2006 Annual Meeting in Phoenix Was a Huge Success
CAPHIS sponsored the very successful pre-conference symposium / CE program “Patient Safety: A Proactive Approach for the Information Professional.” This program was organized and moderated by Lorri Zipperer. For those interested in information on this topic please consult the “Partnering for Patient Empowerment through Community Awareness” website at http://www.galter.northwestern.edu/ppeca/ Sponsors for this program included Thomson Gale, CINAHL, the National Patient Safety Foundation, Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
The CAPHIS Annual Business meeting was sponsored by SWETS Information Services. At this meeting the section determined that this years primary goals will be reorganizing and designing the section web site, complete an overhaul of the CAPHIS Top 100, the establishment of an aggregation of consumer health library policies, and continuing the process of establishing a formal award (or several awards) sponsored by CAPHIS. Our Annual Board Meeting was sponsored by SCOPUS.
For the past few years Kay Hogan-Smith has done a great job of maintaining the section web site, but has expressed interest in sharing the wealth and allowing another section member the joys of maintaining it. I am pleased to announce that Gillian Kumagai has assumed this position and will undertake the redesigning the site. Redesigning the web site is a process so please does not expect this to happen overnight, but please notice the small changes that take place throughout the year. Kudos to Kay and Gillian.
Barbara Bibel, our chair-elect, will be heading a strong team of section members that will be reviewing and updating the CAPHIS Top 100. Joining Barbara are Joy Kennedy, Michelle Spatz, and Nancy Dickenson. This group of library leaders plan on having this job completed by late summer or early fall.
Your newsletter editors, Howard Fuller and Nancy Dickenson, have also been looking to transition the position to a new member. I am excited to report that Joe Nicholson from the UC-Berkeley Public Health Library has offered to take over Consumer Connection starting with the Fall 2006 issue. Kudos to Joe.
Our section program, Promoting Patient Safety, was moderated by Lorri Zipperer and sponsored by Matthews Books. Our contributed paper program featured compelling presentations from Tania Bardyn and Dorice Vierira of NYU’s Ehrman Medical Library, Joanne V. McHugh-Romano of Texas Woman’s University, Julie Beauregard of Vanderbilt Medical Center, and Doug Varner of Johns Hopkins. Thanks to all the speakers who made this program a huge success.
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Update from the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services
Submitted by Colette Hochstein, D.M.D., MLS (Colette@nlm.nih.gov), Division of Specialized Information Services, NLM
of Specialized Information Services (SIS, http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/)
at the National Library of Medicine creates information resources and
services in toxicology, environmental health, chemistry, and HIV/AIDS. Another
component of SIS, the office of Outreach and Special Populations, seeks to
improve access to quality and accurate health information by underserved and
special populations. Many SIS products help to address the toxicology and
environmental health information needs of the general public.
The Household Products Database
Now Contains More Than 6,000 Products
Database (http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/) is a consumer guide that
provides information on the potential health effects of chemicals contained in
more than 6,000 common household products used inside and around the home. This
resource helps scientists and consumers learn about ingredients in brand-name
Health Concerns on the Farm: The Newest Neighborhood for Tox Town
Farm neighborhood is the newest addition to Tox Town, a Web-based
introduction to environmental health risks and toxic chemicals. Tox Town (http://www.toxtown.nlm.nih.gov)
invites visitors to explore a farm to learn about environmental health issues
related to agricultural waste, drinking water quality, air pollution, pests,
and farm animals. Farms share many of the same environmental health concerns
found anywhere in the US, but they also have unique concerns and issues, such
as exposure to hazardous agricultural chemicals and toxic gases from animal
locations to explore on the Farm are farm buildings, feeding operations,
landfills, agricultural runoff, farm animals, farm ponds, meat processing, tree
farming and logging, off-road vehicles, and nearby urban sprawl. Farming is one
of the most hazardous occupations in the U.S. Because farm
families usually live where they work, all family members are at increased risk
of farm-related injury and illness.
