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Health

Legislature keeps cuts to program for poor kids with disabilities

Legislature keeps cuts to program for poor kids with disabilities

Over Democratic objections and against Texas House Speaker Joe Straus’ wishes, the Legislature this year won’t undo severe cuts adopted in 2015 to a program that serves low-income children with disabilities. The House on Friday voted 115-21 to go along with a Senate budget plan that declines to alter the dramatic reductions — totaling about $350 million in state and federal money...

Opinion: Stroke awareness month shows need for lifesaving health care

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. It was elevated for recognition by former President George H.W. Bush for a significant reason. A stroke occurs in the United States approximately once every forty seconds and remains the leading cause of long-term disability that Americans face. Consequently, almost everyone has a connection to someone who has had a stroke, whether it be a friend or family member...
Texas teen gives up scholarship to another teen who beat cancer

Texas teen gives up scholarship to another teen who beat cancer

A Texas teenager and cancer survivor is thanking a new friend for giving him a college scholarship. Chase Bradley, 17, of Hyde Park High School in Austin knows what a cancer battle is like. His older sister was diagnosed with cancer five years ago and beat it. The experience made him an advocate for cancer research. “I remember being in her hospital room, trying to keep a straight face and not...
Commentary: New patient information sharing system will save lives

Commentary: New patient information sharing system will save lives

Ten years ago, Thomas Tierney almost died after taking a drug for his neurological condition. A doctor noted the near-fatal reaction in Tom’s medical chart, which went into the office’s file cabinet. A year later, Tom went into the hospital after a fall. A different physician noted his neurological condition and prescribed the drug from the year before. Tom had another reaction &mdash...
Before you go swimming, know what’s lurking in the water

Before you go swimming, know what’s lurking in the water

Does this kid know what she’s jumping into? Shelby Tauber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, that the Cryptosporidium outbreaks were double what they had been two years before.
Clark Howard on battling a life-threatening illness, ‘I felt like death’

Clark Howard on battling a life-threatening illness, ‘I felt like death’

  Atlanta-based consumer advisor Clark Howard is speaking out about a mysterious and sudden illness that threatened his life recently. The same disease killed a Georgia man after, just like Howard, taking a powerful antibiotic only days before falling ill. Howard was admitted to Atlanta’s Piedmont Hospital three days after taking the generic antibiotic ciprofloxacin. The brand name is Cipro...
New valve replacement at Dell Children’s avoids open-heart surgery

New valve replacement at Dell Children’s avoids open-heart surgery

Alyson Hunter knows the pain of having open-heart surgery. She had three heart surgeries by the time she was 7. The first, at birth, was to put in a shunt that would allow her heart to work well enough for her to go home. The next was when she was 11 months old and the last at age 7, to put in a new pulmonary valve. Alyson, 13, was born at 32 weeks gestation with VATER syndrome; the acronym stands...
American Academy of Pediatrics: Quit giving babies fruit juice

American Academy of Pediatrics: Quit giving babies fruit juice

What’s in this baby’s cup? It should only be milk or water. American-Statesman 1999 Children younger than age 1 should not be given fruit juice, the American Academy of Pediatrics said in a recommendation released today.
1,500 employees assist with move-in day at Dell Seton Medical Center

1,500 employees assist with move-in day at Dell Seton Medical Center

On Sunday morning, ambulances lined up on Red River Street adjacent to two hospitals – one old and historic, one new and buzzing with modern medical technology waiting at the ready. Doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and other hospital staffers also buzzed with anticipation after more than a year of planning for the transition from University Medical Center Brackenridge to Dell Seton...
CDC WARNING: Dangerous parasite could be lurking in public pools, water parks

CDC WARNING: Dangerous parasite could be lurking in public pools, water parks

  With Memorial Day just a week away and pool season getting underway for the summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about a dangerous parasite linked to public pools and water parks. The parasite is called cryptosporidium, or crypto, and it can contaminate a pool very quickly. Here’s how it is transmitted to humans: “If someone has a...
DELL SETON MEDICAL CENTER: 1,500 employees assist with move-in day

DELL SETON MEDICAL CENTER: 1,500 employees assist with move-in day

On Sunday morning, ambulances lined up on Red River Street adjacent to two hospitals – one old and historic, one new and buzzing with modern medical technology waiting at the ready. Doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and other hospital staffers also buzzed with anticipation after more than a year of planning for the transition from University Medical Center Brackenridge to Dell Seton...
PolitiFact: Lawmaker says abortions are safer than vasectomies

