Volunteers needed for wildlife habitat project

AJO — The Arizona Antelope Foundation (AAF), in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management and Arizona Game and Fish Department, is seeking volunteers for a fence construction project on Saturday, January 27, on BLM land in southern Arizona, about 18 miles northeast of Ajo.

The project involves building a new fence around a seasonally filled earthen livestock water tank. Presently, when the tank is full it attracts feral cattle and horses from nearby reservation lands onto the western edge of the Sonoran pronghorn habitat. The fence project will permit access to the water by all wildlife but prevent access by trespass feral livestock.

This project, located on the eastern boundary of historic endangered pronghorn habitat, is part of BLM’s long-term plan of removing up to 54 miles of unneeded livestock fence in this zone to make it more attractive to Sonoran pronghorn.

Volunteers should plan to meet at 7 a.m. on January 27 at the AAF campsite, located on BLM lands about 9 miles east of the Pipeline Road and SR85 intersection. Directions: From Gila Bend, drive 43 miles south on SR85 to Ajo. Once you reach the plaza in the middle of Ajo, continue on SR85 for 1.85 miles to Pipeline Road. Turn left onto Pipeline Road and travel approximately 9 miles east to the campsite. The project site is approximately another 9 miles northeast on the Pipeline Road. Access to the site is along a maintained travel corridor route. There will be some wash crossings, but the road should be trailer friendly.

The Arizona Antelope Foundation will provide volunteers with dinners Friday and Saturday nights, as well as continental breakfasts Saturday and Sunday mornings. Bring your own lunch to eat in the field Saturday.

Volunteers also should bring work gloves (AAF will have a limited supply), snacks, water, and personal gear.

If you are planning to attend, please RSVP by January 22 by e-mail to info@azantelope.org so AAF can plan on having enough food and tools on hand. If you have questions or would like more information about the project, contact Glen Dickens at (520) 247-4907. For a printer-friendly map to the campsite, visit www.azantelope.org.

Mexican wolf population survey flight operations begin January 22

PINETOP — Residents of Alpine, Arizona, Reserve, NM and surrounding areas may notice a low-flying helicopter in the region between January 22 and February 3, as biologists conduct their annual Mexican wolf population survey and capture.

The flights are part of the Mexican wolf Reintroduction Project, a multi-agency cooperative effort among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD), U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Service Inspection Service – Wildlife Services and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

The aerial operation is scheduled to run January 22 to February 3, weather permitting. Survey flights will occur on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation; the Apache-Sitgreaves, Gila and Cibola National Forests in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico; and possibly some locations immediately outside forest boundaries.

“Data collected during this annual survey and capture operation is critical to help us to determine and evaluate the overall population status of Mexican wolves,” said Paul Greer, AZGFD Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team leader. “The survey helps to chart progress in documenting the Mexican wolf population in the Southwest, and it helps us know how these animals are using local habitat.”

As part of the operation, biologists will attempt to capture selected wolves born in 2017 that have not yet been fitted with a radio telemetry collar, in addition to those with collars that need a battery replacement or any wolf appearing to be sick or injured. Wolves are captured after being darted with an anesthetizing drug from a helicopter containing trained personnel.

After being immobilized, the wolf is then brought by air to a staging area for processing and any necessary veterinary care. The wolf is then returned to the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area (MWEPA) and released on public land.

The field team is contacting private landowners to gain permission to property to capture a wolf, if necessary, and will be coordinating with land management agencies and county sheriff offices on survey operation details.

There were a minimum of 113 wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico at the end of 2016, according to a survey by the Mexican Wolf Interagency Field Team. The survey found that there were 63 wolves in Arizona and 50 in New Mexico.

The 2016 total represented a more than doubling of the population since 2009.
Results of the survey will be made available to the public in March. For more information on the Mexican wolf reintroduction program, visit http://www.azgfd.gov/wolf or https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/mexicanwolf/.

