Recycling Medical Waste: Turning Trash Green
Struggling hospitals and clinics are trying to cut costs by reducing and in some cases reusing medical waste. For the past two decades many medical supplies, especially those used in the operating room, have been considered disposable.
The practice began as a way to reduce exposure to H.I.V. It didn’t take long for researchers to determine that some medical devices could be effectively cleaned and reused, but by then the medical manufacturers had realized that there was greater potential for sales of disposable products. They began to design more and more medical supplies to be disposable.
Now hospitals are beginning to use companies that recycle some of the many durable medical devices that can be sterilized, recalibrated and resold for substantial savings.
Cancer Survival Rates in America are Improving
More people are surviving all types of cancer, with an overall reduction of 2 percent between 2001 to 2006. Prostate, colon and lung cancer have made the biggest improvements. Why? Less people are smoking, detection is earlier, and treatment options are getting better.
Lung cancer has the lowest survival rate overall. The second lowest for men is prostate cancer, and for women, breast cancer. However, the American Cancer Society reports that cancer survival rates in men from all ethnic groups have improved by 21 percent between 1990 and 2006. Cancer survival rates in women from all ethnic groups (except Alaskan Native American women) increased by 12.3 percent.
Glucosamine as Effective as Placebo in Treating Back Pain
A 6-month randomized clinical trial by a team of researchers in Norway found that taking glucosamine for back pain was no better than taking a placebo. The study suggest that there is no benefit in recommending glucosamine to patients with chronic back pain or degenerative lumbar osteoarthritis.
MSNBC reports pain specialist Dr. John Markman saying that 80 percent of the U.S. population will have back pain at some point in their lives. Placebos, however, do have a noticeable, if unreliable therapeutic effect and merit more study.
: Buy recycled goods--everything from high quality recycled paper to office chairs!