Daily Rounds: Speedy Teen Birth Control; Robotic Arm Struggles; Sex Trafficking Survivor; Peanut Butter Crackdown

Prescribe Morning After Pill For Teens Before They Need It, Doctors Say (NPR) — “The nation’s largest group of pediatricians is urging its members to write prescriptions in advance to enable teenagers to have fast access to the so-called morning-after birth control pill. “Emergency contraception is an important backup method for all teenagers,” says a policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Advanced provision increases the likelihood that teenagers will use emergency contraception when needed, reduces the time to use and does not decrease condom or other contraceptive use.”

Learning To Accept, And Master, A $110,000 Prosthetic Arm (The New York Times) — “While prosthetic leg technology has advanced rapidly in the past decade, prosthetic arms have been slow to catch up. Many amputees still use body-powered hooks. And the most common electronic arms, pioneered by the Soviet Union in the 1950s, have improved with lighter materials and microprocessors but are still difficult to control. Upper limb amputees must also cope with the critical loss of sensation. Touch — the ability to differentiate baby skin from sandpaper or to calibrate between gripping a hammer and clasping a hand — no longer exists. For all those reasons, nearly half of upper limb amputees choose not to use prostheses, functioning instead with one good arm. By contrast, almost all lower limb amputees use prosthetic legs. But Corporal Gallegos, 23, is part of a small vanguard of military amputees who are benefiting from new advances in upper limb technology. Earlier this year, he received a pioneering surgery known as targeted muscle reinnervation that amplifies the tiny nerve signals that control the arm. In effect, the surgery creates additional “sockets” into which electrodes from a prosthetic limb can connect.”

From Victom To Survivor To Leader, A Former Sex Trafficking Victim Speaks Out (The Boston Globe) — “Graves, a victim of savage exploitation by a child prostitution ring, left her hometown in 2009 following her crucial testimony in a federal case against the pimps who abused her and other girls. She hoped anonymity and several hundred miles of separation would keep retribution at bay. The 24-year-old woman still has scars — most visibly the one on her cheek left by a pimp with a potato peeler, marking her as his property. And she still steers clear of Boston, with its dark memories and, for her, special risks. But she is no longer in hiding. Instead, Graves is speaking out, a crusader against the commercial exploitation of children. “I got over the fear of becoming of a victim of trafficking,” she said during a recent interview. “If one girl sees my story and it impacts one girl’s life, I am doing something productive.”

FDA suspends operations at New Mexico peanut butter plant linked to salmonella (Fox News) — “The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on a New Mexico peanut butter plant that had repeated food safety violations over several years, using new authority to halt operations at facilities that may be producing unsafe food. The agency on Monday suspended the registration of Sunland Inc., which is the country’s largest organic peanut butter processor. FDA officials found salmonella in numerous locations in Sunland’s processing plant after 41 people in 20 states, most of them children, were sickened by peanut butter manufactured at the Portales, N.M., plant and sold at the Trader Joe’s grocery chain. The company had announced plans to reopen its peanut processing facility on Tuesday after voluntarily shutting down earlier this fall. The FDA gained the new authority to suspend companies’ registrations in a food safety law signed by President Barack Obama in early 2011, and this is the first time the agency has used it.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.