DOD might have underestimated chemical exposure in Iraq War | Navy doctors perplexed by medical symptoms of Okinawa Marines | GAO: Tricare overspends on compounded drugs
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October 15, 2014
AMSUS SmartBrief

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DOD might have underestimated chemical exposure in Iraq War
More U.S. military members than officially reported were exposed to dangerous chemicals during the Iraq War, an investigative report found. U.S. troops found some 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, many left over from Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons programs, but the scale of exposure has not been made public or circulated within the military. Consequently, some troops may have received inadequate care and compensation. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/14)
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Military Health System
Navy doctors perplexed by medical symptoms of Okinawa Marines
Doctors in Okinawa, Japan, are working to track down the cause of an illness that has affected dozens of troops, in some cases requiring hospitalization. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Joy Dierks, a preventive medicine officer, suspects the culprit is leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that is difficult to diagnose. Stars and Stripes (10/8)
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Veterans Health Administration
New Mich. law waives dental-assistant license fee for vets
A bill that may help veterans with dental health experience find work more quickly has been signed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. The bill allows the waiver of a fee when veterans apply for civilian dental-assistant licenses. WLNS-TV (Lansing, Mich.) (10/10)
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National Health Care
2nd hospital worker in Texas tests positive for Ebola
A second health care worker at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has tested positive for the Ebola virus. On Tuesday, the CDC said it was actively monitoring 75 other hospital workers in Dallas, and teams of infections control experts will be sent to hospitals treating Ebola. "I wish we had put a team like this on the ground the day ... the first patient was diagnosed," CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said. CNN (10/15), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/15), HealthDay News (10/14)
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CDC reviews Ebola containment protocols
CDC staff descended on Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas in an effort to determine how a nurse who treated an Ebola patient contracted the disease and to update prevention protocols. The CDC is stepping up training and education at hospitals around the country, requiring that health care providers be monitored as they don and doff personal protective equipment and considering mandating that health care workers who come in contact with infected patients or biologic material undergo disinfection procedures. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/14), The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (10/14)
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Health and Medical Research
Study IDs sensitive brain areas where networks come together
Using data from the Iowa Neurological Patient Registry, scientists have mapped six neurological regions they call hubs, where multiple brain networks come together, and they argue that damage to such areas disrupts multiple functions. The findings could shed light on why some people experience substantial cognitive impairment following a relatively minor brain injury. The study appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Medical News Today (10/14)
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Ebola sessions scheduled for AMSUS Annual Meeting
  • The USPHS experience in West Africa (tentative speaker, RADM Scott Giberson, deputy surgeon general, USPHS)
  • DoD deployment to West Africa: The Military Medical Department Ebola Virus experience (speaker TBD)
  • In addition, the Global Health Track will feature a multi-agency panel discussion on Ebola in the U.S. (invited agencies include: DoD, CDC, DoS, DHS, USPHS)
Register for the meeting to hear the latest about this emerging global disease threat directly from the people dealing with it in the field, as well as those responsible for national health policies. A preliminary schedule is available online.
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Check out the latest Military Medicine articles from the online AMSUS Journal library
Comparing U.S. Army Suicide Cases to a Control Sample: Initial Data and Methodological Lessons and other journal articles are free to AMSUS members and subscribers who have registered and subscribed to access more than 100 issues of Military Medicine journals online. Subscription rates and membership eligibility are available on the AMSUS website.
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Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you've been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you wanted to be, the person you are."
-- H.G. Wells,
British author
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