Category Archives: HEALTH and NUTRITION

Humans Love Dogs More than Humans

Humans love dogs more than their fellow man.

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Two major studies showed that mankind has more empathy for pooches in dire circumstances than suffering people, according to a report in the Times of London.
A UK medical research charity staged two phony donation campaigns – one with a dog and the other featuring a man. Of course, the pooch drew more contributions.
“Would you give pounds 5 to save Harrison from a slow, painful death?” the separate ads said, featuring a canine and human “Harrison.”

Then a Northeastern University study showed that only a baby human could compete with man’s best friend.
Students were showed fake newspaper clippings about a baseball-bat attack on a puppy, an adult dog, a year-old infant and 30-year-old adult. They were asked questions to gauge their empathy and the adult finished last in sympathy.
“Respondents were significantly less distressed when adult humans were victimized, in comparison with human babies, puppies and adult dogs,” according to Northeastern researchers. “Only relative to the infant victim did the adult dog receive lower scores of empathy.

Marketed Drugs Have No Value

MDC says, The Most Marketed Drugs Have The Least Therapeutic Value !!!

The pharmaceutical industry spends a lot of money on getting doctors and patients to buy their products. Americans are probably most familiar with those TV and radio commercials that end with the long list of side effects narrated in super-speed, but may not realize that their doctors are getting their own special brand of marketing, too. If that sounds suspect, it should. Two studies from the U.S. and Canada show that the drugs that pharma companies spend the most time promoting to doctors have the leasttherapeutic value.

All The Better To Sell You With, My Dear

Here’s something that might feel a little weird: your doctor has probably gone to lunch with a pharmaceutical industry representative, and the rep probably picked up the check. Some hospitals and medical programs forbid the practice, but for those that don’t, doctors routinely receive free meals, drinks, and small gifts from pharma reps hoping to increase their sales. Companies in the U.S. are required to report every payment to doctors of $10 or more. According to Open Payments, the online database of those reports, pharmaceutical companies spent $8.2 billion in 2016 promoting drugs to more than half a million physicians. (You can use the tool yourselfto see what your own doctor has been paid.)

And this kind of promotion works. Studies show that doctors who are allowed to accept these gifts are more likely to prescribe brand-name drugs, even when cheaper generics are available. That’s why two studies, an American one published in the British Medical Journal in May 2017 and a Canadian one published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in September 2017, are so troubling. They found that the most-promoted drugs were the least likely to be therapeutically valuable — or, as the BMJ study defined it, “effective, safe, affordable, novel, and represent a genuine advance in treating a disease.”

What kinds of drugs are we talking? In the U.S., the top three most heavily promoted drugs were Eliquis, an anticoagulant that can reduce stroke risk in some patients, and Bydureon and Invokana, two drugs for type II diabetes that are formulated to lower blood sugar. Invokana was also among Canada’s most promoted drugs, along with the blood-pressure drug Coversyl and the asthma/COPD medication Breo Ellipta. All of them were rated as having little therapeutic value, and not representing anything new in the pharmaceutical market.

The Greater Good

Of course, this does make sense. A revolutionary, must-have drug sells itself. “If a genuinely innovative drug becomes available that significantly advances patient care … this information might be expected to spread rapidly among clinicians,” the authors of the BMJ study write. “Conversely, a ‘me-too’ drug with minimal benefit over previous treatments in a class with generic alternatives … might need robust promotion to facilitate its use.”

This doesn’t suggest that the relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical reps is a sign of corruption. After all, many drugs are useful, and doctors don’t necessarily have time to constantly research every new drug out there. As a 2017 editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association pointed out, “In the United States, there is no formal approach to educating physicians about new drugs. In the absence of such a system, physicians must either find information about new therapies from other sources, such as by reading or attending meetings, or accept information from pharmaceutical representatives.”

It does mean, however, that patients should be vigilant and educated about their own care. Research what pharmaceutical companies your doctor and doctor’s office have had contact with. When your doctor prescribes a drug, ask if there are effective generic alternatives. The more information you have, the better off you’ll be.

source: curiosity

Family is Poisonous

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What you should do if you come from a family that never has anything supportive to say, doesn’t show you love, doesn’t value you, doesn’t appreciate you and is constantly trying to put you down and sabotage your success.