PolitiFact: Lawmaker says abortions are safer than vasectomies

A Democrat opposed to an abortion-related measure suggested that a snip exclusive to men has proved less safe than an abortion. State Rep. Mary González, D-Clint, asked the abortion proposal’s author, Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, in floor debate: “First and foremost, did you know that an abortion procedure is actually … safer than a vasectomy?” Capriglione, R-Southlake...
It’s moving day for Austin’s historic downtown hospital and its patients

It’s moving day for Austin’s historic downtown hospital and its patients

At 7 a.m. Sunday, doctors at the old University Medical Center Brackenridge will lock the front doors. Across the street, at the same time, doctors at the new Dell Seton Medical Center will turn on the lights, pull up the blinds, unlock the doors and start accepting patients. With that, UMC Brackenridge will be closed to the public. And moving day will commence. For pretty much the entire day &ndash...
New hospital promising; leaders now must avoid another two-tier system

New hospital promising; leaders now must avoid another two-tier system

Welcome, Austin’s newest hospital, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas. The hospital, which opens today, is the result of years of planning, generous donations and a 2012 proposition approved by voters that steered $54 million in property taxes to health care projects, including $35 million for a medical school. That proposition was delivered on a promise that Central Health...
Texas House votes to expand abortion regulations

Texas House votes to expand abortion regulations

After almost six hours of sometimes heated, sometimes tearful debate Friday, the Texas House gave preliminary approval to legislation that would greatly expand abortion regulations in Texas. Senate Bill 8 would require abortion clinics and health centers to ensure that fetal tissue from abortions and miscarriages are buried or cremated, with the ashes properly scattered — similar to a state...
Commentary: How I’m still alive to talk about surviving cancer

Commentary: How I’m still alive to talk about surviving cancer

The most astounding part of my cancer story might be that I’m still alive to tell it. For nearly 10 years, doctors misdiagnosed my persistent jaw pain and trismus as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ. Nerve damage to the side of my face was deemed a pinched nerve. Sadly, I believed the doctors and learned to live with the pain. That is, until I woke up one evening with such excruciating...
6-year-old dies from meningitis, family stunned, left with unanswered questions  

6-year-old dies from meningitis, family stunned, left with unanswered questions  

  A 6-year-old California boy has died after a bout with meningitis, leaving his grief-stricken and stunned family with unanswered questions about how it could have happened. Jayden Brizuela, an only child, died on Tuesday, but he had been sick since last month, his family told KRON 4 TV. The boy wasn’t diagnosed with bacterial meningitis until last week. “He had a...
Bachelor’s degree in nursing at ACC? Texas House could make it possible

Bachelor’s degree in nursing at ACC? Texas House could make it possible

When Stephanie Berman of Round Rock earned her associate degree in nursing at Austin Community College, it marked a turning point in her life. A single mother emerging from an abusive relationship, with three young children, she was finally able to earn a decent paycheck. But Berman soon realized that a bachelor’s of science degree would make her better prepared for the field’s growing...
Council approves one pick for Central Health board, delays another

Council approves one pick for Central Health board, delays another

The Austin City Council has filled one of two vacant seats on the Central Health Board of Managers, while the other appointment remains in limbo due to some council members’ concerns about a potential conflict of interest. The seats became open when Central Health board member Rosie Mendoza’s term ended in December 2016 and board member Richard Yuen resigned this month. Council voted unanimously...

Rabies alert issued in Buda after dead skunk, bat discovered

Buda officials are asking the public to be on the alert for rabies after two dead animals were found in the city. According to officials, the animals were too badly decomposed for proper rabies testing. But state health officials treat these types of cases as a positive rabies cases as a precaution. A dead skunk was found Wednesday inside the Aguirre Paint and Body Shop at 17200 Interstate 35 South...
Woman’s sudden death day after giving birth leaves family stunned, devastated

Woman’s sudden death day after giving birth leaves family stunned, devastated

A Louisiana women’s sudden death the day after giving birth has left her family, including her partner and the father of her child, devastated and mourning her loss. Sarah Bertrand, 29, gave birth to her new baby, Julian, on May 9. The next day she was dead. “Just over 24 hours later… Sarah died of a pulmonary embolism that stopped her heart instantly,” the baby&rsquo...
Austin, Central Health weighing two Capitol view corridor options

