HealthWise At 5 for 9.8 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/8/03

HealthWise At 5 for 9.8

  • Robotic Pharmacy

You've heard of robots in surgery, next, the metal men may be coming to your local pharmacy. It's the latest in pharmacy technology, a robot, designed to fill prescriptions. Already at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, two robots are filling more than 3,000 prescriptions every day. It's a workload that would be overwhelming for most pharmacies, but the naval center says these robots offer a real advantage, not just because they're fast but because they're also cutting down on medical mistakes.
The technology uses a bar code system similar to the ones you find on products at the grocery store. Technicians enter prescription details directly into the pharmacy computer, and then the robot takes over. Each robot handles about 300 different types of pills.
In addition, they do more than select and sort drugs, they make sure the bottle is labeled, scanned, placed on a conveyor belt and put into a basket for packing. The medication's code is checked again for accuracy and then sent to the proper area for distribution. Although the robotic system is more efficient and eliminates the potential for human error, commanding officers stress that the robot will never replace the judgment of a physician or a pharmacist, emphasizing the robot is a helper for the pharmacist, not a replacement.
Right now, the robots at Bethesda handle mostly refill orders. The hospital hopes to eventually expand the robot's capabilities. Not only does the automated system handle patient's prescriptions from the hospital, but it also takes in prescription orders from satellite military pharmacies across the region.

  • Kid Allergy Tips

Allergies are no fun at any age, but they're particularly difficult in children because they can be hard to identify. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued these tips to help parents know what to watch for and what to do if they suspect a child has allergies. Here's their list of clues:

  • Hives, itchy, bumpy patches of skin
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained bouts of diarrhea
  • Repeated cold-like symptoms

Those are all signs of a potential allergic reaction. The AAP says kids with any of those signs should see a doctor to determine if the problems are allergy related. The good news is that if you can figure out what's triggering those allergic reactions, like dust, pollen, animal hair or certain foods, then you can fix the problem by controlling the exposure.

For more tips you can go to ( click here).

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