Eyespy: October 2009
Eyespy brings you the latest quirky medical stories from around the world
Firefighters are increasingly being used as paramedics in the US. The New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/04/us/04firehouse.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp) reports that as many as 80% of call outs for fire crews are for illness rather than fires, with emergencies ranging from heart attacks and shortness of breath to epileptic seizures and diabetic sores. Fire fighters have basic emergency medicine training, and many dispatchers believe that they can get to the scene faster than an ambulance. The problem is especially bad in inner city areas, where people without health insurance will often not seek medical help until a problem becomes an emergency.
People with diabetes may soon be able to take their blood sugar levels without batting an eyelid. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed and built glucose sensors that can fit on a contact lens, along with a light emitting diode that could alert the wearer when their blood sugar levels are