Monday, November 21, 2011

The Morning Drill: November 21, 2011

Good Morning!

A collection of dentistry and health related links/comments for your day.

Brunswick dentist can practice in spite of Ohio dental board discipline, complaints & conviction

An exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation uncovered a Northeast Ohio dentist who can still legally practice, despite state records that show he has a long history of complaints and disciplinary actions, which includes three years of probation stemming from a criminal conviction.

Igor Skalsky, 59, has been disciplined four times by the Ohio State Dental Board since 1986, according to documents obtained by NewsChannel5.

“Four is a significant number,” said Lili Reitz, the executive director of the Ohio State Dental Board.

Skalsky owns Cross Creek Dental at 3915 Center Road in Brunswick, Ohio.

State living center resident hospitalized after mistake during dental cleaning

A resident at Austin State Supported Living Center has been hospitalized for more than two weeks after her mouth was sprayed with hazardous chemicals during a routine dental visit at the facility.

Earlier this month, a dental hygienist accidentally cleaned the female patient's teeth with a chemical compound used to remove tartar and stains, according to an internal investigation conducted by the Department of Aging and Disability Services, which runs the state living centers. That solution, which is not intended for use in the mouth, is a 15 percent dilution of sulfamic acid and is used to clean dentures.

Hours after the incident, the woman was taken to the University Medical Center Brackenridge, where she experienced respiratory problems and other complications. She was in good condition Thursday.

UC Merced students investigate health disparities in Central Valley

A select group of undergraduates and graduate students at the University of California Merced are researching health topics in a unique but “unfortunate” laboratory.

The students are studying an array of topics related to health disparities, and the lab is the community of Merced. It is an unfortunate laboratory, UC professors say, because of the prevalence of diseases and chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and asthma. That and the unique ethnic and racial profile of Merced makes the community ideal for studying health disparities.

The study is part of the university’s Center of Excellence for the Study of Health Disparities in Rural and Ethnic Underserved Populations, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The NIH grant gave the center $1.3 million over two years, which funds the training of students in research methods, according to Jan Wallander, principal investigator for the center and a professor in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.

What Does the FDA’s Avastin Decision Mean for Breast Cancer Patients?

The Food and Drug Administration’s decision to revoke approval of Roche’s Avastin for advanced breast cancer is likely to curtail use of the $6 billion-a-year drug for such patients. But it’s not likely to put an end to prescribing.

Today’s action doesn’t affect the drug’s other approved uses, which include certain types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancers, the FDA said. And physicians are free to prescribe an approved drug for any use they see fit.

One question, though, is whether insurers will cover it. About $1 billion of Avastin’s sales are currently attributed to breast cancer. Many insurers have continued to cover it as the drug’s use in breast cancer came under fire in recent months.

The final decision comes nearly four years after the agency OKed the medicine for advanced breast cancer under its accelerated approval program, which enabled patients to get access to the drug before results of large-scale studies were completed. Disappointing findings from those trials triggered a review that finally led to today’s action, in which the agency said the medicine’s risks outweigh the benefits for patients with the disease.

Enjoy your morning!

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