Federal health officials are reviewing whether routine immunizations contributed to the deaths of as many as three North Idaho babies this fall, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week. The agency has requested autopsy reports and medical records for at least two children and could seek them for a third Kootenai County infant, all of whom died in September and October, apparently within days of receiving recommended vaccines.
A sudden spike in carbon monoxide poisonings in Spokane is fueling renewed warnings about the dangers of propane heaters and other devices that produce the deadly gas. At least 20 people have been examined or treated for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning at Deaconess Medical Center since Thanksgiving, doctors say. Last year, a record 30 people were treated at the hospital's Comprehensive Wound Healing Center between October and February.
Despite increased awareness of the prevalence and virulence of the potentially deadly, drug-resistant staph germ known as MRSA, hospitals in Washington and across the nation may not be doing enough to combat the problem, infection control workers said. An informal survey of about 2,100 infection specialists, including some in Spokane, showed that half of the experts thought their institutions could or should do more to prevent and control methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.
Two years after Washington’s strictest-in-the-nation smoking ban left local bar owners and patrons fuming mad, resistance apparently has disappeared in a puff of acceptance. Complaints to the Spokane Regional Health District’s smoking hotline have plummeted, falling 82 percent from 270 in 2006 to 49 so far this year. That includes a decline in complaints about smoking indoors from 183 to 40 and complaints about smoking too near a doorway from 170 to four, district records showed.
Hospitals and clinics in the Inland Northwest and across Washington are limiting nuclear medicine tests to only the most serious cases as a reactor in Canada remains idle, threatening supplies. At Deaconess Medical Center, Kootenai Medical Center and Spokane Cardiology, only emergency and critical cases will receive tests that require technetium-99, a radioactive substance used for diagnosis and evaluation of ailments.
When Ronnita Donohoe saw some of her daughter's toys on a massive recall list last summer, she did what most worried mothers would do. She took the playthings away from 4-year-old Isabella and returned them to the store for credit.
Medical laboratories in Spokane and across Washington will begin reporting the most serious cases of MRSA this month, offering health officials new insight into the prevalence of the potentially deadly drug-resistant bacteria. Starting Dec. 17, most of the state's 117 clinical labs will document invasive cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a germ that has become increasingly hard to treat with front-line antibiotics.
This time, Betty Marsh knew better than to mess around. When the 63-year-old Harrington, Wash., woman had a heart attack nearly three years ago, she waited hours to seek treatment thinking her symptoms would go away. When they didn't, her ex-husband drove her 65 miles to Spokane to get help.