Health

Commentary: Whole Woman’s Health is fighting for 5.4 million Texans

Commentary: Whole Woman’s Health is fighting for 5.4 million Texans

Last week, Texas clinics — led by Whole Woman’s Health and represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood — came together to sue Texas over its latest attempt to undermine a woman’s right to access abortion. If that story sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Just over a year ago, I was the lead plaintiff in a historic Supreme Court victory: Whole...
Hodges quintuplets head home to Temple after stay in Austin hospital

Hodges quintuplets head home to Temple after stay in Austin hospital

The Hodges family has grown by five. On July 23, after four months of one or more of the quintuplets being kept in the neonatal intensive care unit at Seton Medical Center Austin, Liz and Daniel Hodges prepared to take their new brood home to Temple on Sunday. “Looking at these babies, you know that miracles exist,” Liz Hodges said. “Being born three months premature and seeing how...
Feds cut millions in funds to Texas teen pregnancy prevention programs

Feds cut millions in funds to Texas teen pregnancy prevention programs

The notice came to Jenifer DeAtley quietly, without warning, in the form of yet-to-be-explained letters from the federal government that said $4.6 million in funding over the next four years for her organization’s sex education programming was being eliminated. The director of EngenderHealth, which runs teen pregnancy prevention programs at three charter schools in eastern Travis County and...
Commentary: Pursuit of health care reform shouldn’t be Sisyphean

Commentary: Pursuit of health care reform shouldn’t be Sisyphean

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was condemned to ceaselessly roll a giant stone to the summit, only for it to roll back down. In trying to fix health care, we Americans are like Sisyphus — and it’s a little painful to witness the strenuous futility. First, let’s look back to see how our health care system evolved. Every U.S. president throughout the 20th century had universal health...
Viewpoints: Don’t repeal, replace or let Obamacare fail — fix it instead

Viewpoints: Don’t repeal, replace or let Obamacare fail — fix it instead

The collapse of the most recent replacement for Obamacare, ironically entitled the Better Care Reconciliation Act, creates an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to work together to fix problems in the Affordable Care Act. They should seize it. That would happen if Democrats and Republicans put people first, not party or politics. We urge both parties to show the nation that Washington can and...
Austinite developing technology to help drivers not forget children in cars

Austinite developing technology to help drivers not forget children in cars

2007 Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman Last week we reminded you about keep kids in cars safe from the heat and from improper car seat usage. We told you about a couple of new products to help you not forget that your kids is in the backseat.  Never4get.us is a technology that uses two pads to remind drivers that there is a kid in the car. We heard from Austinite Dan Mimis, who has...
Commentary: Texas ignored vaccination bills. Why parents should worry

Commentary: Texas ignored vaccination bills. Why parents should worry

As the last days of Texas’ regular legislative session were winding down, the number of measles cases in Minnesota was heading upward. It continues to grow: There were more than 70 cases as of last week, most of them among unvaccinated children in the state’s Somali population. More than 20 of them were so severely ill they required hospitalization. Texas isn’t Minnesota —...
Abortion providers sue to overturn Texas law

Abortion providers sue to overturn Texas law

Texas abortion providers filed a federal lawsuit Thursday seeking to overturn a new Texas law that will limit the most commonly used second-trimester procedure. The restriction, included in Senate Bill 8’s sweeping abortion regulations that were approved during the closing days of the Legislature’s regular session in May, is set to take effect Sept. 1 and targets so-called dismemberment...
Krauthammer: What the parents of Charlie Gard should do for their baby

Krauthammer: What the parents of Charlie Gard should do for their baby

One cannot imagine a more wrenching moral dilemma than the case of little Charlie Gard. He is a beautiful 11-month-old boy with an incurable genetic disease. It depletes his cells’ energy-producing structures — the mitochondria — thereby progressively ravaging his organs. He cannot hear, he cannot see, he can barely open his eyes. He cannot swallow, he cannot move, he cannot breathe...
Waco Veterans Affairs office denies 92% of Gulf War claims

