Daily Rounds: Medflight Malfunctions; Mass. Medical Debt Persists; Ferberizing After-Effects; 'Dangerous' Couches

Medflight records show malfunctions (The Boston Herald) - "Medical helicopters tasked with flying the Bay State’s gravest patients to Hub hospitals have faced multiple mechanical incidents in the past two years, including engine failures, reports of smoke and fire in cabins and, just last month, a door falling from a chopper in mid-flight, the Herald has learned."

Medical debt still problem in Mass. (The Boston Globe) - "Architects of the pioneering 2006 Massachusetts health law, which required most residents to have insurance, expected it would reduce families’ medical debt. But the most recent data suggest the scope of medical debt has remained largely unchanged. Temporary lapses in insurance coverage and increasingly common plans with high deductibles and copayments have contributed to medical debt, leaving some people struggling to pay bills for hospitals, doctors, and ambulance companies. Rising health costs and the recession also probably played a role. Although the law has failed to cut medical debt, some analysts say it may have prevented an increase in Massachusetts."

Study: Baby sleep training methods safe for infants (Huffington Post) - "Parents often [and] very appropriately ask questions about 'What does having my child cry at bedtime for a number of nights mean in the longterm to them?'" Johnson, who was not involved with the research, told The Huffington Post. "This study is very reassuring in that there does not appear to be harm." But Johnson stressed that the way parents approach sleep is a complex and personal issue: Just because the new study found that there are no long-term harms from the two sleep-training methods does not mean they are appropriate for everyone."

How dangerous is your couch? (The New York Times) - "The problem is that flame retardants don’t seem to stay in foam. High concentrations have been found in the bodies of creatures as geographically diverse as salmon, peregrine falcons, cats, whales, polar bears and Tasmanian devils. Most disturbingly, a recent study of toddlers in the United States conducted by researchers at Duke University found flame retardants in the blood of every child they tested. The chemicals are associated with an assortment of health concerns, including antisocial behavior, impaired fertility, decreased birth weight, diabetes, memory loss, undescended testicles, lowered levels of male hormones and hyperthyroidism."

This program aired on September 10, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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