Breaking up with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend is one thing and there’s a lot of advice out there for doing it, but what about a family break-up?

 Most of us are not in a position to “just leave” nor do we feel we want to, or that it’s the right thing to do. So what do we do when a toxic family member (or members) is literally ruining our lives? How do we deal with the feeling of obligation, guilt, confusion and heartache?

It is important to note that not everyone’s family is there for them to lean on, to call on or to go home to. Not every family is built on the premise of interconnectedness, support and stability. Sometimes family simply means that you share a bloodline. That’s all. Some families build you up and some suck your energy dry.

In many respects, the way we were treated by our family ends up being the same treatment we offer the world.

Often times the signal and energy we put out into the world is similar to or exactly what we have experienced by others. And for most of us, this influential force has been our family. Think about it. Think about just how much the interaction, or lack there of, from our family, sets the tone for the quality of energy we give off during our lifetime.

What are the signs indicating that you could use a break or change?

-Your own health and mental well-being is damaged
-You feel emotionally, physically and/or spiritually injured
-The relationships with your immediate family/spouse/partner is suffering
-There is violence, physical and/or emotional abuse
-There is substance abuse
-There are constant struggles for power
-There is unnecessary distrust and disrespect
MDC says…… ADIOS !! 

9/11 Dust and Heart Disease

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More than 100 children who were exposed to chemical fumes from the 9/11 attacks have a far higher risk of heart disease than they should, a new study says.

After the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, the disaster site was omitting toxic fumes of mercury, asbestos, and jet fuel.

Experts say the fumes lingered until at least July 2002, when the clean-up was declared complete.

Now, an analysis by NYU Langone Health researchers of 308 children in the World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR) has shown the devastating impact this had on young people.

The 123 children with higher blood levels of the chemicals known to be in the dust had a 15 percent increase in levels of artery-hardening fats in their blood.

It is the first concrete study to lay bare the long-term cardiovascular health risks in children from toxic chemical exposure on 9/11.

In fact, a week after the attacks the EPA assured citizens that the site ‘did not pose a health hazard’. 

The agency has since admitted that was wrong – and some say that even today people living in Lower Manhattan are exposed to dangerous fumes.

A Pen Detects Cancer

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A new device can detect whether or not a tumor is cancerous in just 10 seconds – and should be in operating rooms as soon as 2018.

The cancer ‘pen’, called the MasSpec Pen, was designed by researchers at the University of Texas Austin, and it will be able to bring immediate diagnoses to surgeons’ fingertips as they are operating on patients.

When using it, doctors will simply place the pen on a patient’s tissue and give it a few seconds to read that tissue’s molecular composition. Then, one of two words will appear on a computer screen in the OR: ‘Normal’ or ‘Cancer’.

Experts are hopeful that the device will help surgeons conduct procedures that are safer, quicker and more precise, since they could potentially remove all cancerous tissue from a patient in one go.

They say it could bring down the number of patients who relapse after having cancerous tissue removed and need more operations to fight the disease.

The MasSpec Pen is more than 96 percent accurate in distinguishing diseased from healthy tissue in real-time while a patient is on the operating table.

Researchers who developed it hope it will enable the removal of all traces of malignant masses, reducing the risk of cancerous cells getting left behind.

The current state-of-the-art method for diagnosing cancers during surgery is called frozen section analysis.

This process is slow and often inaccurate: samples take 30 minutes to prepare and they then have to be interpreted by a pathologist.

And speed is important because the longer a patient remains on the operating table, the greater their risk of getting an infection or reacting negatively to anesthesia.

For some types of cancers, frozen section analysis is extremely unreliable, yielding false results in as many as 20 percent of cases.

But even this method for diagnosing is modern, as most pathology labs require several days to evaluate if cancerous cells remain in a patient’s tissue after they have had a tumor removed during surgery.

The researchers at the University of Texas Austin who developed the MasSpec Pen included experts in the medicine, engineering and chemistry fields.

Their research was funded by their university, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas.

They have filed US patent applications and they are working to secure worldwide patents.

The technology is expected to start being tested during cancer surgeries as soon as next year.

Casper Befriends Kids With Terminal Illnesses

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Companion robots, long promised as a way to stave off loneliness among the elderly, are being tested among children at a hospital in Lisbon, Portugal.