Becoming an Outdoors Woman deluxe workshop is back again

PHOENIX — With the new year comes new experiences and the opportunity to get a fresh start and enjoy a fun filled weekend with like-minded women. The Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) deluxe program will be held Jan. 26-28. Sponsored by the Arizona Wildlife Federation with support from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, the workshop will feature lots of outdoor fun without the inconveniences of camping!

Nestled on the banks of the Salt River at the Saguaro Lake Ranch, women will develop outdoors skills while enjoying the beauty that Arizona has to offer.

This year, BOW will offer sessions on hunting, fly fishing, kayaking, desert survival, birding, archery and more. Women also have the opportunity to relax on a trail ride and enjoy views of the picturesque Bulldog Cliffs.

Along with outdoors skills development, award winning photographer Lisa Langell will be teaching landscape photography.

BOW offers something for every kind of woman and every kind of interest. The $380 registration fee (add $95 for the trail ride) includes instruction, program materials, use of equipment, deluxe lodging, and meals. There will also be evening entertainment and a wine and cheese tasting for women to enjoy.

Create new connections, learn, laugh, and enjoy. To get a taste of everything BOW has to offer, check out this video produced by AZGFD in 2016.

Details of class descriptions and a registration form can be found at http://www.azwildlife.org/ht/d/sp/i/60573/pid/60573 or by calling 480-644-0077

Arizona winter visitors: prepare to clean, drain and dry

PHOENIX — The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds boaters to “clean, drain and dry” – and especially decontaminate — their watercraft and equipment before exiting waters designated as having aquatic invasive species (AIS).

This reminder is especially important for out-of-town visitors who moor their boats at AIS-infected waters and are preparing to head out of state.

Afraid you might be transporting aquatic hitchhikers?

AZGFD has contracted with a local business to provide free decontaminations for those with boats that have been on a quagga mussel-infected water for six or more consecutive days.

Call the Arizona Game and Fish AIS Program two to three weeks in advance of departure to schedule a free inspection and decontamination at (623) 236-7608 or Woods to Water LLC. at (602) 920-4891.

“As outdoor enthusiasts, it is our responsibility to be stewards of the places that we love,” AZGFD Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator Erin Raney said. “Stopping the spread of AIS is a big job, but with everyone pitching in, we can all do our part to protect our waters. All it takes is a few minutes.”

Aquatic Invasive Species are non-native species that are often unintentionally introduced by human movement. They do not have predators outside of their native range, and are able to outcompete native species. They can be animals, plants and even pathogens that cause disease in native fish or other aquatic animals. They can often be invisible to the naked eye, making them even more difficult to control. Once introduced, they can alter ecosystems by interrupting food chains, cause damage to boats and other recreational gear, clog up water and power infrastructure and pose safety hazards.

Stop the spread of AIS and keep our waters clean and beautiful for ourselves and future generations.

Remember to:

  • Clean boats, waders, anchors, equipment and gear by removing mud, plants, attached animals such as snails or quagga mussels. Freeze waders overnight to eliminate fish pathogens and other hitchhikers.
  • Drain all residual water from engines and motors, ballast tanks, live wells and bait wells. Pull your bilge plug and leave out during transport. Store in a location where you will remember before launch; for example, next to boat keys in glove box.
  • Dry all equipment that comes in contact with water, such as life jackets, ropes, buoys, tubes, etc.

Under Arizona law, boaters and all recreationists who take watercraft and other equipment out of waters designated as having aquatic invasive species must use the above steps when leaving a listed water.

There are additional steps to complete for watercraft that have been on AIS-listed waters for six or more consecutive days.

Zoll LifeVest 4000 Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillator: FDA Safety Communication – Potential Lack of Treatment (Shock) Delivery Due to Device Failure

The Zoll LifeVest 4000 is a wearable defibrillator used to treat life-threatening abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias) in adults and children who are at risk for sudden cardiac arrest and are not candidates for, or refuse, an implantable defibrillator. The LifeVest continuously monitors the patient’s heart and, if a fast, life-threatening heart rhythm is detected, the device delivers a treatment (i.e. a shock) to restore the patient to a normal heart rhythm.

