News In Brief

Planned Parenthood to offer sexuality information via text

What began in 1916 as a birth control distribution clinic in Brooklyn, New York has now become Planned Parenthood — one of the largest affiliates of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. In addition to offering comprehensive sexual education and contraception measures, Planned Parenthood intends to widen both their audience and their accessibility by hosting text message based physiological information.

With “Tech Support For Your Body,” questions concerning the body and sexuality can be quickly answered by a healthcare professional by sending the inquiry to 53634.

Since 1999, the agency has provided sexual health information through their hotline program, 877.4ME.2ASK. In 2006, an online forum,, was added to make facts even more readily accessible.

Since the commencement of these additions, over 60,000 users have received counseling from the hotlines.

According to the Pacific Progressive, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties, Jon Dunn, has complete faith in the extension of the hotline family.

“With the new text messaging service, we are giving young people better access to the information they need to make healthy decisions,” he said.

Planned Parenthood can be found throughout Orange and San Bernardino Counties, and more information is available on the federation’s Web site:

UCI Medical Center makes series of grave mistakes

According to the OC Register and a federally issued inspection of the UCI Medical Center, five patients were given overdoses of powerful narcotics and sedatives as a result of nurses who were not correctly trained to utilize the pumps that distribute the drugs.

In July, the California Nurses Association alerted federal authorities about faulty pumps that were being used on patients at the medical center. After a full evaluation of the facility, Chief Medical Officer for the hospital, Dr. Eugene Spiritus, reported that extra training was to be given to staff and special precautions were to be taken.

However, more patients were overdosing: one woman was barely breathing as a result of being given too much of a strong narcotic. She was subsequently taken to intensive care, given reversal drugs that steadied her breathing and lived through the ordeal.

To pick up the pieces, the Medical Center has already purchased new pumps that are believed to be safer and will put these to use shortly. Nurses will also be retrained.

In addition, a surprise federal inspection could occur at any time to ensure that all materials are being used properly and that all staff is up to speed on the equipment in the center.

H1N1 flu becomes a threat for UCI’s campus population

In the aftermath of the original swine flu, the pandemic du jour is the H1N1 flu, a flu-like illness that could be fatal.

H1N1 flu’s symptoms include fever above 100.4 degrees, runny nose, body aches, headache, cough, chills and fatigue.

UC Irvine advised its faculty, staff, students and affiliates to stay healthy in a statement released on the university’s Web site.

The statement instructs people to keep coughs and sneezes contained, to avoid touching eyes, face and mouth, to stay away from those that are sick or appear to be sick and to get vaccinated.

Another stressed point was to stay isolated if you feel unwell. The statement advised people to stay home from work, class and public places if entirely necessary. Also, if symptoms such as difficulty breathing, dizziness, severe or persistent vomiting worsen, it is advised to seek further medical attention immediately.

Under advice from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), UCI informed The Environmental Health and Safety Office and other campus organizations to continue preparing for a possible outbreak on campus and surrounding areas, and for inviduals to remain cautious.

Unidentified woman found burned in an Irvine parking lot

A strange and gruesome death of an unidentified woman occurred on the 1800 block of Kettering Street on Sept. 5, 2009, in Irvine

A passerby who was on his way to work in the area spotted the body of a black woman in her mid-twenties lying facedown in the parking lot of a closed business. It appeared that she had been killed and badly burned.

According to Irvine Police Lt., John Hare, she had been dead for hours before the police had been notified.

“She was in the parking lot with no identification, partially clothed, with a fair amount of her body burned,” he said.

The exact cause of death has not yet been confirmed, and coroners are continuing to perform autopsies on the body.

Five days after the discovery of the charred body, the Irvine Police Department posted another press release that showed a picture of the high-heeled shoes the victim was wearing. In an even more puzzling aspect of the case, the one shoe that the victim, Jane Doe, donned was in very good condition. It was either new or hardly worn.

Hare states that, although the piece of material is conducive to the investigation, the aid of the public is key to finding out who this woman was and why she was found in such a mangled condition.

“The investigation will continue, and we encourage all information and helpful tips,” said Hare. “We seek the public’s assistance in identifying this woman.”

Anyone with information about the victim’s identity should contact the Irvine Police Department’s 24-hour tip hotline at (949) 724-7192. Aforementioned press releases can be found on