Austin, Central Health weighing two Capitol view corridor options

Requiring a new Capitol view corridor free of obstructions through the south side of the soon-to-be-redeveloped downtown hospital site isn’t a good idea, Austin city staffers said in a memo this week. But maybe a view corridor next to it could work. Based on that recommendation, Central Health agreed to ask potential developers to consider one of the two view corridor ideas in their plans to...
Austin bids farewell to Brackenridge Hospital after 133 years

Austin bids farewell to Brackenridge Hospital after 133 years

Jane Dryden Louis retains more memories of the Brackenridge Hospital emergency room than she does of the house in Wilshire Woods where she grew up. That is because for decades her father, Dr. Bud Dryden, was the one of the public hospital’s most loyal physicians. “We never went anywhere without stopping at the emergency room at some point,” Louis, 65, says. “I grew up on a...
Male nurse accused of groping women under anesthesia turned in by pastor

Male nurse accused of groping women under anesthesia turned in by pastor

A nurse accused of groping at least two women, who were under anesthesia at the time, was arrested in metro Atlanta and jailed without bond. Police said suspect Michael Morgan’s pastor contacted detectives about the crimes a few weeks ago.  “We believe a pastor had talked to Mr. Morgan about this and then came and reported the crime to us,” said Sgt. Sam Worsham. Worsham...
Commentary: Why case against East Austin view corridor doesn’t add up

Commentary: Why case against East Austin view corridor doesn’t add up

As a matter of social equity, Austin City Council Member Ora Houston has offered a proposal to establish Capitol view corridors for residents of East Austin. Part of the proposal has run into the might of the special interests, which stand to reap financial gain through development of the Central Health campus where the Brackenridge Hospital is located. That development would block the view of the...
Commentary: Why it’s not too late to forge a nonpartisan health plan

Commentary: Why it’s not too late to forge a nonpartisan health plan

The Founding Fathers purposely made it difficult for elected officials to enact sweeping legislation. Our Constitution’s separation of powers demands coordination and consensus to pass especially meaningful and impactful laws. For that reason, most of the significant pieces of legislation passed in the last 60 years, after lengthy debate, ultimately achieved bipartisan majorities on final passage...
Study: Race matters in sudden unexpected infant deaths. Why?

Study: Race matters in sudden unexpected infant deaths. Why?

Babies should always sleep alone, on their back and in a safe empty crib with a firm mattress. A new study looked at 20 years worth of data of infant deaths due to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, of which Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed and other unexplained causes are a part.
10-year-old boy overdoses on marijuana-infused sour gummy candy

10-year-old boy overdoses on marijuana-infused sour gummy candy

New York police are investigating a drug overdose involving a 10-year-old boy. The boy was rushed to a hospital emergency room after eating cannabis-infused sour gummy candy on Sunday, where he was treated for an overdose and released, according to WABC.  The medicinal marijuana-grade candy, a package of “pink lemonade belts,” contained 250 milligrams of THC, Ramapo...
Two Views: GOP plan would continue decades of expensive health care

Two Views: GOP plan would continue decades of expensive health care

We’ll be poorer. We’ll be sicker. We’ll die sooner. That’s what Texans can expect if President Donald Trump and the Republican U.S. Congress adopt anything like the House-passed American Health Care Act. For this price, the wealthiest Texans — the top .1 percent, like their counterparts around the country — will receive tax cuts over $200,000. If ever there was...
Two Views: How GOP health bill could stave off collapse of Obamacare

Two Views: How GOP health bill could stave off collapse of Obamacare

Health care is an emotional issue for millions of Americans — and that is understandable. But let us get a few objective facts on the table about the American Health Care Act. First, the health care bill that House Republicans passed to replace Obamacare, which is collapsing, will not become law. The Senate is just now beginning its own process from a clean sheet of paper. If they can advance...
PolitiFact: Almost anything can end up in vaccine database

PolitiFact: Almost anything can end up in vaccine database

Addressing a physician during testimony about Texas laws affecting vaccinations, state Rep. Bill Zedler said a federal program that gathers reports of vaccination side effects doesn’t draw in all kinds of outcomes. The Houston physician disputed Zedler on that, leading us to roll out the Truth-O-Meter. We heard about the pair’s vigorous public back and forth from Jason Sabo, a lobbyist...
Could Trump restore money to Texas after Planned Parenthood defunding?

