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For truckers, nighttime scarier than rush hour

Interesting things found while looking for something else:

Truck drivers and sleep: Fatigue and sleep deprivation are important safety issues for long-haul truck drivers. A study of 80 male truck drivers using various driving schedules were compared. Long-haul truck drivers in this study obtained less sleep than is required for alertness on the job. The greatest vulnerability to sleep or sleeplike states is in the late night and early morning.(Source: New England Journal of Medicine.)

CPR guidelines: Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is one of the first things recommended for a person in cardiac arrest. An American Heart Association (AHA) panel of experts suggests that chest compression may be more important than rescue breaths, at least in the first few minutes.

While studies say that bystander CPR can be lifesaving, recent reports indicate that it may not be necessary for survival of cardiac arrest. The problems with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is that stomach contents can be backed up into the lungs causing pneumonia.

The American Heart Association reports that the guidelines for giving CPR have not changed, and won't change until the year 2000. The AHA reports that more studies are needed. (Source: Circulation.)

Infant skulls and fractures: Even minor falls can fracture fragile infant skulls. A study of 101 children under the age of 2 and based on interviews with parents discovered that even very minor trauma can result in skull fracture. Minor traumas were defined as falls to the ground from heights of less than three feet. This would include falls from sofas and beds.

Infant skulls, especially in the posterior region, lack the thickness found in the skulls of older children and adults. Parents who suspect their child has injured his or her skull should take them to the emergency department for medical assessment. Most children who have bumps on the head don't have a fracture.

Physical signs of skull fracture include swelling, momentary unconsciousness, seizures and vomiting. Behavioral signs - lethargy and irritability - may be harder to discern in nonverbal infants.

(Source: Annals of Emergency Medicine.)

Suicide high in the West: Western states have the highest suicide rate in the country. Analyzing death certificates from 1990 to 1994 found that Nevada had the highest suicide rate, followed by Wyoming, Montana, Arizona and Colorado. The Northeast had the lowest suicide rates.

(Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.)

Injuries causing death: One death out of every 14 in the United States results from injury. Injuries are the fifth leading cause of death. For people between the ages 1 to 44, injuries are the leading cause of death. Injuries have always been a serious problem, but until the 1940s their importance was overshadowed by the prominence of many infectious diseases.

(Source: The Injury Fact Book, second edition)