Little Casper is a humanoid robot designed to work with hospitalized children, according to Euronews. The robot, created by the University of Lisbon and project Monarch, is able to detect and navigate the environment around it, talk and play games. As a social robot, Casper is specifically programmed to converse with humans in a friendly manner.

“We try to trigger a positive reaction from them,” project researcher Víctor González Pacheco told Euronews. “Doctors tell us that the happier these children are, the faster, the better they recover after treatment. So we want Casper to help children to have fun, to play with them. We want children to establish the kind of relationship with this robot that they could have with a pet, or even a friend.”

This hinges on the idea that people who remain positive when sick fair better than their more pessimistic counterparts. Studies show mixed evidence on this front, according to the American Cancer Society, and the prevailing belief is there isn’t substantive evidence that happiness is connected to survival. Still, there’s no harm in keeping spirits high, especially within a hospital setting.

Researchers hope to bring Casper to more hospitals in the next three years.

 

source: yahoo tech

 

Habitual Rituals

 

943ac7834e450be7b51386eaa31eae30.400x285x1A well dressed man leaned against the window of a midtown restaurant puffing on his after dinner cigar. He seemed fascinated watching my dog sniff an often used spot on the sidewalk.

“He moves slowly”, the man said, smiling as my pooches nose brushed the ground. I said something like “she moves like a snail”, then he said feeling guilty blowing blue smoke rising from his mouth , “it’s a bad habit”, staring cross eyed at his lit Cohiba cigar .
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“What’s a bad habit?”, I said, observing his pleasures with my hound and his smoke.

“This”, he barked, holding up the thick cigar in the cool night air.

My response was slow. “It’s not that bad”, I said, “in fact it’s a ritual thousands of years old”.

Rituals are sacred space. Some rituals are more weighted than others. This observing man caught me while I was walking my dog in our three times a day ritual, which compared to praying numerous times each day may seem a triviality.

Cultures throughout history have used smoke in ceremonies, and our Original People in the Western Hemisphere believed tobacco was sacred visible prayer. Yes VISIBLE PRAYER.
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Statistics back up the fact that the use of tobacco and other smokable substances are predominately a male ritual behavior. It is that way in every society. In a world that is trying to have equality between the sexes, some rituals lean toward one gender over the other. You wouldn’t want women to not be able to cosmetically negotiate Hair in hairy places, a ritual hardly discussed or contemplated by most men.

A Water Ritual, an eating ritual after offering prayer, all prayer forms are rituals, the toasting of someone or some event, all wonderful new borns birthing rituals, pre birthing rituals, marriage rituals, bathing and toilet rituals, and of course the ritual cup of Coffee or Tea are accepted rituals.

Not drinking alcohol in a ritual when offered is a signal to some that you cannot be trusted, and some find a drink a good reason not to trust people who enjoy that ritual . Rituals differ from one person to another, one clique to another, covering macro and micro, and to not acknowledge how we need our rituals is a denial we must face.

Celebrating sometimes, honoring, dishonoring, even wishes are rituals. The future is alive and well with the rituals of exercise eating well and all the healthy stuff you add to your ritual shake before you leave home.

“To each his or her own, so goes the saying”. We do have a Congress and a political system steeped in pseudo ritual, filled with Congressmen and Congresswomen who are addicted to the money raising rituals, the endless fundraising rituals.

Celebrating the New Year is a favorite ritual to many around the world, and we say three cheers to the New Year to one and all and if it is peace you want than make it a ritual in your own life.

How a medical device maker kept U.S. hospitals in the dark about deadly infections

The hunt for a deadly superbug that sickened 22 patients at a Dutch hospital began just before noon on a spring day in 2012.

Inside a lab in the tiny hamlet of Zoeterwoude, a technician carefully peeled back the tip of a state-of-the art medical scope. Watching him intently was a small group of hospital officials and executives from Olympus Corp., the maker of the device.
A 2012 inspection by Olympus and Dutch hospital officials revealed a brown film inside a duodenoscope. (Arjo Loeve / Delft University of Technology).
The Olympus technician found trouble right away. He spotted a brown, grimy film inside parts of the flexible, snake-like scope — parts that were supposed to be sealed. A rubber ring designed to keep bacteria out was cracked and worn. The same bacteria that had sickened the patients were found on the scope.

