Medical / Health

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Bass Announces $4.8 Million Federal Grant, Ramped Up Needle Disposal Efforts at Packed Opioid Town Hall

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2017 at 9:33 AM

More than 250 people attended the opioid town hall meeting last night put together by state Sen. Mike McGuire and Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass. - ANDREW GEORGE BUTLER
  • Andrew George Butler
  • More than 250 people attended the opioid town hall meeting last night put together by state Sen. Mike McGuire and Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass.
Speaking before a Sequoia Conference Center packed with more than 250 people for Tuesday night’s opioid town hall meeting hosted by state Sen. Mike McGuire, Humboldt County Supervisor Virginia Bass announced the county has received a $4.8 million federal grant to create a new local opioid help center.

The meeting saw presentations from a handful of local and state officials on the opioid epidemic and a host of questions from the public, most of them centering around the safe disposal of hypodermic syringes locally.

Bass said the center will focus on opioid education as well as finding treatment for its clients. The center will be one of two dozen new “Hub and Spoke” clinics in California. The clinics’ model is an adaptation from Vermont’s system, which has drawn national praised for its opioid addiction work. Bass said she expects to see Humboldt’s hub start to come to fruition in a couple months.

Bass also addressed the topic of needle disposal, which — judging by the questions from audience members — is clearly of public concern. Bass said in the next couple months a number of kiosks will be installed around Eureka purely for the safe disposal of needles. “This is something we have to embrace as a community issue in order to make a change,” she said.

Eureka Police Chief Steve Watson said the “needle tsunami” sweeping across the city could see some relief in the coming months. He said his department has been working with local health service entities to tighten up the flow of needles into the city. Watson didn’t disclose what specific steps the department has taken.


Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Eureka Man Calls for Volunteer Action on Loose Needle Problem

Posted By on Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 1:43 PM

Krigbaum (off duty) - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • Krigbaum (off duty)
“Stop thanking me,” says Brandon Krigbaum. The tall, bearded former wildland firefighter has been picking up and discarding loose needles in Eureka for a month and a half, and has gotten used to congratulatory messages on social media and his voicemail. At the Oct. 17 Eureka City Council meeting, Councilmember Kim Bergel lauded his volunteerism. But that’s not what Krigbaum wants.

“I would rather people go out and start doing something of their own,” he says. “I’d rather people go out and start cleaning.”

Krigbaum does not have an estimate as to the number of needles he’s picked up since starting his one-man campaign. He says they’re too numerous to count. The 29 year old spends around two hours a day responding to requests that he visit a certain corner, park, parking lot or meadow. People also ask him to pick up and discard sharps containers they have filled themselves. (The Journal estimates that, based on needle distribution and return numbers reported by the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and the Humboldt Area Center for Harm Reduction, around 7,000 needs go unaccounted for each month.)

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, September 17, 2017

TL;DR Drunk in Public

Posted By on Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 10:02 AM

PHOTO BY ERIC MUELLER
  • Photo by Eric Mueller
Didn’t have time to read this week’s cover story? We get it. Summer just disappeared in a blink and now it's time to get ready for one of those famous rainy Humboldt winters. If you'd rather spend the weekend winterizing the house than catching up on current events, we put together a quiz from week's cover story, "Drunk in Public," with charts!

TRUE OR FALSE? It's illegal to be drunk in public.


FALSE. California's public intoxication law — Penal Code Section 647f — says that to meet the legal threshold, a person must be so intoxicated that he or she presents a danger to his or her own safety or the safety or others, or be obstructing the use of a street, sidewalk or other public way.

TRUE OR FALSE? We have a lot of people being arrested for being drunk in public.

TRUE. Of all arrests made by all local law enforcement agencies in 2017, 21 percent were of people for being drunk in public. Almost one-quarter of all arrests in 2016 — 24.1 percent — were 647fs. And in 2015 — the last year for which statistics are available through the California Attorney General's Office — we arrested people for public intoxication at a rate of more than three times the state average. In fact, in 2015, Humboldt County accounted for 3 percent of the state's public intoxication arrests despite having just 0.4 percent of its population.
In 2015, 7 percent of California's adult arrests were for public intoxication, compared to 23 percent of Humboldt County's. That year, Humboldt County accounted for 3 percent of the state's public intoxication arrests though it is home to just 0.4 percent of the state's population.   - SOURCE: THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S  OFFICE, THE CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE AND THE U.S. CENSUS.
  • Source: The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, the California Attorney General's Office and the U.S. Census.
  • In 2015, 7 percent of California's adult arrests were for public intoxication, compared to 23 percent of Humboldt County's. That year, Humboldt County accounted for 3 percent of the state's public intoxication arrests though it is home to just 0.4 percent of the state's population.

