state sample, results show what many experts have long feared: People opposed to vaccinations tend to live near each other, leaving some schools dangerously vulnerable, while other schools are fully protected.

Empty beds plague Illinois hospitals

Crain’s Chicago Business conducted an unprecedented examination of state records for every hospital in Illinois and found nearly 4 out of every 10 beds lying vacant. Buffeted by population shifts and changes in health insurance, the hospital industry in Illinois has far more capacity than it needs. Crain’s tells the story behind the numbers in an industry socked by drastic transformation.

California dental board cases are taking longer despite an increase in inspectors

The Dental Board of California aims to close disciplinary cases within a year and a half, but an investigation by U-T San Diego found that it actually takes the board twice as long. The delays allow for injuries and even deaths to occur.

It took the board 13 years to resolve a case involving a meth-using dentist. A review of dental board data found that it takes an average of 1,185 days to complete an investigation.

While the board has hired more investigators, delays occur when the office cannot find qualified dental experts to analyze the board's findings. 

Specialized endoscope linked to deadly superbug

The deadly pattern of illnesses began to emerge in 2012 at hospitals in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago. In each case, the culprit was a bacteria known as CRE, perhaps the most feared of superbugs, because it resists even "last defense" antibiotics — and kills up to 40% of the people it infects.

And in each case, investigators identified the same source of transmission: a specialized endoscope, threaded down the throat of a half-million patients a year to treat gallstones, cancers and other disorders of the digestive system. Yet neither the scopes' manufacturers nor the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates them, have ...

Read more ...