Daily Rounds: Stressed Out War Dogs; Catholics Offering Contraceptives; Ambien For The Near Dead; A Workplace Ban On E-Cigarettes

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After Duty, Dogs Suffer Like Soldiers (The New York Times) "If anyone needed evidence of the frontline role played by dogs in war these days, here is the latest: the four-legged, wet-nosed troops used to sniff out mines, track down enemy fighters and clear buildings are struggling with the mental strains of combat nearly as much as their human counterparts. By some estimates, more than 5 percent of the approximately 650 military dogs deployed by American combat forces are coming down with canine PTSD. Of those, about half are likely to be retired from service, Dr. Burghardt said."

Catholic Groups Fight Contraceptive Rule, But Many Already Offer Coverage : Shots - Health Blog : NPR ( "But while some insist that the rules, which spring from last year's health law, break new ground, many states as well as federal civil rights law already require most religious employers to cover prescription contraceptives if they provide coverage of other prescription drugs.While some religious employers take advantage of loopholes or religious exemptions, the fact remains that dozens of Catholic hospitals and universities currently offer contraceptive coverage as part of their health insurance packages."

A Drug That Wakes The Near Dead (The New York Times) "Convinced that the son they know and love is still “in there,” Chris’s parents have spent the past three years searching for a way to bring him back out. So far, their best hope has come from an unlikely source: Ambien. A growing body of case reports suggests that the popular sleep aid can have a profound — and paradoxical — effect on patients like Chris. Rather than put them to sleep, both Ambien and its generic twin, zolpidem, appear to awaken at least some of them. The early reports were so pronounced that until recently, doctors had a hard time believing them. Only now, more than a decade after the initial discovery, are they taking a closer look."

E-cigarettes banned in workplaces in Boston, and city prohibits sales to minors - Boston Medical News - White Coat Notes - ( "Boston health officials today voted to treat electronic cigarettes, known as e-cigarettes, like tobacco products, banning use of the increasingly popular products in the workplace and restricting their sale to adults only. Battery-powered e-cigarettes, which often resemble regular cigarettes, deliver nicotine in the form of vapor and have been largely unregulated. The Boston Public Health Commission also prohibited the sale of individual cigars, which, health officials say, have become an attractive option for teenagers looking for less expensive alternatives to cigarettes."--

This program aired on December 2, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.