Viewpoints: Youth Are Experiencing A Mental Health Emergency; Will Lowering Nicotine Reduce Smoking?
Editorial writers delve into these public health topics.
What Can Be Done To Solve The Child Mental Health Crisis?
I worry about the mental health of the generations growing up in these times, as the adults scramble to find vaccines and medicines to cure various ailments. Find resources to feed their families and money to pay bills. Band-aid gun violence without genuinely fixing it. Our children are lost; the hopelessness hangs so heavy, that they no longer value life. (Sherry Jones, 6/22)
The Washington Post:
FDA Cutting Nicotine In Cigarettes Is Overdue
The Food and Drug Administration is on Tuesday made a decision of rare importance, concerning not a pandemic illness but the country’s leading cause of preventable death: smoking. It is crucial the White House stick up for what would be the FDA’s most assertive antismoking policy ever — one that will inevitably meet severe resistance. (6/21)
Los Angeles Times:
I Dodged COVID-19 For More Than Two Years. The Latest Surge Finally Got Me.
It was bound to happen. The day after her Los Angeles middle school let out for the summer, my irrepressible 12-year-old niece, who lives with me, was feverish and lethargic. This was so unfair. For more than two years, she’d been an absolute beast about wearing her mask, declining to pull it down for photos, forgetting to take it off at home, perplexed by the mask refuseniks. (Robin Abcarian, 6/22)
Never Forget That Early Vaccines Came From Testing On Enslaved People
In response to the growing spread of monkeypox, public health leaders are for the first time since the 1970s opening the locked stockpiles of smallpox vaccines to control the spread of the virus. But here’s something to consider: Those vaccines originated as a direct result of slavery. The history of people becoming sick and dying from epidemics is timeless. But the practice of vaccinating people to prevent the spread of infectious disease is a relatively new phenomenon in the U.S. and Europe. The first vaccine in the U.S. was introduced by an enslaved African named Onesimus in 1721. To prevent the spread of smallpox in colonial Boston, Zabdiel Boylston, a doctor, followed Onesimus’ instructions and took the lymph, the colorless fluid within a smallpox vesicle, and injected it into the arm of his son and two enslaved people in his home. (Jim Downs, 6/19)
Los Angeles Times:
Overhyped Alzheimer’s Treatments Betrayed Patients' Hopes. Here's How Science Should Change
America’s science policies are changing. America’s scientists need to change with them. The recent controversies over the Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated approval of an Alzheimer’s treatment are a lesson in the costs of failing to do so. A year ago, the FDA fast-tracked Biogen’s aducanumab — the first new Alzheimer’s drug in almost 20 years — even after an expert panel nearly unanimously recommended against giving it the green light. The decision has been so contested that lawmakers are now trying to change the FDA’s accelerated approval process. (Jason Karlawish, 6/20)
Health Tech Can Help Solve Health Care's Carbon Emissions Problem
As climate change threatens the health of the planet — and everyone living on it — health care leaders are beginning to taking notice. As well they should: the health care industry is one of the world’s biggest sources of carbon emissions. According to the Future Health Index 2022 report published in June by Philips, the company I work for, in 2021 only 4% of health care leaders worldwide reported that they were prioritizing environmental sustainability. A year later, that number has jumped to 24%, a nearly seven-fold increase. These leaders understand that, as an industry, health care systems, health technology companies, and other stakeholders have a responsibility to act. (Kees Wesdorp, 6/22)
A National Patient ID Is Essential For Patient Safety
Misidentifying patients can have tragic consequences. Numerous catastrophic cases and near misses have been collected by Patient ID Now, a coalition of health care organizations we are affiliated with that is dedicated to advancing a nationwide patient identification and matching strategy. In one example from the Patient ID Now website, a woman had a routine mammogram, but never received the results. Assuming that no news was good news, she mentioned the mammogram to her doctor months later during her annual physical. That conversation led to the discovery that her results had been misfiled in the chart of a deceased patient who shared her name. The mammogram showed cancer which, during the one-year delay, had become terminal. (Wylecia Wiggs and Tom Cox, 6/22)