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usawaterpolo-150x150It may be time to rewrite that country western tune and advise mommas maybe to not let their babies grow up to be athletes,  because of the rising chance that they may be sexually mistreated at high amateur levels, even with the complicity of legendary coaches now stained by ugly legacies of abuse.

The disturbing and increasing problems affecting young female and male athletes were only fueled further by a $14 million settlement reached by women in California over five years’ of wrongdoing in a program approved by the sport’s governing body USA Water Polo.

boschembechler-150x150The nightmarish accusations involving an abusive health service doctor and men in the athletic programs at the University of Michigan, meantime, took a grimmer turn with further tawdry revelations about football coach Bo Schembechler by his adopted son and his onetime players.

UM-Cap-Region-Medical-Center-300x225Poorer communities of color in the region around the nation’s capital are inching toward getting more equitable hospital care — with new facilities slowly coming online to replace decrepit and risky institutions.

Politicians and public leaders in Maryland celebrated a decade-long fight to see the opening in Largo of a new hospital,  a “620,000-square-foot, glass-paneled facility [that] will replace the 75-year-old Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly,” the Washington Post reported.

The new University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center, near the Largo Town Center Metro station, had been stalled for years in political and regulatory battles over its size and funding. It will be part of the University of Maryland Medical System’s network of 13 hospitals, and officials hope it will anchor major development in Largo.

aduhelm-150x150The federal Food and Drug Administration has created an instant medical and regulatory morass by giving an accelerated approval to Biogen’s costly prescription medication targeted at patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

This is the first drug to win the precious official nod from the FDA in almost two decades.

But the agency’s OK to market aducanumab (pronounced “add-yoo-CAN-yoo-mab”), which will go by the brand name Aduhelm, may go in the books as one of the sketchiest and most ferociously contested in recent times. The drug somehow overcame Everest-sized reasons why, at best, it needed further study — which it is supposed to get. And it faces Himalayan-sized criticisms that it will raise false hopes for those afflicted with a condition that is spiking in a fast-graying nation, and for which no effective medical remedy has been found.

donutstoon-300x206With the Fourth of July just weeks away, federal officials have ramped up their campaign to hit President Biden’s announced goal of having 70% of adults in this country vaccinated against the coronavirus. The aim is for the rapidly opening nation to safely and fully declare its independence from the deadly pandemic.

Biden, while thanking those who already have gotten their shots, has pressed the 20 million or so unvaccinated among us to get on board, asap. The administration will try multiple ways to increase the 63% or so of adults vaccinated, including by:

  • relaunching outreach efforts with a national tour featuring Vice President Kamala Harris in the South and Midwest

babysleepers-300x217One of the federal government’s top consumer watchdogs has roused itself from its torpor and, finally, moved to ban what a leading independent group calls “dangerous infant sleepers and other products that do not align with expert medical recommendations for safe sleep.”

As Consumer Reports said of the new orders by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding devices linked to the deaths of dozens of babies:

“The ruling, which was approved by three of four CPSC commissioners, was years in the making — and was prompted in part by an ongoing CR investigation that has linked inclined sleepers, such as the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper, to at least 94 infant deaths. CR has also tied in-bed sleepers, such as the DockATot and the Baby Delight Snuggle Nest, to at least 12 fatalities. The CPSC has separately tied unregulated ‘flat sleepers’ —such as baby boxes, soft-sided travel beds, and bassinets with no stand —to 11 deaths. All told, that amounts to close to 120 infant deaths connected to one of these hazardous infant sleep products.”

bauchner-150x150Racial inequities roiled an array of health-related situations in recent days, showing how far the nation still must go to deal with pervasive injustices in medical systems nationwide.

The reported matters include:

  • The editor-in-chief departed a leading medical journal after one of his chief deputies, in a purported “education” session for which practitioners could earn professional credit, sought to deny the existence of racism in modern U.S. medicine and baldly asserted that no doctors are racist. The deputy already was forced out. The top editor, who served for a decade in his post, said he was sorry that the incident occurred on his watch, and his defenders praised his accomplishments at the Journal of the American Medical Association.

debbiedingell-150x150Just because myriad drugs and supplements are sold over the counter does not mean these pills are safe. They can pose serious health risks and cause major damage, a prominent Midwestern congressman has reminded by sharing her own near-disaster with a well-known OTC drug.

Debbie Dingell, a Michigan Democrat, told the Washington Post that she recently awoke with great pain and a feeling of bloating. Her symptoms were so severe and unrelenting that she called her doctor and was rushed into emergency surgery for a perforated ulcer. She was hospitalized for a week to recuperate.

The likely cause for her serious problems, her doctors told her: Her extended taking of high doses of an over-the-counter pain reliever found in many people’s medicine cabinets — Motrin, or ibuprofen. As she told the newspaper, she took it to ease her pain after dental implants and jaw surgery:

adjustedmay21covidcases-300x158Even as millions of us glide into a summer with high hopes of putting the pandemic behind us and returning to greater normality, huge public health challenges persist in quelling coronavirus infections, chief among them being — how the heck do we get the unwilling vaccinated now?

Just before the long Memorial Day holiday weekend launched, the head of the federal Centers for Disease Control warned that the nation has reached the difficult — and promising —  point where experts figuratively can see either a glass half empty or half full.

At least half of the nation’s population now is fully vaccinated, the agency reported, with 61% of adults (those 18+) having received at least one vaccine dose. Millions of parents are hurrying to ensure that those as young as 12 receive their coronavirus shots, as now not one but two vaccine makers have developed data showing products to be safe and effective for younger patients.

brooks-lasureandbecerra-300x240Chiquita Brooks-LaSure has won U.S. Senate confirmation and will become the first black woman to lead the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or CMS.

The longtime government official, who was an adviser to President Obama and has served in multiple other top federal roles (shown right, with her boss, Health and Human Services head Xavier Becerra), jumps into a role with gigantic challenges. These include:

  • The administration by her agency of federal health insurance programs, including for children and those covered under the Affordable Care Act. The Biden Administration and Democrats, as part of coronavirus pandemic rescue efforts, bolstered Obamacare and opened enrollment in it, with subsidies, to millions of Americans slammed by the coronavirus pandemic. But those efforts, which have boosted ACA enrollment, also will need renewed legislative support — which may occur right as the midterm elections are under way. CMS also may be a key part of some Democrats’ plans to improve health care coverage in this country by lowering the qualifying age for Medicare for 60-something Americans who often must pay staggering premiums and who lose jobs and employer-related coverage at scary rates. This is an idea that Republicans reject.

While Big Pharma wages an expensive behind-the-scenes battle to prevent federal lawmakers from cracking down on soaring prescription drug prices, industry officials have sought to take advantage of a sudden, positive shift in public perceptions about their industry due to the great outcomes of the coronavirus vaccines.

Drug makers are hitting hard their argument that the high prices for their products, including vaccines and top-selling treatments for cancer and other serious conditions, can be attributed to factors like the huge expense of scientific research and development of breakthrough therapies.

Patrick Malone & Associates, P.C. listed in Best Lawyers Rated by Super Lawyers Patrick A. Malone
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