An investigator hired by Olympus and the hospital concluded that the scope’s design could allow blood and tissue to become trapped, spreading bacteria from one patient to another. In his report, he called on Olympus to conduct a worldwide investigation and recall all its scopes if similar problems turned up.

Over the next three years, 21 people died and at least two dozen more became ill from infections related to scopes in Pittsburgh, Seattle and Los Angeles. An unknown number of other patients have been infected. The Food and Drug Administration has identified 10 outbreaks, seven of which involve Olympus scopes.

Even as patients died and others were put at risk, Olympus continued to sell the device and failed to warn U.S. hospitals that the scopes were tied to dangerous infections, according to interviews with dozens of hospital officials, doctors, regulators and former Olympus employees.

After each outbreak, Olympus contended that its scopes did not cause the infections and blamed the hospitals for not cleaning them properly. The company treated each case as an isolated incident, not telling the U.S. hospitals that they weren’t alone.

“Olympus’ silence on this important issue was unethical, irresponsible and dangerous,” said Dr. Andrew Ross, chief of gastroenterology at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, where 18 patients sickened by tainted scopes died and 21 more were infected.


Olympus’ silence on this important issue was unethical, irresponsible and dangerous.

— Dr. Andrew Ross, chief of gastroenterology at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle
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Olympus controls 85% of the U.S. market for gastrointestinal scopes. U.S. prosecutors and congressional investigators are looking into how Olympus and two smaller scope manufacturers responded to the superbug outbreaks.

The investigations were launched after the Los Angeles Times reported in February about an outbreak that claimed three lives at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center.

The day after the article, regulators issued a warning to all U.S. hospitals that an increasing number of infections across the country might be related to the design of the scopes.

Olympus declined to answer specific questions from The Times about the scope’s role in patient infections and its handling of the outbreaks.

“We have expressed our sympathy to patients and families who have experienced or have been affected by infections,” the company said. “We continue to work closely with the Food and Drug Administration in an effort to understand and address potential root causes.”

A robust business
Many people think of cameras when they hear the name Olympus. Doctors know it as a medical device giant, one with a reputation for engineering expertise and a close working relationship with healthcare professionals.

Olympus medical sales by fiscal year and percentage by region

Medical devices today account for nearly 75% of the Tokyo company’s $7 billion in annual revenue. Sales of its scopes surged 18% to $1.4 billion for the six months ending in September, and overall company profit jumped 60% to $294 million.

Olympus worked with doctors to invent the device called a duodenoscope more than four decades ago. It is used in a procedure known as ERCP, or endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Doctors thread the flexible scope down a patient’s throat and into the digestive tract, where cancers, gallstones and other conditions can be diagnosed and treated, without the complications of more invasive surgery.

Physicians perform nearly 700,000 of those procedures annually in the U.S., and 2 million worldwide, Olympus said. Many of those patients have serious illnesses, making them more vulnerable to infection.

By 2010, two Olympus rivals, Pentax and Fujifilm, were selling a redesigned scope that they said was easier to clean because a crucial section of the device was sealed to keep bacteria out.

Olympus introduced a similar model, known as the TJF-Q180V. The company touted the $40,000 scope as a technical triumph designed to give doctors the ability to perform more complex procedures.
An Olympus sales brochure touting the design of its duodenoscope in 2010. See the full document
The Olympus sales force also pitched its new scope as being easier to clean. That appealed to hospitals where nurses and staff were under pressure to quickly disinfect the devices, a process that could take as long as an hour.

But the redesign had created a new problem.

A ‘nightmare’ bacteria
The 2012 outbreak in the Netherlands, at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, was the first sign of trouble.

“You only need one bacteria to get inside and multiply,” said the Dutch investigator, Arjo Loeve, a mechanical engineer at Delft University of Technology. “You shouldn’t find anything on the inside.”

After Loeve’s report linked the bacterial outbreak to its scope, Olympus alerted European hospitals about potential contamination. But it didn’t issue a similar warning in the United States, its biggest market.

Federal reports of duodenoscope-related infections and contamination

*Through Feb. 17, 2015. Note: One report can involve numerous patients.
Just a few months later, patients at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center began testing positive for a superbug known as CRE. That superbug is so resistant to antibiotics that health officials call it the “nightmare bacteria.” As many as half of infected patients die.