Tox Town uses
neighborhood scenes, the Farm, City, Town, and US-Mexico Border, along with
color, graphics, sounds and animation to add interest to learning about
connections between chemicals, the environment and the public’s health. Tox Town’s target
audience is high school, college, and graduate students, educators, and the
TOXMAP Adds New Chemical and Health Data
In response to
feedback from users, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has added new
chemical and health-related data to its interactive mapping site, TOXMAP (http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov). Released in
September, 2004, TOXMAP helps users explore the geographic distribution of
certain chemical releases, their relative amounts, and their trends over time.
This release data comes from industrial facilities around the
States, as reported annually to the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Now, users can
also use TOXMAP to find information about Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Superfund sites and substances. The Superfund program (http://www.epa.gov/superfund/index.htm)
is part of a federal government effort to clean up land in the
States that has been contaminated by
hazardous waste and identified by the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/)
as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a risk to human health and/or to
found at Superfund sites have been designated as causing or contributing to an
increase in mortality or in irreversible or incapacitating illness, or posing a
substantial present or potential hazard to human health or to the environment
when improperly treated, stored, transported, disposed of, or otherwise
managed. More than 800 (http://www.epa.gov/superfund/programs/er/hazsubs/cercsubs.htm)
substances are currently designated as hazardous, and many more as potentially
also added mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), as well as age and gender data
from the US Census, and income data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
to NLM's extensive collection of toxicology and
environmental health references, as well as to a rich resource of data on
hazardous chemical substances in its TOXNET databases (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/). The resource
also provides fact sheets and summaries about the various chemicals, written by
the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, and EPA progress reports
on the Superfund sites.
users may not be experienced in reading maps or understanding map data, TOXMAP
provides a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov/toxmap/help/faq.jsp)
and a "Glossary of Terms" (http://toxmap.nlm.nih.gov/toxmap/help/glossary.jsp).
Both resources attempt to provide questions/answers to supplement the user's
ability to understand the map displays and the data.
information about TOXMAP can be found at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/toxmap.html.
HazMap: New Features
NLM's Haz-Map (http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov) is an occupational health database designed for
health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information
about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals
at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks
with occupational diseases and their symptoms.
HazMap has been updated with two new features:
1. A new disease category "Infection,
Travel" has been added. It includes:
Entamoeba histolytica infection
Escherichia coli infection
hepatic and intestinal
Severe acute respiratory
2. Images of skin lesions and X-rays have been added
for some diseases:
HazMap Skin Lesion Images:
Candida paronychia http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=288
Atypical mycobacterium skin infections http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=301
Herpetic whitlow http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=302
Orf (Contagious ecthyma)http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=303
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=305
Cutaneous larva migrans http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=370
HazMap X-ray Images:
Severe acute respiratory syndromehttp://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_generic?tbl=TblDiseases&id=421
Pesticides: Links to
Health Information including Toxicology and Environmental Health
A new web page that addresses the relationship between
pesticides and human health has been added to the National Library of
Medicine's (NLM) Enviro-Health Links. The page
provides links to selected web sites on pesticide exposure, as well as on the
treatment and prevention of pesticide poisoning.
In our everyday lives, we all handle many chemicals
(including pesticides) that can be toxic if ingested or inhaled. Acute or
chronic exposure to pesticides can cause severe and even life-threatening
illnesses. The risk of potential injury
to a chemical is determined by exposure and toxicity. Without both factors
there is no risk. If we take care to limit our exposure and handle these
substances safely, we reduce
our risk. This web page provides selected links to help
identify and reduce the risk.
NLM also offers other Enviro-Health
Links on topics such as:
Children's Environmental Health http://phpartners.org/cehir/sampler.html
Indoor Air Pollution http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/indoorairpollution.html
Outdoor Air Pollution http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro/outdoorairpollution.html
NLM Enviro-Health Links
TOXNET (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/) is a collection of databases from the National Library of
Medicine (NLM) covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health
and related areas.
