Tag Archives: diabetes

First drug approved to treat eye disease affecting diabetics


| rfrank@queenscourier.com


The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever drug to treat a sight-threatening condition called diabetic macular edema, or DME. Everyone who has diabetes is at risk of developing the disease, which causes blurred vision, severe vision loss and sometimes blindness.

The drug, Lucentis, is administered once a month via injection.

“Lucentis represents a major development in treating people whose vision is impaired by diabetic macular edema,” said Dr. Mark Fleckner, a Fresh Meadows ophthalmologist specializing in treating disease of the retina. “Until now, the only treatment for this condition was laser surgery.”

Almost 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetic macular edema affects an estimated 560,000 Americans with diabetes, and about 75,000 new cases of DME are diagnosed each year. The condition causes fluid to leak into the macula, the center part of the retina responsible for sharp, straight-forward vision. The fluid makes the macula swell, causing vision to blur.

The safety and effectiveness of Lucentis to treat diabetic macular edema were established in two studies involving 759 patients. Patients were randomly assigned to receive monthly injections of Lucentis or of a placebo during a two-year period.

Significant gains in average vision were observed just seven days after the first treatment with Lucentis. The studies showed that 34 to 45 percent of those treated with monthly Lucentis gained at least three lines of vision on an eye chart, compared with 12 percent to 18 percent of those who did not receive Lucentis.

The Food and Drug Administration previously had approved the drug to treat age-related macular degeneration, a condition in which abnormal blood vessels grow and leak fluid into the macula.

Although the new treatment is considered an advance in preventing vision loss from DME, Dr. Fleckner emphasizes that the best thing people with diabetes can do to preserve their sight is to control their blood sugar, lead a healthy lifestyle and have regular eye exams.

What it takes to make school a safe place for students with diabetes


| brennison@queenscourier.com


(ARA) – When children head off to school, it’s assumed that they’ll be in a safe place where they’ll be well taken care of. For the most part, that’s the truth. But for children with diabetes, the school environment can pose a serious health risk if there’s no one on site to help them manage their disease.

It’s important for schools to make diabetes safety a priority, as 215,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 20 are living with diabetes. Safe schools are those that have staff who are properly trained in caring for children with diabetes and work with parents and students to manage their disease.

“It’s not only important for a child’s health to have a plan in place that designates a school nurse and other trained staff to help manage his or her diabetes at school, but it’s also essential in ensuring children with diabetes are treated fairly and have the same educational opportunities as their peers,” says Linda M. Siminerio, RN, Ph.D., co-chairperson, American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School Working Group.

The American Diabetes Association’s Safe at School campaign works to educate and train school personnel and parents on how to effectively help children manage their disease at school. According to the Association, effective school-based diabetes management requires three things:

1. Basic diabetes training for all staff

All school staff members who have responsibility for a child with diabetes should receive training that provides a basic understanding of the disease and the child’s needs, how to identify medical emergencies, and which school staff members to contact with questions or in case of an emergency.

2. Shared responsibilities for care, with leadership by school nurses

The school nurse holds the primary role of coordinating, monitoring and supervising the care of a student with diabetes. However, in addition to a school nurse, a small group of school staff members should receive training to provide routine and emergency diabetes care, so that someone is always available for younger or less experienced students who require assistance with their diabetes management and for all children with diabetes in case of an emergency, including administration of glucagon.

3. Self management is allowed in all school settings for students with capacity

Children possessing the necessary skills to do so should be permitted to self-manage their disease in the classroom or wherever they are in conjunction with a school-related activity. Such self-management should include monitoring blood glucose and responding to blood glucose levels with needed food and medication.

Safe at School offers many resources for both school personnel and parents that can help in formulating a care plan for children with diabetes and individual expert help in resolving school diabetes care problems when they occur at www.diabetes.org/sas, or by calling 1-800-DIABETES.

In addition to providing educational resources though the Safe at School campaign, the American Diabetes Association also works to advocate for better policies to help children with diabetes. For example, the Association recently successfully advocated for the passage of laws in Connecticut, Louisiana and Georgia that ensure that children get the care they need, whether it’s provided by the school nurse or another trained school staff member. In addition, these new laws permit capable students to self-manage their diabetes.

The Association also provides assistance to families whose children are not getting care at school – such as Latesha Taylor’s nine year old daughter Loretta, a Washington, D.C., public school student, who was made to stay home whenever the school nurse was absent. The Association is now in the process of resolving the Taylor complaint and working with her school system to develop a district-wide policy to ensure that D.C. Public School students with diabetes will be able to attend and receive care at school even when the school nurse isn’t there.

