Prosthetic advances raise ethical questions | Israeli designer creates shoe for people with diabetes | To lower chance of diabetes, eat fruit, drink less juice
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September 3, 2013
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News for Professionals in the Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics Profession

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Prosthetic advances raise ethical questions
The rapid advancement of prosthetic technology raises serious ethical questions that should be considered before bionic limb technology becomes widely adopted, writes social psychologist Bertolt Meyer. He asks, for example, who is entitled to expensive state-of-the-art prostheses: civilians or only soldiers? And if bionic limbs become so strong and fast that they outperform healthy ones, should people be allowed to replace healthy limbs with prostheses? (U.K.) (9/2)
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Israeli designer creates shoe for people with diabetes
Inspired by the example of a horse's hoof, Israeli designer Lilach Steiner has created a prototype shoe for people with diabetes that, she said, "encourages and improves blood flow in the soles of the feet, while sitting, standing and walking." Steiner's shoe, called Flow, uses the individual's body weight, together with inside ridges, to massage the feet and maintain blood flow. No Camels (Israel) (8/28)
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Medical News
To lower chance of diabetes, eat fruit, drink less juice
The consumption of solid fruits like blueberries, apples and grapes can lower the probability of developing type 2 diabetes, while drinking fruit juices can increase the risk, according to a study of more than 187,000 U.S. nurses and health workers over two decades published in the BMJ. Participants given three weekly servings of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples and pears reduced their diabetes risk by 7%. Portland Press Herald (Maine)/Bloomberg (8/30)
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New option for diabetic neuropathy: Spinal cord stimulation
Researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands have found that spinal cord stimulation can significantly reduce the pain levels of patients suffering from diabetic neuropathy, many of whom cannot get relief from common analgesics. Some patients reported leg-pain levels dropping from 8 to 2 when implanted with a stimulation electrode in the epidural space. The effect of the treatments appeared to last as long as six months. Doctor Tipster (Romania) (8/29)
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More sleep may mean lower diabetes risk, experts say
Researchers found participants in a small study who slept for 10 hours per night on weekends showed improvements in insulin sensitivity compared with sleeping for only six hours during the week. The results presented at the Endocrine Society meeting suggest that getting sufficient sleep may help reduce the risk of diabetes, researchers said. United Press International (8/29)
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Legislative and Regulatory
All stroke victims should have rehab services, say health associations
Regardless of health insurance or socioeconomic status, anyone who suffers from a stroke should have access to rehabilitation and nursing services, according to a policy statement issued by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. An integrated system of care implemented from the first signs of symptoms through post-stroke care would result in 20,000 fewer deaths from strokes per year, the associations stated. McKnight's Long-Term Care News (9/3)
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Featured Content
Trend Watch
"Indian blade runner" receives improved prosthesis
When the Hanger Clinic in Oklahoma City heard that marathon runner Devender Pal Singh, known as the "Indian blade runner," was having difficulties with his prosthetic leg, it offered to fit him with an improved device. Singh was using a prosthesis meant for sprints, said Hanger Clinic manager and certified prosthetist Chad Simpson, who gave the marathon runner a new prosthesis that would make long-distance running more comfortable for him. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) (8/31)
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Lower-leg amputee back playing high school football
Less than a year after having his right leg amputated below the knee, Koni Dole is playing football again for his Montana high school team. "It's an indescribable feeling ... to be back on the field with my teammates," he said. Dole, outfitted with a carbon-fiber blade prosthesis, scored two touchdowns in his first game back. The Daily Mail (London) (9/3)
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Amputee boy and dolphin with prosthetic tail swim together
Eight-year-old Cieran Kelso, a double-leg amputee from England, flew with his family to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Florida, to swim with Winter, a dolphin with a prosthetic tail. Kelso wears two custom-made prosthetic flippers that enable him to swim. The Miami Herald (free registration)/The Associated Press (9/1)
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Breaking news from AOPA
AOPA's notice of ABM elections! For all AOPA voting members, please be on the lookout: e-mail notices have been sent.  Vote today! An AOPA-funded study measuring the cost-effectiveness of O&P care is grabbing headlines: the results demonstrated Medicare beneficiaries and other payers get a solid bang for their buck with an 18-month payback compared to non-care patients. Read all about it! The AOPA World Congress will feature an impressive amount of regulatory education on Friday, including a mock audit session in which you can bring a patient file. On Saturday at the World Congress, OPAF and the Amputee Coalition will be hosting Limb Loss Education Day -- don’t miss it! All of this in today’s AOPA Breaking News.
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Upcoming events
Sept. 11: Read Between the Lines: The Medicare Lower Limb Prosthetic Policy (Telephone audio conference)
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Sept. 18-21: AOPA O&P World Congress, Orlando, Fla.
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Oct. 22-23: Mastering Medicare: Advanced Coding and Billing Techniques, Las Vegas
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