Health

Elderly senior citizen hand on cane
Meena Kadri, Flickr, Creative Commons

Researchers are raising questions about malnutrition among North Carolina's senior citizens. Doctors at UNC Hospitals report, over a two month period, more than half of patients ages 65 or older who came to the emergency department were either malnourished or a risk of malnutrition.

The study looked at about 140 older patients and saw no notable difference in the nutrition of rural versus urban seniors. There was also no noticeable difference between genders. The greater discrepancy came with access to proper food.

Prescription Drug Overdose in North Carolina

Aug 14, 2014
Wikipedia

  

North Carolina has a drug overdose rate that is higher than average. 

Laptop computer
Ian Usher / Flickr

Universities across the country have made it clear that providing health coverage for temporary employees -- like adjunct professors and grad students -- is prohibitively expensive.

Two nurses and ebola patient in 1976
Wikipedia

  

 As news of the Ebola outbreak that killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa continues, some missionaries from the region return to the United States. Their treatment and quarantine raises questions about American response to the disease.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Adaure Achumba, West Africa Correspondent for E-News Channel Africa and Karen Garloch, health reporter for The Charlotte Observer, about the latest news. 

Skulls at Choeung Ek Memorial, (AKA "The Killing Fields") outside of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Newport Preacher / Flickr

When people started mentioning the possibility of using tribunals to bring justice to leaders of the Khmer Rouge, not everyone was thrilled. A 1999 headline from the Phnom Penh Post reads "Khmer Rouge Trials Could Renew Trauma."

A picture of eye glasses and an eye chart.
Les Black / Creative Commons

North Carolina's proposed budget includes a request for public and private university networks to study the feasibility of creating at least one optometry school in the state.

Aspiring optometrists currently have to leave North Carolina for their education.

A chart showing the where there is a risk for CRE infections
CDC

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are organisms that do not respond to antibiotics. They're mostly picked up by patients while in the hospital, and have a mortality rate ranging from 48% - 71%.  What's more, between 2008 and 2012, reports of CRE jumped five-fold in the southeastern United States.

Jim Dollar/Flickr

Note: This is a rebroadcast of a show that aired June 25, 2014.

Federal law permits children to work in agriculture from younger ages and for longer hours than any other industry.

A picture of colorized Ebola particles.
Thomas W. Geisbert, Boston University School of Medicine / Wikipedia

North Carolina health officials are following the spread of the Ebola virus in Western Africa. It was announced this week that two aid workers from North Carolina-based relief organizations have tested positive for the virus.

Dr. Kent Brantley of Samaritan's Purse and Nancy Writebol of Service in Mission were both working to combat the outbreak at a hospital in Liberia when they were infected.

Flickr Creative Commons

    

Scientists have been working for decades to understand the underlying causes of schizophrenia, one of the most common and most debilitating mental disorders. 

This week, more than 300 researchers from around the world, including those at UNC-Chapel Hill, published a study that identifies more than 100 genetic markers tied to a risk for schizophrenia. 

The research is a move towards finding new ways to fight a disorder that has no clear treatment.

Tulane Publications via Flickr/Creative Commons

North Carolinians are waiting to hear what happens next after a pair of contradictory rulings on the Affordable Care Act.

A three judge panel in Washington shot down the law's subsidies for state's where people are enrolled in the federal exchange, not a state-run exchange. This includes North Carolina. A separate panel ruled just the opposite just hours later, saying the subsidies were, in fact, lawful.

Duke University Hospital
Duke Medecine

Researchers at Duke University will become part of a national network focusing on undiagnosed diseases.

The National Institutes of Health have granted $7.2 million for geneticists at Duke to look at the rarest diseases in the world, affecting fewer than 50 patients each.

Doctor David Goldstein is one of the principle investigators for the project. He says a team at Duke has spent four years taking what used to be a purely clinical investigation and moving it into the world of genetics.

North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program

Monday marked the last day to apply for victims of state-sanctioned sterilization in North Carolina to apply for compensation. In case this is news to you here are the basic details:

Randall Williams

  

North Carolina native Randall Williams says he knew he was going to be a doctor when he was four years old.

Unlike many who think they know their career path, Williams never changed his mind. He started working in the emergency room of his hometown hospital in Burlington as a teenager. He served as everything from a candy striper to an orderly before going to medical school.

