ProjectDisaster: Disasters, Terrorism, Preparedness, Emerging Infections, Response, Mitigation

Search ProjectDisaster:

Choose a Topic:

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP February 10, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

The Fear of Untreatable GC………….

Source reference:
Bolan GA, et al “The emerging threat of untreatable gonococcal infection” N Engl J Med 2012; 366: 485-487.

By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Published: February 08, 2012


“Gonorrhea is putting up increasing resistance to the last antibiotic class highly effective against it, the CDC has again warned.

The prevalence of gonorrhea resistant to the cephalosporin cefixime (Suprax) was just 0.1% in 2006 but had jumped 17-fold to 1.7% as of mid-2011…..The CDC has typically changed gonorrhea treatment recommendations once the prevalence of resistance tops 5% in its surveillance of infections, but there aren’t any agents left to switch to…….

Because of resistance to other classes, the CDC currently recommends only third-generation cephalosporins for gonorrhea treatment. This class of drugs remains highly effective against most gonorrhea strains U.S. clinicians are likely to see, and should still be used………

The most effective strategy for gonorrhea at genital and other sites……is a 250 mg intramuscular dose of ceftriaxone (Rocephin) plus 1 g of the oral macrolide antibiotic azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax), which fights gonorrhea bacteria through a different molecular target and also covers other copathogens……”

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 11:19 pm

Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs)


CMS announced today that its Hospital Compare website now includes central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) data reported from hospital ICUs to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). In many places, this is the first time consumers can see how well their local hospitals prevent CLABSIs, one of the most deadly healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).


For Immediate Release: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Contact: CMS Office of Public Affairs


Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) are among the most serious of all healthcare-associated infections, resulting in thousands of deaths each year and nearly $700 million in added costs to the U.S. healthcare system. Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that Hospital Compare will now include data about how often these preventable infections occur in hospital intensive care units across the country. This step will hold hospitals accountable for bringing down these rates, saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars each year.


“Including central line-associated bloodstream infections information on Hospital Compare will save lives and cut costs,” said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “Adding this information to Hospital Compare extends the Administration’s commitment to make American healthcare safer.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in 2009, there were about 41,000 CLABSIs in U.S. hospitals. Studies show that up to 25 percent of patients who get a CLABSI will die from the infection. Caring for a patient with a CLABSI adds about $17,000 to a hospitalization. These infections prolong hospitalizations and can cause death.


“Today, consumers are getting access to data provided to hospital leaders and clinicians to monitor progress in reducing CLABSIs,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “This information allows CDC and CMS to highlight prevention and pinpoint where more work is needed on these avoidable infections.”


Today’s announcement builds on HHS’s efforts to make American healthcare safer. In 2011, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius launched the Partnership for Patients initiative, which seeks to reinvent American healthcare delivery in ways that keep patients from being injured or getting sicker in a care system designed to heal them. CMS has already recruited over 6,000 partners, including more than 3,000 hospitals, in this effort, which aims to reduce preventable harm in hospitals by 40 percent by 2014.


Hospital Compare is one of Medicare’s most popular web tools. The site receives about 1 million page views each month and is available in English and in Spanish. More information about Hospital Compare is online at


Consumers have relied on Hospital Compare since 2005 to provide information about the quality of care provided in over 4,700 of America’s acute-care, critical access and children’s hospitals. The website features free, easy-to-use information about these hospitals, including mortality and readmission rates for each, along with 10 measures that capture patient experience with hospital care, 17 measures that assess patient safety at each hospital, 25 process-of-care measures and three children’s asthma care measures.


Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 11:18 pm

Hospital Compare Website


Select the Patient Safety Measures tab during your hospital search to get information on Healthcare Associated Infections from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network.

Medicare now has new measures for heart attack care and surgical care.

Beginning October 2012, Hospital Compare will include new surgical outcomes measures submitted on voluntary basis by hospitals participating in the American College of Surgeon’s National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database (ACS NSQIP®). Click here for more information.

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 11:17 pm

Hepatitis A has affected nearly 100 children in the “El Colegio” community, Tarimbaro Municipality, Michoacan, Mexico


Brote de hepatitis alarma a habitantes de “El Colegio” en Tarímbaro

Familiares de niños enfermos, externaron que son raquíticas las medidas que se aplican en la comunidad.
Por: Sandra Saenz / | 12:56 – Lunes 6 de Febrero del 2012
Tarímbaro, Michoacán (CuasarTV).-” Un brote de hepatitis tipo “A” ha afectado a casi un centenar de niños de cero a 12 años de edad, en la comunidad “El Colegio”, municipio de Tarímbaro, Michoacán. Este hecho mantiene angustiados y alarmados a los habitantes del poblado….”

