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The case study offers the first reported link between the force of acceleration in roller coasters and a common ear injury — ear barotrauma — that occurs when there is a relatively quick change in pressure between the external environment, the ear drum and the pressure in the middle ear space.
In its extreme, ear barotrauma can lead to temporary hearing loss, and most commonly causes dizziness, ear discomfort or pain, or a sensation of having the ears ‘pop’.
Since barotrauma from a roller coaster happens suddenly, it very difficult for the patient to equalise ear pressure by simply yawning or chewing gum.
“As roller coasters continue to push the envelope of speed, otolaryngologists need to be aware of this new cause of barotrauma to the ear,” says study senior author Kathleen L Yaremchuk. “Based on our research, we recommend that passengers remain facing forward for the duration of the ride to not let the full impact of acceleration hit the ear.”
Previously, ear barotrauma has been linked to air travel and scuba diving, and most recently to the improvised explosive devices or IEDs being used in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Blackman’s skeleton in medieval Britain found
The discovery of a skeleton in a friary’s ruins is the first physical evidence of a black person living in medieval Britain.
The man’s skeleton, uncovered in the friary in Ipswich, Suffolk, which was destroyed by Henry VIII, is said to date back to the 13th century.
The discovery is the first physical indication that black people lived in Britain in the 1,000-year period between the departure of the Romans, who had African slaves, and the beginnings of the age of discovery in the 15th century.
The skull demonstrates African characteristics, and an isotopic analysis of the man’s teeth and thigh bone proved he had African roots.
The man is believed to have been captured by a noble who brought him back to Britain from one of the last crusades in the 1270s.
His burial on consecrated ground suggests either he was a Christian or had converted.
The man predates the three black people previously known to have lived in Britain by 150 years.

Pediatricians tend to miss elevated BP in kids
Researchers at Johns Hopkins Children’s Centre say that pediatricians and nurses may be missing the development of hypertension and its serious consequences even when they read a child’s blood pressure.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines call for regular BP checks in children three years and older to screen for elevated BP. They say elevated BP on three consecutive medical visits qualifies as hypertension.
Even a single episode of high BP can indicate hypertension and should trigger repeat measurements during the visit and subsequent doctor visits, the AAP says.
The problem is that measuring a child’s BP is far more complicated than it is in adults and requires interpreting each individual measure against a reference table for age, gender and height, says lead author Tammy Brady, Hopkins Children’s Hospital in the US.

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