Health

Panel recommends every Austin school campus have a registered nurse

Panel recommends every Austin school campus have a registered nurse

The Austin school district should place a licensed medical professional on every campus, according to new recommendations by a subcommittee tasked with examining school health services. The group, composed of health care experts, district staff and parents, pointed to various local and other urban Texas school districts that offer school nurses at each of their schools, and said Austin should fund...
How to decide when home remedies are better than antibiotics

How to decide when home remedies are better than antibiotics

For parents, it can be hard to tell whether your child’s illness requires antibiotics or if there are other ways to effectively treat his or her symptoms. To prevent overuse of these drugs, it’s important to know when home remedies can be used instead of antibiotics. “If your child has an ear infection, consider using over-the-counter pain relievers in place of antibiotics,&rdquo...
Keep your holidays happy by letting go of food guilt

Keep your holidays happy by letting go of food guilt

Every year around holiday time, there’s an influx of articles about how to stick to your healthy eating goals and resist temptation. You may read about how to say no to second helpings, stop gobbling up fat-laden appetizers or alternate alcoholic drinks with sparkling water to combat calories. That advice is practical, but it focuses too much on what not to do. It could end up making you feel...
Apple wants to know your heart rate, for science

Apple wants to know your heart rate, for science

Apple’s trying out something entirely new: a medical study. Apple Watch users are now able to enroll in a new study Apple is conducting with Stanford University School of Medicine, which uses the device’s heart-rate monitor to check for an irregular heart rate. While others have used Apple’s software and devices in medical studies, this is the first time that it’s actually...
Working and playing with plants helps cope with illness, disabilities

Working and playing with plants helps cope with illness, disabilities

ST. LOUIS — Half-reclined and wrapped in a shawl, Lauren Underhill spins a sprig of red-blossomed pineapple sage with her left thumb and index finger. Under the shawl, a catheter tube connects to a vein infusing her bloodstream with a cocktail of anti-cancer drugs. Underhill, who has stage 4 colon cancer, spends up to five hours at the Siteman Cancer Center south of St. Louis during such appointments...
Shopping for health care online? The odds are stacked against you

Shopping for health care online? The odds are stacked against you

The internet is great place to shop for plane tickets, laundry detergent, artisan jewelry and pretty much anything else you might ever want to buy. But a new report says there’s one big exception — health care. If you expect the World Wide Web to help you figure out how much you’ll need to pay to get your hip replaced, a painful joint isn’t your only problem. And if you think...
Here’s why keeping a cell phone too close to your body might be bad for your health

Here’s why keeping a cell phone too close to your body might be bad for your health

Do you sometimes sleep with your cell phone? The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a warning against it, because the radiation from the devices may be harmful to our bodies. >> Read more trending news  “Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high...
Texas CHIP money good through February; Cornyn promises long-term fix

Texas CHIP money good through February; Cornyn promises long-term fix

The Children’s Health Insurance Program in Texas will be funded one month longer than expected, according to a recalculation by the federal government. The program, which insures more than 400,000 low-income children and pregnant women in the state, will be funded through February. Originally, the Texas Health and Human Services had reported that funding was good only through January after Congress...
5 things you can do to prepare for flu season that’s expected to be bad

5 things you can do to prepare for flu season that’s expected to be bad

Look out, Central Texas, the flu will be coming our way, and epidemiologists — experts in disease — believe it’s going to be a rough season. Doctors have started to see increases of flu cases in Massachusetts and Georgia and in our neighboring states of Oklahoma and Louisiana. In Austin, we don’t have a deluge yet, said Dr. Albert Gros, chief medical officer at St. David&rsquo...
We Are Blood, Austin’s blood bank, puts out call for donations

We Are Blood, Austin’s blood bank, puts out call for donations

The holidays are a busy time of year. But when it comes to giving blood, things can be a bit slow. The need for blood never slows down, though, so We Are Blood, Austin’s blood bank, has kicked off what it’s calling the “12 Days of Giving.” Anyone who donates – or tries to donate – between now and Dec. 22 will be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes. Those...
This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to nutritionists

