HealthWise at 5 From 2.15 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/15/02

HealthWise at 5 From 2.15

  • Infection Vaccine

A major development in vaccine research. After 15 years of study, scientists have created the first vaccine to protect against a deadly bacteria that attacks thousands of hospital patients every year. The immunization fights off a Staff Bacteria called S-Aureus. It's a germ that causes everything from minor skin infections to deadly cases of Pneumonia, Meningitis, and heart infections.

Studies at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development find the vaccine drops infection rates by nearly 60%. The only problem, it's not permanent. The vaccine wears off over time. So, researchers are trying to find a way now to create a booster. The scientists are also working on a new formula they believe will be 100% effective.

People with weakened immune systems and kidney patients who have dialysis are at highest risk for Staph infections. The vaccine has been under study for 15 years. Many strains of the bacteria are resistant to the antibiotics used to treat it. Recently researchers discovered some forms are resistant to Vacomycin, the only antibiotic known to kill the germ.

The research is being conducted at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the biologics firm NABI. The study appears in the New England Journal of Medicine. The lead author of the study is Dr. John Robbins.

  • Hard to Swallow

Most of us swallow hundred of times a day without even thinking about it, but it's not that easy for the more than 15-million Americans affected by a awallowing disorder. The good news? Cutting edge help is now available. Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center are using one of the newest tools, a sensory testing system that directs puffs of air into the patients upper airway. It shows doctors how patients feel when they swallow. It's important because decreased sensation in swalllowing can cause food or liquid to slip down the windpipe.

  • Hydrant Lifesaver

A unique, new product is out to help kids survive one of the worst kinds of household emergencies. Herbie Hydrant was designed by a fire fighter who was haunted by the deaths of two small children in a smoky house fire. At first glance, it looks like a cute clock, but in an emergency children can grab it from its base, which sets off an alarm and flashing strobe lights and turns on a flashlight. A digital timer also starts, letting rescuers know how long the child may have been exposed to smoke. For more information (click here ).

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