TOXNET now can dynamically generate specific "multi-database"
searches via simple Web links. Information about creating these links can be
found in the TOXNET FAQ "How
do I create a link to the results when I search all the databases in
Specific "chemical links" to records in a TOXNET
database can also be created. For details, see the TOXNET FAQ "How
do I create a link to a record in a TOXNET database?"
TOXNET now can be accessed from a Web browser on a PDA device with a network connection
LactMed: A New Database on Drugs and Lactation
LactMed (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT), a free online database with information on drugs and
lactation, is one of the newest additions to the National Library of Medicine’s
(NLM) TOXNET system, a Web-based collection of resources covering toxicology,
chemical safety, and environmental health. (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/)
Geared to the healthcare practitioner and nursing mother, LactMed contains over 450 drug records. It includes
information such as maternal drug levels in breast milk, infant levels in
blood, potential effects in breastfeeding infants and on lactation itself, the
American Academy of Pediatrics category indicating the level of compatibility
of the drug with breastfeeding, and alternate drugs to consider.
References are included, as is nomenclature information, such as the drug’s
Chemical Abstract Service’s (CAS) Registry number and its broad drug class.
LactMed was developed by pharmacist who is an expert in this
subject area. Three other recognized authorities serve
as the database’s scientific review panel. Ancillary resources, such as a
glossary of terms related to drugs and lactation, and breastfeeding links are
also offered. LactMed can be searched together
with TOXNET’s other databases in a multi-database
environment, to obtain other relevant information about drugs. As a work
in progress, LactMed will continue to expand with
additional drugs and be enhanced with other substances, such as industrial
chemicals and radiation.
ToxSeek (http://toxseek.nlm.nih.gov/) is a meta-search and clustering
engine that enables simultaneous searching of many different information
resources on the World Wide Web. ToxSeek uses natural language processing and
artificial intelligence to retrieve, integrate, rank, and present search
results as coherent and dynamic sets. ToxSeeks results clustering feature helps
users to more easily identify particular concepts. These clusters are created
from what is retrieved in the original query, and can be useful in uncovering a
specific concept or focus for more in-depth searching.
ToxSeek searches across a wide range of authoritative
- All TOXNET databases
- Additional selected resources from the National
Library of Medicine (NLM), including PubMed
- Resources from other NIH institutes,
toxicology/environmental health information from other United States government
- Selected international resources, such as the World
Health Organization (WHO)
- Resources from professional societies and scientific
New Structure Searching Features: National Library of Medicine's ChemIDplus
The National Library
of Medicine's ChemIDplus has added new structure
searching features to its Advanced Search page (http://chem.sis.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/chemidheavy.jsp):
"Exact (parent only)" searches for exactly what is
drawn or transferred to the structure box, with all the structure's atoms and
bonds identical in the retrieved compound.
"Flex" and "Flexplus"
search for records containing a parent structure plus additional components
(salts, hydrates, or mixtures with other chemicals). Example: Searching
"Aleve" (naproxen) via "Exact (parent only)"retrieves one
record. Searching "Aleve" via If the "Flex/Flexplus"
retrieves nine records (the parent naproxen record, and seven other salts and
mixtures of naproxen).
information about these search features can be found in the Help section of ChemIDplus Advanced at http://chem.sis.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/documentation/help/chemidfs2webAdvanced.jsp#_StructureSearch
2.2 is now available
(Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders)
(http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov) is a system designed to assist First
Responders in hazardous material incidents. Developed by the National Library
of Medicine, WISER provides a wide range of information on hazardous
substances, including substance identification support, physical
characteristics, human health information, and
containment and suppression guidance.
