Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Suicide is a complex issue, but there are some simple ways to help

Per the CDC, suicide rates in the US have been on the rise since 1999.  In 2016 alone, nearly 45,000 lives were lost to suicide.  More than half of those who died by suicide didn't have diagnosed mental health conditions. 

In the face of such a pervasive and complicated issue, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, like one person can't make much of a difference.  But there are some simple yet powerful ways that any one of us can offer help to someone struggling with suicidal thoughts. 

We can start by educating ourselves about some common myths and the warning signs of suicidal behavior.  Once we have a better understanding, Dr. John Schneider of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division offers some tools to help those in crisis.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Hospitals and human trafficking

From NPR and Kaiser Health News, comes a story about hospitals training staff to recognize human trafficking. 

"The woman arrived at the emergency department at Huntington Hospital on New York's Long Island after she was hit by her boyfriend during an argument. Her situation raised concerns among the medical staff, which had recently been trained to be on the lookout for signs of sex trafficking.

An undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, she worked at a local cantina frequented by immigrants. Her job was to get patrons drinks and to dance with them, but many workers in those jobs are expected to offer sex, too. Her boyfriend didn't want her to work there, and that led to the fight, one doctor recalled.

As part of the intake process, the emergency staff asked the 36-year-old woman a series of questions about whether she'd ever had sex for money, or whether she had to give someone else part of what she earns, among other things. The screening questions were part of a new program at Northwell Health, a 23-hospital system in the New York metro area that includes Huntington Hospital, to train staff and provide them with tools to identify and support victims of human trafficking." Read more


Additional reporting from NPR:

Friday, July 20, 2018

The science of hearing (from TED-Ed)

From mosquito whines and dogs barking to more pleasant sounds like ocean waves, how do we detect sound? TED-Ed gives us a quick lesson in the amazing science that happens around our auditory system. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Temperature really DOES affect our brains

Ever feel like you just can't think straight in the summer heat?  Turns out those high temperatures can impact our mental performance.

Solo librarians as Information Servers (from NLM blog)

Thanks to Michele Matucheski for this blog post idea!
A recent guest post at NLM's Musings From the Mezzanine  blog featured Louise McLaughlin, Information Specialist at Woman's Hospital in Baton Rouge, LA. Her take on solo librarians as information servers is really compelling. See what you think! 

"As information flows from the data collection pipeline to research, curation, and publication, hospital librarians, especially those who practice closely with health care providers, become the human face of information servers. And like those data processing units that serve numerous users, these librarians, many of whom work alone as solo librarians, must be prepared to fill requests from all quarters.

Consider, for example, the following vignettes:
The Chief Operating Officer is launching the next phase of a project to reduce perinatal mortality and preterm births. The librarian continually provides the physicians, nurses, and social workers on the project committee with research articles on emerging causes, new treatments, and community-health approaches to improving outcomes.
A pre-op nurse talks with a colleague about a practice difference they have in monitoring a patient. She wants to know what the evidence says..."

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

NLM's eight functions

Thanks to Michele Matucheski for this blog post idea!


National Library of Medicine Functional Statement

The National Library of Medicine 

(1) assists the advancement of medical and related sciences through the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information important to the progress of medicine and health; 
(2) serves as a national information resource for medical education, research, and service activities of Federal and private agencies, organizations, and institutions; 
(3) serves as a national information resource for the public, patients, and families by providing electronic access to reliable health information issued by the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources; 
(4) publishes in print and electronically guides to health sciences information in the form of catalogs, bibliographies, indexes, and online databases; 
(5) provides support for medical library development and for training of biomedical librarians and other health information specialists; 
(6) conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information; 
(7) creates information resources and access tools for molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services research; and 
(8) provides technical consultation services and research assistance.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Long-term impact of tonsillectomies (from NNLM SCR Data Science blog)

I recently ran across this posting from NNLM's SCR Data Science blog. As a kid who had their tonsils out in the 1980's, I was especially interested (and a little unnerved) to read about the long-term impact of tonsillectomies. 


New Research Looks at Long-Term Impact of Tonsillectomies

SCR Data Science - Tue, 2018-06-19 10:20
“Tonsillitis.” via MedlinePlus.gov, April 11, 2017, Public Domain.
When I was in grade school, it seemed as if nearly every kid would miss a week of school to have their tonsils removed. They would return to school bragging about their recovery spent eating ice cream, drinking milkshakes, and watching cartons.  I can almost acutely recall being jealous of these classmates.  After reading new research that evaluates the long-term health risks of tonsillectomies, I realized maybe I shouldn’t have been quite so jealous!
Tonsils(link is external) are located at the back of the throat. These are knobs of tissue with one located on either side.  Tonsils are part of the lymphatic system which works to clear infections and keep the balance between body fluids.  Specifically, the tonsils, in concert with the adenoids(link is external), work by preventing germs from coming in through the mouse and nose.
tonsillectomy(link is external) is a procedure to remove the tonsils. This is typically recommended for those that suffer from recurrent infections of the tonsils or when the tonsils are enlarged enough that they obstruct breathing.  For adults, the tonsils are occasionally removed when there is concern for a tumor.
Over half a million(link is external) tonsillectomies are performed annually in the United States but little research has been done to determine the long-term health risks associated with this procedure. A new study released by the University of Melbourne is the first to look at potential risks.  Their results suggest that individuals who undergo a tonsillectomy are at 3x the risk of their counterparts for diseases of the upper respiratory tract such as asthma, influenza, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – COPD.
Read the entire study findings(link is external) to learn more.
Like NNLM SCR on Facebook(link is external) and follow us on Twitter(link is external).

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hungry, hungry hippocampus (podcast from NPR's Hidden Brain)

I sometimes listen to NPR on the way into work. I'm always happy when that coincides with a Shankar Vedantam piece. He's a sociologist who provides commentary on many news stories. In addition he hosts a weekly podcast called Hidden Brain, which it aims to "...link research from psychology and neurobiology with findings from economics, anthropology, and sociology, among other fields. The goal of Hidden Brain isn't merely to entertain, but to give you insights to apply at work, at home and throughout your life."

This episode looks at the "culture and psychology of what we eat, what we spit out, and when we come back for more". It's not just our bodies that are hungry, it is our brains, too. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Want to know more about ticks? There's a webcomic for that.

Ah summer, the season of ice cream, fireworks, vacations, and lots and lots of bugs. 

There have been many news reports about ticks this summer. In fact, a tick species unknown in the US has shown up in the states for the first time and no one's quite sure how it got here 

You might love or hate ticks, but I guarantee you'll be a little more information after reading this webcomic by Aya Rothwell