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Seventeen Percent of Cancer Nurses Unintentionally Exposed to Chemotherapy
 
ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2011) — Nearly 17 percent of nurses who work in outpatient chemotherapy infusion centers reported being exposed on their skin or eyes to the toxic drugs they deliver, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.—The study surveyed 1,339 oncology nurses from one state who did not work in inpatient hospital units. About 84 percent of chemotherapy is delivered in outpatient settings, largely by nurses. Results appear online in the journal BMJ Quality and Safety.—“Any unintentional exposure to the skin or eyes could be just as dangerous as a needle stick,” says lead study author Christopher Friese, R.N., Ph.D., assistant professor at the U-M School of Nursing.—“We have minimized needle stick incidents so that they are rare events that elicit a robust response from administrators. Nurses go immediately for evaluation and prophylactic treatment. But we don’t have that with chemotherapy exposure,” Friese says.—Safety guidelines for chemotherapy drug administration have been issued by organizations such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. But these guidelines are not mandatory. Guidelines include recommendations for using gowns, gloves and other protective gear when handling chemotherapy drugs.—The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center adheres to these safety guidelines and has procedures in place to implement and enforce them for all staff who administer chemotherapy drugs. U-M nurses did not participate in this study.–The study authors found that practices that had more staffing and resources reported fewer exposures. Also, practices in which two or more nurses were required to verify chemotherapy orders — part of the suggested guidelines — had fewer exposures.”This research shows that paying attention to the workload, the health of an organization, and the quality of working conditions pays off. It’s not just about job satisfaction — it’s likely to lower the risk of these occupational hazards,” Friese says.—Unlike needle sticks where a specific virus is involved and preventive treatments can be given, it’s more difficult to link chemotherapy exposure to a direct health effect. That makes it more difficult for health care systems to respond to these incidents. Unintentional chemotherapy exposure can affect the nervous system, impair the reproductive system and confer a future risk of blood cancers.–Friese collaborated in this study with the U-M School of Nursing’s Occupational Health Nursing Program, which focuses on training nurses to promote injury prevention and protect against work-related injuries and environmental hazards on the job. By combining this practical occupational health perspective with the expertise of quality and safety researchers, the team hopes to better understand what happens during chemotherapy exposure and what can be done in the work place to prevent it.—“If we ensure patient safety, we should also ensure employee safety by strictly adhering to the national safety guidelines and providing staff education on these guidelines,” Friese says.—Additional authors: Laurel-Himes Ferris; Megan N. Frasier; Marjorie C. McCullagh, R.N., Ph.D.; and Jennifer J. Griggs, M.D., M.P.H.
 
Funding: National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institutes of Health, U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center Story Source-The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of Michigan Health System.—Journal Reference—C. R. Friese, L. Himes-Ferris, M. N. Frasier, M. C. McCullagh, J. J. Griggs. Structures and processes of care in ambulatory oncology settings and nurse-reported exposure to chemotherapy. BMJ Quality & Safety, 2011; DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2011-000178
 
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How and why exactly does sodium chloride affects microorganisms? or bacteria? In another word, how does preservative(salt) works?
 
All organisms with a semipermeable membrane are subject to osmotic pressure, or the effect of water moving in and out of the cell. Bacteria have a cell membrane and a cell wall. Bacteria must live in an aqueous (watery) environment. Most often this is a hypotonic environment, in other words, the concentration of water outside the cell is greater than the concentration of water inside the cell. This causes the net movement of more water into the cell than outside. If the bacterium did not have a cell wall, this could cause the cell to burst. (In fact, many antibiotics work by causing an ineffective cell wall to be made, which allows the bacterial cell to burst under water pressure). So why does salt work as a preservative? Because when the outside environment around a cell is salty, then the concentration of water in the solution is less than inside the cell and water tends to leave the cell. This causes the cell to dehydrate, which eventually kills the cell. By subjecting bacteria to a salty environment, it keeps them from growing. Some bacteria however, have adapted to living in salty environments, such as Staph. bacteria a common skin inhabitant. Your skin tends to be salty-this is one way your body protects you against bacteria on your skin. But even Staph can’t live in highly salty surroundings, such as salted foods like ham, etc.
 
