Denver-area hospitals largely score well for safety

While many Denver hospitals continue to score well on a national patient-safety scorecard, the watchdog group that puts together the rating system warned that there continues to be a big gap between most of the high performers and Denver Health, which has a number of problems.

The Leapfrog Group awarded “A” scores to 15 Colorado hospitals, including eight in the Denver area, for statistics that it analyzed on error-prevention methods and on outcomes.

Four of those facilities — Littleton Adventist Hospital, Porter Adventist Hospital, Rose Medical Center and Mercy Regional Medical Center of Durango — have gotten the highest-possible marks on every report since early 2013.

Read more from the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/1NLSn6T.

6th annual Corey Rose benefit concert

Imagine missing out on prom and graduation, hanging out with friends and enjoying being a teenager. For a 17-year-old girl, those are big life events to miss.

Meet Amy. She’s from Colorado Springs and is currently fighting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She’s in isolation for a month getting ready for a bone-marrow transplant and can’t go anywhere or be around many people.

She loves music and concerts, and her wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation is to go to New York City to Madison Square Garden and to a Broadway show.

Amy is 9NEWS Anchor Corey Rose’s wish kid this year. June 4 is Corey’s sixth annual benefit concert. In 2015, more than $27,000 was raised.

This year, 50 percent of all proceeds will go to Make A Wish to go towards Amy’s wish, and the other 50 percent will go to the Colorado Professional Fire Fighters Foundation. Corey serves on the board. The CPFF Foundation helps Colorado firefighters, their family members and community members in times of tragedy and need.

Corey started this event in honor and memory of her dad who passed away six years ago of Leukemia. He was a firefighter for 32 years.

This year, the festival is sponsored by 9NEWS, Ferrari of Denver and the Hard Rock Café.

Doors open at 6 p.m. in front of the Hard Rock Café downtown outside on Glenarm Place and 16th Street. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Two bands 9s A Pair — which is made up of Denver firefighters — and Phat Daddy — a big local band — will be performing.

To buy tickets, visit: http://tktwb.tw/1S7NPgv.

Arvada medical device plant shutting down

An Arvada medical device plant is shutting down, affecting more than 160 employees.

Lake Region Medical in Arvada will close down by Sept. 30.

The announcement that the plant was closing was made in 2014, when Accellent Inc.of Massachusetts bought Lake Region Medical in March 2014.

Read more from the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/1SiI8cr.

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Study coming on Colorado insurance-law changes that could cause premium shifts

Colorado Insurance Commissioner Marguerite Salazar is poised to begin a study of whether to change the way that health insurers set rates in the state.

Critics have already said the only possible outcome she could reach would be that lowering costs in the mountains would commensurately raise premium prices in the Denver area.

Colorado senators on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved House Bill 1336, would directs the Division of Insurance to study the impacts and viability of creating a single geographic rating area for the purpose for the purpose of determining premiums for individual health plans. The 25-9 passage follows the bill — sponsored by Reps. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Bob Rankin, R-Carbondale — blowing through the House by a 54-11 margin on April 1.

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/1U6PPXJ

Colorado vaccine database proposal fails for the year

Colorado won’t be starting a database this year to track kids who have not been vaccinated.

The state House backed off the proposed database Monday, when the proposal was scheduled for a vote. The legislative maneuver means the database proposal is dead for the year.

Colorado has some of the nation’s loosest rules for avoiding required vaccines. Parents must simply state that they have a medical, moral or religious objection, after which their kids may attend public schools.

Democratic sponsors said vaccine exemptions should be tracked by state health authorities, not school nurses.

But Republicans strongly opposed the database. Rep. Dan Pabon says Colorado will remain one of only about three states with no central tracking of childhood vaccinations.

 

Don’t eat eggs

Now that winter’s behind us, many Coloradans are jumping into spring as a time of renewal. Spring cleaning and home improvements projects are starting to get underway, and the Colorado Egg Producers Association wants to help by letting everyone know about some surprisingly handy uses for eggs around the house.

