Health Desk

The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Hospital Settles Lawsuit By Thousands Of Women Over Exam Photos

The Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to former patients of a gynecologist who used a small camera to secretly film examinations, in one of the the largest sexual misconduct settlements involving a physician.

The Baltimore-based hospital is settling a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women and at least 62 minors; more women will likely register with the suit.

From member station WYPR, Christopher Connelly reports:

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Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

What The Odds Fail To Capture When A Health Crisis Hits

Brian Zikmund-Fisher with his wife, Naomi, and daughter, Eve, in 1999, after he had a bone marrow transplant. He says he made the decision to have the treatment based on factors he couldn't quantify.
Courtesy of Brian Zikmund-Fisher

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 5:35 pm

How well do we understand and act on probabilities that something will happen? A 30 percent chance of this or an 80 percent chance of that?

As it turns out, making decisions based on the odds can be an extremely difficult thing to do, even for people who study the science of how we make decisions.

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Shots - Health News
3:43 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

High-Performing Charter Schools May Improve Students' Health

Researchers are just starting to look at how school choice affects health.
romester/iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 3:47 pm

Many people are intensely interested in how publicly funded charter schools affect children, and that includes not just their academic achievement but their health.

Researchers from UCLA and the Rand Corp. wanted to know whether attending a high-performing charter school reduced the rates of risky health behaviors among low-income minority teenagers.

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Goats and Soda
11:38 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Straightening Sisay's Spine: A Twist Of Fate Saves A Boy's Life

Sisay Gudeta, then age 7, sits on his bed at his home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, May 2013. At the time, his spine curved about 120 degrees. Without surgery, Sisay's scoliosis would have killed him before age 18, doctors said.
Andrew Dickinson for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 2:56 pm

One dewy morning back in May 2013, a dozen children gathered in an elementary school courtyard to play soccer in Addis Ababa. Seven-year-old Sisay Gudeta stood alone on the balcony above them.

Sisay poked his head through the arms of a rusty, blue guard rail, staring down at his classmates as they kicked an empty plastic bottle across the pavement. The kids rarely ask him to play, Sisay says. They are afraid to touch him, afraid of the bump on his back that stretches out his neatly pressed school sweater.

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Shots - Health News
4:15 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Big Data Peeps At Your Medical Records To Find Drug Problems

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:27 am

No one likes it when a new drug in people's medicine cabinets turns out to have problems — just remember the Vioxx debacle a decade ago, when the painkiller was removed from the market over concerns that it increased the risk of heart attack and stroke.

To do a better job of spotting unforeseen risks and side effects, the Food and Drug Administration is trying something new — and there's a decent chance that it involves your medical records.

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My Big Break
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Fitness Trainer Shaun T: 'I Understand Why You Feel Weak'

Shaun Blokker, known as Shaun T, is the man behind the fitness programs Hip Hop Abs and Insanity.
Derek Baron

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:43 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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Health
9:38 am
Sun July 20, 2014

A Nasty Weed May Have Helped Ancient Humans Keep Their Teeth

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

A story now about scientists who are looking into the distant past. Archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan have used an ingenious technique to learn about the early human diet. NPR's Rae Ellen Bichell tells us what they found.

RAE ELLEN BICHELL, BYLINE: Karen Hardy is an archaeologist of the Autonomous University of Barcelona. She started to think about dental plaque.

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NPR Story
9:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

As Polar Icebox Shrinks, Infectious Pathogens Move North

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Infectious diseases may be spreading more quickly, thanks to global warming. Viruses that were kept in check by the polar ice box are being released. And as some animals move north to keep cool, they're bringing all sorts of parasites with them, from microbes to ticks. Christopher Solomon has written about this in the August issue of "Scientific American." And he joins me now from Montana Public Radio in Missoula. Welcome.

CHRISTOPHER SOLOMON: Good to be here, Arun.

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NPR Story
9:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Facility Sets Up Extreme Precautions To Treat Ebola Patients

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath. The worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded continues to spread in West Africa. And medical workers in Sierra Leone have responded by expanding an extraordinary field hospital. It opened less than a month ago, but it now has the largest Ebola isolation unit ever built, with 64 beds. NPR's Jason Beaubien visited and describes for us the infection control measures that go into treating this highly contagious disease.

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Shots - Health News
4:05 am
Sun July 20, 2014

A YouTube Video Is Doctor's Secret Weapon Against Back Pain

Katherine Streeter for NPR

A woman in her late 20s came to see me recently because her back hurt. She works at a child care center in town where she picks up babies and small children all day long.

She felt a twinge in her lower back when hoisting a fussy kid. The pain was bad enough that she went home from work early and was laid out on the couch until she came to see me the next day.