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The major effect of salt as a preservative is that it withdraws water from microorganisms if the external salt concentration is high enough. The microbes would shrivel and die, spores would not be killed but would not be able to germinate. High concentrations of sugar have the same effect. The physical term for this is hypertonic tension. Some bacteria have learned to cope with high salt concentrations and can live in saline waters. Fortunately they are not pathogenic
 
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There are several ways in which salt and sugar inhibit microbial growth. The most notable is simple osmosis, or dehydration. Salt or sugar, whether in solid or aqueous form, attempts to reach equilibrium with the salt or sugar content of the food product with which it is in contact. This has the effect of drawing available water from within the food to the outside and inserting salt or sugar molecules into the food interior. The result is a reduction of the so-called product water activity (aw), a measure of unbound, free water molecules in the food that is necessary for microbial survival and growth. The aw of most fresh foods is 0.99 whereas the aw necessary to inhibit growth of most bacteria is roughly 0.91. Yeasts and molds, on the other hand, usually require even lower aw to prevent growth.————- Salt and sugar’s other antimicrobial mechanisms include interference with a microbe’s enzyme activity and weakening the molecular structure of its DNA. Sugar may also provide an indirect form of preservation by serving to accelerate accumulation of antimicrobial compounds from the growth of certain other organisms. Examples include the conversion of sugar to ethanol in wine by fermentative yeasts or the conversion of sugar to organic acids in sauerkraut by lactic acid bacteria.————- Microorganisms differ widely in their ability to resist salt- or sugar-induced reductions of aw. Most disease-causing bacteria do not grow below 0.94 aw (roughly 10 percent sodium chloride concentration), whereas most molds that spoil foods grow at an aw as low as 0.80, corresponding to highly concentrated salt or sugar solutions. Yet other microorganisms grow quite well under even more highly osmotic, low aw conditions. For example, halophiles are an entire class of “salt-loving” bacteria that actually require a significant level of salt to grow and are capable of spoiling salt-cured foods. These include members of the genera Halobacillus and Halococcus. Food products that are concentrated sugar solutions, such as concentrated fruit juices, can be spoiled by sugar-loving yeasts such as species of Zygosaccharomyces. Nevertheless, use of salt and sugar curing to prevent microbial growth is an ancient technique that remains important today for the preservation of foods.—
 
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Deaths from Strong Prescription Painkillers Are On the Increase
 
ScienceDaily (Aug. 23, 2011) — Action is needed to tackle the increasing number of deaths in the United States and Canada from prescription painkillers known as opioids, say experts in an article published online in the British Medical Journal.—-Opioids are prescription painkillers that contain compounds derived from the opium poppy.—While they have long been used to control the symptoms of cancer and acute medical conditions, they are increasingly being used to control chronic pain, for example in patients suffering from osteoarthritis, say Dr Irfan Dhalla and colleagues at the University of Toronto.—They describe how in the US, deaths involving opioid painkillers increased from 4,041 in 1999 to 14,459 in 2007 and are now more common than deaths from skin cancer, HIV and alcoholic liver disease. They add that between 1.4 million and 1.9 million Germans are addicted to prescription drugs and that some authorities have suggested that the UK may face a similar epidemic to that of North America in five to ten years time. Indeed, the use of strong opioids for chronic non-cancer pain in the UK has been described as a “disaster in the making” by Dr. Des Spence previously on bmj.com.—-Dr. Dhalla and colleagues add that “deaths involving methadone and codeine roughly doubled in England and Wales between 2005 and 2009, while deaths involving heroin or morphine remained unchanged.”—In order to tackle the crisis in the US and Canada, the authors put forward several strategies.—They say staff working for drug companies should not get commission for marketing prescription opioid drugs and that regulators should evaluate adverts for them before they are disseminated[U1]. Another initiative would be to introduce real-time electronic databases to reduce the frequency with which opioids are obtained from multiple doctors or pharmacies.[U2] Dhalla and colleagues also call for educational outreach programmes for doctors to improve opioid prescribing, as well as more research to guide practice. They note that the evidence for the use of opioids to control chronic pain is very limited and the risks may outweigh the benefits.—In conclusion, they say that maintaining access to opioids for appropriately selected patients while striving for major reductions in overdose deaths must be a major priority for physicians and policymakers.—-Story Source-The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.–Journal Reference:–I. A. Dhalla, N. Persaud, D. N. Juurlink. Facing up to the prescription opioid crisis. BMJ, 2011; 343 (aug23 1): d5142 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.d5142
 