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 11:09 pm

2C-E: A Recreational Drug Causing Severe Methemoglobinemia and Hemolytic Anemia


Severe Methemoglobinemia and Hemolytic Anemia from Aniline Purchased as 2C-E (4-ethyl-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine), a Recreational Drug, on the Internet — Oregon, 2011

MMWR Weekly

February 10, 2012 / 61(05);85-88

In August 2011, two men in Oregon drank a liquid they believed to be 2C-E (4-ethyl-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine), a psychoactive stimulant used as a recreational drug, after purchasing it on the Internet. Fifteen minutes after ingestion, the men became cyanotic and subsequently were treated for refractory methemoglobinemia and hemolytic anemia. The Oregon Poison Center, Oregon Public Health Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) jointly investigated to determine the cause of the poisoning and identify other cases. The Oregon Poison Center and Oregon Public Health Division promptly alerted health-care providers and public health agencies and searched for additional cases. DEA confiscated all product remaining in the men’s possession, and FDA identified the substance as aniline, an industrial solvent known to cause methemoglobinemia. One patient reported purchasing the substance from the Internet site of a Chinese chemical company. No additional cases were identified by investigators. Purchase of chemicals from unregulated Internet sources poses a serious risk to purchasers from product contamination and substitution.

Case Reports

Patient A. On August 19, 2011, a man aged 33 years was taken by ambulance to a local emergency department after he collapsed in a fast food restaurant. He reported feeling lightheaded and nauseated 15 minutes after consuming a soft drink with his friend (patient B). When questioned, patient A initially said he had not ingested medications or illicit drugs. On physical examination, he appeared cyanotic with altered mental status, and his blood oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry was 86% on 100% supplemental oxygen by nonrebreather mask. Blood drawn for laboratory testing was chocolate-brown. Arterial blood pH was 7.43, the pCO was 35 mm Hg, and the pO was 222 mm Hg. His methemoglobin concentration was 66.7% (normal: 1%–3%), his hemoglobin concentration was 14.3 g/dL (normal: 13.8–17.2 g/dL), and his platelet count was 338,000/mm3 (normal: 150,000–400,000/mm3). The Oregon Poison Center was consulted and recommended administration of 1 mg/kg body weight methylene blue intravenously. The patient was admitted to the hospital intensive-care unit.

After the initial dose of methylene blue, a repeat methemoglobin concentration was 67.2%. A second 1 mg/kg dose was administered 4 hours after arrival. Patient A’s methemoglobin concentration peaked at 79.6% at 6 hours after ingestion. The patient ultimately received a total of five 1 mg/kg doses of methylene blue during the next 2 days. By hospital day 3, his methemoglobin concentration had decreased to 11%, and his hemoglobin concentration had decreased to 10.1 g/dL.

On hospital day 5, the patient’s hemoglobin concentration was 5.7 g/dL, and he reported fatigue. His blood oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry remained at 70%–80% despite supplemental oxygen administration. He received 2 units of packed red blood cells. Other laboratory assessment was significant for haptoglobin <30 mg/dL (normal: 41–165 mg/dL), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) 2,005 U/L (normal: 105–333 U/L), and platelets 73,000/mm3. Acute oxidant stress-induced hemolysis was suspected, and the patient was transferred to a tertiary-care intensive-care unit.

The patient received an additional unit of packed red blood cells and underwent plasmapheresis, after which his hemoglobin concentration was 5.8 g/dL. During the following 2 days, daily plasmapheresis was performed, as well as one complete exchange transfusion (1). During this process, serum LDH concentration decreased to 428 U/L, and the patient’s hemoglobin concentration stabilized at 9.5 g/dL. On hospital day 8, a fourth plasmapheresis was performed; hemoglobin concentration remained stable, and his serum LDH concentration decreased to 158 U/L, suggesting resolution of hemolysis. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase concentrations were normal (deficiency is a risk factor for hemolytic anemia). On hospital day 12, the patient was discharged home. Subsequently, results of comprehensive toxicology screening of urine by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy were positive for p-aminophenol, an aniline metabolite.

