August 2, 2016
ISSUE | CLEAN AIR Study did not prove fracking caused asthma As an environmental professional, I am disappointed in a letter and coverage of a study that promote scary headlines far from the reality of safe gas development in Pennsylvania (" Air quality at risk ," July 22). The study's authors said they "did not prove any link" but found an association between gas development and asthma. The authors did not establish a baseline of cases prior to shale development or consider asthma trends in the commonwealth.
July 23, 2016
ISSUE | FRACKING Air quality at risk A study showing that fracking may be worsening asthma for those who live near such oil- and gas-drilling operations should not come as a surprise ("Fracking may worsen asthma for nearby residents, study says," Philly.com, Monday). We already know that oil and gas infrastructure leaks smog-forming compounds and toxic pollutants into our air at an alarming rate, and the findings published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine are only the latest in a string of research conducted in Pennsylvania showing correlations between fracking and health issues.
June 1, 2016
ISSUE | AIR POLLUTION Ozone endangers children with asthma Ground-level ozone is a powerful pollutant that can trigger dangerous health consequences, including asthma attacks and heart attacks ("Linking environmental, public health," May 15). Doctors see patients' physical distress when ozone levels are high. My particular concern is the effect of air pollution on uniquely vulnerable members of our population: children with asthma. The health community can play a critical role in educating decision-makers about the need for clean-air safeguards to protect public health.
March 9, 2016 |
Veterinarian Dominic Dallago pets his patient, a domestic short-haired cat with diarrhea, as though she can't harm him. But lurking in the dense black fur of the purring 10-year-old feline (Dallago won't name her for privacy reasons) are allergens that don't pussyfoot around - microscopic proteins poised to attack like throat-choking commandos, to lay the allergic doctor low by triggering his asthma. "I usually sniffle, snort," said Dallago, 37, who works at World of Animals Veterinary Hospital in the Rittenhouse Square area.
January 3, 2016
Asthma rates among U.S. children have quieted down after a decades-long increase, a government study found, and researchers are trying to pinpoint reasons that would explain the trend. A possible plateau in childhood obesity rates and declines in air pollution are among factors that may have helped lower cases in kids, the 2001-13 study suggests. Overall, average asthma rates among those ages 17 and younger increased slightly, then leveled off and declined by the study's end, when 8.3 percent of children were affected.
December 10, 2015 |
Since suffering a near-fatal asthma attack in the summer of 2014, 51-year-old Peter Bowser has been hospitalized 20 times. Doctors believe Bowser's asthma was exacerbated by his living conditions: a resident of a Camden homeless shelter, he left the facility each morning and walked several miles to a library, where he could stay indoors to get relief from hot or cold weather. Last month, Bowser became one of the first people to be placed in an apartment through Camden County's new "Housing First" program, aimed at reducing chronic homelessness and expensive emergency room visits.
November 14, 2015 |
What the heck is a Health Hack? Instead of the traditional hackathon with computer geeks, pizza and Red Bull, think medical professionals, engineers, artists, tech types and an insurance company, banding together to come up with creative solutions to improve delivery of health care, then toss in some yoga, zumba and kickboxing and add a vegetarian lunch. That was the scene at Jefferson University Hospital this weekend as about 250 participants in the first Independence/Jefferson Health Hack came together to brainstorm solutions to 60 health care challenges centered around reducing hospital admissions, wearables devices and drone-based health care delivery.
April 18, 2015 |
For nearly two decades, Tyra Bryant-Stephens has worked to lessen the asthma crisis among children in Philadelphia neighborhoods where rates of the potentially deadly condition far outstrip the national average. In 1997, the physician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia founded the Community Asthma Prevention Program, which she has led ever since. The staff of 12 includes nurses, educators, and lay home visitors. Bryant-Stephens also is active with the American Lung Association.
September 5, 2014 |
The estate of a 12-year-old girl who died after suffering an asthma attack at a West Philadelphia elementary school - that at the time did not have a nurse on duty - has lodged a wrongful-death suit against the School District. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, seeks damages in the Sept. 25, 2013, death of Laporshia Massey. Also named as defendants were the school, its principal, and Laporshia's teacher. According to the suit, Laporshia was attending classes at Bryant Elementary School, at 6001 Cedar Ave., when she began having difficulty breathing.
May 23, 2014
THE DEATH of any child is a tragedy. The death of two children who fell ill while at school is unspeakable. And while the cause of death for a first-grader at Andrew Jackson School has not been determined, both cases demand that we take a hard look at the impact the district's budget realities may be having on children. When the Jackson student died Wednesday, there was no school nurse on duty. Nor was there a school nurse on duty in October when a sixth-grader had an asthma attack and subsequently died.