Drug Saves Frostbitten Digits, Study Says from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)

Frostbite patients were able to keep more fingers and toes when their treatment included a drug that dissolves blood clots, according to a study published Monday.

Surgeons at the University of Utah health center treated frostbite patients with the clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. Six patients who received tPA kept 90 percent of affected fingers and toes, and 12 patients treated before the center began using tPA had 41 percent of their frostbitten digits amputated. The research appears in the June issue of Archives of Surgery.

Frostbite is a common hazard for those who work or play in cold weather and among the homeless. Thousands of U.S. soldiers were permanently hobbled by frostbite injuries in the Korean War, and frostbite remains a concern today for soldiers fighting or training in cold weather. […]

To read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-frostbite19jun19,1,2907987.story Or: http://tinyurl.com/2oq2z2

tPA is only available from a hospital. However, for heart attacks, at one time the old remedy warfarin was shown to be just as effective and mucho cheapo. Maybe someone could come up with a field (bush) subsititute such as aspirin for those of us miles from tPA.

from the always useful
“Science in the News Weekly,” an e-newsletter produced by Sigma Xi in conjunction with “American Scientist Online.” The newsletter provides a digest of the week’s top stories from “Science in the News,” and includes breaking news and feature stories from each weekend not normally covered by “Science in the News.” To see the current edition:

“Infectious Diseases Society of America
At petting zoos, simple disease prevention guidelines frequently ignored

A new study shows that simple guidelines to protect petting zoo patrons from disease-causing germs found in the zoo are frequently not followed, thus allowing the risks of contracting serious intestinal illnesses to persist…

Unfortunately, in addition to goats, sheep, and other animals, petting zoos sometimes allow people to meet critters with names like E. coli, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and Campylobacter—bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts of some animals and which are shed in the animal’s feces. Too often, these organisms make their way into the digestive tracts of the human visitors and cause serious illness…

Nearly all (94 percent) of the petting zoos provided hand hygiene facilities, but hand washing compliance ranged from zero to 77 percent. “On average, only 30 percent of people washed or disinfected their hands after leaving a petting zoo,” said Dr. Weese. “This is concerning because hands are the most likely route of transmission of infectious agents from petting zoos.”

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