Health

Shots - Health News
10:42 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Spore Wars Help Fend Off Life-Threatening Bacterial Infections

C. difficile bacteria, shown in yellow, are common in hospitals and nursing homes, and very difficult to treat.
Paul Gunning Science Source

Infections with the bacteria Clostridium difficile are a big problem, killing 29,000 people a year. Many of those people got infected while in the hospital. And antibiotics often don't work.

So how about this: Take spores from a harmless version of C. difficile and use them to fight off the bad bugs?

That's just what researchers at the VA hospital in Hines, Ill., did.

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Shots - Health News
10:36 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Whooping Cough Vaccine's Protection Fades Quickly

Vials of Tdap vaccine sit on a table at a Solano County, Calif., health fair in August 2010.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 6:11 pm

Lately, Californians have been focused on a measles outbreak that got its start at Disneyland. But in the past five years, state health officials have declared epidemics of whooping cough twice — in 2010 and in 2014, when 11,000 people were sickened and three infants died.

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Goats and Soda
6:03 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

The World's Mothers Don't Always Get The Care They Need

When Dr. Bina Valsangkar had a miscarriage in India, she received state-of-the-art medical care. But just a few miles from the hospital she visited, nurses were struggling to keep up with sick patients.
Courtesy of Save the Children

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 7:51 pm

Two months into my first pregnancy, I suffered a miscarriage and needed to seek medical care.

Although a miscarriage is difficult for any woman to experience, I had access to the best care. My physician was excellent, I trusted her judgment, and the imaging equipment, laboratory facilities and clinical care were all first-rate.

That's not surprising — except that I was then living in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, the capital city of one of India's poorest states.

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Shots - Health News
3:17 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

When Hospitals Close, Frequent Fears About Care Aren't Realized

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 3:27 pm

A hospital closure can send tremors through a city or town, leaving residents fearful about how they will be cared for in emergencies and serious illnesses.

A study released Monday offers some comfort, finding that when hospitals shut down, death rates and other markers of quality generally don't worsen.

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Goats and Soda
2:12 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Irene, A Ugandan Prostitute, Explains How To Use A Condom

Irene lives in a fishing village in Uganda where the rate of HIV infection is 43 percent.
Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 8, 2015 7:03 am

The interviewer asks the fresh-faced young woman named Irene: "What do you do here in this village?"

"I am a prostitute," she says.

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Shots - Health News
1:04 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Triage And Treatment: Untold Health Stories From Baltimore's Unrest

Baltimore residents clean up outside a CVS store Tuesday, after an evening of riots following the funeral of Freddie Gray.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 11:48 am

Over the last week, Baltimore's unrest has captured the nation's attention. Images of burning cars, the sounds of angry protesters and then peace rallies have dominated the airwaves and headlines.

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Shots - Health News
11:18 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Concussions Can Be More Likely In Practices Than In Games

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 1:28 pm

Parents worry about a child getting a concussion in the heat of competition, but they also need to be thinking about what happens during practices, a study finds.

High school and college football players are more likely to suffer a concussion during practices than in a game, according a study published May 4 in JAMA Pediatrics. Here are the numbers:

  • In youth games, 54 percent of concussions happened during games.
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Shots - Health News
4:04 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Sepsis, A Wily Killer, Stymies Doctors' Efforts To Tame It

Bob Skierski at the beach in Avalon, N.J., just hours before he fell ill and went to the hospital. He never went home.
Courtesy of Jennifer Rodgers

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 11:48 am

If you ran down the list of ailments that most commonly kill Americans, chances are you wouldn't think to name sepsis. But this condition, sometimes called blood poisoning, is in fact one of the most common causes of death in the hospital, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Jennifer Rodgers learned about sepsis the way many people do — through personal experience.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 am
Mon May 4, 2015

A Woman Uses Art To Come To Terms With Her Father's Death

Of I Wish You the Sunshine of Tomorrow, Rodgers says: "The ICU room my dad was in on the day he died had yellow walls. Every time we visited him we had to wear hospital gowns that were a bright yellow. [It] was a recurring color in that whole time frame of my life."
Courtesy of Jennifer Rodgers

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 2:24 pm

A month after her father died of sepsis, Jennifer Rodgers began creating maps.

She took a large piece of paper, splattered it with black paint and then tore it into pieces. Then she began to draw: short black lines mimic the steps she walked in the hospital hallway during her father's hospitalization.

"It was a physical release of emotion for me," she says.

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Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Why Your Future Vaccination Might Not Be A Shot

A patch that's the size of a nickel could one day administer the measles vaccine.
Gary W. Meek

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 10:43 am

Vaccines don't always make it into the people who need them the most. Many require a syringe and a needle to enter the bloodstream and create immunity. And that means a doctor or nurse has to do the job.

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