Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Many Parents Can't Leave Work to Care for Sick Child
Greater access to federal and employer-provided job leave can help working American parents better care for chronically ill children, says a RAND Corporation study in the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers surveyed 574 full-time parents of chronically ill children in order to examine the availability of paid and unpaid work leaves, how often parents missed work to care for ill children, and the length of time the parents were away from work. The survey was conducted between November 2003 and January 2004.
Less than half the parents qualified for benefits under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, which provides eligible workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year to care for ill family members without the risk of being fired.
The study also found:
Among the study authors' recommendations:
RAND is a nonprofit research organization.
FDA Approves 'Computerized Medication Box'
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a programmable medication box that stores and dispenses prescription drugs for patients in their homes.
The Electronic Medication Management Assistant (EMMA), which is designed to be used under the supervision of a licensed health care provider, can reduce drug dosing and identification errors and help health care professionals monitor whether patients are adhering to medication regimens, said manufacturer INRange Systems of Altoona, Pa.
The company said EMMA may prove especially useful for older patients and for others, such as HIV/AIDS patients, with complex medication regimens.
EMMA includes a medication storage/delivery unit that's about the size of a bread box. Two-way communication software enables health care professionals to remotely schedule or adjust medication use. The unit emits an audible alert when it's time for a patient to take medications.