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LABroadsheet_ 10-28-2014_ A_ 1_ A1_ WEST_ 1_C
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48 PAGES
latimes.com
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2014
В© 2014 WST
ER data add
to alarm on
painkillers
Treatment for people
who overdosed on
prescription opioids
cost an estimated
$1.4 billion in a year.
By Lisa Girion
and Karen Kaplan
Sergei L. Loiko Los Angeles Times
A UKRAINIAN SOLDIER patrols inside the Donetsk airport this month. A battle between government
forces and separatists since May has wrecked the facility, but the two sides are still fighting over the ruins.
COLUMN ONE
Enemies inside the gates
Ukrainian troops are surrounded but fight on at airport
By Sergei L. Loiko
reporting from donetsk, ukraine
O
nly three floors remain in
the blackened skeleton of
the seven-story, glasswalled airport terminal,
opened with a burst of
national pride two years ago for the
Euro 2012 soccer championship.
Ukrainian commandos control
two of them: the ground and second
floors.
The pro-Russia separatists they’re
fighting have infiltrated the third
floor despite entrances barricaded
with debris and booby traps. The
separatists have also found a way into
the basement, with its system of
narrow passageways leading beyond
the airport grounds.
They are enemies sharing the
same building, playing a claustrophobic game of cat and mouse in shadowy
rooms and burned-out boarding
jetways.
Just after midnight on a recent
night, a separatist fighter suddenly
appeared on a balcony of the third
floor and shot a Mukha grenade down
at the onetime departure lounge
where the Ukrainian troops were
trying to sleep on cold concrete floors.
The grenade hit a wall and exploded. Shrapnel and debris flew
everywhere. Without thinking, a
commando nicknamed Batman
threw a hand grenade toward the
balcony. But it exploded short of its
target and sent more shrapnel showering over his comrades.
The shouting had barely subsided
when a commander announced that
government Grad missiles were on
the way to hit enemy positions surrounding the terminal.
“You know how they do it!” the
commander shouted. “They’ll certainly miss. So run for cover.”
A few seconds later, the building
shook from the explosion right outside, and for a moment it seemed that
the structure would finally collapse.
But it withstood the blast, and no one
was hurt in any of the attacks.
After five months of fighting, the
battle between government forces
and pro-Moscow separatists in east[See Ukraine, A4]
Prescription drug overdoses, a dangerous side effect of the nation’s embrace
of narcotic painkillers, are a
“substantial” burden on
hospitals and the economy,
according to a new study of
emergency room visits.
Overdoses involving prescription painkillers have
become a leading cause of injury deaths in the U.S. and a
closely watched barometer
of an evolving healthcare crisis. Little was known, however, about the nature of overdoses treated in the nation’s
emergency rooms.
A new analysis of 2010
data from hospitals nationwide found that prescription
painkillers,
known
as
opioids, were involved in
68% of opioid-related overdoses treated in emergency
rooms. Hospital care for
those overdose victims cost
an estimated $1.4 billion.
The estimated 92,200
hospital visits were more
than five times the number
of deaths involving opioid
painkillers that year.
Overdoses
A nationwide study of opioid overdoses in emergency
rooms found that 68% of overdoses were caused by
prescription drugs in 2010.
Hospitalized
92,209
21,955
21,807
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine
Los Angeles Times
States’ jumbled
Ebola strategies
raising worries
By Chris Megerian
SACRAMENTO — Jerry
Brown drew chuckles decades ago when he suggested
that California launch its
own communications satellite into space. He had a
more down-to-earth proposal when he ran for governor in 2010.
He wanted to line the
state’s highways with shimmering solar panels, an environmentally friendly way to
pump clean energy into the
power grid. But after he took
office, the state transportation agency concluded that
the idea wasn’t financially
feasible and it was sidelined.
There were other goals
that didn’t come to fruition,
mostly minor items such as
his intention to create an
academy for training teachers to be principals.
But Brown has received
praise on more significant
vows: to increase local control of government functions, reduce public pension
costs, keep a lid on spiraling
university tuition and — the
central promise of his 2010
campaign — stabilize California’s finances.