Patient B. A man aged 34 years (patient B) who had accompanied patient A to the emergency department also appeared cyanotic, but said he had no symptoms. When questioned, patient B also initially said he had not ingested medications or illicit drugs. However, he later reported having consumed the same soft drink as patient A. Patient B’s initial blood oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry was 80% on 40% supplemental oxygen by nonrebreather mask, and peripheral venous blood drawn for laboratory testing was dark brown. His methemoglobin concentration drawn 45 minutes after ingestion was 49.5%, and his hemoglobin concentration was 16.4 g/dL. Methylene blue 1 mg/kg was administered intravenously, and a repeat methemoglobin concentration was 47.8%. The patient received a second dose of methylene blue, and was admitted to the intensive-care unit overnight. His methemoglobin concentration peaked at 74.4% 8 hours after ingestion.

Patient B received a total of 4 doses of methylene blue and then left the hospital against medical advice 19.5 hours after ingestion. His last methemoglobin concentration was 10%. His glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase concentration was not tested.

After patient A was transferred to tertiary care for chemical-induced hemolytic anemia on postexposure day 5, multiple attempts were made to contact patient B. He returned for repeat evaluation on postexposure day 6 and reported fatigue and dyspnea. His hemoglobin concentration had decreased to 10 g/dL at follow-up. A repeat methemoglobin concentration was 1.1%. Despite plans for repeat hemoglobin testing in 1–2 days, he did not return for further evaluation.

Multi-Agency Investigation

During evaluation in the emergency department, the physician questioned patient A and patient B because of concern for possible consumer product contamination of their soft drink by a methemoglobin-inducing substance. After initial denials, they reported buying 2C-E as a recreational chemical from an Internet site. They described ingesting 4 mL of a bitter, yellow-tinted liquid that they had mixed with a soft drink to mask the taste. This description was inconsistent with 2C-E, which is available typically as a capsule or white powder.

Further questioning implicated a company based in Nanjing, China, that produces and sells 2C-E and industrial products manufactured using aniline. Consultation with FDA confirmed that 2C-E was a federally controlled substance, and that, since the product was purchased from an international distributor, the incident was under federal jurisdiction. DEA was notified. DEA obtained the leftover product that the patients had purchased, and FDA determined the liquid was pure aniline, with no evidence of 2C-E. Aniline is a common solvent used in manufacturing processes. Ingestion of aniline can cause methemoglobinemia and hemolytic anemia through the action of its metabolites, phenylhydroxylamine and aminophenol, both strong oxidizing agents (1–4).

The patients said they had not shared the product with others. Nonetheless, public health and poison control investigators conducted active case-finding because of concern that aniline might have been mislabeled and sold to other buyers seeking 2C-E. A case was defined as unexplained methemoglobinemia in a person who had ingested a chemical purchased through the Internet since January, 2011. The Oregon Poison Center queried poison center directors nationally and searched for reports of aniline poisoning in the National Poison Data System. CDC was notified, and investigators conducted supplemental symptom-based case-finding using the Oregon Health Alert Network and CDC’s Epidemic Information Exchange (Epi-X)* to query for cases of unexplained methemoglobinemia. No additional cases were identified.

Editorial Note

Strong oxidizing agents, such as aniline metabolites, can cause methemoglobinemia or, at higher concentrations, acute red blood cell hemolysis. Symptoms related to increased methemoglobin concentrations reflect declining oxygen delivery. Concentrations above 50% can cause syncope. Concentrations above 70% can be lethal. During venipuncture, the blood usually appears chocolate brown, a clue to the presence of methemoglobin. Standard noninvasive pulse oximetry typically shows a reading of 85% that does not change despite administration of 100% oxygen or the antidote methylene blue.

Hydroxylamine compounds (e.g., aniline metabolites phenylhydroxylamine and aminophenol) often produce methemoglobin that is refractory to conversion back to normal hemoglobin by administration of methylene blue, and can precipitate acute hemolytic anemia (1–4). Paradoxically, methylene blue can be a source of oxidant stress and, in high doses, can cause hemolytic anemia. However, this is more likely with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, and patient A’s concentrations were normal, whereas patient B’s concentrations were not tested.

