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Medical Errors, Perspectives On AA, Medicated Preschoolers And More: Weekly Roundup

A helicopter sprays mosquito-killing pesticide over a wildlife refuge in San Jose, California
Don McCullough via Flickr
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A helicopter sprays mosquito-killing pesticide over a wildlife refuge in San Jose, California

This week: Not gonna lie, we're a little freaked out about the looming threat of Zika virus on US shores, as well as the new numbers on deaths from medical errors. The fields of healthcare and education have helpful answers for small children in foster care and those with ADHD - the challenge is reaching more of both groups. And in the addiction treatment arena, the debate between 12-step and professional therapy continues. Get the weekly roundup as an email

Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say

A Johns Hopkins study estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. Why are we just hearing about this now? Researcher Martin Makary says that's because the CDC doesn't require doctors to code for medical error as the cause of death. Yikes. ProPublica reports. We also recommend listening to the Diane Rehm Show's hour on this topic, with Dr. Makary and CDC mortality statistics expert Bob Anderson. 

Opinion: The US Is Unprepared For Zika: Congress Must Act

"Failure to prepare for a storm that is spreading rapidly in our region, heading for our shores, and which could affect the next generation is unconscionable." On the Health Affairs Blog, Georgetown University health law scholars Alexandra Phelan and Lawrence O. Gostin urge Congress to approve President Obama's $1.86 billion emergency funding request to combat Zika. Read more.

For Foster Kids, Preschool Can Be A Place To Catch Up Socially and Emotionally

Kids in foster care often don't get the parenting others do to help develop learning skills early on. Going to preschool can help. But getting foster children to curriculum-based preschool can be a challenge. Side Effects' Michelle Faust reports.  
 

AA Is Not Enough To Treat Addiction, But For Some Its More Comfortable Than Therapy

At least 80 percent of current American addiction treatment is based on the 12-step model developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, according to research by author Maia Szalavitz. She argues that treatment should be in the hands of medical professionals, not volunteers, in a post on NPR's Shots blog. But what if experience tells you that medical professionals don't understand you? St. Louis Public Radio's Durrie Bouscaren spoke with a public health scholar about what he learned from talking with with African-American men in north St. Louis. 
 

CDC: Preschoolers With ADHD Often Given Drugs Before Therapy

The CDC is worried. Behavioral therapy has shown to be just as effective as medication for ADHD, without the side effects. So why are more kids medicated? The AP reports, via Health News Florida