FDA is providing information and recommendations regarding the Zoll LifeVest 4000 due to concerns that the device may fail to deliver treatment to the patient if the device is not replaced soon after displaying “Call for service: Device has a problem that may require service. Call ZOLL for service, Message Code 102.” Failure to contact Zoll and immediately replace the device after Message Code 102 appears on the device screen may result in serious patient harm or death of the patient because the device may fail to deliver therapy appropriately when needed.

Ideally, the LifeVest monitors the patient’s heart, delivering a “treatment shock” as needed to restore the patient’s heartbeat to a normal rhythm. However, FDA is aware that in certain cases the LifeVest 4000 may not be able to deliver a life-saving treatment shock to a patient due to a fault that prevents the device from charging its high-energy capacitors. During normal operation, this fault prompts the LifeVest to display “Call for service: Device has a problem that may require service. Call Zoll for service, Message Code 102” on the device screen. The “Message Code 102” alert does not explicitly indicate to the patient that the device cannot be used and that the patient should call Zoll immediately.

To date, FDA is aware of one patient death due to the LifeVest’s failure to deliver treatment as expected after Message Code 102 was displayed. According to Zoll, as of November 14, 2017, there were a total of 33,670 devices distributed, with 24,975 devices distributed in the U.S. About 0.1% of the total devices distributed have displayed Message Code 102, which should only be remedied by immediate replacement of the device.

The FDA will continue to work with Zoll to monitor LifeVest 4000 devices for any adverse events related to Message Code 102 or a failure to deliver treatment. The FDA will also continue to work with Zoll to identify a permanent solution to the Message Code 102 issue, and will keep the public informed as new information becomes available.

RECOMMENDATION:
For Health care providers –

  • Train patients prescribed use of the Zoll LifeVest 4000 on how to identify the “Call for service, Message Code 102” alert. Message Code 102 may first display as a gong alert, and then subsequently at every power-up until the device is returned to Zoll for servicing. The alert will read “Call for service: Device has a problem that may require service. Call ZOLL for service, Message Code 102” and will allow the patient to tap “OK” to return to normal operation.
  • Inform patients to respond to the “Call for service, Message Code 102” alert on the LifeVest 4000 screen by contacting Zoll immediately. Message Code 102 may mean that the LifeVest 4000 has a severe service problem and cannot be used because the device may not appropriately deliver life-saving treatment if needed. Zoll will replace the patient’s device within 24 hours if the device displays Message Code 102. Zoll’s Customer Service can be reached 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week at: 1-800-543-3267.
  • Reinforce initial LifeVest 4000 training, explaining that the device can display messages on the screen and play audio alerts that require the patient to take action. If Message Code 102 does not appear on the device screen, the patient should continue to use the LifeVest 4000 as prescribed, and read the display for gong alerts and follow the instructions on the screen (refer to Section 5 in the Patient Manual).

For Patients and Caregivers:

  • Contact Zoll immediately if “Call for service: Device has a problem that may require service. Call ZOLL for service, Message Code 102” appears on your LifeVest 4000 screen. Message Code 102 may first display as a gong alert, and then subsequently at every power-up until the device is returned to Zoll for servicing. The Message Code 102 alert will also allow you to tap “OK” to return to normal operation.
    > However, the “Call for service, Message Code 102” alert may mean that the LifeVest 4000 has a severe service problem and cannot be used because the device may not appropriately deliver life-saving treatment if needed.
    > Zoll will replace your device within 24 hours if the device displays Message Code 102. Zoll’s Customer Service can be reached 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week at: 1-800-543-3267.
  • Continue to use your LifeVest 4000 as prescribed by your physician and as instructed during your initial training if the “Call for service, Message Code 102” alert is NOT displayed on your device screen. You should continue to read the display for gong alerts and follow the instructions on the screen (refer to Section 5 in the Patient Manual).

