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Head Lice & The Hospital

Lice Screening and admission procedures


The NPA is hearing more and more from hospital settings -- where children are showing up lousy in the ER and OR! Gotta figure with the endemic state of head lice that hospital admission procedures for children would be well-advised to include lice screenings. The NPA has had one particular report that an anesthesiologist literally leaped out of his chair when he noticed he was sitting over a patient with a "crawling scalp."

Frankly, this is where we think the LiceMeister® comb will prove itself most useful since it screens and collects that which otherwise may go undetected by visual exam. Moreover -- kids being admitted to the hospital obviously have other problems for which the added insults of chemical treatments for lice may be counterproductive. Unfortunately many hospital formularies are still dispensing lindane. It is cheap and remains a bad habit for many prescribers.

It is understandable that hospital staff doesn't take too kindly to A SURPRISE factor of caring for lousy patients. The good news is that this may work to provide an impetus to get questions about lice and lice treatments into the routine history taking process. When this happens the naysayers will begin to see the bigger picture, and understand the extent to which desperate families go -- risking children's health by misuse and abuse of head lice treatment chemicals. Moreover, they will also have the opportunity to see that some of these children may in fact be on the hospital doorstep because of medical problems directly related to the use of certain products on the market for head lice.

No matter what the time or place -- the NPA advises the practical public health measure and the traditional communicable disease prevention method of routine screening, early detection and physical removal of lice and nits. GO GET EM'



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