The Pittsburgh hospital discovered that many patients infected with the superbug had been treated with an Olympus scope. The hospital quickly pulled its Olympus devices out of service, alerted the company and tested them for the bacteria.

Five of the hospital’s 31 scopes came back positive for bacteria — even after being scrubbed by hand and machine-washed with a powerful disinfectant, the hospital said. One device contaminated with CRE was originally linked to 18 sick patients. The hospital later said it could definitively tie only one case to the Olympus scope because some patients underwent procedures at other hospitals.

An Olympus representative who reviewed the test results told doctors that the scopes might not be getting completely cleaned because the hospital was using the wrong type of automatic washer, the hospital said. The representative persuaded the hospital to replace its cleaning machine with an Olympus model, which can cost about $25,000.

But another scope tested positive for bacteria even after it was cleaned in the new machine. The medical center began sterilizing scopes with a toxic gas, a costly, more time-consuming method. Because of the longer cleaning time, Pittsburgh ordered more scopes from Olympus, doubling its supply.

Another scope, similar infection worries
By Chad Terhune and Melody Petersen
Long before the recent superbug outbreaks, Olympus Corp. drew national attention for a faulty device tied to patient infections.

Read more
Deflecting blame
A few months later, in October 2013, patients undergoing operations with Olympus scopes at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle began to develop serious infections. Eighteen of those infected eventually died.

Hospital officials summoned Olympus.
A sample is taken from inside an Olympus scope during a Netherlands outbreak investigation in 2012. (Arjo Loeve / Delft University of Technology)
A company service representative watched hospital employees wash the scopes and raised no concerns, said Dr. Andrew Ross, the hospital’s chief of gastroenterology. Over the next several weeks, Virginia Mason sent its eight scopes back to Olympus, one by one, for inspections. Olympus never told the hospital about the Rotterdam and Pittsburgh infections, he said.

In 2014, nearly a year later, Olympus told the FDA that no Virginia Mason devices were returned for evaluation. The company also said that it had offered an on-site visit but that the hospital declined.

That account was at odds with that of the hospital, and Virginia Mason is suing Olympus for fraud, arguing that it “deceptively concealed … the risks and flaws of the scopes.” Olympus denies the allegation, contending that the hospital failed to follow the instructions for cleaning the scope.

An investigation by federal, state and county officials concluded this year that the hospital followed proper cleaning procedures and that the Olympus cleaning instructions were insufficient. In a report, the health officials called that “disturbing.”

Salesman’s denials
When doctors at UCLA’s Ronald Reagan Medical Center began to suspect that they were using tainted scopes in December 2014, they called their Olympus salesman, Vincent Hernandez.

Hernandez was one of the company’s top salesmen; he boasted on LinkedIn about securing $14.6 million in new business during 2014. He had spent much of that summer with UCLA doctors and administrators, wrapping up a major sale of Olympus scopes.

Hernandez and Olympus technicians visited the hospital. Company representatives watched UCLA employees clean the scopes. None of them raised concerns about the cleaning or mentioned the previous outbreaks, according to UCLA officials involved in the investigation.

Olympus told the FDA, though, that one of its employees had noted “inconsistencies” in the hospital’s cleaning practices. In court filings, Hernandez and two other employees said they couldn’t have warned UCLA about outbreaks linked to the scopes in the Netherlands, Pittsburgh or Seattle because they weren’t aware of them.

By late January of this year, the relationship between Olympus and UCLA had grown testy. University doctors had taken two scopes linked to patient infections out of service and asked Olympus to lend them two more. Olympus asked for the scopes to be returned before replacements would be sent. UCLA declined.

The hospital soon faced a shortage of scopes because new cleaning methods were taking longer. When the university asked about buying more scopes, Olympus said the price had increased since the hospital had purchased scopes a few months earlier, according to hospital officials. The company also said it couldn’t promise when the devices would arrive because the outbreaks had increased demand.

Dr. Raman Muthusamy, UCLA’s director of endoscopy, said he hadn’t been aware of the Netherlands case while his hospital was investigating the infections. When he read the Dutch investigator’s report, he was struck by the similarities.
Jeffrey Hughes, 11, at UCLA Medical Center in November 2014. (Hughes family photo) The Hughes family pictured at their home in Santa Monica. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
“Pittsburgh was established. We had Virginia Mason. We had Rotterdam,” he said. “You wonder, why didn’t they get on this earlier? I had no inkling this was an issue.”