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How to make Iodine Crystals
 
 
2% Iodine tincture extraction method
 
First, I will explain some of the acronyms that will appear in this tutorial. DH2O is for distilled water. It is just H2O, which is water, with a “D” for distilled in front of it. Next, H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide. For this iodine crystal extraction, we will be using a store bought 3% H2O2 solution. HCL is the next acronym on the list. It stands for hydrochloric acid. It can be bought at any hardware store, usually as a driveway or pool cleaner. The label will usually say muriatic acid, which is a solution of HCL around 30%.
 
Now to the extraction. Always remember to wear safety equipment! You should always at the very least have on goggles and gloves rated to withstand what you are working with. Never breathe in any vapors coming from the chemicals you are working in. ALWAYS do this in a well ventilated area
In a ratio form, this is what you will be using for reagents:
Four parts 2% iodine tincture
One part DH2O
 
Two parts 3% H2O2
 
You will also need .75 ml 30% HCL per fluid ounce of iodine tincture. You will need a container to hold all of the fluids you now have in front of you. It doesn’t matter if its a bowl, jar, beaker, or anything else. Just make sure to always use glassware.
 
FYou start out by pouring the iodine tincture into the container. Slowly add the DH20 and stir, but always avoid splashing. Then, slowly add the HCL and stir.
 
At this point, you need to wait for about 15 minutes to let the reagents do their work. — After you have waited 15 minutes, add the H2O2 slowly while stirring. At this point, you need to wait for 12 hours. — Now, you need to have a filter and another container ready. I recommend an ultra fine plastic mesh cone filter. It won’t clog, and it won’t absorb any of the liquid. Sometime the color will be too dark, and you can add a bit more H2O2 and let it sit for a second pull. Now you need to rinse the crystals that remain in the filter with copious amounts of water. After this, spoon or tap them onto a stack of three coffee filters. Fold the filters so nothing can come out. Now take some paper towels and wrap them around the filter and try to get as much of the moisture out as you can. The final step is to drop the still closed filter into a container with Damp-Rid or any kind of moisture absorbing product. If you chose to add more H2O2, proceed in the same fashion for the second pull. — The final product from the iodine crystal extraction should be stored in an air-tight container where little light is present. Light and moisture will degrade your iodine crystals.
 
FThe second iodine extraction method is a newer one, formed from my own experimentation. Its main advantage is increased iodine crystal yield. For anyone who will actually be using the product instead of just performing the iodine crystal extraction for fun, this will be a huge benefit for you.
 
For this iodine crystal extraction, the same acronyms apply, and the same safety procedures apply as well. Please do not bypass the safety procedures on this extraction or any technique using chemicals.
 