TRUE OR FALSE? We have a high rate of drunk in public arrests because we have a college nearby.


FALSE. Our analysis of the data reveals that most of these arrests are people who are what some call "chronic inebriates" — people arrested over and over again for alcohol or drug related offenses. Of the 182 August arrests the Journal analyzed, almost exactly one-third — 56 — were of repeat offenders, a handful of people arrested twice or more in the same month for public intoxication.

"The majority of those we're talking about aren't somebody that got too drunk on their 21st birthday, that's more the exception than the rule," says Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman. "The normal is the chronic inebriate, cycling through over and over and over again."

Repeat offenders: 56 of the 182 drunk in public arrests are the same 22 people (one third of the arrests). - SOURCE: THE HUMBOLDT COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE'S BOOKING RECORDS.
  • Source: The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office's booking records.
  • Repeat offenders: 56 of the 182 drunk in public arrests are the same 22 people (one third of the arrests).

TRUE OR FALSE? Jail is the best place to sober up.

FALSE. While law enforcement officers are often the only point of contact for chronic inebriates, they and others agree that correctional facilities aren't the best treatment option for this public health problem. Each arrest also takes an officer off the street for at least an hour, and up to four or six hours if the person needs to be seen at the hospital. Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel and others are currently looking at establishing a sobering center in Eureka, where people who just needed to sleep it off could be dropped off by officers without legal ramifications. There, they would be monitored by trained staff and offered access to services. Support for a sobering center seems to be universal among those affected by this issue.
  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Friday, September 8, 2017

Eureka Condemns 'Heroin Hilton,' Displacing 20

Posted By on Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 1:54 PM

Workers board up 216, 218 and 220 Third Street this morning. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • Workers board up 216, 218 and 220 Third Street this morning.

UPDATE: Eureka City Councilmember Kim Bergel has informed the Journal via Facebook that she was told the city has offered all 20 or so displaced residents of the condemned  buildings the option of staying at the local Motel 6 until Monday, when relocation funds are expected to be made available. The Journal hasn't yet been able to verify this and it wasn't an offer given to all residents on site this morning.

PREVIOUSLY:
The city of Eureka condemned three properties on Third Street owned by Floyd and Betty Squires this morning, forcing about 20 people out of their apartments and, in some cases, onto the streets.

Deputy Public Works Director Brian Issa says the city felt the need to take immediate action due to hazardous, unsanitary conditions that posed a danger to residents and the general public. Tenants said they were notified first thing yesterday morning that they had 24 hours to vacate the premises and move all their stuff. Known as the “Heroin Hilton,” the apartment building at 220 Third St. has been the site of several recent drug busts, and neighbors have long complained of constant streams of people coming in and out of the building, along with pervasive drug use in and around the apartments.

“This place has just descended into chaos,” Issa said. “It’s a trap house. On any given day, there are people lying on the floor in the hallway and on the stairs with needles in their arms, feces on the floor.”

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Monday, September 4, 2017

The Smoke is No Joke

Posted By on Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 3:27 PM

The red, smoke-filtered sun over the Arcata Bottoms. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The red, smoke-filtered sun over the Arcata Bottoms.

If you've been (or even looked) outside this weekend, you've noticed the air has been thick with visible fog-like smoke. And chances are, depending on your location, you're feeling the effects in some measure.

In a press release, the North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District warned of hazardous conditions in Orleans, Weitchpec and Hoopa due to wildfires. Clean air shelters for our county are located at the Weitchpec Tribal Office and the Hoopa Neighborhood Facility. NCUAQMD advised residents to contact their health providers if they notice signs of excess smoke exposure, among them coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain and nausea.

An earlier release today designated areas from Trinidad, McKinleyville, Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Fortuna, Ferndale and Rio Dell to Scotia as "'Unhealthy' with periods of 'Very Unhealthy' conditions with possible improvement toward the afternoon/evening." Meanwhile,  Garberville and Southern Humboldt communities are categorized as "overall 'Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups' to 'Unhealthy,'" and Willow Creek and Salyer are labeled "Very Unhealthy."

Those who are most vulnerable to the effects of smoke exposure — including the young, elderly, pregnant women and those with respiratory or heart disease — are advised to keep indoors and "avoid prolonged activity," though everyone should avoid long, strenuous outdoor activity and pay attention to potential symptoms.

See the full press release copied below for details and a full list of symptoms to look out for.

