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Health briefs for May 26

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Law requires consent for nursing home patients

A new law requires informed consent for nursing home patients and their families regarding the use of powerful anti-psychotic drugs. Senate Bill 142, authored by Sen. Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City, and Rep. Tammy West, R-Bethany, deals with the overuse of the drugs for patients who have not received a psychiatric diagnosis, nor has informed consent been given by the patients or their representatives.

According to research from the Centers of Medicaid and Medicare Services, Oklahoma has the worst record in the nation with one in five nursing home residents receiving anti-psychotic drugs without a psychiatric diagnosis to warrant the use of the medications. Bice said elderly patients who are inappropriately prescribed the drug are at risk for over-sedation falls, accelerated cognitive decline and increased risk of stroke and pneumonia. It also can mask other conditions or illnesses that go untreated.

Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the bill May 7 and it goes into effect Nov. 1.

Children's Hospital to participate in summer program

The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, 1200 Children’s Ave., will participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program during the 2019 summer break. The hospital, in cooperation with Sodexo, will offer free meals to children June 3-July 31.

Breakfast will be served from 7 to 10 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays to youth 18 years and younger on a first-come, first served basis.

The Summer Food Service Program is similar to the National School Lunch Program and ensures children continue to receive adequate nutrition when school is out for summer break. For more information, contact Pam Harris at pamela.harris@oumedicine.com or 405-271-8001, Ext. 42212.

Health Department offers tips to avoid mosquitoes

Officials with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department urge residents to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and to report mosquitoes in your area by calling 405-425-4347 or going to www.occhd.org/complaintform.

Oklahoma County had three confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in 2018, but no fatalities. Health officials monitor incidences of the West Nile Virus by testing mosquitoes from numerous traps across the county. Skeeter Meter reports are issued weekly.

Resident are urged to:

• Dump standing water from tires, flower pots and bird baths.

• Keep swimming pools clean and free of stagnant water.

• Dress in long-sleeves and pants when working outside and use a repellent containing DEET.

• Clean out clogged gutters and make sure window screens are in good repair.

Staff reports

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