Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
The "Golden Spike" Edit ion
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Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
Coroner Charles Kiessling had a problem on his hands.

He needed to determine the cause of death for a flood of opioid overdoses in his rural county in Lycoming, Pennsylvania—but he didn’t have the resources for expensive autopsies. 

So Kiessling turned to a new oral swab technology developed by Steel Fusion Laboratories, a forensic laboratory based in Monseen, PA. The new technology solves a two-part problem for coroners: It enables an accurate, cost-effective, and quick way to determine if the death was due to a drug overdose or some other cause, allowing death investigators to prioritize their investigations.

“This technology has saved us thousands of dollars of every year,” Kiessling told The Daily Beast.

Kiessling had been searching for ways to manage his office’s $260,000 budget to process more than 400 cases annually. In 2017, there were 38 deaths from opioid overdoses, and in 2018, there were 27 deaths. If Kiessling had to process a full-blown autopsy for each overdose, it would siphon money and time from other investigations the office needs to complete.

Instead of ordering expensive toxicology tests ranging from $900 to $3,000 a time, they’re using a cotton swab similar to a Q-tip. Kiessling collects oral fluid from the inside of the deceased’s mouth, seals the swab inside a collection device with a tube, and sends it in a bio bag along with the chain of custody to the Steel Fusion laboratory.

Within 48 hours and for about $300 dollars, the lab measures the levels of drugs in the system, allowing a coroner to determine a cause of death.

CLICK HERE to see more about this new forensic tool.
To be healthy, our bodies require a well-balanced community of bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live on and inside our bodies. This “microbiome” is comprised of over 100 trillion microbes, plus their genes.

Why we do need these microbes? The answer is counterintuitive: Lack of exposure to bacteria and parasites early in life and antibiotic use increase a person’s susceptibility to disease by suppressing the natural development of the immune system, allowing pathogenic bacteria to proliferate and destroy the integrity of intestinal lining, while killing off good bacteria.

To learn more about the microbiome and its relationship with brain health, the BrainFutures team spoke with Dr. Robynne Chutkan at her Digestive Center for Wellness in Washington, D.C., which incorporates microbiome analysis and nutritional counseling as part of a therapeutic approach to digestive disorders. Dr. Chutkan is an integrative gastroenterologist and the bestselling author of three books: Gutbliss, The Microbiome Solution and The Bloat Cure.

Here are key takeaways from our conversation:

CLICK HERE to see what Dr. Chutkan has to say.
According to a new report, head trauma tops the list of severe injuries involving the use of electric scooters — injuries that in many cases could have been prevented
with the use of a helmet.
Head trauma tops the list of severe injuries involving the use of electric scooters — injuries that in many cases could have been prevented with the use of a helmet, according to an investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Austin public health department.

Almost half of the riders identified in the study had a severe injury, such as a broken leg, and half reported that a surface condition such as a pothole or crack in the street may have contributed to their injury, according to the report, released Thursday. Fewer than 1 percent of those injured were wearing a helmet.

The investigation, the first from the CDC into scooter use, gathered information from people treated at Austin hospitals last fall for injuries associated with the use of rental scooters. It comes amid spreading reports of related injuries and deaths in cities including the District, Los Angeles and Dallas; it also follows recent news of scooter failures and breakdowns.

The devices, which are in more than 100 cities worldwide, have led to a new category of injuries in emergency rooms. Cases of broken noses, wrists and shoulders, along with facial lacerations and fractures have been reported since last summer. The study probed the reported spike in injuries related to the use of the devices that have become ubiquitous on many streets and sidewalks.

In the D.C. region, the devices can be found practically everywhere in downtown Washington and are available in Arlington and Alexandria. The District this week announced the expansion of its program, which allows nearly 5,000 dockless devices, including bikes and scooters, to be in operation.

The Austin analysis found that nearly half of those hurt while using a scooter suffered an injury to the head and about 15 percent suffered a traumatic brain injury. Among those were concussions and internal bleeding.

“These injuries may have been preventable,” the study said. “Studies have shown that bicycle riders reduce the risk of head and brain injuries by wearing a helmet. Helmet use might also reduce the risk of head and brain injuries in the event of an e-scooter crash.”

CLICK HERE to find out more about this latest health crisis.
What We are Watching We Think
You Might FInd Interesting
Inspiration Porn and
The Objectification of Disability:

Stella Young at TEDxSydney 2014
5) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"My favorite weather is bird chirping weather.”

Have you ever clicked on the beautiful pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Stay Safe. Enjoy Spring.

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