Updated, September 4, 2017 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For the following areas:
Air Quality Alert
Hazardous Conditions
In Humboldt County:
Orleans, Weitchpec, and Hoopa are forecast “Hazardous” conditions for these
communities in the Klamath River drainage.
In Trinity County:
 Weaverville and possible adjacent areas (Big Bar, Del Loma, Lewiston, Junction City,
and Hayfork) are forecast “Hazardous” conditions with periods of “Very Unhealthy”.
Clean Air Shelters in Humboldt County:
- Weitchpec Tribal Office, Highway 96, Weitchpec. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Hoopa Neighborhood Facility, Hoopa Tribal Office, Highway 96, Hoopa, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
M-F and this Holiday Weekend.
Clean Air Shelters in Trinity County:
- Veterans Memorial Hall, 101 Memorial Dr, Weaverville. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- American Red Cross Evacuation Shelter, First Baptist Church, 1261 Main St., Weaverville. - Hayfork Community Center, 154 Tule Creek Road, Hayfork. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Clean Air Shelters in Del Norte County (see also http://preparedelnorte.com):
- Family Resource Center, 494 Pacific Ave, Crescent City (closed 8 p.m. to 10 a.m.)
- Tsunami Lanes Bowling Alley, 760 L Street, Crescent City (open during regular
bowling alley hours posted at location)
- Xaa-wan'-k'wvt Village and Resort (formerly Ship Ashore), 12370 Hwy 101 N.,
Smith River (closed 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.)
Updates will be provided as conditions change, and people are recommended to restrict outdoor activities when possible. People are recommended to restrict outdoor activity.

Symptoms that may be related to excess smoke exposure include:
• Repeated coughing
• Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
• Wheezing
• Chest tightness or pain
• Palpitations
• Nausea or unusual fatigue
• Lightheadedness
If you have any of the symptoms listed above, contact your health care provider. Please see the NCUAQMD’s website at www.ncuaqmd.org for additional recommendations on limiting smoke exposure.
For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call the NCUAQMD’s hotline toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329), or visit the website at www.ncuaqmd.org.
Health Information for Smoke Impacts
Concentrations of smoke may vary depending upon location, weather, and distance from the fire. Smoke from wildfires and structure fires contain harmful chemicals that can affect your health. Smoke can cause eye and throat irritation, coughing, and difficulty breathing. People who are at greatest risk of experiencing symptoms due to smoke include: those with respiratory disease (such as asthma), those with heart disease, young children, and older adults.
These sensitive populations should stay indoors and avoid prolonged activity. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Even healthy adults can be affected by smoke. Seek medical help if you have symptoms that worsen or become severe.
If you can see, taste, or feel smoke, contact your local health department and/or primary healthcare provider. This is especially important if you have health concerns, are elderly, are pregnant, or have a child in your care.
Follow these general precautions to protect your health during a smoke event:
• Minimize or stop outdoor activities, especially exercise
• Stay indoors with windows and doors closed as much as possible
• Do not run fans that bring smoky outdoor air inside – examples include swamp
coolers, whole-house fans, and fresh air ventilation systems
• Run your air-conditioner only if it does not bring smoke in from the outdoors. Change
the standard air conditioner filter to a medium or high efficiency filter. If available, use
the “re-circulate” or “recycle” setting on the unit
• Do not smoke, fry food, or do other things that will create indoor air pollution
If you have lung disease (including asthma) or heart disease, closely monitor your health and contact your doctor if you have symptoms that worsen.
Consider leaving the area until smoke conditions improve if you have repeated coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea, unusual fatigue, lightheadedness.

For 24-hour Air Quality Advisory Information, call toll-free at 1-866-BURN-DAY (1-866-287-6329).
For further information, visit the District’s website at
www.ncuaqmd.org
NORTH COAST UNIFIED
AIR QUALITY MANAGEMENT DISTRICT 707 L Street, Eureka, CA 95501 Telephone (707) 443-3093 Fax (707) 443-3099 http://www.ncuaqmd.org



  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Thursday, August 31, 2017

St. Joseph Hospital Fined by the State for Juggling Surgeries

Posted By on Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 2:00 PM

54562314.jpg
An April 2014 incident in which a surgeon had to leave a hysterectomy to perform an emergency Cesarean section has resulted in a $40,000 fine for St. Joseph Hospital from the California Department of Public Health. In its press release, the CDPH stated "the hospital failed to ensure the health and safety of a patient when it did not follow established policies and procedures." This is the hospital’s second "Immediate Jeopardy" administrative penalty.

According to state documents, the incident occurred on April 29, 2014, when a physician performing a hysterectomy on a patient was called out to perform an emergency C-section and had to leave the operating room, "as no other obstetrician could be found." The doctor left "after the arteries to the uterus had been clamped, cut, and tied off." The incident report does not say how long it took, but both surgeries were successful.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Friday, August 25, 2017

Humboldt Resident Contracts West Nile Virus

Posted By on Fri, Aug 25, 2017 at 2:51 PM

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
  • National Park Service
Humboldt County has its first confirmed case of West Nile Virus in four years, but officials believe the risk is minimal because the infected resident contracted the virus while travelling abroad.