Before parents of children with diabetes send them off to school, it’s important to communicate with school staff to make sure written plans are in place. The American Diabetes Association is ready to help parents to develop care plans to make certain that your child is getting the proper care and treated fairly at school, which will provide your child the best chance for good health and educational success.

 

Dr. Conrad Murray gets 4 years in jail for Michael Jackson death


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Comedian Patrice O’Neal Dead at 41

Comedian Patrice O’Neal died Tuesday morning … as a result of a stroke he suffered back in October…This according to his friends at the “Opie and Anthony” radio show. O’Neal had been a staple in the comedy world for years — and performed at the “Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen” back in September. O’Neal was a regular guest on the “Opie and Anthony” radio show – and appeared on several TV shows such as “Chappelle Show,” “The Office,” and “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.” Opie just tweeted, “Yes it’s true that our pal Patrice O’Neal has passed away. The funniest and best thinker I’ve ever known PERIOD.” Read More: TMZ

American Airlines Has Normal Flights After Parent Company Files For Bankruptcy

American Airlines says its normal flight schedule will go on after filing for bankruptcy protection. AMR, the struggling carrier’s parent company, filed for Chapter 11 protection today. It also replaced American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey with the company’s president, Thomas Horton. The airline says the move will help cut debt caused by high-jet fuel prices and labor problems. Travelers should not be affected for now, but the reorganization could lead to a reduced flight schedule and job cuts. American is the the third largest airline in the country and is the first major airline to file for bankruptcy since Delta in 2005. Read More: NY1

City might close Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep

Less than six years after opening its doors, a small school opened by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration might be on its way to closure. Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep (CHCP), which shares space in the Franklin K. Lane building with three other schools on Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn, received some bad news along with a “D” on its annual progress report – the city might move to close the school after only two graduating classes. Read More: Queens Courier

Iranian protesters storm British embassy

Dozens of hardline student protesters stormed the British Embassy and another British compound in Tehran Tuesday, destroying papers, reportedly setting the Union Jack flag afire and even carrying off a portrait of the Queen while staff fled to safety. Read More: New York Post

Richmond Hill family convicted of defrauding innocent victims

Three members of a Richmond Hill family have been convicted of defrauding 19 individuals, mostly members of the borough’s West Indies community, out of more than $1.8 million over a nearly six-year period by promising to assist them in obtaining “federally seized” properties in Florida and Queens at cheap prices or to assist them in gaining legal status in this country. Read More: Queens Courier

Dr. Conrad Murray gets 4 years in jail for Michael Jackson death
The disgraced doctor whose “medicine madness” killed Michael Jackson was sentenced to the maximum term of four years behind bars and a tongue-lashing Tuesday. Dr. Conrad Murray, 58, was branded a callous, reckless liar who violated his Hippocratic oath and left the King of Pop to die alone in his own bed by the judge. Read More: Daily News

Queens home sales & property values keep sliding at faster rate than rest of city
Queens homeowners are feeling the pain of the housing slump. The volume of home sales in the borough fell by 9% in the third quarter, compared with the same period last year, according to a report from NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. The decline exceeded the drop in home sales citywide, which measured 4%. Queens also stood out when it came to declining property values. Prices in the borough have depreciated 30% from their peak levels, which were reached in the fourth quarter of 2006. Read More: Daily News

War of words between Flushing Councilman and Police Department

Antoinette Carona buried her only son on what would have been his 22nd birthday earlier this month. Carona has lived in a self-described “hell” as she waits for the killer of her son, Alex Botero, to be caught. Botero was shot execution style in an elevator of the James A. Bland Houses in Flushing on Halloween night. More than 40 residents of the Bland Houses and nearby Latimer Gardens attended a community meeting on Nov. 15 to express their concerns over safety in the area. But there was one very important element missing: The police. Not a single representative from the 109th Precinct attended, City Councilman Peter Koo said, sparking a war of words between the lawmaker and NYPD. Read More: Daily News

Civic group starts new push to get historic Forest Park Carousel landmark status 

Concerned about the fate of the Forest Park Carousel, which has been shuttered since 2008, civic leaders have launched a new effort to win the historic amusement landmark status. The city has been unable to find an operator for the hand-carved wooden carousel, crafted by Daniel Carl Muller more than 100 years ago. Read More: Daily News