Health Highlights: July 31, 2018

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Consent Required Before Giving Immigrant Children Psychotropic Drugs: Judge

Unless it’s an emergency, the U.S. government must seek consent before giving psychotropic drugs to immigrant children held at the Shiloh Treatment Center in Texas, a federal judge ruled Monday.

The federal government violated portions of a longstanding settlement on the treatment of immigrant children caught coming across the border, U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee in Los Angeles said in her ruling, the Associated Press reported.

The settlement is overseen by the federal court in Los Angeles.

The Department of Justice declined to comment on Gee’s ruling, the AP reported.


Nearly 1,400 U.S. Nursing Homes Receive Downgraded Medicare Ratings on Staffing Levels

Star ratings for staffing levels at nearly 1,400 nursing homes across the United States were lowered by Medicare when updated ratings were released on July 25.

The changes for about 1 in 11 nursing homes nationwide were made because they had too few registered nurses or did not provide payroll data proving they had required nursing coverage, The New York Times reported.

Registered nurses are the highest-trained caregivers in nursing homes, and they oversee other nurses and aides. Medicare requires every nursing home to have a registered nurse working at least eight hours every day.

The revised staff ratings gave one star out of possible five to 1,387 of the nation’s 15,616 skilled nursing facilities.

The lowered star ratings for staffing are disappointing and largely due to a shortage of workers, according to Katie Smith Sloan, president of LeadingAge, an association of nonprofit providers of aging services including nearly 2,000 nursing homes, The Times reported.

“Our members are battling on multiple fronts to recruit and retain all types of qualified staff, and nurses in particular,” she said in a statement.

Medicare uses a five-star rating system to help families select a nursing home. The ratings are on the federal government’s Nursing Home Compare website.

On the website, Medicare said the nursing homes with a one-star staffing rating either lacked a registered nurse for “a high number of days” over three months, provided unverifiable payroll data, or didn’t supply any payroll data, The Times reported.


Teen Boy Suffers Serious Burns After ‘Hot Water Challenge’

An Indianapolis teen suffered serious burns after his friends poured boiling hot water on him as part of fad called the “Hot Water Challenge.”

The boiling water was poured on Kyland Clark, 15, as he slept and he suffered second-degree burns to his body and face, Fox News reported.

The incident occurred after Clark and his friends had watched videos of the challenge on YouTube.

“My skin just fell off my chest, and then I looked in the mirror and I had skin falling off here and, on my face,” he told Fox 59.

Clark spent a week in the hospital. His doctors are hopeful that pigment will return in Clark’s face within a few months.

“If your friends are telling you to do this, they aren’t good friends,” said Dr. Ed Bartkus, Indiana University Health, Fox News reported.

He said boiling hot water can cause permanent disfigurement or damage the airway. Last summer, an 11-year-old girl in New York suffered face and chest burns after friends poured hot water on her.

Also last summer, an 8-year-old girl suffered fatal throat injuries after she tried to drink boiling water through a straw, Fox News reported.

Posted: July 2018

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