* Updated data for existing chemicals
* 15 new substances (listed below), including all that have been suggested by
* The "Help Identify" feature of WISER for Windows now allows
searching by NFPA 704 placard. This feature will also be coming
soon in the PDA and WebWISER
applications, and will include more comprehensive data.
WISER substances include:
- Chloroacetic Acid
- Dimethyl Sulfoxide (67-68-5)
Isobutyl Ketone (108-10-1)
this new release from the WISER web site, or try WebWISER,
the on-line version of WISER
Join NLM’s NLM-Tox-Enviro-Health-L
is an email announcements-only list available from the NLM SIS. The purpose of the announcement list is
to broadcast updates on SIS's resources, services, and outreach in toxicology
and environmental health.
SIS RSS Feed Available
SIS also offers RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds of
its News page
RSS is a Web standard for sharing and distributing news
and other frequently updated content provided by Web sites. The SIS feed address is http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/rss/sisnewsfeed.rss
The SIS News feed will keep you informed about new
resources and updates to NLM/SIS databases, and alert you to scientific
meetings at which SIS will have exhibits, presentations, or classes.
An RSS reader, also called an aggregator, is required to
use this service on your computer. There are many RSS readers from which to
choose and many are available to download free from the Web. They offer a
variety of functions; each has its own advantages. Instructions for adding the
Division of Specialized Information Services News RSS feed to your reader are
Now you can also learn about NLM’s environmental health
and toxicology resources via a four minute "Quick Tour" (
The tour provides an overview of several environmental
health and toxicology resources including Tox Town, the Household Products
database, TOXNET, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus. It is available from the
Environmental Health and Toxicology portal (http://tox.nlm.nih.gov). Macromedia
Flash Player is required.
Berman, Robin E., M.D. Arthur Kurzweil, and Dale L. Mintz. The Hadassah Jewish Family Book of Health and Wellness. Jossey-Bass, 2006. 528p. index. ISBN 0-7879-8071-4 [ISBN 978-0-7879-8071-9].
Judaism has long concerned itself with health and wellness. Taking care of the body is required, and Hadassah, a nonprofit organization involved in supporting healthcare, has produced a book offering a Jewish perspective on topics such as healing and spirituality, marriage and family, women’s issues, mental health, and exercise. In addition to discussing the mitzvah (commandment/religious requirement) of visiting the sick and what to do to help the patient or his/her caregiver, the authors cover abortion, circumcision, infertility, child rearing, nutrition, and eating disorders. They also discuss Jewish genetic diseases: their diagnosis, treatment options, prenatal diagnosis, and related ethical issues. The editors and contributors are physicians, rabbis, and other health professionals. The mixture of clinical information, religious and ethical discussion, and spiritual content makes this volume a unique and welcome addition to collections that serve Jewish patrons.
Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Drummond, Edward, M.D. The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs: Straight Talk for Best Results, rev ed. Wiley, 2006. 341p. ISBN 0-471-75062-X. paper. 18.95.
First published in 2000, The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs, offered patients, families, and health care practitioners a resource that they could easily read and understand. Dr. Drummond, a psychiatrist trained at Tufts and Harvard, is the associate medical director of the Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This revised edition provides the latest information about treatment options for mental disorders. He begins by explaining the difficulties involved in diagnosing psychiatric conditions and the risks and benefits of using medication to treat them. He then offers patients important advice about choosing medication, telling them what to discuss with their physicians before starting a drug, noting the increased risks of these drugs when used on children, women, racial and ethnic minorities, and the elderly, and describing alternative treatments that may be helpful. Dr. Drummond explains the most common psychiatric disorders and their treatment, discusses the various types of drugs and therapies used to treat them, and provides detailed instructions for starting, monitoring, and stopping medications. He also discusses the management of side effects and provides specific information about the major psychiatric drugs that are currently prescribed. Two appendices explain the biology of the brain and how medications work and offer resources for further information and support.
