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Health Highlights: May 16, 2019

Last Updated: May 16, 2019.

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Bill Banning Abortion at 8 Weeks Passed by Missouri Senate

A bill banning abortion at eight weeks of pregnancy was passed by Missouri's Republican-led Senate hours after Alabama's governor signed a near-total abortion ban into law.

A number of GOP-dominated state legislatures have passed laws restricting abortions in the hope that a more conservative U.S. Supreme Court could overturn its landmark ruling legalizing abortion, the Associated Press reported.

The Missouri bill includes exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Doctors who violate the law would face five to 15 years in prison. Women who have abortions wouldn't be prosecuted.

The bill requires approval in the GOP-led House before it can go to Republican Gov. Mike Parson, who expressed support for an earlier version Wednesday, the AP reported.

The Alabama law is the most restrictive in the nation, making performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.


Transgender Man Has Stillbirth After ER Nurse Disregards Abdominal Pains

A pregnant transgender man had a stillbirth after an emergency department nurse didn't consider his severe abdominal pains an emergency, according to a case study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The 32-year-old patient was in labor, but the nurse didn't consider the case to be urgent, noting that the patient was obese and had stopped taking blood pressure medicines, the Associated Press reported.

The man told the nurse he was transgender and his electronic medical record listed him as male.

Transgender men are considered female at birth but identify as male. They may or may not be using masculinizing hormones or have had surgical alterations, such as womb removal, The Times reported.

The authors said the case highlights issues about gender classification and health care, The Times reported.

"The point is not what's happened to this particular individual but this is an example of what happens to transgender people interacting with the health care system," said lead author Dr. Daphna Stroumsa, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

"He was rightly classified as a man" in the medical records and appears masculine, Stroumsa said. "But that classification threw us off from considering his actual medical needs."

The patient was not identified and Stroumsa would not reveal where or when the case occurred.


North Carolina Sues E-Cigarette Maker Juul

North Carolina is suing e-cigarette manufacturer Juul for allegedly marketing its products to children and misleading the public about the health risks of the products.

"As a result of Juul's deceptive and unfair practices, thousands of North Carolina kids are at risk of addiction to nicotine," North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said Wednesday, CNN reported.

"Juul must be stopped from spreading this disease any further and must pay for its violations of the law," he added.

"I'm taking this action today to keep these products out of kids' hands, to keep the vapor out of their lungs and to keep the poison out of their brains," Stein said.

This is the first lawsuit filed by a state over Juul's alleged marketing toward teens, CNN reported.

The lawsuit was welcomed by anti-tobacco groups.

"Juul introduced a slick, sweet-flavored, high-nicotine product and marketed it in ways that one study found was patently youth-oriented. We applaud Attorney General Stein for taking action to bring about the changes needed to protect kids," Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told CNN.

"While we have not yet reviewed the complaint, we share the Attorney General's concerns about youth vaping, which is why we have been cooperating with his office and why we have taken the most aggressive actions of anyone in the industry to combat youth usage," Juul said in a statement Wednesday, CNN reported.

In related news, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration neglected its legal duty by postponing for several years reviews of all vaping products.

The ruling was made in a lawsuit filed last year by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other public health groups that want the FDA to begin reviewing thousands of e-cigarettes on the U.S. market, CNN reported.

The FDA's lack of oversight of e-cigarettes has led to a huge increase in teenagers' use of the devices, which could get a generation of Americans hooked on nicotine, the groups said.

"It is now the FDA's responsibility to take immediate action to protect our kids and require manufacturers to apply to the FDA if they want to keep their products on the market," the groups said in a statement.

In his ruling, U.S. Judge Paul Grimm called the FDA's delay "so extreme as to amount to an abdication of its statutory responsibilities," CNN reported.

In a statement, FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said the agency is reviewing the court decision and "will continue to tackle the troubling epidemic of e-cigarette use among kids," CNN reported.

The FDA has the option of appealing the decision.


Americans' Dirty Pool Habits Revealed in Survey

The next time you're about to jump into a swimming pool, you might want to think about a new survey that reveals American adults' dirty pool secrets.

It found that 40% of adults admit to peeing in the pool as an adult, nearly one-quarter said they'd go into a pool within an hour of having diarrhea, and 48% said they never shower before going into a pool, CBS News reported.

More than half of adults said they use a swimming pool as a substitute for showering or to rinse off after exercise or yard work, according to the online survey of 3,100 adults conducted by the Sachs Media Group.

The findings are surprising considering that two-thirds of respondents said they know that pool chemicals do not eliminate the need to shower before swimming.

"When dirt, sweat, personal care products, and other things on our bodies react with chlorine, there is less chlorine available to kill germs," Dr. Chris Wiant, chair of the Water Quality & Health Council, said in a statement, CNN reported.

"Rinsing off for just one minute removes most of the dirt, sweat, or anything else on your body," Wiant said.


Tattoo Inks Recalled Due to Bacterial Contamination

Six tattoo inks have been recalled because they're contaminated with bacteria and could lead to infection that poses a serious health risk, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The recalled inks include: all lots of Scalpaink SC, Scalpaink PA and Scalpaink AL basic black inks made by Scalp Aesthetics; lots 12024090 and 12026090 of Dynamic Color - Black tattoo ink made by Dynamic Color Inc.; and lot 10.19.18 of Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink made by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone's Ink).

Consumers should ask their tattoo artist or studio about the inks they use and avoid the recalled inks, the FDA said.

Symptoms of tattoo-ink-associated infections include rashes or lesions in areas where the ink has been applied. This type of infection can be difficult to recognize because other conditions, such as allergic reactions, may initially have similar signs and symptoms.

Some tattoo infections can result in permanent scarring.

If you've had symptoms of infection or injury after getting a tattoo, see a health care professional and inform your tattoo artist, the FDA said.

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