This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to nutritionists

Do you love Diet Coke? Love it enough to drink a dozen of them in a day?  According to a recently published New York Times article on a day in the life of the commander-in-chief , President Donald Trump reportedly downs a dozen cans of the soda a day.  >> Read more trending news  “Watching cable, he shares thoughts with anyone in the room, even the household staff he...
ACC a step closer to offering bachelor’s degree in nursing

ACC a step closer to offering bachelor’s degree in nursing

A proposed bachelor’s degree program in nursing has been approved by Austin Community College trustees. The program, designed for people who are already registered nurses, still needs approval from accrediting organizations and the state’s higher education agency. More than 7,700 registered nurses in ACC’s service area, which encompasses 19 school districts and 7,000 square miles...
Woman jailed after subjecting son to 323 hospital visits, 13 major surgeries 

Woman jailed after subjecting son to 323 hospital visits, 13 major surgeries 

A Texas woman is jailed on charges related to allegations that she subjected her young son to more than a dozen unnecessary surgeries and hundreds of unneeded hospital visits. Kaylene Bowen-Wright, 34, is in the Dallas County Jail on a charges of  injury to a child with serious bodily injury, according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. Bowen-Wright is accused of subjecting her 8-year-old...
Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin reaches 5 million ounces donated

Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin reaches 5 million ounces donated

As of Thursday, Mothers’ Milk Bank of Austin officially has distributed 5 million ounces of breast milk to preterm and medically fragile babies since it opened in 1999. The milk has been donated by more than 8,000 mothers, and been given to more than 29,000 babies from around the country.  Katrina Hunt, milk processing coordinator, mixes milk from several donors...
Travis County joins other counties, cities suing over opioid crisis

Travis County joins other counties, cities suing over opioid crisis

Travis County will join dozens of other counties and cities throughout the country attempting to recover costs from the opioid epidemic by suing manufacturers, distributors and marketers of the prescription drugs. “This has been a long time coming,” Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt said Tuesday. “This puts a very big strain on our criminal justice system as well as putting a big...
What is CHIP? 7 things to know about the Children’s Health Insurance Program

What is CHIP? 7 things to know about the Children’s Health Insurance Program

Amid efforts to unsuccessfully repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in the fall, lawmakers let the Children’s Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) to expire on Sept. 30. And now, doctors and patients are worried that money for the program, which provides 9 million kids across the country with low-cost health insurance, will run out. In fact, according to the Kaiser...
Get ready. Flu season expected to be bad

Get ready. Flu season expected to be bad

Look out, Central Texas, the flu will be coming our way, and those epidemiologists — the experts in disease — believe it’s going to be a rough season. Doctors have  started to see increases of cases in Massachusetts and Georgia and in neighboring states Oklahoma and Louisiana. drian Tadeo, 7, grimaces a little as he receives a flu shot from nurse Tanya...
Austin boy trying to raise $1 million for Batten disease treatment for sister

Austin boy trying to raise $1 million for Batten disease treatment for sister

When his parents set out to raise $6 million in two years to fund a Food and Drug Administration clinical trial for a possible treatment for Batten disease, Garland Benson, 13, decided last March he was going to raise $1 million of that to help find a treatment for his sister, Christiane. He would do it, he decided, by asking 100,000 people to give $10. Garland Benson...
Grandmother left for dead in road after struck by hit and run driver

Grandmother left for dead in road after struck by hit and run driver

A 59-year-old DeKalb County, Georgia woman is in critical condition after she was hit while crossing the street to get to a bus stop, her daughter said. The driver of an SUV struck Deborah Gee as she was crossing Clairmont Road in Brookhaven in metro Atlanta, headed for the bus stop she walks to every day, daughter Michaelyn Jones told Channel 2 Action News. The impact happened about 7 p.m. on...
Commentary: Obamacare will die without the individual mandate

Commentary: Obamacare will die without the individual mandate

As Congress debates getting rid of the individual mandate to buy health insurance to better afford a tax overhaul, I’m reminded of one of the mandate’s leading advocates — Uwe Reinhardt, one of the greatest minds in health care economics. In 2009, as Congress was debating the Affordable Care Act, he was interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. She asked him about the...