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

Baxter Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall to Include Second Lot of Nexterone Injection Due to Presence of Particulate Matter

Following the issuance of a voluntary recall dated November 10, 2017 of one lot of NEXTERONE (amiodarone HCl) 150 mg/100 mL Premixed Injection, Baxter International Inc. announced today it is expanding the recall to include a second lot (NC109123) of NEXTERONE due to the potential presence of particulate matter. The affected lots were distributed between 7/21/2017 and 10/2/2017 in the United States to wholesalers/distributors and healthcare facilities. The particulate matter may have entered the solution during the manufacturing process.

Intravenous administration of a solution containing sterile particulate matter may lead to adverse health consequences. The extent and severity of harm depends on the size, number and composition of the foreign material, and the patient’s underlying medical condition. In the absence of in-line filtration, these particles may cause local vein irritation, inflammatory reaction, aggravation of preexisting infections, allergic reactions, phlebitis, pulmonary emboli, pulmonary granulomas, immune system dysfunction, pulmonary dysfunction, pulmonary infarction, and systemic embolization. To date, there have been no reports of adverse events associated with this issue.

NEXTERONE is a prescription antiarrhythmic agent indicated for initiation of treatment and prophylaxis of frequently recurring ventricular fibrillation and hemodynamically unstable ventricular tachycardia in patients refractory to other therapy.

The particulate matter was identified by Baxter during a stability study, and was consistent with polyethylene, the primary constituent of the film and ports used to manufacture the bag in which NEXTERONE is packaged.
Continue reading “Baxter Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall to Include Second Lot of Nexterone Injection Due to Presence of Particulate Matter” »

Varubi (rolapitant) Injectable Emulsion: Health Care Provider Letter – Anaphylaxis and Other Serious Hypersensitivity Reactions

Anaphylaxis, anaphylactic shock and other serious hypersensitivity reactions have been reported in the postmarketing setting—some requiring hospitalization. These reactions have occurred during or soon after the infusion of Varubi (rolapitant) injectable emulsion. Most reactions have occurred within the first few minutes of administration.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis can include wheezing or difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or throat, hives or flushing, itching; abdominal cramping, abdominal pain or vomiting, back pain or chest pain, hypotension or shock.

BACKGROUND: Varubi (rolapitant) injectable emulsion is approved to prevent delayed phase chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (emesis). Varubi is approved in adults in combination with other drugs (antiemetic agents) that prevent nausea and vomiting associated with initial and repeat courses of vomit-inducing (emetogenic and highly emetogenic) cancer chemotherapy.

RECOMMENDATION: Healthcare professionals must be vigilant for signs of hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis in all patients receiving Varubi (rolapitant) injectable emulsion, both during and following its administration.
It is advised that Healthcare professionals consult with patients to determine if the patient is hypersensitive to any component of the product (including soybean oil). Furthermore, as cross reactions to other allergens is possible, patients with known allergies to legumes or other related allergens should be monitored closely. Patients with a potential hypersensitivity should not be administered Varubi (rolapitant) injectable emulsion.

Appropriate treatment should be available for immediate use in the event of an anaphylactic reaction during treatment with Varubi (rolapitant) injectable emulsion.

If anaphylaxis or any other serious hypersensitivity/infusion reaction occurs,

  1. administration of Varubi (rolapitant) injectable emulsion should be stopped immediately.
  2. appropriate medical management (including epinephrine and or antihistamines) should be initiated, and
  3. Varubi (rolapitant) injectable emulsion should be permanently discontinued.

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  1. Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report
  2. Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

See the Health Care Provider Letter for important prescribing information to reflect the new safety information.