He is now a Raleigh physician who has taken 11 trips to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Palestine for medical missions. He ran for mayor of Raleigh in the latest election.

Duke Health's Raleigh Hospital
Duke Medicine

  State lawmakers have approved a bill that would allow the use of a marijuana oil to help treat childhood seizures.

Researchers say the hemp oil extract, known as cannabidiol (CBD), is not psychoactive and would be used to treat only debilitating seizure disorders.

Several lawmakers, like Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford), showed their support for the bill by relating their experiences of having family members with epilepsy.

The World Health Organization has reported the largest outbreak of Ebola ever: more than 330 deaths in western Africa, and the number is rising.  Dr. William Fischer is an infectious disease specialist at the UNC School of Medicine. He has just returned from Guinea, the epicenter of the outbreak.  Fischer admits he was scared at first. He wore protective clothing and a mask that made him look more like an astronaut than a physician. 

When asked about one of his most memorable experiences, he told this story:

Inter-Faith Food Shutt;e offerings
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

The Triangle-based Inter-Faith Food Shuttle is helping feed kids that aren't getting enough to eat this summer. 

Officials with the charity say about 116,000 Triangle students receive free and reduced-price lunch during the school year. They say many low-income families have trouble making up for that nutrition when kids are out of school.  

Kyle Abrams manages child hunger programs for the Food Shuttle.  He says they're trying all sorts of ways to provide for the community.

Jim Dollar/Flickr

Federal law permits children to work in agriculture from younger ages and for longer hours than any other industry.

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

The Dare County Sheriff's Office is encouraging visitors to the Outer Banks to know exactly where they are in case of an emergency. Cell phones sometimes share inaccurate or incomplete location data with 911 dispatch, so knowing your street address can make it easier for help to find you.

Assistant Director Lora Nock said the 911 Center handles twice as many calls in the summer months as it does in the off-season.

Medical student studying the structure of a pelvis.
University of Nottingham Medical School

A new study from Duke University suggests a chemical found in many plastics can make breast cancer cells resistant to treatment.

The report discusses the effects of BPA on Inflammatory Breast Cancer cells. It's a type of cancer found in 1-5 percent of breast cancer cases. Researchers suggest that the chemical neutralizes the effects of prescription drugs meant to keep the cancerous cell from growing.

Co-author Scott Sauer says it was important to look at the drug resistance factor, not just how the BPA interacted with the cancer itself.

Geri Dawson
dibs.duke.edu

    

When Geri Dawson was a graduate student in psychology, she chose an obscure field: autism. Little was known about the disease at the time. More than three decades later, diagnoses have increased dramatically and Dawson is a leader in the field.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Dawson, director of the Duke Center for Autism Diagnosis and Treatment, about her career and the state of autism research and treatment.

A picture of a man charging an electric car.
David Dodge / Green Energy Futures via Creative Commons

As more alternative fuel vehicles take to the roadways, North Carolina is working to prepare first responders how to react when they're part of an emergency.

The NC Solar Center has worked with the State Fire Marshall's office to develop a workshop for emergency services personnel in the Triangle. Soon, responders in other parts of the state will be able to complete the training online. They'll learn to identify gas, biofuel and battery-operated vehicles.

WakeMed CEO Donald Gintzig
wakemed.org

After a controversial year, WakeMed Health and Hospitals' Donald Gintzig became permanent CEO last month. Gintzig is a retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy with experience leading non-profit, faith-based and private health systems. 

A picture of fresh produce.
Jina Lee / Wikipedia

People living in a southeast Raleigh neighborhood have a new place to buy groceries. 

About 18 months ago, two Kroger stores closed forcing residents of the South Park area to travel long distances to find fresh, affordable food.  Two church groups working with volunteers, opened the Galley Grocery on Bragg Street late last month. 

Ashley Lee is a member of the Hope Community Church and helped get the new venture off the ground.  She said there are still some challenges to overcome.   
 

NC Department of Health and Human Services logo
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Medical examiners in North Carolina routinely skip critical steps in their investigations, according to a new report by The Charlotte Observer

Medical examiners rarely go to the scene of a death and in some cases, they do not actually examine the bodies. 

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