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Shots - Health News
9:30 am
Sat July 19, 2014

As New York Embraces HIV-Preventing Pill, Some Voice Doubts

Truvada has been around for a decade as a treatment for people who are already HIV-positive. In the last few years, it has also been shown to prevent new infections, and New York officials are embracing the pill as a way to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 10:22 pm

AIDS researchers and policymakers from around the globe are gathering in Melbourne, Australia, for a major international conference that starts this Monday. They'll be mourning dozens of colleagues who died in the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

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Goats and Soda
6:08 am
Sat July 19, 2014

In The World Of Global Gestures, The Fist Bump Stands Alone

One set of knuckles meets another. Both are equal in this greeting that expresses approval and triumph.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Back in the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama launched a media storm when he nonchalantly fist bumped his wife Michelle. "Obama's Fist-bump Rocks The Nation!: The Huffington Post exclaimed. "Is the fist bump the new high-five?" NPR's Laura Silverman asked.

Obama has done it again.

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Goats and Soda
7:07 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Joep Lange, Who Died On Flight MH17, Changed The Way We Fight AIDS

Joep Lange led many early drug trials of HIV therapies and studied how to prevent HIV-positive pregnant women from transmitting the virus to their babies.
Jean Ayissi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:27 pm

The AIDS community is in shock over the news that dozens of its members were aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight that was apparently shot down Thursday. The sorrow is particularly widespread over the death of Joep Lange, a Dutch researcher and advocate, who played a pivotal role in the AIDS movement for more than three decades.

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The Salt
5:31 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

White House Fetes 54 Kids With Serious Cooking Chops

Cody Vasquez, 11, is from Arizona. His winning dish was shrimp tacos with watermelon jicama salad.
Jeff Elkins for Epicurious

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 2:20 am

It's not easy to snag an invite to a White House State Dinner.

So, imagine how 54 children — one from each state, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia — felt being honored in the elegant East Room by the President and first lady at an event Friday afternoon billed as a Kids State Dinner.

The pee-wee honorees were the winners of the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, a nationwide recipe contest for kids tied to the first lady's Let's Move Campaign. The event was co-sponsored by the food site Epicurious.

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Goats and Soda
11:22 am
Fri July 18, 2014

An 'Overhappy' Survivor, A Guarded Forecast: Reporting On Ebola

Saidu Kanneh speaks to the community in Koindu, Sierra Leone, about surviving Ebola. He spent 12 days in a treatment center and was released this week.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 4:01 pm

NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. When we spoke Friday, he had an inspirational story to share.

Between the plane shot down in Ukraine and the war in Gaza, this has been a sad week for the world. How are things in Sierra Leone?

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Shots - Health News
11:20 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Health Safety Experts Call For Public Reporting Of Medical Harms

"We can't continue to have unsafe medical care be a regular part of the way we do business in health care," said Harvard School of Public Health's Dr. Ashish Jha at a Senate hearing Thursday.
AP

The health care community is not doing enough to track and prevent widespread harm to patients, and preventable deaths and injuries in hospitals and other settings will continue unless Congress takes action, medical experts said Thursday on Capitol Hill.

"Our collective action in patient safety pales in comparison to the magnitude of the problem," said Dr. Peter Pronovost, senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. "We need to say that harm is preventable and not tolerable."

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The Salt
11:01 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Soylent DIYers Sell Their Own Versions Of The Powdered Food

Soylent CEO Rob Rhinehart holds a bag of finished product in September 2013. Rhinehart recently discouraged members of the company's DIY online community from competing directly with Soylent.
Josh Edelson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 3:57 pm

When Rob Rhinehart first created Soylent –– a powdered, synthetic food product made of industrial nutrients and oils –– he was a San Francisco techie trying to sustain himself cheaply without the inconveniences of grocery shopping, cooking or even eating.

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Goats and Soda
10:39 am
Fri July 18, 2014

From Twitter: The News Unfolds Of The AIDS Figures On Flight MH17

At a July 18 press conference at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, Vice President of Malaysia Airlines Europe Huib Gorter talk about the crash of flight MH17.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:57 pm

The AIDS world is reeling. Researchers, activists and officials were aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot out of the sky on Thursday; they were headed to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne.

The nearly 300 passengers on the plane were all killed. Twitter users were among the first to report the loss of leading figures in the fight against AIDS, including Dutch researcher Joep Lange, former president of the International AIDS Society.

Here is how the story unfolded on Twitter.

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Shots - Health News
10:01 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Half Of Texas Abortion Clinics Close After Restrictions Enacted

Texas gubernatorial hopeful and state Sen. Wendy Davis came to prominence when she opposed legislation restricting abortions. The bill eventually became law and is now blamed for the closure of abortion clinics across the state.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:40 am

In a little over a year, the number of clinics that provide abortions in Texas fell to 20 from 41, and watchdogs say that as few as six may be left by September.

