Health Highlights: Feb. 27, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Condom-Use Errors Common, Study Finds

An analysis of data from 50 studies across 14 countries finds that errors in using condoms are common and could contribute to unwanted pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections.

Stephanie Sanders and colleagues at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University looked at 16 years of data on the issue, mainly from the United States and Britain.

They found that:

  • Between 17 and 51 percent of people put condoms on partway during intercourse (dangerous because fluids can be exchanged prior to ejaculation). Between 13 percent and 45 percent of respondents said they took a condom off before intercourse had finished.
  • Between one-quarter and one-half of respondents said they failed to leave enough room at the tip of the condom for semen to collect.
  • 75 percent of men and 82 percent of women failed to check condoms for damage prior to use.
  • Condom breakages occurred for between about 1 percent and 41 percent of respondents, depending on the study, and between about 13 and 19 percent said they had experienced condom slippage.
  • Between 4 percent and just over 30 percent of participants said they had put a condom on inside-out, then flipped it the other way around, potentially upping the risk for transmission of bodily fluids.
  • Between 2 percent and 11 percent of people opened condom packets with a sharp object or somehow exposed the condom to rips/tears. Between 1 percent and 3 percent of respondents said they had re-used a condom during a sexual encounter.

The findings were reported in the journal Sexual Health.


Attempt at First Quadruple Limb Transplant Fails

What was touted as the world's first quadruple limb transplant has failed, a Turkish hospital says.

Because of incompatibility issues, doctors at Ankara's Hacettepe University Hospital had to remove two arms and two legs attached to a 27-year-old man on Friday, Agence-France Presse reported. The ground-breaking operation involved a 52-member surgical team.

"The science council (of the hospital) decided to remove the organs one by one due to additional metabolic complications in the following process," the hospital said in a news release. "Our patient is now in the intensive care unit. The critical process is still continuing," it said.

The patient's heart and vascular system were unable to maintain the new limbs, AFP said.

The young man, Sevket Cavdar, had lost his limbs 14 years ago after getting electrocuted, news reports said.


14 Sickened in Jimmy John's Restaurant E. Coli Outbreak: CDC

Fourteen people across six states have developed E. coli-linked illness from sprouts they most likely ate at a Jimmy John's Restaurant, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Friday.

Five such cases have occurred in Iowa, three in Missouri, two each in Kansas and Michigan, and one case each in Arkansas and Wisconsin, the agency said. So far, there have been no deaths linked to the outbreak, although two people have been hospitalized.

"Preliminary results of the epidemiologic and traceback investigations indicate eating raw clover sprouts at Jimmy John's restaurants is the likely cause of this outbreak," the CDC said in a news release.

The agency advised that consumers avoid eating uncooked sprouts and "children, older adults, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should [especially] avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind."


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