The protein, nutritional content and texture of eggs provides so much not only for our bodies, but also for our gardens, our hair and more.

Here are some ways the incredible, edible egg can help Coloradans throughout their homes:

Shampoo – The protein content in eggs is particularly beneficial for distressed and damaged hair. The albumen in egg whites cleans the hair while the egg yolk’s fat content conditions.
Compost – Eggshells are great sources of calcium, a crucial nutrient for plants. Add eggshells to your compost to boost its nutrients and promote a healthy garden. You can also crush the eggs and toss them into the compost for a richer soil.
Glue – An egg white can be used as effective paper glue. Use it to bind together light items, such as paper or cardboard. Whisk the egg white beforehand and use a brush to apply it to the surfaces you would like to adhere together.
Leather Cleaner – Because egg white is sticky, it is able to remove dirt from leather. Apply the egg white to the leather surface and scrub lightly. The egg white will leave leather looking shiny and clean.
Egg White Facial – An egg white mask will tighten your skin and diminish the look of fine lines as well as get rid of oily skin and reduce the appearance of blackheads and pores. Whisk egg whites with a little bit of water and apply the mixture to your face. Rinse off after a few minutes. For a moisturizing treatment, follow the same steps using egg yolks.

Spanking raises risks of anti-social behavior, 50-year study finds

Most Americans still strongly support the idea of spanking kids, but a new study says spanking doesn’t work and can make kids aggressive later on.

While kids may not immediately defy their parents after a spanking, they’re more likely to be aggressive later, to have a worse relationship with their parents, and to grow up to have alcohol and substance abuse problems, the new study shows.

The team at the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan focused on open-handed spanking — not beatings. They wanted to see if the time-honored practice really works as well as people believe it does.

It doesn’t, they report in the Journal of Family Psychology.

“The upshot of the study is that spanking increases the likelihood of a wide variety of undesired outcomes for children. Spanking thus does the opposite of what parents usually want it to do,” said Andrew Grogan-Kaylor of the University of Michigan School of Social Work, who worked on the study.

The team did what’s called a meta-analysis, looking at hundreds of studies on spanking. They teased out very specific information about the “punishment which is known in the U.S. as spanking, and which we define as hitting a child on their buttocks or extremities using an open hand,” they wrote.

“Our analysis focuses on what most Americans would recognize as spanking and not on potentially abusive behaviors,” said Elizabeth Gershoff of the University of Texas at Austin.

They made a list of 17 undesirable outcomes, from immediate defiance to alcohol abuse in adulthood. Kids who were spanked more often failed in 13 out of the 17, they found.

The more kids are spanked, the greater the risk

Studies have shown that spanking can damage a child’s IQ or ability to learn; that it trigger aggressiveness and worsens behavior. Gershoff says the pattern is consistent when a large number of studies are put together.

“In childhood, parental use of spanking was associated with low moral internalization, aggression, antisocial behavior, externalizing behavior problems, internalizing behavior problems, mental health problems, negative parent- child relationships, impaired cognitive ability, low self-esteem, and risk of physical abuse from parents. In adulthood, prior experiences of parental use of spanking were significantly associated with adult antisocial behavior, adult mental health problems, and with positive attitudes about spanking,” they wrote.

“Spanking was also significantly associated with lower moral internalization, lower cognitive ability, and lower self-esteem. The largest effect size was for physical abuse; the more children are spanked, the greater the risk that they will be physically abused by their parents.”

In other words, spanking does not improve morals or behavior and it does not make children more successful, they said. Instead, regularly spanking children can make them more prone to mental health issues, makes them misbehave more often and can lead to substance abuse. And kids who were spanked grow up to spank their own kids more often, passing along the behavior and its consequences.

Areas where spanking did not have an effect: immediate defiance, self-control and alcohol abuse in childhood.

The effects are subtle and not every child who is spanked grows up to have mental health problems. But Gershoff’s team said it adds up when spanking is so common.