Abbott promise on postpartum depression goes unmet

Gov. Greg Abbott agreed with lawmakers this year on a move that could encourage more Texas mothers to get checked for postpartum depression. For a second time, though, Abbott’s 2013 campaign call to spend money qualifying low-income mothers for a year’s worth of mental health screenings and services after giving birth didn’t pass into law. Last year, we had marked this Abbott campaign...
Helping these blind Eagle Scouts ‘see’ through other people’s eyes

Helping these blind Eagle Scouts ‘see’ through other people’s eyes

As Nick Cantos slid on a sleek pair of glasses, a voice spoke out to him through his iPhone. “I see the George Mason statue,” a woman’s voice said. “It looks like a bronze statue, standing tall, with a scroll in his left hand.” Nearby, Nick’s brothers, Leo and Steven, were also busy putting on their glasses, making adjustments here and there. The three of them,...
Laws to equalize cancer patients’ costs provide uneven protection

Laws to equalize cancer patients’ costs provide uneven protection

Laws passed by many states that require health plans to charge the same cost-sharing amounts for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy — regardless of whether they get the medication intravenously or take a pill or liquid by mouth — are providing uneven pocketbook protection, according to a new study. These “parity” laws became popular as the number of pricey anti-cancer oral...
Breathing fire: Health is a casualty of climate-fueled blazes

Breathing fire: Health is a casualty of climate-fueled blazes

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — As the deadliest fires in California history swept through leafy neighborhoods here, Kathleen Sarmento fled her home in the dark, drove to an evacuation center and began setting up a medical triage unit. Patients with burns and other severe injuries were dispatched to hospitals. She set about treating many people whose symptoms resulted from exposure to polluted air and...
Coroner reveals comic Ralphie May’s official cause of death 

Coroner reveals comic Ralphie May’s official cause of death 

Medical examiners in Las Vegas have determined that comic Ralphie May's death was from high blood pressure and heart disease. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg (FYOU'-den-berg) told The Associated Press on Wednesday the round-faced comedian whose body was found Oct. 6 at a home in Las Vegas died of heart failure due to hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The death was ruled natural. May was 45...
That healthy walk not so healthy in areas with higher air pollution

That healthy walk not so healthy in areas with higher air pollution

Do you enjoy taking long walks as a part of your fitness routine? Air pollution can wipe out all of those health benefits, according to a new report.  Researchers from Duke University and Imperial College London recently conducted an experiment, published in The Lancet journal, to determine how taking a stroll outside can can affect the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, particularly...
Legal marijuana users barred from owning guns or ammunition in Ohio

Legal marijuana users barred from owning guns or ammunition in Ohio

People who register with the state of Ohio to legally use medical marijuana will be prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law, according to guidance released by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. In an open letter to federally licensed firearms dealers, the ATF advised in 2011 that marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law so any use of the drug...
Buying toys for Christmas? Follow these safety tips

Buying toys for Christmas? Follow these safety tips

In the 1983 Christmas movie “A Christmas Story,” everyone warns Ralphie: “You’ll shoot your eye out,” when he asks for a Red Ryder B.B. gun. And so, when he wakes up on Christmas morning and he is given a Red Ryder B.B. gun from Santa, what happens? He shoots his eye out … well, not really, but he does injure himself and break his glasses...
Uterus donation offers new hope for women to get pregnant

Uterus donation offers new hope for women to get pregnant

Just up the road in Dallas, a family is celebrating the birth of a new baby. That baby lived for nine months inside a uterus in her mommy’s abdomen, just like most babies, but that uterus originally lived in another woman. Will more women be able to become pregnant with a transplanted uterus? Photos.com You see, Baylor University Medical Center, has a uterus transplant program for...
Viewpoints: Congress must keep health insurance for CHIP kids

Viewpoints: Congress must keep health insurance for CHIP kids

About 400,000 Texas children and thousands of pregnant women are in danger of being tossed from their health coverage for no good reason — other than Congress is dragging its feet in reauthorizing the hugely successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). By late-December, state health officials will send families letters informing them they will lose CHIP coverage by about the...
Would you pay extra for a stamp to benefit Alzheimer’s disease research?

