A new public-private initiative is working to reduce heart attacks and stroke in a five-county area in southeastern Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Heartland Project combines public health personnel with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, hospitals and insurers to help patients reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke and live a longer, healthier life.
Counties participating in the initiative include Pittsburg, Pontotoc, Coal, Atoka and Latimer. The pilot project is funded through a grant from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Virginia Rady, 28, holds her old nebulizer at her home in Dallas. Rady was diagnosed with chronic persistent asthma at age 2. She underwent a series of three outpatient surgeries between December 2012 and February 2013 for a procedure known as bronchial thermoplasty. She says the procedure has changed her life, allowing her to remove her nebulizer from her bedside.
Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for NPR
Virginia Rady no longer has to use this nebulizer to deliver asthma medication. She underwent a procedure known as bronchial thermoplasty, which has reduced her need for drugs to control symptoms.
Credit Brandon Thibodeaux for NPR
Rady, shown with her dog, says she's now able to exercise regularly, and hopes to be able to have children.
If you've ever tried to drink something through one of those little red coffee stirrers instead of a full-sized straw, you know what it's like to breathe with asthma.
Twenty-five million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. And for 10 percent of them, medications like inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists aren't enough to keep them out of the hospital.
When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.
Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.
"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."
David Vetter was born without a functioning immune system and spent his life in a bubble that protected him from germs. He died at age 12 in 1984. Scientists are using gene therapy to treat the disorder so that children can live normally.
Researchers say they are achieving success in curing the genetic defect that causes some children to be born without immune defenses, a rare condition made famous in the 1970s by a Texas boy who lived most of his short life in a sterile "bubble."
Scientists now report that 8 out of 9 young children given gene therapy for a type of severe combined immunodeficiency disease, called SCID-X1, are alive and living amid the everyday microbial threats that would otherwise have killed them. The oldest is just over 3 years old.
A state lawmaker says he wants to give Oklahoma's death row inmates a chance at redemption by donating their organs before their execution.
Democratic state Rep. Rep. Joe Dorman of Rush Springs said Wednesday that he's developing legislation that would give a person who's been convicted of taking a life an opportunity to give someone else a chance to live a longer life.
Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 2:28 pm
The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.
Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge influence on our health. Without them, our bodies don't seem to do as well. We don't seem to be as healthy and might actually get sick more often.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:14 pm
At a basic level, kissing is a biohazard. What is love then, if not the willingness to expose yourself to a host of nasty diseases lurking in your partner's mouth?
But could kissing also be a tool with a purpose?
Psychology graduate student Rafael Wlodarski, from the University of Oxford, wanted to find out. Results from his experiments supported two of the existing hypotheses about why we kiss. First, we kiss to assess potential mates. Second, we kiss the mate we've found to maintain attachment.
More than 140 navigators have been hired in Oklahoma and are prepared to help people on Tuesday with questions about the federal marketplace. That is the first day that consumers can begin shopping, comparing and buying health insurance plans online or in person with the help of trained navigators and counselors.
Tuesday morning, the marketplace website noted that heavy traffic was making the page slow to load. The Oklahoma page took several minutes but eventually advanced to a log-in screen.