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Thread: NYC Issues 9/11 Medical Guidelines

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    NYC Issues 9/11 Medical Guidelines

    NYC Issues 9/11 Medical Guidelines



    New York City health officials issued long-awaited guidelines Thursday to help doctors detect and treat 9/11-related illnesses - medical advice considered crucial for hundreds of ground zero workers now scattered across the United States.

    The New York City Health Department had previously offered instructions for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and mental illness resulting from Sept. 11 experiences. But health experts, advocates and politicians complained the city had shelved instructions on how to treat the physical ailments of Sept. 11.

    Since the 2001 terror attacks, thousands of firefighters, police officers, construction workers and volunteers who toiled at ground zero have been screened for a host of medical ailments, including severe lung disease and gastrointestinal problems.

    "Five years after the World Trade Center attacks, many New Yorkers have disaster-associated physical and mental health conditions," said city Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden.

    Frieden called the guidelines "an important document to help doctors better recognize and treat these illnesses."

    The guidelines could be vital in getting proper treatment for ground zero workers who have either relocated, or who came from elsewhere and must rely on doctors in other states who are unfamiliar with ground zero symptoms and the most effective treatments.

    The Associated Press reported last week that more than 600 ground zero workers in 34 states have received medical screening for their exposure to toxic ground zero dust.

    The guidelines suggest particular questions to ask, tests to give and ways to treat the 9/11 patients.

    They also carry a specific warning about tobacco.

    "The risk and severity of many WTC-related diseases are heightened by tobacco use. Exposure to secondhand smoke may also exacerbate WTC-related diseases," the guidelines state. "All WTC-exposed people and their family members who use tobacco should be advised to quit, and all who attempt to quit should be provided with medications to help them quit."

    The medical guidelines, also known as a protocol, will be mailed to all doctors in New York and distributed elsewhere by the federal government.

    Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., welcomed the move.

    "It's about time," said Maloney. "Some might ask why it took so long to get them out or why the city did not do this sooner."

    In New York, the city-run World Trade Center Health Registry is tracking the long-term health effects of 71,000 people, including those who lived or worked in lower Manhattan at the time of the attacks and the months of cleanup.

    Mount Sinai Medical Center is preparing a major study of thousands of ground zero workers, to be released days before the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

    Kathy Kirkland of the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, which administers a nationwide screening program for ground zero workers, said before the release that many doctors would not know what kind of lung test to give such patients or be able to connect an intestinal problem to Sept. 11 exposure.

    A House committee plans to hold a hearing on Sept. 11 health issues next week.

    http://www.emsresponder.com/article/...tion=1&id=4005

    On the Net:

    New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/home/home.shtml

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    9-11 health quandary unresolved

    Tuesday, September 5, 2006
    9-11 health quandary unresolved

    Treating responders uncertain, complicated

    By Anthony DePalma THE NEW YORK TIMES


    They seem to be running from the people who are sick, not standing with them.

    Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney,
    DEMOCRAT




    NEW YORK

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    70% of twin-tower workers sickened by lung problems

    70% of twin-tower workers sickened by lung problems, Sept. 11 study says

    Amy Westfeldt
    Associated Press
    Sept. 6, 2006 12:00 AM


    NEW YORK - Nearly 70 percent of the rescue and cleanup workers who toiled in the dust and fumes at ground zero have had trouble breathing, and many will probably be sick for the rest of their lives, doctors said Tuesday in releasing results of the biggest Sept. 11 health study yet.

    The Mount Sinai Medical Center study is conclusive proof of a link between recovery work at the World Trade Center ruins and long-term respiratory problems, doctors said.

    "There should no longer be any doubt about the health effects of the World Trade Center. Our patients are sick," said Dr. Robin Herbert, co-director of the group that has monitored the health of nearly 16,000 ground zero workers.


    Herbert said that most of the patients in the study first went to ground zero from Sept. 11 to Sept. 13, 2001, which exposed them to asbestos, pulverized concrete, mercury and toxicants that will leave them chronically sick.

    "Our patients were very, very highly exposed and are likely to suffer health consequences as a result of that for the rest of their lives," she said.

    Herbert was joined by lawmakers who accused the federal government of not doing enough to protect the workers' health and not spending enough to treat them.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg cast doubt on the study's claims, saying, "I don't believe that you can say specifically a particular problem came from this particular event."

    Dr. John Howard, who was appointed by the Bush administration in February to coordinate the various ground zero health programs, called the findings "extremely important" and said they support other researchers' work, including a study of city firefighters.

    The study, to be published Thursday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, focused mostly on what has come to be called "World Trade Center cough" in 9,442 ground zero workers examined from July 2002 to April 2004.

    They included construction workers, police and firefighters and other volunteers who worked at the site, in the city morgue or at a landfill where more than 1 million tons of Trade Center debris was carted.

    In lung function tests, ground zero workers had abnormalities at a rate double that expected in the general population; these problems persisted for months and in some cases years after the exposure, the study found.

    The study said almost 70 percent of Trade Center responders had new or worsened respiratory problems during or after the attacks. Sixty-one percent of responders who had no health symptoms before the attacks developed problems while working at ground zero. One third of those tested had abnormal lung function, which Herbert said is a rate twice as high as the non-smoking population.

    The mayor said a World Trade Center clinic will open in January. Among those who will be treated there are undocumented immigrants.

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articl...ealth0906.html

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