Monthly Archives: July 2010

Ashland hospital lays off workers due to rising bad debt

King’s Daughters Medical Center, Ashland’s largest employer, laid off an unknown number of workers because of debt from unreimbursed hospital care and bad debt that’s approaching $100 million this year, the Associated Press reported.

The report said 82 members of the Service Employees International Union were laid off and others were made part-time employees. A number of nonunion employees were also laid off.

Hospital spokeswoman Betsy Donahue said the number of layoffs isn’t final because administrators are trying to fill open positions with eligible employees.

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Stadium food can be in foul territory

Everyone knows stadium food is grossly overpriced, but one third of U.S. sports arenas are just plain gross, according to a study reported by the New York Post.

Nearly a third of all stadiums and arenas have been cited for at least one “major” health violation, the ESPN study of health code violations at the nation’s 107 professional sports venues found.

The Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., was rated the worst venue in the nation with 100 percent of its vendors getting cited.

Chicago’s Wrigley Field, on the other hand, has a perfect record — although that may be because the city conducts its investigations on non-game days, when no food is being prepared.

Madison Square Garden fared the worst among New York City venues, with inspectors spotting large amounts of mouse droppings throughout, the study found. In all, it found 61 percent of the arena’s vendors were cited this year.

Yankee Stadium and Citi Field rated only slightly better, with 48 percent of vendors cited at the Bronx stadium and 45 at the Queens venue.

Sleepy teens may have technology to blame

Despite years of warnings about the risks of insufficient sleep — including poor school performance, obesity and, as presented in June at an annual meeting of sleep researchers, links to depression — teens and their parents say adolescent exhaustion remains a fact of life.

And the best parents can do is help balance their teens’ need for sleep with their need to keep up with today’s technology, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

Scientists studying teen sleep deprivation have several theories about why exposure to technology cuts into rest.

Some suggest that the media simply take the place of sleep and exercise. Others point to the arousing content of TV, video games and music as a sleep deterrent. Increased caffeine use could be a factor. And a more controversial hypothesis is that bright lights from the screens trick teenage bodies into delaying the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that helps trigger sleep at night.

Still others believe it is the use of multiple technological devices at once that keeps teens alert past bedtime.

Hand dryers crank up the noise

Those sleek Xlerator-brand hand dryers appearing in some public restroom may blast the water away, but their decibel level can spike into the mid-90s, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

At 100 decibels — think jet takeoff, jackhammer or garbage truck — serious hearing damage can occur after eight hours.

Of course, no one except maybe the cleaning staff is likely to be in the bathroom for eight hours. The machines, meanwhile, are loud because they can dry hands three times faster than traditional dryers and use 80 percent less energy, according to the company. They are also marketed as providing a 95 percent cost savings compared with paper towels.
 
In the meantime, if you’re a frequent visitor to a public bathroom, or you work in one, bring your earplugs. Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations state that if you’re exposed to a sound level of 95 decibels for a continuous four-hour period, you might need ear protection.

Surgical demonstration on ORLive.com tonight

Dr. Jonathan Yerasimides, an orthopaedic surgeon with Norton Orthopaedic Specialists in Louisville, will lead a live demonstration of anterior-approach hip replacement surgery for ORLive at 6 p.m. (CDT) today.

The broadcast is open to the public. Registration is required at www.orlive.com.

The surgical demonstration is designed to help educate medical professionals about current trends in total hip replacement. The one-hour demonstration will include the entire surgical procedure.

The anterior-approach total hip replacement differs from the conventional method in that the incision is made to the front rather than the back of the thigh. This means muscles do not have to be detached, improving recovery time, comfort and hip stability.

Yerasimides is one of the few surgeons in the country performing this approach.

Take a break at your desk — do the pretzel

Here’s a good way to reduce tension in the upper back, neck and shoulders. It can be done at your desk after long hours of sitting in front of the computer, or talking on the telephone.

Warning: You may feel twisted like a pretzel.

Sit upright toward the front edge of a sturdy chair. Place your feet below your knees, hip-width apart. Hook your left elbow over your right elbow and wrap your forearms, pressing the palms of your hands together as much as you can. Inhale and raise your arms as you arch your upper back. Pause for a few breaths.

On an exhale, bring your chin in toward your throat, bend at the waist and move your elbows down toward your waist. Pause with your back in this C-curve position.

Feel a deep stretch in your entire back and across the back of your shoulders. Inhale, raise your arms to repeat the arch and exhale again to repeat the C-curve.

Return to center, then switch your arms and repeat

Gel manicure buyers beware

In a gel manicure, a special solution is applied to nails. It is then hardened under a UV light for a longer-lasting manicure.

But there are concern that the procedure may not always be safe, either because the technicians don’t do them right, or the nail salon is passing off other procedures as gel manicures.

In some cases, the electric file can slip and scuff up your skin, which is then dipped into a pot of powdered chemicals. Especially if the chemicals are not a true gel manicure, they can get into the abrasion and migrate, causing nerve damage.

ABC News offers some tips for spotting a manicure procedure that could harm:

• Your salon uses bottles in unmarked containers.
• The products smell unusually strong or have a strange odor.
• Your skin is abraded or cut during the procedure.
• The instruments used on you are not sterilized.
• Your skin or nails hurt during or after the nail service.