The family of 11-year-old Jeffrey Hughes, from Santa Monica, says they deserved to know about the potential risks. Jeffrey, who had been fighting cancer for three years, was treated with an Olympus scope at UCLA during the outbreak and developed an infection. The sixth-grader died a month later.

His parents have sued Olympus in federal court in Los Angeles, blaming the scope.

“To put something in him that could risk his life — yeah, I would have wanted to know that,” said his mother, Annie Hughes. “Olympus knew about this in 2012. At least tell us.”

Olympus has denied liability in the boy’s death, saying it could have been caused by preexisting conditions.

Late reports
Although Olympus did not alert U.S. hospitals to previous outbreaks, it was required to file reports to federal regulators. Most of those reports suggested culprits other than its scope, including poor cleaning procedures.

The company’s reports didn’t suggest a link among the cases; instead, they were each reported as separate, unconnected incidents.

The FDA issued no warnings based on those reports. Following federal rules, it didn’t publicly identify the hospitals.

Olympus waited until 2015 to file a detailed report on the 2012 Netherlands outbreak. In it, the company again contended that the hospital may have not cleaned the scope properly.

“The cause of the patient infection could not be conclusively determined,” Olympus concluded.
Hard questions
In February 2015, immediately after the UCLA outbreak was reported, Olympus sent an alert to customers. It disclosed, for the first time, that it was aware of 95 complaints tying its scope to patient infections.

A former top Olympus executive familiar with the inner workings of the company said the previous scope models logged far fewer complaints.

“This rash of incidents couldn’t be explained away,” this former official said, asking not to be named out of fear it would damage career prospects in the medical industry. “They should have pulled the scope.”

In May, the FDA convened a panel of medical experts at its headquarters outside Washington to examine the scope-related infections.

Doctors from Rotterdam, Seattle and Los Angeles gathered in a large, wood-paneled auditorium during the two-day hearing. One by one, they described how their outbreaks unfolded.


A solution must be found in changing the design. I think many transmissions will occur … This is the tip of the iceberg.

— Dr. Margreet Vos, Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam
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Dr. Margreet Vos, an infectious diseases doctor at the Rotterdam medical center, showed regulators and medical experts the photos taken inside the Olympus lab after the Dutch outbreak three years earlier.

She pointed to the brownish debris that Olympus employees had found behind the glass cover of the scope’s camera — an area closed off from cleaning.

She put an image of the rubber seal on a giant screen. It was worn down with rough edges and a tear on the bottom left side.
Carla and Bill Warner. (Photo courtesy of Carla Warner)
“A solution must be found in changing the design,” Vos told the audience. “I think many transmissions will occur.… This is the tip of the iceberg.”

Then FDA officials invited the public to speak. Carla Warner stepped out of her seat on the aisle and walked to the microphone to share her family’s story.

The North Carolina widow said her 55-year-old husband, Bill, was treated with an Olympus scope at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. He died of an infection in November 2013.

His family sued Olympus, alleging wrongful death, in federal court last month in Philadelphia.

“Olympus knew of the risk and hid the infections,” Warner said, sobbing. “My husband should be alive today.”

Olympus executives sat silently in the back of the room. None of them rose to speak.

Contact the reporters

Times researcher Scott Wilson contributed to this report.

Timeline
Recent events involving scope-related outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant superbug infections

2010
August Japanese device maker Olympus Corp. introduces its TJF-Q180V duodenoscope.

2012
April 23 An Olympus employee dismantles a duodenoscope suspected of infecting 22 patients at a Netherlands hospital.

June 27 An independent expert’s report on the Netherlands outbreak calls on Olympus to conduct a worldwide investigation and possibly recall the scopes if more contaminated devices are found.

Dec. 4 Olympus visits the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center after being alerted to apparent scope-related infections.

2013
January Olympus issues “important safety advice” in Europe for the TJF-Q180V duodenoscope after infections in the Netherlands. There’s no notification in the U.S.

November Olympus visits Virginia Mason Medical Center to review the Seattle hospital’s scope cleaning practices; an outbreak is later confirmed.

2014
August Olympus sends a second safety alert in Europe after receiving complaints about tainted scopes.

Oct. 3 A UCLA patient carrying the CRE superbug undergoes a scope procedure with an Olympus device; the instrument remains contaminated after cleaning.