Waco Veterans Affairs office denies 92% of Gulf War claims

Department of Veterans Affairs benefits officials in Waco have denied a whopping 92 percent of claims related to Gulf War illness, giving Central Texas veterans one of the highest denial rates in the nation, according to data in a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report. The report found serious and persistent problems with how the VA handles the complicated Gulf War benefits claims, ranging...
Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer

Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer

There's a new health warning about a chemical found in most sunscreens. A new study found that when that chemical comes into contact with sun and chlorine, it can become toxic. If you flip over your sunscreen, chances are avobenzone is first ingredient you'll find. In fact, Boston's WFXT went into a couple of drug stores and found the vast majority of the sunscreens on the shelves have this...
Texas health officials warn of outbreak of diarrhea-causing parasite

Texas health officials warn of outbreak of diarrhea-causing parasite

Texas health officials are investigating an outbreak of cyclosporiasis, a parasite-borne illness that has typically popped up in the state from imported food. Doctors diagnosed 68 cases in Texas from June through July 18, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state has identified eight cases in Travis County, and one each in Hays and Williamson counties, health department...
Got a scrape or cut? Austin company wants you to rub some Curoxen on it

Got a scrape or cut? Austin company wants you to rub some Curoxen on it

This could be a good one to add to your first aid kit, something you should restock regularly. Back to school time is a great time to do so. Austin company OrganiCare has taken an Old World remedy for scrapes and cuts that Italians have been using for centuries and turned it into a modern product. Curoxen is oxygenated olive oil, calendula extract and lavender essential oils...
Mediterranean diet could help ward off dementia, or at least reduce risks

Mediterranean diet could help ward off dementia, or at least reduce risks

There are several health benefits to adopting a Mediterranean-style diet, and scientists have just discovered another one. They believe it could help prevent dementia.  A group of researchers conducted a study to find out how different eating habits can affect the disease. They looked at the diets of about 6,000 older Americans around the age of 68, factoring in race, gender, and health issues...
Doctor leads by example with garden at People’s Community Clinic

Doctor leads by example with garden at People’s Community Clinic

Fresh as mint in an eco-green riding shirt, Dr. John Day steers his bicycle into the parking lot of the spacious new offices of People’s Community Clinic on Camino La Costa. You couldn’t tell it from his dry brow, but he commutes 22 miles round-trip daily from Far Northwest Austin in order to take care of patients. It is clear right away that Day doesn’t stop his medical care with...
Commentary: Repeal of Obamacare removes mental health safety net

Commentary: Repeal of Obamacare removes mental health safety net

The U.S. has been on a punishment binge for the past 50 years. We have the largest prison system and the highest rate of incarceration in the world. The invoice for all of this is about $1 trillion per year for our criminal justice system — plus the collateral social and economic costs that follow it. The recent recession that devastated the economy and drastically diminished tax revenue stimulated...
Police officer helps woman, daughter left homeless over medical bills

Police officer helps woman, daughter left homeless over medical bills

A woman is thanking a police officer for helping her when a health emergency left her homeless. Jennifer More and her mother, Barbara, were recently begging on a Los Angeles street corner when someone called the cops on them. A fall recently left Barbara with brain damage. Her medical bills were so expensive, she and her daughter were left with nothing, leading to homelessness. Los Angeles Police...
Baby who was 'close to death' from blood disease saved by anonymous bone marrow donor

Baby who was 'close to death' from blood disease saved by anonymous bone marrow donor

Baby Denniya Rawls was born with a potentially deadly genetic blood disease known as hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, or HLH, and was admitted to Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital in March where doctors described her as “close to death.” “She was really almost in liver failure and could not breathe well,” Dr. Rabi Hanna, the department chairman of Pediatrics Hematology...
Hundreds wary of GOP health care bill attend Doggett town hall meeting

Hundreds wary of GOP health care bill attend Doggett town hall meeting

Hundreds of people flooded a downtown Austin church on Sunday for U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s town hall meeting with constituents, where they discussed how a proposed Republican health care bill could affect their medical benefits and supplemental programs like Medicaid. Austin’s lone Democratic congressman was hosting his fifth town hall meeting this year at the First United Methodist Church...
Hundreds crowd downtown Austin church for Medicaid town hall