Would you pay extra for a stamp to benefit Alzheimer’s disease research?

The U.S. Postal Service has released a new stamp, which will benefit Alzheimer’s disease research. You’ll pay 60 cents for the first-class stamp, a 11-cent increase from the typical first-class stamp rates. Funds raised will go to the National Institutes of Health to distribute them. “The Postal Service is proud to issue this stamp today to help raise public...
In Texas, Obamacare enrollment up despite shorter sign-up window

In Texas, Obamacare enrollment up despite shorter sign-up window

Texans have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in high numbers through the initial four weeks of open enrollment, with applications so far up by more than 50 percent in the state — but a significantly shortened enrollment period means the final count still might fall below last year. Nationally, enrollment on the federal health care exchange is up by about 30 percent...
Learning to keep calm and carry on with Transcendental Meditation

Learning to keep calm and carry on with Transcendental Meditation

In late 2016, I had an inkling that 2017 would be annoying. I had no idea. But, in anticipation of what lay ahead, I pondered the options that might keep me from starting each day screaming, “Noooooooo!” and ducking back under the blankets. Constant Xanax, vats of alcohol, moving to Newfoundland … each had too many drawbacks. So I decided to study Transcendental Meditation. A year...
Doctors, be careful what you say to children who are overweight, says new American Academy of Pediatrics policy

Doctors, be careful what you say to children who are overweight, says new American Academy of Pediatrics policy

Kids and their parents do not want to be told they need to lose weight. Their doctors might actually be encouraging weight gain if they aren’t careful about how they talk to their patients who are overweight — so found  American Academy of Pediatrics research that has been turned into a policy statement. Austin doctor Stephen J. Pont, who is an assistant professor...
Dallas Cowboys punter rallies for late Round Rock boy

Dallas Cowboys punter rallies for late Round Rock boy

When Brock Fleming died late last year after months of battling a rare form of brain cancer, he left behind a legacy that has reached far beyond his local community. Now the efforts of Brock and his family and friends will gain the attention of thousands of football fans with the help of Dallas Cowboys punter Chris Jones. Jones announced earlier this month he will proudly wear special cleats dedicated...
Dell Children’s now designated Level IV NICU center

Dell Children’s now designated Level IV NICU center

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas has achieved a Level IV designation for its neonatal intensive care unit from the Texas Department of State Health Services. It’s the 12th NICU in the state to be given that status. “This designation highlights our commitment to providing a full scope of medical and surgical services to newborns who need ...

Digital pill that tracks use when swallowed gets FDA approval

U.S. regulators approved the first medicine with an embedded sensor to help keep track of whether patients with mental illness are adhering to their prescriptions. The decision marks a milestone in the convergence of technology and health care that also raises privacy concerns. The so-called digital pill is a version of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co.’s Abilify, which treats depression, bipolar disorder...