Could Trump restore money to Texas after Planned Parenthood defunding?

Testing their luck with the Trump administration, Texas officials are asking for federal money to help support the state’s women’s health program even though it has barred Planned Parenthood as a provider. Texas lost federal funding for its women’s health program in 2013 after it kicked out the biggest provider of such care, Planned Parenthood, opting to fund the health program with...
Commentary: What nobody’s saying about the murders of two UT students

Commentary: What nobody’s saying about the murders of two UT students

Weeks after the one-year anniversary of Haruka Weiser’s murder, the University of Texas is now mourning the murder of another young life — that of student Harrison Brown. No doubt, these tragic events have forever changed the lives of those close to Weiser and Brown. The UT community will continue to wrestle with a shaken sense of safety, though any university can only do so much to ensure...
Dell Seton Medical Center at UT opens amid growing focus on wellness

Dell Seton Medical Center at UT opens amid growing focus on wellness

The operating rooms in the new hospital on the University of Texas campus are equipped with video cameras that let a physician halfway around the world, or medical students across the street, watch heart, brain and other surgeries as they unfold. “It’s actually not a bad way to introduce students to surgery,” said Clay Johnston, dean of UT’s Dell Medical School, who has seen...
No vaping, please: Austin council to ban e-cigarettes from parks, bars

No vaping, please: Austin council to ban e-cigarettes from parks, bars

Say goodbye soon to vaping in the park or bars. Austin City Council members on Thursday asked staffers to add electronic cigarettes to the list of tobacco products covered by city ordinances, adding them to existing bans. City policies disallow smoking in public places including city parks, bars and restaurants. The move to include e-cigarettes passed unanimously on the consent agenda, with no discussion...
5 things to know about Dell Seton Medical Center at UT’s open house

5 things to know about Dell Seton Medical Center at UT’s open house

The region’s newest hospital, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, will open May 21. But first, it will host an open house for the public 1-5 p.m. Saturday. Here are five things to know about the hospital: 1. Privately owned, on public land: Dell Seton Medical Center, owned and operated by the Seton Healthcare Family, is at the northwest corner of 15th and Red River streets...
Say cheese! Health risks from dairy, even full-fat, debunked in study

Say cheese! Health risks from dairy, even full-fat, debunked in study

It’s time to break out some cheese and wine to celebrate a new study that debunks long-held rumors about dairy products. The study, published in the “European Journal of Epidemiology,” states that consuming dairy products, including full-fat versions, “does not increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke,” The Guardian reported.  It was believed...
Pot makes older people smarter but impairs younger people, scientists say

Pot makes older people smarter but impairs younger people, scientists say

A low dose of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, could help improve brain function and cognitive ability in aging people, at least it seemed to help older mice, a German team of scientists said, but the reverse was true in younger mice. A new study in the journal “Nature Medicine” found a daily dose of cannabis extract, not only dramatically improved learning and memory performance...
Smoking pack-a-day costs as much as $10,000 over 5 years

Smoking pack-a-day costs as much as $10,000 over 5 years

When it comes to getting cigarette smokers to give up the habit, just about everything has been tried. There are ghosts of smokers past, talking in public service announcements after their deaths from lung cancer. There are those disgusting pictures of autopsied lungs replete with the disease. And there is the old standby of shame. Now the Florida Department of Health wants smokers to consider...
Woman’s skin melts off after medication error: ‘It felt like I was on fire’

Woman’s skin melts off after medication error: ‘It felt like I was on fire’

There are medication errors and then there are medication errors that melt your face. Khaliah Shaw, 26, said in 2014 she went to a doctor because she felt depressed and received a prescription for the anti-seizure medication lamotrigine. The drug is often marketed in the U.S. as Lamictal. Shaw filed a lawsuit contending she received the wrong dosage of the medication, according to Atlanta TV...
Dirty diapers that go Poof and disappear

Dirty diapers that go Poof and disappear

Could Poof diapers really disappear from the landfill quickly and work? Well, it isn’t quite that easy, but Poof diapers are designed to not linger in the landfill like other disposables.
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