Hundreds crowd downtown Austin church for Medicaid town hall

5 p.m. update: Austin’s lone Democratic congressman, Lloyd Doggett, told a town hall audience on Sunday that the U.S. Senate leadership’s decision to delay a vote on its bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act gives critics like himself more time to push for changes. Doggett said the Senate Republicans’ health care bill is a tax bill masquerading as a health bill...
Mumps outbreak hits UT; 7 diagnosed last week

Mumps outbreak hits UT; 7 diagnosed last week

University of Texas officials confirmed Friday the presence of mumps on campus after seven people were diagnosed the week of July 9. University Health Services sent an email informing members of the campus community of the outbreak, adding that resources and information are available to them through the department’s Healthyhorns website. University officials warned some individual students about...
JUST IN: UT officials confirm mumps on campus, 7 diagnosed this week

JUST IN: UT officials confirm mumps on campus, 7 diagnosed this week

University of Texas officials confirmed Friday the presence of mumps on campus after seven people were diagnosed this week. University Health Services sent an email informing the campus community of the outbreak, adding resources and information are available to them through the Healthyhorns website. University officials warned some students about possible exposures Wednesday. If a student,...
UT researchers: Zika vaccine works on mice, offers hope for people

UT researchers: Zika vaccine works on mice, offers hope for people

University of Texas researchers have shown that two types of vaccines targeting the Zika virus could protect unborn babies — a conclusion that had been suspected but not previously proven. The findings also suggest that a Zika vaccine could be on the way in the near future. The researchers determined that two vaccines protected mice fetuses from contracting Zika, according to a peer-reviewed...
BASTROP: St. David’s Emergency Center closed due to water outage; emergencies referred to 911

BASTROP: St. David’s Emergency Center closed due to water outage; emergencies referred to 911

St. David’s Emergency Center in Bastrop, the city’s largest urgent care facility, is currently closed because of a boil water notice affecting the area, hospital officials said Friday evening.  People with medical emergencies in the area are urged to call 911 instead, said Todd Steward, CEO of St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, which operates the emergency center. ...
Austin’s Wonders and Worries opens San Antonio office to help more kids dealing with parent’s illness

Austin’s Wonders and Worries opens San Antonio office to help more kids dealing with parent’s illness

Meredith Cooper, the co-founder of Wonders & Worries, meets with a dad and child to show how a CT scan works. Wonders & Worries, an Austin nonprofit organization that  provides support for children who have a parent or caregiver with a serious illness, has expanded its reach to San Antonio. We profiled Wonders & Worries last year and told you how it started when two...
Another reminder to never leave a child alone in a car

Another reminder to never leave a child alone in a car

We know we shouldn’t leave kids unattended in the car, especially in the heat. The story of a 1-year-old in Killeen, who died after being found with the car seat strap around his neck, reminds us that there are other dangers of leaving a child alone in a car. Do you know how to properly fit an infant, toddler and preschooler to a car seat?  As part of Child Passenger Safety...
MEDICAID FRAUD: Austin psychologists, Cedar Park patient recruiter arrested in nationwide health care investigation

MEDICAID FRAUD: Austin psychologists, Cedar Park patient recruiter arrested in nationwide health care investigation

Two Austin psychologists and a Cedar Park patient recruiter are facing criminal charges after federal investigators accused them of a Medicaid kickback scheme involving children who had been removed from their homes by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.  Dr. William Joseph Dubin, 72, and his son Dr. David Fox Dubin, 32, who operate Psychologist ARTS in Northwest...
Don’t vaccinate? New mumps, measles cases remind us why we should

Don’t vaccinate? New mumps, measles cases remind us why we should

Wednesday we told you of a  mumps case at the University of Texas that had caused students to get a letter that they might have been exposed.   We also told you that the number of kids in Texas receiving nonmedical exemptions to not vaccinate has grown to 45,000. If I tell you to vaccinate your children, would you listen to me? Probably not. Will you listen...
Taking ADHD medicines can curb future alcohol abuse, drug addiction, study finds