How to get enough protein, without meat

One of my son’s eighth-grade friends recently became a vegetarian. He joins the approximately 4 percent of youths in this country (up from 2 percent 10 years ago) who eat meatless. As much as my boys respect his choice and recognize his passion for the environment that spurred the decision, neither of them truly understands it. Although my sons eat plenty of vegetables, their most requested...
Getting a dog might just save your life, Swedish research says

Getting a dog might just save your life, Swedish research says

Having a dog can bring a lot of love into your life. It could also make it last a little longer. A group of academics from Uppsala University in Sweden analyzed the health records of 3.4 million people in that northern European country, where databases contain detailed information on most everyone’s hospitalizations, medical history and even whether they own a dog. Such detailed records made...
Blood pressure of 130 is new ‘high,’ according to updated guidelines

Blood pressure of 130 is new ‘high,’ according to updated guidelines

The nation’s heart experts tightened the guidelines for high blood pressure, a change that will sharply increase the number of U.S. adults considered hypertensive in the hope that they, and their doctors, will address the deadly condition sooner. Acting for the first time in 14 years, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology redefined high blood pressure as a reading...
How a gene that usually protects against cancer becomes the aggressor

How a gene that usually protects against cancer becomes the aggressor

A study led by a University of California San Diego researcher has found an explanation for one of the biggest causes of cancer, mutations in a gene that normally guards against cancer. Mutations in the gene, called p53, can lead to inflammation, stimulating an immune response that fuels cancer, the study found. The effect was seen in common human tumors such as colon and breast cancers, said Shannon...
Pastor, father of 3 found dead day before Thanksgiving

Pastor, father of 3 found dead day before Thanksgiving

Tennessee authorities are investigating the death Wednesday morning of a Memphis pastor . Quentin Barlow, 36, was found dead in his home on the day before Thanksgiving from unknown causes. Barlow’s cousin, Samantha Westbrook, said she received the bad news in a phone call from her cousin.  “We’re grieving, we’re hurting, but our faith and trust remains in the Lord,&rdquo...
Extra cinnamon may be the secret to weight loss this holiday season

Extra cinnamon may be the secret to weight loss this holiday season

If you're looking to shed a few pounds, you may want to go heavier on the cinnamon this holiday season. New research from scientists at the University of Michigan (or U of M) revealed that cinnamaldehyde, an essential oil that gives the spice its flavor, appears to have an anti-obesity effect, Newsweek reported. The study follows previous research, which showed that cinnamaldehyde protects mice...
Federal judge tosses out Texas abortion law

Federal judge tosses out Texas abortion law

For the third time this year, a federal judge has tossed out an abortion-related regulation in Texas — this time a law that bans a common type of second-trimester abortion unless doctors first employ an added procedure to ensure fetal demise. In a ruling issued Wednesday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin said the law requires doctors to use risky, unproven and medically unnecessary...
Texas can, should do better for state living center residents

Texas can, should do better for state living center residents

Liz Belile visits her sister Shanna in the Austin State Supported Living Center in West Austin Monday October 30, 2017. Belile’s sister suffers from a seizure disorder and needs permanent care, but having her in Austin has provided her with the opportunity to look in on her regularly and tend to her other needs. (RALPH BARRERA / AMERICAN-STATESMAN) A glint of hope...
Spit test could diagnose concussion in kids, study says

Spit test could diagnose concussion in kids, study says

It can be difficult to tell how a long a concussion will last. However, a spit test may soon be able to diagnose and determine the duration, according to a new a report.  Researchers from Penn State University recently conducted a small experiment, published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal, to explore whether saliva can be used to identify prolonged concussion symptoms, which can include...
Is your doctor taking your blood pressure all wrong? Experts say probably

Is your doctor taking your blood pressure all wrong? Experts say probably

One of the first things you do when you visit the doctor’s office is get your blood pressure measured. A blood pressure reading can tell you a lot about your current health and whether or not you’re at high risk for stroke, heart attack, kidney failure or heart failure. But chances are, your health care provider isn’t even taking your blood pressure the right way. That&rsquo...
Commentary: How Texans suffer without office of minority health

Commentary: How Texans suffer without office of minority health

During the past legislative session, Texas lawmakers canceled funding for the Office of Minority Health Statistics and Engagement (OMHSE) beyond Sept. 1, 2018. In effect, this means Texas could soon become the first state in the nation without an office of minority health. This is a bad decision by our lawmakers because Texas institutions continue to operate inequitably. It may seem that inequity...
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