7% Iodine tincture extraction method
The reagents you will need are:
One pint 7% iodine tincture
One pint 3% H2O2
Two cups DH2O
One ounce HCL
 
1) Pour the iodine tincture into a gallon or half gallon jar. 2) Slowly pour in the DH2O and mix well. 3)Now pour in the HCL, stir, and wait fifteen minutes. 4) After the fifteen minutes, slowly pour in the H2O2 while stirring. Seal the jar with a lid. If the lid you are using is metal, make sure to put saran wrap or a Ziploc bag over the mouth of the jar and rubber band it tightly in place. Let the mixture sit for twelve hours. Now, you need to filter the crystals out with a ultra fine plastic mesh cone filter, or any filter of your choice. Make sure to save the liquid. Tap the crystals into a stack of three coffee filters and wrap them up. Use paper towels to dry as much of the moisture out of the filters as you can. Finish by dropping the still wrapped up iodine crystals into a container of Damp-Rid or any kind of moisture absorbing product. Now, add another one-quarter cup H2O2 to the liquid and repeat the previous steps the harvest another five to ten grams of iodine crystals. You should yield 45-48 grams of dry iodine crystals from this method if done correctly. —
The final product from the iodine crystal extraction should be stored in an air-tight container where little light is present. Light and moisture will degrade your iodine crystals.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine#Applications
 
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Making Iodide crystals by using store bought tincture of iodine
30 mls of Hydrochloric acid or muiriatic acid –1/2 :1 ratio to a 30 ml bottle—so if using 60 mls the then you are using 15 mls of HCl acid to 30 mls of Iodine
then you are adding 60 mls of Hydrogen peroxide to 60 mls of iodine—again here it is a 1:1—start of with adding the iodine in a container per every 30 ml then follow the ratio to acids ( 15ml) and peroxide ( 30 ml) mix well til there is separation when separated then filter out the components and then rinse at the end with water—-you will have a Iodide crystal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0kVTEafyXU
 
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Tincture of Iodine
Add 2 g of Iodine to 45 mL of ethanol and dissolve.
Dissolve this mixture in 55 mL of distilled water.
Add 2.4 grams of KI to this mixture and dissolve.
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Isolating Elemental Iodine from Potassium Iodide
 
Iodine crystals are used in a couple of the experiments in the book. When I wrote those sections, iodine was freely available, but the DEA recently moved iodine to List I, which means it now requires completing paperwork and showing ID to purchase iodine. Fortunately, there’s a very easy way around this problem. You can isolate elemental iodine from potassium iodide, which is included in one of the chemical kits. To do so, take the following steps:
 
1. Weigh out 2.0 g of potassium iodide and transfer it to a test tube.
 
2. Add about 1.5 mL of distilled water to the test tube and swirl to dissolve the potassium iodide.
 
3. Add 1.5 mL of concentrated hydrochloric acid (or about 1.8 mL of hardware store muriatic acid) to the test tube and swirl to mix the solutions.
 
4. Add about 10 mL of drugstore 3% hydrogen peroxide. The solution immediately turns dark brown as the iodide ions are oxidized to elemental iodine, which precipitates out.
 
5. Swirl the test tube to suspend the iodine and pour the liquid through a funnel with a folded piece of filter paper to capture the iodine crystals.
 
6. Rinse the iodine crystals on the filter paper several times with a few mL of distilled water. The rinse solution appears brown from dissolved iodine, but iodine is not very soluble in water, so you’re not losing much of your yield.
 
7. Spread out the filter paper on a watch glass or saucer and allow the crystals to dry thoroughly. Iodine gradually sublimates (passes directly from solid to gaseous form) at room temperature, so don’t leave the crystals exposed to air any longer than necessary to dry them.
 
8. Once the crystals are dry, transfer them to a sealed storage bottle or vial.
 
These quantities produce a gram or so of iodine, which is sufficient for the experiments that require it. If you need more iodine, simply increase all quantities proportionately.
 
[U1]Like this is really going to be enforced??? The reason so many people are dying of these drugs is due to the fact they are the most prescribed and make the doctor the most money
[U2]Again who is this person kidding—they will get it from someone or another doctor in another area and as long as there are dollars to be had there will always be a supply

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