Taking ADHD medicines can curb future alcohol abuse, drug addiction, study finds

A new study out of Indiana University studied the health care claims of 2,993,887 adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder from 2005 to 2014. It looked at whether there were claims for substance-related events such as emergency room visits during the months in which they were prescribed medication for ADHD and when they were not prescribed medication...
UT officials warns of possible exposure to mumps on campus

UT officials warns of possible exposure to mumps on campus

Officials at the University of Texas issued an email alert to some UT students warning them of possible exposure to mumps Wednesday.  “I am writing you to let you know that you may have been exposed to mumps because a UT student in one of your classes has been diagnosed with mumps or has symptoms of mumps,” the email said. Additional information on the disease and what to do was also...
‘Civil liberties’ at center of vaccination debate in Texas

‘Civil liberties’ at center of vaccination debate in Texas

The heart of the vaccine debate is not just about whether vaccines help or hurt children anymore. It’s about civil liberties, at least in Texas. An episode of “VICE News Tonight” that aired Wednesday on HBO focuses on what the program considers a uniquely Texan phenomenon that came to a head during the regular legislative session that ended in May. The news program noted that more...

Doctor accused in at least 7 overdose deaths

A Texas doctor wrote unnecessary prescriptions for powerful drugs that contributed to the overdose deaths of at least seven people over a four-year period, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. Howard Gregg Diamond, 56, was arrested Tuesday on charges that include conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and health care fraud. Prosecutors contend that Diamond began issuing prescriptions...
If infertility is now a disease, why doesn’t insurance cover it?

If infertility is now a disease, why doesn’t insurance cover it?

In June, the American Medical Association recognized the World Health Organization’s policy that classifies infertility as a disease. The statement that its delegates voted on: “Resolve that our American Medical Association support the World Health Organization’s designation of infertility as a disease state with multiple etiologies requiring a range...
Coffee can help you live longer. Really, two new studies agree

Coffee can help you live longer. Really, two new studies agree

Two new studies published this month in Annals of Internal Medicine will have coffee drinkers rejoicing. Both found that people who drank coffee  either with or without caffeine had a lower mortality rate than people who didn’t. The first studied 521,330 people in 10 European countries during the course of about 16 years. Those people who drank the most coffee had lower death...
Five more Austin officers treated for carbon monoxide poisoning

Five more Austin officers treated for carbon monoxide poisoning

Five Austin police officers were treated for possible carbon monoxide poisoning over a four-day span that ended Monday night amid escalating concerns that their city-issued Ford Explorer SUVs could be exposing them to the deadly gas. Police officials Tuesday confirmed five separate incidents involving six officers to the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV and said some of the officers experienced...
New study: Drinking juice, soda in pregnancy can give child weight problems later

New study: Drinking juice, soda in pregnancy can give child weight problems later

We know not to drink alcohol during pregnancy, right? The research on that has been clear for decades. Of course, new research out of the University of California Riverside is showing that the effects of alcohol on pregnancy last not just for the child born, but for their children’s children. Now a new study out of Harvard University and funded by the National Institutes...
Think your child is allergic to penicillin? Think again

Think your child is allergic to penicillin? Think again

An American Academy of Pediatrics study that will be in the August issue of “Pediatrics” questioned whether kids who have an “allergic to penicillin” label actually are. The study, “ Allergy Testing in Children with Low Risk Penicillin Allergy Symptoms,” gave a questionnaire to 600 parents of children ages 4 to 18 who came into the emergency...
Can lack of sleep make you more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease?

Can lack of sleep make you more vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease?