Many clinics closed because of a requirement that doctors at those clinics obtain hospital admitting privileges within a certain radius of the clinic, and many doctors couldn't comply. The requirement took effect last November. This week marks the first anniversary of the state law that started it all.

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TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

How Do We Use Our Challenges To Live Beyond Limits?

"It's fulfilling to me to find out what those limitations are, or to blow through the limitations that you thought you had" — Amy Purdy
Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Amy Purdy's TEDTalk

Paralympic snowboarder and "Dancing With the Stars" finalist Amy Purdy tells how losing her legs at age 19 enabled her to achieve more than she ever dreamed.

About Amy Purdy

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TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

What Does It Take To Dive Into Dangerous Waters?

"When I stand on that shore, the main thing is, I want that destination, I want it" — Diana Nyad
Marla Aufmuth TED

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:35 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Diana Nyad's TedTalk

In pitch-black, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, hallucinating, Diana Nyad kept swimming. She describes the journey of her historic 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, at age 64.

About Diana Nyad

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Shots - Health News
2:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Head Scientist At CDC Weighs Costs Of Recent Lab Safety Breaches

The CDC's director, Tom Frieden, testified before a congressional subcommittee Wednesday regarding a recent anthrax incident and lab safety improvements he is instituting.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:40 am

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the hot seat.

It all started in mid-June, when the CDC announced that dozens of its scientists might have accidentally been exposed to anthrax.

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Shots - Health News
1:54 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, shown here in her home town of Twin Falls, Idaho, decided not to hide the insulin pump she wears to treat Type 1 diabetes during the pageant.
Photo illustration by Drew Nash/Courtesy of Times News

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:57 am

There she is, Miss Idaho. And there it is, the insulin pump attached to her bikini bottom during the swimsuit competition. Since posting the photo on social media on Monday, Sierra Sandison has become a new hero to the Type 1 diabetes community.

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Goats and Soda
1:00 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Feeling The Heat, Burning The Suits: Reporting On Ebola From Sierra Leone

Construction workers repair the roof inside the isolation area at the Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Kailahun.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:36 pm

NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. When we spoke Thursday, he had just toured the treatment center built by Doctors Without Borders in the town of Kailahun. With 64 beds, it's the largest Ebola isolation ward ever built. Currently there are 31 patients.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Skimping On Sleep Can Stress Body And Brain

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:58 am

"The lion and calf shall lie down together," Woody Allen once wrote, "but the calf won't get much sleep."

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Goats and Soda
7:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Dogs Carry Kissing Bug Disease In Texas And Latin America

Dogs throughout Latin America carry the Chagas parasite — and boost the risk of people catching it. And it's not just shelter dogs, like these in Mexico, who are at risk. Even family dogs get the deadly disease.
Jose Luis Gonzalez Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:47 am

We often think about people spreading diseases around the world. This spring, vacationers brought chikungunya from the Caribbean to the United States. Businessmen have likely spread Ebola across international borders in West Africa. And health care workers have carried a new virus from the Middle East to Asia and Europe.

But what about (wo)man's best friend?

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The Salt
5:07 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth

This young male, buried at a prehistoric site in Central Sudan, probably munched on the roots of a plant called purple nutsedge.
Donatella Usai Centro Studi Sudanesi and Sub-Sahariani

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 7:52 pm

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Patients With Low-Cost Insurance Struggle To Find Specialists

Dr. Charu Sawhney examines patient Mang Caan. Sawhney supports the Affordable Care Act, but has been frustrated by how difficult it is to find specialists who accept some of the plans her patients bought.
Carrie Feibel for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 7:02 pm

The Hope Clinic in southwest Houston is in the very heart of Asia Town, a part of the city where bland strip malls hide culinary treasures — Vietnamese pho, Malaysian noodles, Sichuan rabbit and bubble tea.

Inside the clinic, internist Charu Sawhney sees patients from many countries and circumstances. She's a big believer in the Affordable Care Act since most of her patients have been uninsured. She actively pushed many of them to sign up for the new plans.

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Not So Offal: Why Bone Soup, A 'Perfect Food,' Tastes So Meaty

Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for "bone soup." The fattiness of the marrow rounds out the chili, tomato, fennel, cumin and ginger.
Konstantin Kakaes for NPR

I ate the best meat I've ever eaten through a straw.

When the Singaporean food stall proprietor who'd just served me a plate of bones first offered the straw, I refused. I didn't want to take any shortcuts as I worked the tastiest bits of marrow out from the skeletal hollows.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire complained about a Democratic effort to reaffirm a contraceptive mandate at a Tuesday news conference
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:34 pm

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

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