Thursday, January 25, 2007


Health officials rap hospital for outbreak

LOS ANGELES — Hospital staff did not properly clean medical instruments linked to a deadly bacterial outbreak at a neonatal intensive-care unit, state regulators have concluded.

White Memorial Medical Center closed the unit Dec. 4 after an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa sickened five infants. Two of the babies died, and their deaths were thought to have been caused by the pathogen.

In a report issued Tuesday, inspectors from the California Department of Health Services faulted hospital staff for not following manufacturer’s recommendations for sterilizing laryngoscope blades, which are used to insert breathing tubes. The report said the respiratory-therapy staff simply wiped the blades with soap, tap water and alcohol wipes.

A White Memorial statement said the report “confirms the hospital’s preliminary findings.”

The neonatal unit has been reopened, and officials said there have been no new infections.


Bar owner convicted for taping women

PONTIAC — A man was convicted of secretly videotaping women at his bar as they used the bathroom and a tanning booth.

A judge hearing the case without a jury convicted William Lutson on Tuesday after reviewing 90 minutes of videotape from cameras hidden in a light fixture over a toilet and in a laundry basket at the Grand Ole Bar in Chatsworth.

Prosecutors said Lutson, 57, secretly recorded at least 12 women at the central Illinois bar in July 2005. Some of the women were minors, prosecutors said.

“They were videoed, transmitted and recorded all without consent, permission or authority,” prosecutor Carey Luckman said. “Each of these women expressed their disbelief, the shock. …”

Lutson is scheduled for sentencing March 24.


New Orleans faces teacher shortage

NEW ORLEANS — Wanted: Idealistic teachers looking for a Peace Corps-style adventure in a city in distress.

Some of New Orleans’ most desperate, run-down schools are beset with a severe shortage of teachers, and they are struggling mightily to attract candidates by appealing to their sense of adventure and desire to make a difference. Education officials are even offering to help new teachers find housing.

After Hurricane Katrina struck 17 months ago, some of the worst of the worst public schools were put under state control, and those are the ones finding it particularly hard to attract teachers. The 19 schools in the state-run Recovery School District have 8,580 students and about 540 teachers, or about 50 fewer than they need — a shortage so severe that about 300 students who want to enroll have been put on a waiting list.


Bead treatment eases fibroids, study finds

BOSTON — Injecting tiny beads into the arteries that feed painful fibroids in the uterus can be better than surgery for most women, even if the long-term risk of complications is higher, researchers reported yesterday.

About 30 percent of all women over the age of 30 develop the benign tumors, which are responsible for about 13,000 hysterectomies in Britain alone each year. Hysterectomy once was the only treatment, but now other options are available, including the bead treatment, known as uterine-artery embolization. Once injected, the beads cut off the supply of blood to the fibroids, shrinking or killing them.

The new study, conducted at 27 British hospitals and led by Jonathan Moss of Gartnavel General Hospital in Glasgow, found that the 106 women who received the treatment fared just as well as the 51 who had the conventional surgery.


Sons find parents fatally shot in home

SYOSSET — As police searched for the killers of a couple whose young sons found them fatally shot in their home, family friends and relatives said they were mystified by the slayings.

Nassau County police identified the victims as Jaspal Singh, 46, and Geeta Singh, 38.

Their sons, 12 and 13, came home from school expecting to be greeted by their mother, but nobody answered the door, police said. They said the boys used a spare key to get in and found their parents’ bodies. The boys ran to alert a neighbor, said Michael Moore, 13, who lives across the street.

Neighbors said the family, originally from India’s Punjab state, had moved into the home less than a year ago and previously lived in Queens. A family friend, Raj Maini, said the parents had immigrated 18 years ago.


Recaptured inmates face new charges

TULSA — Authorities recaptured two inmates yesterday, including a killer, who are suspected of tying up two women and taking their cars.

Charles McDaniels, 35, and Tony Ellison, 23, were captured in central Tulsa about 3 a.m., Highway Patrol Capt. Chris West said.

The men led authorities on a short car chase after investigators closed in on a home where they were hiding, Capt. West said. They were arrested after they crashed the car and attempted to run. No one was injured.

McDaniels and Ellison had escaped from the medium-security Great Plains Correctional Center in Hinton, 50 miles west of Oklahoma City, on Monday by cutting through a recreation-yard fence, said Jerry Massie, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

McDaniels was serving life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder for the 1988 robbery-killing of a cabdriver in Tulsa. Ellison is serving 15 years for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and a consecutive five-year term for escaping from jail in 2005, records show.


Minister donates kidney to rabbi

PHILADELPHIA — Call it interfaith cooperation: The Rev. Karen Onesti, a Methodist, has donated a kidney to Reform Rabbi Andrew Bossov.

The two leaders of congregations in the Philadelphia suburb of Mount Laurel, N.J., underwent kidney-transplant surgery Tuesday, said Rick Cushman, spokesman for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where the procedure was performed.

“Everything went exceptionally well,” Mr. Cushman said. “The procedure was a success, and the prognosis is [for] success.”

Mr. Cushman said surgery took about 33/4 hours. By Tuesday night, both patients were awake and visiting with their families.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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