The Complete Guide to Psychiatric Drugs is a reasonably priced source that provides useful and empowering information for patients and their families. It is an excellent addition to consumer health collections.
Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Loughlin, Kevin (ed) and Joyce Generali (ed).The Guide to Off-Label Prescription Drugs. Free Press, 2006. 1200pp. ISBN 0-7432-8667-7. paper $24.95.
If you never before imagined that Viagra might be used to treat high altitude pulmonary hypertension and are curious to find out more, turn to The Guide To Off-Label Prescription Drugs. The use of off-label prescription drugs, those used for conditions or in dosages beyond the scope of that initially approved by the FDA, is increasingly common. Editors Loughlin, MD (Harvard Med School) and Generali, MS, RPh (Kansas Univ. Med Center) worked with a team of physicians and pharmaceutical experts to author this text that will help demystify more than 1500 off-label options.
The twenty chapters in Part I are organized by body system, each divided into alphabetical listings of ailments and diseases. Entries include a paragraph about the disease and commonly prescribed on-label drugs. Off-label drug options are listed and summary information is provided, indicating how the drugs work and the class to which they belong. Studies, case reports, and research about efficacy and side effects of off-label use are summarized in one or two paragraphs and the page number for the corresponding drug profile is given.
More than 400 medications are described in the single-page profiles that comprise Part II. These offer abbreviated information: FDA-approved indications, description, side effects, cautions (including FDA pregnancy risk categories), food, drug, and herbal interactions, and special information. Part III offers further drug information such as lists of sugar-free and alcohol-free drugs, drugs that shouldn’t be crushed, drugs newly approved by the FDA, and a glossary. Cancer-related drugs are not covered in the book.
A recent study (Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1021-1026) reports that approximately 20% of all prescriptions are off-label, 73% of which have "little or no scientific support." These statistics underscore the need for consumers to know about off-label options and be aware of relevant research such that they can make informed decisions regarding prescriptions. The Guide to Off-Label Prescription Drugs is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and offers sufficient information such that the reader will be prepared to ask pointed questions of their prescribing physician. This is an excellent addition for consumer health and public libraries.
Reviewed by: Gillian Kumagai, Stanford Health Library,
Nestle, Marion.What To Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Choices and Good Eating.
North Point; Farrar, 2006. 640p. index. ISBN 0-86547-704-3 (ISBN 13 978-0-86547-704-9). $30.
Americans are finding it difficult to choose foods. With new diet books appearing daily, commercial advertisements for products offering miraculous nutritional benefits, and dire warnings about almost any food, they are wondering what they can really eat safely. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, comes to the rescue with this shopping guide. She points out the inherent conflict between the consumer’s quest for healthy food and the producer’s interest in marketing for profit. She also reviews nutrition basics, explains organic and genetically modified foods, and notes the major health problems associated with obesity. She then takes readers to the market and shows them how to choose the best foods from the overcrowded shelves. In the process, she teaches them to read the labels and ignore marketing gimmicks. She also points out inadequate government regulations and deliberately obscure research findings resulting from the close relationship of special interests and regulators. Armed with this book and Nestle’s sound advice to return to the basics -- eat less, exercise more, and consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables – consumers will be able to navigate the supermarket and come home with a selection of healthy, enjoyable food.
Reviewed by: Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA.
Consumer Connections (ISSN 1535-7821) is the newsletter of the Consumer
and Patient Information Section of the Medical LibraryAssociation and
is published quarterly.
Content for each issue is
cumulated online at http://caphis.mlanet.org/newsletter,
primarily during the first two months of the quarter; the issue is considered
complete at the end of the quarter. Notification of publication is sent
quarterly via the CAPHIS listserv. Newsletter articles and book reviews
are copyrighted; please contact the editor for reprint permission.
Please submit items for Consumer
Connections during the third quarter for publication in the following
Please send submissions in
electronic format to the editor:
E -mail: email@example.com
Telephone: (650) 725-3308