President Barack Obama has declared the week of September 11-16, 2011 as National Health Information Technology Week. See the official proclamation at Presidential Proclamation – National Health Information Technology Week. In addition, the 2008 Federal Strategic Health IT Plan has been updated to meet the new realities for health IT and IT policies. See more on the Federal Strategic Health IT Plan: 2011-2015 at the Health IT Buzz Blog Post.
Staying Well. Connected.
Presidential Proclamation – National Health Information Technology Week
Elevated Levels of Mercury Found in Mexican Cosmetic Cream
Texans are being warned by the South Texas Poison Center about the possible dangers of a cosmetic cream from Mexico and its link to inorganic mercury exposure and poisonings. The product, “Crema Aguamary”, is not approved for use in the U.S. and is probably being brought into the United States from across the border. Approximately 20 cases have been reported to State health officials, primarily in border towns.
Advice For Staying Safe In The Heat
The extreme high temperatures experienced by much of the country this summer look like they will continue well into August and beyond. The heat poses many health risks to those living along the US-Mexico border in colonias and other accommodation without air conditioning.
Heat-related illnesses are collectively known as hyperthermia, and occur when the body overheats. Conditions involving hyperthermia have different names, including heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (lightheadedness or fainting in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion, according to the National Institutes of Health.
In response to the dangers of hyperthermia, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has created a website with guidelines and tips for recognizing the symptoms of hyperthermia and first aid techniques for assisting people suffering from it.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month
Laredo Library Participates in Operation Lone Star
The Laredo Regional Campus Library participated in Operation Lone Star August 1-2, 2011. Operation Lone Star (OLS), a collaboration between The City of Laredo Health Department, The Laredo Health Coalition, Webb County, Texas Department of Health Services and joint Military Command (Texas State Guard, Texas Army National Guard, U.S. Army), provides free health services to the community. OLS also serves as a simulation for disaster emergency services. Free services provided included medical exams, sports physicals and vision screenings. Immunizations were also provided for an $8 fee. The library provided information from NIH/NLM websites and databases such as Medline Plus and The Household Products Database to approximately 245 people.
CHEMM: new resource for emergency responders
In another collaborative effort between the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Library of Medicine, and many experts in medicine, emergency response, toxicology, and industrial hygiene as well as other fields, a new resource for emergency responders has been introduced. CHEMM (Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management) offers tools to assist responders in making safe decisions and in planning, response, and recovery from incidents involving accidental or terrorist chemical releases. CHEMM, available online at http://chemm.nlm.nih.gov, is web-based, but can be downloaded in advance, so that it can be available if the Internet is not accessible. Information included in CHEMM is evidence-based and covers topics such as quick chemical identification, acute patient care guidelines and initial event activities.
CHEMM has been added to a suite of resources available for emergency responders. REMM (Radiation Emergency Medical Management) provides guidance for health care providers, about clinical diagnosis and treatment of radiation injury during radiological and nuclearemergencies. REMM is available online at http://www.remm.nlm.gov/index.html. WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders), available online at http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/, is a system designed to assist First Responders in hazardous material incidents. Developed by the National Library of Medicine, WISER provides a wide range of
information on hazardous substances, including substance identification support, physical characteristics, human health information, and containment and suppression guidance.
2011 10th Annual Summer Institute on Evidence-Based Practice
Hosted annually by the Academic Center for Evidence-Based Practice at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio School of Nursing, the Summer Institute is attended by clinicians, nurses, physicians, pharmacists, librarians, researchers, educators and administrators from around the country and abroad. The focus for the conference this year was healthcare quality and safety. Librarians Linda Levy, pictured here, and Peg Seger represented the UT Health Science Center Briscoe library at the Institute held in downtown San Antonio on June 30th and July 1st. Attendees were particularly interested in learning more about searching PubMed this year. PubMed ® “Provides free access to MEDLINE®, the NLM® database of indexed citations and abstracts to medical, nursing, dental, veterinary, health care, and preclinical sciences journal articles.”
Ramirez Library Staff Participate in Hurricane Preparedness Fair
It’s hurricane season, and local agencies are working to help communites in the the Rio Grande Valley get prepared. On June 29th staff from the Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. Library lent a hand at a hurricane preparedness outreach fair in Brownsville. Information related to emergency preparedness, evacuation, and recovery was shared with over 200 community participants. Library staff shared disaster information resources from the National Library of Medicine including a presentation by Greysi Reyna on MedlinePlus. Library staff also setup an exhibit of historical photographs from the Hurricane Beulah Collection at the Ramirez Library. The fair was organized by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Office of Border Affairs in partnership with Texas A&M AmeriCorps and Cameron and Willacy Counties Community Projects, Inc.
Public and Medical Library Team Up for Consumer Health Information
Working in partnership with the Alamo Area Library System (AALS), the UT Health Science Center Briscoe Library recently provided a health information presentation for the Universal City Public Library. Promoting the use of public libraries for consumer health information is part of an effort to address the information needs of growing numbers of Texas residents who are being diagnosed with diabetes. National Library of Medicine resources such as MedlinePlus and NIHSenior Health were demonstrated for attendees as examples of reliable sources of diabetes information.
WISER Class at San Antonio Airport
This morning librarians Linda Levy and Peg Seger taught a class on WISER at the San Antonio Airport’s emergency center. Attendees included personnel responsible for airport operations and security. This session continued the series of classes provided for a variety of emergency personnel in San Antonio and Laredo. Support for these classes is provided by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – South Central Region.