Arizona’s Operation Game Thief program issued 76 citations for wildlife violations in 2017

PHOENIX — “Poachers are criminals.” If you talk to any of the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s wildlife managers, you’re likely to hear that phrase repeated as they go about their work as part biologist, part law enforcement officer. As part of their duties, the department’s 97 wildlife managers work to investigate potential poaching cases to ensure that the state’s most precious natural resource — its wildlife — is effectively managed so that future generations can enjoy the more than 800 species found in Arizona.

At the heart of the effort to eliminate and investigate poaching is the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Operation Game Thief program, a silent witness initiative that encourages the public to report information or suspicious activity. Last year, more than 1,000 calls came into the Operation Game Thief hotline (1-800-352-0700) as well as 75 submissions via the online form. Those reports contributed to 76 citations being issued statewide for wildlife issues including the illegal take of big game, fishing violations and the unlawful killing of raptors.

“Poachers are thieves. They do not represent the hunting community, and the majority of the reports come from hunters and anglers who are out in the field and witness suspicious activity,” said Scott Fischer, program manager for Operation Game Thief. “The hunting community does a great job of policing itself. If you see something, say something. Together we can make a difference for Arizona’s wildlife.”

2017’s top five reported violations were:

  1. 356 for the illegal take of big game (resulting in 55 of the 76 citations)
  2. 63 for fishing violations
  3. 59 for feeding wildlife
  4. 52 for the illegal take of raptors
  5. 52 for possession of restricted live wildlife

Individuals who make a report to Operation Game Thief will remain confidential and can report anonymously if needed. The program pays rewards for information that leads to an arrest.

In 2017, wildlife violators were assessed $74,500 in civil fines, and that money goes directly into the department’s Wildlife Theft Prevention Fund, which pays for the rewards as well as promotion of Operation Game Thief. In addition, 51 individuals had their hunting and/or fishing license revoked by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission as part of their penalty, one of which was a lifetime revocation. The department receives no general fund money from the state of Arizona.

It’s also important to note that mistakes and accidents happen, and the department will work with hunters and anglers who immediately self-report their actions to the Operation Game Thief hotline.

“Mistakes happen in any endeavor, and the amazing thing about hunters is they frequently report themselves,” Fischer said. “Hunters respect wildlife and because of that respect they’re willing to risk penalties in order to ensure meat from the wildlife they take is not wasted.”

Meat from seized wildlife is inspected by department wildlife managers and typically donated to charities for human consumption.

Arizona’s Operation Game Thief program began in 1979, making it the second oldest initiative of its type in the U.S. The hotline (1-800-352-0700) was implemented at the time and takes reports of wildlife violations 24×7. Wildlife is the property of the state, meaning that every Arizonan has a vested interest in protecting it. Anyone who witnesses a violation — whether it’s related to hunting, fishing, feeding wildlife or illegally possessing wildlife — is encouraged to report that information to Operation Game Thief and act on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves, the wildlife.

Bald Eagle spotted over Santa Fe Dam

Northern Arizona Gazette photo.

We went to check out Santa Fe dam, today, which is not suffering from the recent snow. It appears to have risen slightly as the snow melts off. There is a slight chance of rain today with a 40% chance of snow Friday and Saturday.

While there I was surprise by the flight of a familiar, but rare, sight around Santa Fe dam. A bald eagle flew before me. I did not have my good camera, but managed to get some fair shots with my cheap mobile phone.

Eagles tend to stop at Santa Fe dam, once in a while, to catch any fish that might remain from the fishing season.

Three new specialty plates available at ServiceArizona.com

PHOENIX – The sound of freedom over the West Valley, classic cars and the wonders of science and technology are celebrated in the newest batch of Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division specialty license plates.

Plates commemorating Luke Air Force Base, the Arizona Science Center and the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction are now available at ServiceArizona.com.

Specialty plates typically cost $25 annually. Of that, $17 is committed to the organization being supported. In the most recent fiscal year, sales of the plates generated nearly $10 million for charitable causes statewide.
Continue reading “Three new specialty plates available at ServiceArizona.com” »