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Several news stories appeared on TV and online about Doug Harkey, a man who regained his eyesight after a chiropractic adjustment. Two of the stories appeared on January 11, 2008 in the Telegraph Herald from Dubuque Iowa, and KCRG-TV news from Cedar Rapids Iowa.
Doug Harkey, a 38-year-old resident of Dubuque Iowa, was legally blind in his left eye for 12 years. As he reported it, "I woke up one day and I didn't have vision in one eye." Being legally blind did not limit Mr. Harkey's ambitions as the stories reported that he did parachute out of a plane in 2006.
Doug Harkey's fiance, Gina Connolly was going to a chiropractor, Dr. Tim Stackis, and convinced Doug to attend a new-patient class. Harkey admited, "I was skeptical about chiropractic". However, in spite of his skepticism, the stories note that on January 3, 2008 Doug received a chiropractic adjustment, and his world was changed.
Harkey recalled the events after that adjustment, "My blind eye starting watering after I left there and it watered for 45 minutes straight. It started making my good eye water. I went to wipe my right eye and I could see out my left again." His enthusiasm continued as he remarked, "While I wiped my right eye, I could see out of my left." He then told a friend, "Oh my God, I can see!". To which his friend responded, "You always could." Harkey then exclaimed, "No, out of my LEFT eye!"
Dr. Stackis explained in an interview, "I've heard of cases of people regaining their sight, but I've never experienced something like Doug's magnitude. Miracles can happen and some of those miracles are pretty big." He continued his explanation of what happened by noting that some of the bones in Mr. Harkey's neck were out of alignment (subluxation), "That interferes with the messages and energy the brain sends down to the rest of the body." Dr Stackis continued, "Your nerve system controls and regulates every function of your body,"
Harkey concluded his remarks and summed up the situation and optimism for his future by saying, "I'll have everything back except my peripheral vision. In the daytime, it will be great to see everything
A November 11, 2008, report from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, (APIC) suggests that there could be more than 7,000 infections and 300 deaths in U.S. hospitals on any single day from the drug resistant intestinal bacteria clostridium difficile, also called C. difficile. Several news publications ran stories on November 11, 2008 based on this report including the Chicago Tribune, MSNBC, and ABC News.
The stories note that as many as 13 out of every 1000 hospitalized Americans were infected with the C. difficile bacteria. This number is between 6.5 to 20 times higher than previously estimated. The infections are being blamed on overuse of antibiotics and improperly cleaned hospital rooms.
Dr. William R. Jarvis, the study's lead author commented, "Hopefully this will be a wake-up call about the importance of preventing this organism." He also noted that the incidence may actually be higher than his study suggests. He said, "Not only is it under-recognized and not tested for, but even when it's tested for, you have a 25 percent chance you're going to miss it."
Epidemiologist Dr. L. Clifford McDonald, the CDC's expert on C. difficile, said, "It's important data that confirms that there's an awful lot of this, that's the bottom line." He noted that the high use of antibiotics is a key factor in the spread of such resistant bacteria like C. diff. "We've long been encouraging the public not to demand antibiotics as a solution to all of their problems," McDonald said. "This brings it home to roost, doesn't it?"
Dr. Stuart Johnson, an associate professor of medicine at Loyola University's Stritch School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research, voiced his comments to the Chicago Tribune article by adding, "This confirms what many of us have suspected: that this is a very widespread problem in virtually all hospitals."
Dr. Jarvis concluded the ABC News story on this problem by saying, "I think it's a combination of factors. One is that we know that our population is aging, and elderly patients are at the highest risk. We know that antibiotic use is increasing, that's a risk factor for this. And we know that there's been the introduction of a more virulent strain, which was first recognized up in Montreal, Canada, in Quebec."
A recent study published in the March 29, 2004 peer reviewed journal, The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, (JVSR), showed that chiropractic adjustments had a positive effect on children with acute ear infections. In the study 21 children were examined. All these children showed acute inflammation in the inner ear with a red and bulging tympanic membrane accompanied by an increased mean oral temperature of over 100 degrees F.
The results of the study showed that after the chiropractic adjustments, the red and bulging tympanic membrane returned to normal in 95% of the children and a decrease in average oral temperature to 98.6 degrees F.
A similar story also appeared on the website of the television station, WIS TV news on March 30, 2004. That story featured a four year old girl Taylor, who went to see a chiropractor for ear infections. According to her mother Taylor had been suffering with about eight ear infections a year. Her mother noted that after two chiropractic adjustments, she hasn't had one ear infection in nine months, "This has been a big great help for us."
The news report ended with the following, "Besides ear infections another study found chiropractic care helps babies with colic. The study reports children cried two hours less after having adjustments than those who received the standard drug treatment."
Several news stories and articles have appeared speaking to the issue of backpack safety in school children. One article from the Aug. 1, 2007 issue of the Okeechobee News starts off by noting that backpacks can be purchased anywhere, but very few people ask about the construction of these packs. The article suggests that parents ask the following questions. "How wide are the shoulder straps? Does it disperse weight evenly? Does the bag have a waist belt to disperse weight to the hips?"
The Okeechobee News article reports that according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), there are more than 21,000 backpack-related injuries each year. The article notes that increased weight is a major issue. The result, as they suggest, is that, "This increase in weight can be correlated to an increase in children seeing chiropractors."
On July 12, 2007, the California publication, The Acorn, also published a story on backpack safety. In this story they quote Dr. Gerard W. Clum of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress who advises, "Backpacks weighing more than 15 pounds that are slung over a shoulder produce an imbalance in the rib cage." He continued by saying, "This type of repetitive strain can also initiate arm and hand numbness, headaches or backaches."
The July 20, 2007 Toledo Free Press also ran a story on backpacks where they offered tips by the American Chiropractic Association to "help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household." These tips included:
Make sure your child's backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight.
The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline.
A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively.
Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child's back.
Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps.
The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack fits to your child's body.
If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child's teacher.
On September 13, 2005, Medical News Today published the announcement of the creation of chiropractic guidelines for pediatric care. The guidelines "The Child Patient: A Matrix for Chiropractic Care" was originally released as a supplement to its peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) Vol. 6, No.3, 2005.
The release is noteworthy in two respects. This is the first time guidelines such as these have been published with parameters establishing the necessity of chiropractic care for children of all ages. But additionally, since these guidelines were published as a supplement to a scientific, peer reviewed journal, the medical news outlet "Medical News Today" picked up the release and published it in their general release available for all physicians and the general public.
Dr. Joan Fallon, Board of Directors member of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) and past chair and current Executive Committee member of the ICA Pediatrics Council stated, "The foundation of chiropractic care is the presence of subluxation." She continued, "For children, subluxation manifests itself differently than in adults, and also may occur as a result of multiple non- pain producing activities especially in the very young child. The Matrix closely examines the presence of subluxation in the child with respect to their anatomy, physiology and development."
Dr. Lora Tanis, Chairperson of the ICA Pediatrics Council noted the importance of these guidelines by stating, "This is an invaluable contribution to the profession and to the public at large because for the first time we have a published document that explains why infants and toddlers need chiropractic care and how the need and/or frequency of care relates to birth trauma, immune system maturity and developmental milestones along with any abnormal, congenital, traumatic or acquired injuries the child may have."