“Although the magnitude of the observed associations may be small, when extrapolated to the population in which 80 percent of children are being spanked, such small effects can translate into large societal impacts. Parents who use spanking, practitioners who recommend it, and policymakers who allow it might reconsider doing so given that there is no evidence that spanking does any good for children and all evidence points to the risk of it doing harm,” the team concluded.

The right to spank

A majority of U.S. parents say they approve of spanking kids. Most states have banned it at school, but 19 states still allow it: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

Courts largely uphold a parent’s right to spank. A federal appeals court ruled a California woman who hit her 12-year-old daughter’s backside with a wooden spoon should not have been labeled a child abuser by social workers. It said parents had a right to use “reasonable discipline” .

Child welfare advocates say corporal punishment is often applied disproportionately to students with disabilities and those who are black.

The National Child Protection Center, which advocates against spanking, wants to call April 30 “Spank Out Day.”

The American Psychological Association says positive reinforcement is more effective than spanking, anyway.

“Positive reinforcement for alternative behaviors is extremely effective,” it says.

“We hope that our study can help educate parents about the potential harms of spanking and prompt them to try positive and non-punitive forms of discipline,” Gershoff’s team wrote.

Amp up your workout by challenging your balance

Doing the same basic workout can get old fast, but add a balance board and you can target every muscle.
9NEWS fitness expert Candice Carter has three moves to try while balancing. This workout can help your chest, back, arms, legs, glutes and abs. All of these exercises can be done with or without a balance board.
1. Basic Squats
  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart; hips stacked over knees, and knees over ankles
  • Extend arms out straight with palms facing down
  • Do 3 sets of 12
Squats target the entire lower body, specifically the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and your calves.
2. Speed Skater
  • Speed Skater: Here, you’re going to shift your body from side to side
  • Continue Speed Skater for 30 seconds then rest for 15 seconds
  • Repeat move 3 times
Speed Skater is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. This move targets the shoulders, back, abs, butt, and legs.
3. Reverse Sliding Lunge
  • Slide the back foot backwards into a reverse lunge then return to the front
  • After completing a set switch to the opposite leg
  • Do 3 sets of 12 for each leg
The sliding lunge is an easy exercise to do at home or at the office to develop strong glutes and quadriceps muscles. It can also help increase hip flexibility. If you don’t have a slider, you can use a towel on a hard surface to get the same results.

Ways to prevent the deadly deer mice disease Hantavirus

The health department in Eagle County is reminding residents of the risks and precautions to take against the deadly Hantavirus.

The respiratory disease comes from deer mice and is usually transmitted to humans through mice urine and droppings. But the virus cannot be passed from person to person.

Infection happens if mouse urine and droppings get stirred up in the air and inhaled or if a Hantavirus mouse bites a person. This disease can also be contracted by touching droppings, urine or nesting materials and then touching the eyes or mouth.

One confirmed case in Colorado this year resulted in a fatality, however no cases have been confirmed yet in Eagle County.

Hantavirus is only found in deer mice not house mice. The difference can be seen in color and ear size – deer mice are brown with large ears, while house mice are grey with small ears.

The virus causes death in 40 percent of cases and infections occur annually in Colorado – specifically in the spring and summer months. Symptoms include high fever, severe body aches, headache and vomiting.

There is no effective treatment for the disease and sometimes symptoms won’t appear until six weeks after exposure. So health professionals say the best way to beat Hantavirus is through infection prevention.

Some tips to avoid contracting Hantavirus:

* When you’re cleaning rodent-infested structures use special protection like masks and rubber gloves. Also open doors and windows for good ventilation.

* Avoid stirring up dust around mouse droppings and urine by watering down areas of infestation with a mixture of one part bleach and ten parts water.

* Make your home unappealing to rodents by plugging up holes or other mouse entryways. Also keep indoor areas clean like kitchens and places where garbage is kept.

* Keep all food storage sealed up and rodent-proof – this is also important to do with pet food.

* Eliminate rodent hiding places around your home like over-grown vegetation and spare pieces of wood or junk.

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