Is there a connection between not sleeping through the night and a risk for Alzheimer’s disease? A new study, published in the journal Neurology, says yes there could be a link. Researchers examined 101 people who were deemed “cognitively normal” who were an average age of 63, The New York Times reported. >> Read more trending news  The group filled out sleep...
Girls in sports have higher rates of concussion, longer symptoms. Researchers ask why

Girls in sports have higher rates of concussion, longer symptoms. Researchers ask why

When we think of concussions, we often think of football players — big, brawny men in football helmets and pads crashing into one another. We do not think of girls playing soccer or cheer leading or falling from the playscape at a playground. Girls who play soccer are more likely to have a concussion than boys who play soccer. JOHN GUTIERREZ / FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN...
Should movies that show smoking get an automatic R rating?

Should movies that show smoking get an automatic R rating?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study last week that showed that 1 out of 4 movies rated G, PG or PG-13 showed someone smoking in them, though most incidents happened in movies rated PG-13. The rates of youth-rated movies that have smoking in them were declining until 2010, but have stayed the same in recent years. And the number of smoking incidents...
Commentary: How Abbott made the outdoors less safe for Austin families

Commentary: How Abbott made the outdoors less safe for Austin families

As a family practice physician and board member of Texas Physicians for Social Responsibility, I understand all too well how much ground-level ozone affects my patients. Ozone, a key component of smog pollution, can cause a burning sensation in the airways, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. It can trigger asthma attacks and heart failure, among other health problems. Children are especially...
Keep kids safe from falling furniture with these tips

Keep kids safe from falling furniture with these tips

Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye watches a demonstration of how an Ikea dresser can tip and fall on a child during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington in 2016. IKEA recalled 29 million chests and dressers after six children were killed when the furniture toppled over and fell on them. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Dr. Lois Lee...
VA’s first public list of fired employees includes Texas workers

VA’s first public list of fired employees includes Texas workers

As part of a push for increased transparency, the Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday released a list of nearly 700 employees who have been fired, suspended or demoted since January, including two dozen from the VA region that includes Central Texas. Most of the local firings are of lower-level workers, including nurses, medical assistants and supply technicians. One “senior leader&rdquo...
Hundreds protest outside Ted Cruz town hall over GOP health care bill

Hundreds protest outside Ted Cruz town hall over GOP health care bill

Hundreds gathered Thursday evening outside of the Renaissance Austin Hotel in Northwest Austin, where U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz was scheduled to speak, to protest his opposition to Obamacare and his views on replacing it.  “We want Cruz to resist the Trump administration and immigration and health care,” Patricia Contreras, from Indivisible Austin said. “He needs to stand up for the...
Ted Cruz says Senate health care bill’s passage ‘precarious’

Ted Cruz says Senate health care bill’s passage ‘precarious’

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Thursday he’s hopeful but unsure whether his Republican colleagues can reach consensus on a health care bill. One thing’s for sure, though, Cruz said: Republicans will pay a big price in 2018 if they don’t repeal the Affordable Care Act. “I think it’d be catastrophic. For seven years, we told voters over and over again: ‘If you...
Insulin pens under recall over faulty cartridges that could break or crack

Insulin pens under recall over faulty cartridges that could break or crack

Drugmaker Novo Nordisk is recalling NovoPen Echos and NovoPen 5, both insulin delivery devices, over faulty cartridges. The cartridges “may crack or break if exposed to certain chemicals, like some cleaning agents,” the Food and Drug administration said in announcing the recall in the U.S. Using a broken or cracked cartridge could affect the amount of insulin the pen delivers, and...
UPDATE: Austin police arrest 7 protesters, including congressional candidate, at Sen. John Cornyn’s office

UPDATE: Austin police arrest 7 protesters, including congressional candidate, at Sen. John Cornyn’s office

The debate over Republican plans to overhaul the nation’s health care system hit the streets of Austin on Thursday afternoon as some three dozen protesters rallied outside of Sen. John Cornyn’s downtown office. Demonstrators waved signs, led chants and blocked the sidewalk in opposition to the Senate GOP plan to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, which would slash coverage for many and...
Heartburn drugs linked to higher risk of early death, study says

Heartburn drugs linked to higher risk of early death, study says

People taking common heartburn and indigestion medicines may face a heightened risk of premature death, according to new observational research published Monday in the British Medical Journal Open. A team of scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, found that the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — drugs commonly taken to treat both heartburn...
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