Use of novel psychoactive chemicals has continued to increase in the United States despite passage of the 1986 Controlled Substances Analogue Enforcement Act (CSAEA) (5,6). The phenethylamines (e.g., 2C-B, 2C-E, and 2C-I), their isomers, and their salts are illegal substances under CSAEA (7). To circumvent such laws, manufacturers produce substances that have chemical structures distinct from regulated substances, yet still produce psychoactive effects. These products pose challenges to both surveillance and regulation because they frequently are advertised for sale as “research chemicals” through international and domestic Internet sites.

Purchase of psychoactive chemicals and other ingestible products from the Internet places the public at risk for obtaining products that are inherently toxic or have been made toxic by adulteration, either inadvertently or deliberately. Persons reporting emergencies involving ingested substances purchased from the Internet should telephone FDA at the 24-hour, toll-free number (1-888-INFO-FDA). Persons reporting nonemergencies should contact the FDA district office consumer complaint coordinator for their geographic area during regular business hours.† Communication and collaboration among health-care, public health, poison control, and law enforcement agencies are crucial to identify adverse events associated with Internet-purchased toxic chemicals and coordinate health messages for health-care providers.

This is the first published report of unintentional aniline intoxication in persons attempting to purchase psychoactive chemicals for recreational use. Whether this potentially lethal incident represents deliberate ingredient substitution or a packaging error by a vendor not subject to industry standards is unknown. This case highlights the danger to the public and the challenges facing public health agencies in an era in which virtually any chemical produced in any country is available through Internet sales.


  1. Mier, RJ. Treatment of aniline poisoning with exchange transfusion. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol 1988;26:357–64.
  2. Harrison JH, Jollow DJ. Contribution of aniline metabolites to aniline-induced methemoglobinemia. Mol Pharmacol 1987;32:423–31.
  3. National Center for Environmental Health/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Medical management guidelines for aniline. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2011. Available at Accessed February 3, 2012.
  4. Kearny TE, Manoguerra AS, Dunford JV Jr. Chemically induced methemoglobinemia from aniline poisoning. West J Med 1984;140:282–6.
  5. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2009: national estimates of drug-related emergency department visits. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; 2011. Available at Web Site Icon. Accessed February 8, 2012.
  6. US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control. National Forensic Laboratory Information System Special Report: synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones reported in NFLIS, 2009–2010. Springfield, VA: Drug Enforcement Administration; 2011. Available at Adobe PDF fileExternal Web Site Icon. Accessed February 8, 2012.
  7. US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control. Controlled substance schedules. Springfield, VA: Drug Enforcement Administration; 2011. Available at Web Site Icon. Accessed February 8, 2012.

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 11:07 pm

Lice Jihad: FDA-approved Sklice for kids 6 months and older


No-Combing Lice Lotion Gets FDA Go-Ahead

By Cole Petrochko, Associate Staff Writer, MedPage TodayPublished: February 08, 2012

WASHINGTON — “The FDA has approved the topical ivermectin 0.5% lotion (Sklice) for the treatment of head lice in patients 6 months and older.

The lotion is applied once for 10 minutes and works without nit combing…..”

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 9:52 am

Volcano Spewing in Indonesia


CNN, 2/10/12:  A restless volcano in northern Indonesia erupted Friday, spewing


clouds of ash as high as 2 kilometers into the sky, the
country’s National Disaster Management Agency said.

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 7:01 am

What’s keeping Al-Assad up?


Al-Assad hangs on by ruthlessness, reformist image

By Joe Sterling, CNN

“…..But Bashar al-Assad, the president of embattled Syria, is a survivor.

He’s remained ensconced in power despite an 11-month popular uprising, a bloody government crackdown against civilians, and world outrage at the tales and videos filtering out of Syria.

Observers say he’s been able to stay in power with a combination of regime ruthlessness, diplomatic subterfuge, and internal sectarian dynamics……”

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 6:52 am

Aleppo: Bombing here too…….


10 February 2012 Last updated at 05:43 ET


“…..State TV later quoted the health ministry as saying that 25 people had been killed and 175 wounded as a result of the attacks……”

Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

February 10th, 2012 posted by Paul Rega, MD, FACEP @ 6:46 am

Where will the huge snowfalls be?


Email This Post Email This Post

Comments Off

Get Macromedia Flash Player

Flash Player Uninstaller - uninstall if you have trouble updating or installing the new flash player, then try to install the flash player again
Syndicate this site using RSS RSS Feed

Conditions and Diseases Blog Directory

ProjectDisaster at Blogged