Wheelchair Patients Find Obstacles at Doctor’s Offices

Wheelchair Patients Find Obstacles at Doctor’s Offices

Almost one-fourth of doctors are unable to accommodate and treat patients who use wheelchairs more than 20 years after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a study found.

About 22 percent of 256 doctor’s offices surveyed said they couldn’t assist people in wheelchairs, with most of those saying it was because they weren’t able to safely transfer the patient to an exam table, according to research published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Lack of access to the building was a secondary reason, the researchers said.

The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 1990, is aimed at ending discrimination for people with disabilities in everyday activities including access to medical care facilities and the services provided there. Today’s findings are one of the first to show where barriers to medical services remain for wheelchair-bound patients, said Tara Lagu, the study’s lead author.

“This is affecting a large number of patients, certainly the 3 million who use a wheelchair, but many more than that who have difficulty getting up to an exam table,” said Lagu, an academic hospitalist at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, and an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, in a March 15 telephone interview. “The point of the study is to help doctors realize what the problems are and to help them become more aware of the Americans with Disabilities Act and to identify what the difficulties patients who use wheelchairs are having in accessing health care.” Read more of this post

“Off-label” use of anti-drowsiness drug skyrockets 10-fold over the past decade

“Off-label” use of anti-drowsiness drug skyrockets

4:18pm EDT

By Genevra Pittman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – The number of Americans taking the narcolepsy and shift work sleep disorder drug modafinil has increased almost 10-fold over the past decade, according to a new study.

What’s more, the majority of those prescriptions were written for so-called off-label conditions, such as depression and multiple sclerosis, researchers found. Read more of this post

Analysis: Antibiotics crisis prompts rethink on risks, rewards

Analysis: Antibiotics crisis prompts rethink on risks, rewards

12:39pm EDT

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON (Reuters) – Thirty years ago, when the world faced the terrifying prospect of an untreatable disease known as AIDS, big drugmakers scented an opportunity and raced to develop new medicines.

Today, as the world confronts another crisis, this time one of antibiotic resistance, the industry is doing the opposite. It is cutting research in a field that offers little scope for making money.

Antibiotics have become victims of their own success. Seen as cheap, routine treatments, they are overprescribed and taken haphazardly, creating “superbugs” they can no longer fight.

These “superbugs” are growing, but are not yet widespread, so the costly research needed to combat them is not worthwhile. Medical experts say this dilemma could return medicine to an era before Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928.

Fixing the problem will need both faster approval of last-resort drugs and new ways to guarantee rewards for companies, according to both industry leaders and public health officials who have been sounding the alarm. Read more of this post

Malls must move beyond shopping to survive in Internet era; Malls must become more like full-service community centers to survive in the face of a growing list of failed retailers like HMV and Blockbuster

Malls must move beyond shopping to survive in Internet era

10:13am EDT

By Tom Bill

CANNES, France (Reuters) – As growing numbers of shoppers move online, European mall owners are looking to pull in customers by including services that can’t be replicated on the Web like hospital care and government offices.

Malls must become more like full-service community centers to survive in the face of a growing list of failed retailers like HMV and Blockbuster, property experts at the annual MIPIM trade fair in Cannes, France, told Reuters.

On the flip side of that retail revolution, the experts see big gains in warehousing as more goods are sent and returned via post.

“The days of the stand-alone mall are numbered,” said David Roberts, the chief executive of architect Aedas, one of the five largest practices in the world. The company has been involved in city masterplan projects in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

“In 20 years time you will find stores that sell books and DVDs replaced by sites that give people a reason to go the mall … art galleries, education centers and health and spa treatments.” Read more of this post

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