Friday, January 26, 2007

3409 Wash your hands and other good stuff

I heard on the news today that the "cruise ship virus" has hit some Columbus hospitals--both patients and staff. The recommendations are that people wash their hands when around patients, preparing food, or using the bathrooms. Duh!

Did you know there are an estimated 1.4 million salmonella infections annually in the U.S.? Most are food borne, but many are acquired from animals, particularly pet rodents, such as hamsters, mice or rats. Another reason to wash you hands after handling animals, particularly at the pet store. NEJM 356:21-8 (January 4, 2007)

Nearly 20% of automobile crashes involve driver sleepiness unrelated to alcohol, and the total direct and indirect costs of sleepiness and sleep disorders amount to hundreds of billions of dollars annually in the U.S. An estimated 50-70 million Americans have sleep-related problems. This information was included in a review of Sleep disorders and sleep depreivation: an unmet public health problem, published in 2006 by the National Academies Press, published in NEJM 356;2, January 11, 2006. You can read the summary and chapters here. I personally think this book belongs in your public library--it's not very expensive--because the recommendations involve national issues and policies. Mine would only have to give up one cook book or one Elvis title to buy it. Hand washing won't help you sleep better, but good sleep hygiene will.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well it is not surprising that many people have sleep disorders. There are tons of jobs, like at Publix Supermarkets, where the department managers insist on constantly changing the shifts of the workers regardless of preference. So you might work nights on two days and then day on one day and afternoon twice a week. The next week it is something different. How can people who work in these type of places get their proper sleep?