The resident was asymptomatic and the virus was detected during a routine blood donation screening, according to a press release. West Nile — which can cause fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting and, rarely in extreme cases, neurological disease — is transmitted by mosquitoes, which contract it by feeding on infected birds.

“The likelihood of contracting WNV here is low, but people who travel certainly can bring it home,” said Humboldt County Health Officer Donald Baird in the press release.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DA Clears EPD in Hospital Death

Posted By on Tue, Aug 8, 2017 at 5:33 PM

FILE
  • FILE
The Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office has reviewed the circumstances surrounding the April 2, 2016 death of Jeremy Jenkins and found that EPD personnel did not contribute to the cause of his death.

Police were called to Spring Street at 1:25 p.m. that day to a report of a man “rolling around on the ground,” and arrived to find Jenkins on the sidewalk. When an officer contacted Jenkins, he reported told him he’d just smoked “$40 of meth,” according to a DA’s press release. Jenkins was then transported to St. Joseph Hospital, where he died.

A forensic pathologist determined Jenkins’ cause of death to be “excited delirium” due to “acute methapmetamine intoxication.” Jenkins was 33.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , ,

Monday, July 31, 2017

Study of NFL Brains 'Reinforcing' for Local Concussion Awareness Efforts

Posted By on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 at 11:18 AM

Trainers attend to an injured Augustana University football player in the round one playoff game at Redwood Bowl in 2015. Researchers are beginning to equate playing — and studying — with a concussion to running on a sprained ankle, and are recommending immediate rest upon signs of a brain injury. - FILE
  • File
  • Trainers attend to an injured Augustana University football player in the round one playoff game at Redwood Bowl in 2015. Researchers are beginning to equate playing — and studying — with a concussion to running on a sprained ankle, and are recommending immediate rest upon signs of a brain injury.

North Coast Concussion Program Coordinator Beth Larson said she wasn’t particularly surprised to see the groundbreaking study released last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association finding that 110 out of 111 brains of deceased NFL players were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head.

The study is groundbreaking in its breadth but Larson said there’s nothing terribly surprising about the results.

North Coast Concussion Program Coordinator Beth Larson. - FILE
  • File
  • North Coast Concussion Program Coordinator Beth Larson.
“It’s reinforcing,” she said. “It’s just more evidence to what we basically already expected.”

The study dissected the brains of the deceased NFL players to look for signs of CTE and an article in the New York Times concedes there is an inherent selection bias in the study. Because CTE is only detectable through brain dissections, the study only looked at brains from players and families that wanted them studied, often because they’d noted CTE symptoms.

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , ,

Friday, July 28, 2017

Goodbye MAC, Hello Waterfront Treatment Services

Posted By on Fri, Jul 28, 2017 at 2:02 PM

A sign welcoming visitors to the MAC. - LINDA STANSBERRY
  • Linda Stansberry
  • A sign welcoming visitors to the MAC.
The dramatic debate in Washington, D.C. over the fate of national healthcare policy almost scuttled plans to bring comprehensive addiction treatment to Humboldt County.

The July 18 vote by the Eureka City Council to allow City Manager Greg Sparks to negotiate a lease agreement for the property at 139 Y St. formerly known as the Multiple Assistance Center. The MAC, which has been used as a transitional facility for homeless folks, will see a new incarnation as Waterfront Treatment Services, a detox and residential treatment facility for people struggling with addiction. The facility will be managed by the Redwood Coast Action Agency and Alcohol Drug Care Services. St. Joseph Hospital, under Providence St. Joseph and the Well Being Trust, recently administered a $1.6 million grant to sponsor "the first and only dual-diagnosis, medical detoxification and residential treatment facility in the county" for its first 18 months.

John McManus, who helms ADCS, has been trying for several years to implement a medically-based detox in Eureka. ADCS's current detox center relies on St. Joseph Hospital to medically assess patients and clear them before they're admitted to treatment. Withdrawal from some drugs, including alcohol, can be fatal or life-endangering and require medical intervention. Drug MediCal, a program covered under the Affordable Care Act, offers reimbursement for these services. His efforts to get ADCS services and medical detox covered under MediCal were hampered by infrastructure problems in ADCS buildings, many of which were built in the 1930s and could not be brought up to compliance to be eligible for MediCal.

"It’s finally happened," McManus told the Journal. "The way it’s come together is better than I could have ever imagined."

Continue reading »

  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recent Comments

socialize

Facebook | Twitter

© 2017 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation

humboldt