When he took office in
January 2011, the governor
faced a $26-billion deficit
that was erased with a mix of
budget cuts, tax hikes and
luck. Brown continued reducing public healthcare
and other services, as his Republican predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, had
done. Then he persuaded
voters to pass a temporary
increase in sales taxes and
new levies on high earners.
Those moves and the
economic
improvements
[See Brown, A11]
Released
Prescription
Heroin
Unspecified
A look at
Brown’s
record on
campaign
pledges
“What this study shows
us is opioid overdose deaths
are just the tip of an iceberg,”
said Andrew Kolodny, an addiction doctor who helped
found Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing.
In a report published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers
from Stanford University,
the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University and
Rush Medical College analyzed data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample and adjusted
the raw figures to generate
national estimates.
Researchers found that
fewer than 2% of the overdoses treated in emergency
rooms were fatal. But in
more than half the cases, victims had to be admitted to
the hospital.
“Further efforts to stem
the prescription opioid overdose epidemic are urgently
needed,” the researchers
concluded.
U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H.
Holder Jr. made the same
point in a speech to the nation’s police chiefs Monday.
He unveiled a Justice Department “tool kit” to guide
law enforcement agencies
responding to drug overdose
calls and encouraged police
departments to provide officers with naloxone, a fastacting antidote that can reverse overdoses and prevent
[See Drugs, A10]
By Tina Susman
and Melissa Healy
Robert Gauthier Los Angeles Times
KOBE BRYANT , 36, whose 2013-14 season lasted only six games, is about to begin
his 19th campaign with a Lakers team that again is heavily dependent on his play.
It’s still the age of Bryant,
but years have added up
By Mike Bresnahan
Jerry West, whose silhouette is featured in the NBA’s
red, white and blue logo,
walked away from the Lakers and a renowned basketball career because a groin
injury limited his game. At
the time he eloquently said,
“I’m not willing to sacrifice
my standards. Perhaps I expect too much.”
The Hall of Famer was a
month shy of his 36th birthday and was still averaging a
very reasonable 20.3 points a
game.
Four decades later and
another Lakers legend is 36.
Also en route to the Hall
of Fame, Kobe Bryant is continually reminded of his longevity in the game. He’s
logged 54,224 minutes in the
regular season and playoffs
while also winning five
championships
over 18
years. There’s also the strain
and pain of any of the 37,340
points he’s scored.
He’s already shrugged off
a torn Achilles’ tendon that
ended his 2012-13 season.
And a broken bone in his
Taylor Swift
connects with fans
Weather
Mostly sunny.
L.A. Basin: 81/61. AA8
The country (now pop)
star cultivates fan opinion, even inviting groups
to “secret” listening sessions in her homes for
her new album, “1989.”
CALENDAR, D1
knee that ended his 2013-14
campaign after just six
games. Bryant, with two seasons left on his contract, is
showing no signs of quitting
even though the Lakers appear to be going nowhere.
Most believe the Lakers
will miss the playoffs this
season. And though Bryant
is one of the oldest players in
the league, the Lakers’ fortunes are heavily dependent
on his play. Still, the questions that hang in the air as a
new season gets underway
Tuesday — when the Lakers
[See Bryant, A10]
NEW YORK — The federal Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on dealing with travelers from
Ebola-stricken regions Monday, but its lack of firm rules
left a patchwork of state-bystate strategies that include
mandatory quarantines for
some travelers.
The
different
rules
among states, and the
CDC’s recommendation of
looser monitoring than what
is being carried out in several states, highlight what
some public health experts
said was the problem with
the current system.
States not only have the
leading role in devising poli-
cies to quarantine or isolate
people with infectious diseases, they also control the
enforcement, said Lawrence
Gostin, a public health expert at Georgetown University.
“It’s a very ineffective
way” to assure Americans’
safety in a public health
emergency, he said. “We
need to have much more uniformity in funding of local
health departments. And we
need to make sure procedures are standardized
across states and the country. At the moment there’s
just far too much variability.”
The new guidelines advise states to monitor travelers based on four levels of potential Ebola exposure, from
high risk to no risk. They do
[See Ebola, A9]
Printed with soy inks on
partially recycled paper.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images
OUTREACH workers pass out Ebola information in
Jeff Kravitz FilmMagic
7
85944 00150
3
New York after a 5-year-old boy in the area showed
symptoms. He has tested negative, officials said.
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