Dec. 14 UCLA begins investigating a superbug infection in a female patient who was treated with an Olympus scope.

2015
Jan. 28 UCLA ties patient infections to the Olympus devices, temporarily halts use of the scope.

Feb. 18 Los Angeles Times first reports the UCLA outbreak. Read more »

Feb. 19 The Food and Drug Administration warns U.S. hospitals about scopes spreading deadly bacteria. Read more »

March 4 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center reports four patients who had been infected by Olympus scopes. Read more »

March 26 Olympus issues new cleaning instructions to U.S. customers, similar to its European guidelines in 2013. Read more »

May 8 The U.S. Justice Department is investigating Olympus’ role in outbreaks, the company confirms. Read more »

May 15 An FDA panel says that duodenoscopes are unsafe but that they should remain in use because no alternative is available. Read more »

June 9 Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) demands details from Olympus on its response to infection reports, as part of a congressional investigation.

Aug. 17 The FDA cites Olympus and two other scope manufacturers for safety violations, including the failure to report potential injuries and deaths within 30 days. Read more »

Aug. 19 The Times reports that Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena is investigating several patient infections tied to Olympus scopes. Read more »

Sept. 17 The FDA expands its warning, saying contaminated bronchoscopes made by Olympus and other companies may pose a risk to patients. Read more »

Sources: Olympus, Times reporting, hospitals

Design and development by Lily Mihalik and Evan Wagstaff. Graphics reporting by Angelica Quintero. Sources: FDA, FactSet Research, Olympus. Lead photo: An Olympus scope under examination during the Netherlands outbreak investigation in 2012. (Arjo Loeve/ Delft University of Technology)

FREE Market Marijuana

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In this past election results, an initiative to make smoking or using marijuana in Ohio recreationally or medicinally was shot down. It was defeated but not due to the political position against the use of herb(marijuana, cannabis,hemp) in all it’s forms and deliveries. This referendum was defeated because it would make a a few select individuals have sole rights to grow and distribute this wonder drug called POT. In other words the government wants to control Marijuana again but this time to make money for profit or to become the silent partner.

Off Track Betting, Casinos, Lottery tickets are all the results of the government taking over from individuals businesses considered a little shady like the mafia controlling numbers or gambling without sharing profits. It behooves our government to take it’s VIG from anything that was once considered illegal. Sometimes government is useful like regulating horse racing.

Liquor was once the bad guy, until prohibition failed to stop drinking alcohol, creating a crime wave the likes of which only modern cyber thieves can dream of. Yet it was a manufactured crime, a crime of behavior. Lives were shattered, and people went to great extremes to circumvent government laws against social behavior. Each States government has a field day with controlling liquor laws. Wet states, dry states, confused states, that’s America.

When our government attacked Marijuana over seventy years ago, as it did to cocaine, and other opiated products, the purpose may have been noble, however, culturally these products were part and parcel of historic behaviors steeped in ritual and ritual like blessing ones food is protected under our FREEDOM OF RELIGION or at least it should be.

Our government created laws that subverted parts of historic cultures as it does today. Our government has been selective and can change it’s mind over these behavioral laws in an instant, a decades long instant as well.

Rarely does our government get it right and seventy or so years ago it LIED to us about the anecdotal fears held by the few over the many, that Marijuana was so bad it had to become illegal and controlled by our government like our opiates, and other pharmacological products.

And now government wants in. It wants to change it’s tune conditionally, so it can control and gain an understanding of what if’s, to satisfy the red tape it’s clogged itself over. Lying to us and continued lies over marijuana, using pot as a vehicle of confusion has only disqualified the government from any reasonable part in it’s growing, and distribution, due to the regulations that would stymie the grand variety of the species and it’s ability to aide in well being.

Legalize marijuana, and have our first opportunity to get off the government addiction to control and demonize the free market economy which is what marijuana has created underground without the government and it satisfies all the needs of the population if government and the legal authorities would leave it and us alone. The lie has incarcerated our most vulnerable, cost families financially and spiritually and it was a sadistic scheme against us all.

Marijuana is homeopathy and not allopathy.

We want our free market marijuana and we are not paying the government one dime to control it.

Thank You Very Much,
​​​​​​Most sincerely,

Mother Nature