Health

Health
5:45 am
Tue April 12, 2011

Medicare Releases Rates For Hospital Acquired Complications

New data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services shows some higher complication rates than average at several area hospitals.

The new online data base at the Medicare website shows rates for eight so-called 'never' events.  Those are complications Medicare officials believe should never happen in hospitals. Those incidents include patients developing bedsores, or doctors leaving objects inside their surgical patients. Medicare has stopped reimbursing hospitals for many of these hospital acquired complications. 

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Health
5:00 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

Teenage Binge Drinking May Have Lasting Effects

Teenagers who binge drink may do long-term damage to their brains, according to a study from UNC Chapel Hill. Scientists administered alcohol to adolescent mice and measured changes in brain matter. They found adolescent mice exposed to alcohol lost brain matter in the frontal cortex and were less proficient at memory tests. Dr. Fulton Crews is a professor of pharmacology at UNC. He says the human adolescent brain functions in much the same way:

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Health
6:10 am
Mon April 4, 2011

HIV/AIDS Clinic Opens in Greensboro

A new facility for the treatment of HIV, AIDS and other infectious diseases opens today in Greensboro. It's a joint project between Moses Cone Memorial Hospital and HIV/AIDS care providers in North Carolina. Doctor Jeff Hatcher is the medical director of the clinic. He says it's the only infectious disease facility in the state that offers several different services in one place:

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Health
5:25 am
Thu March 31, 2011

Spaying and Neutering Assembly Line

Veterinarians are meeting in Asheville today to learn a quicker, more cost-effective way to neuter and spay pets. The Humane Alliance of Western North Carolina is hosting the conference. It operates a spay and neuter service in Buncombe County that sterilizes an average of 24,000 cats and dogs a year. The group can offer the procedure at a lower cost than full service clinics because it performs many at a time in an assembly line.

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Health
7:54 pm
Tue March 29, 2011

Kids Don't Use Asthma Medications Correctly

Asthma Inhaler
Credit Dottie Mae, Flickr Creative Commons

Ninety percent of kids using inhalers to control their asthma are NOT using them correctly - according to a new study from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Study leader Betsy Sleath says kids who use inhalers have to use the proper technique in order to deliver a useful dose of the drug directly to the lungs. She says without proper use, the inhalers don't work as well as they could:

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Health
7:00 am
Tue March 29, 2011

Symposium at NC State Combats Bullying

There could be some help coming for victims of bullying in North Carolina. A symposium at N.C. State today highlights the different types of bullying and what can be done to protect students.

Dr. Tina Hancock is the head of the Department of Social Work at the University and one of the organizers of the event. She says the internet will be a big focus of today's meetings.

"They will be addressing the various forms that bullying can take place from social media and the responsibilities of professionals in schools settings to protect children from cyber-bullying."

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Health
3:10 pm
Fri March 25, 2011

Duke Study Finds Orphans at Risk

A study conducted by Duke University researchers finds orphans around the world at great risk of experiencing traumatic events, and for those events to lead to later health and mental health issues. It shows 98% of those children have experienced trauma beyond the loss of their parent. The traumas include things like physical or sexual abuse and witnessing violence or death. It also finds young boys just as vulnerable as young girls.

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Health
5:35 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

FDA Panel Advises Against Menthols

An FDA panel says removing menthol cigarettes from the market would benefit public health. The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel stopped short of recommending an outright ban on menthol cigarettes. But its report released earlier today says the minty flavoring in menthols makes it harder for smokers to quit.

Health
5:00 am
Fri March 4, 2011

Malpractice Bill Seeks to Protect ER Docs

This week, the North Carolina state Senate approved a bill making changes to the medical malpractice system. Part of the bill would change the rules for suing emergency room doctors for malpractice. Supporters say it’s necessary to allow doctors to practice more freely in this high risk area. But opponents say it goes too far in limiting access to compensation for people harmed in the E R.

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Health
5:00 am
Thu March 3, 2011

Impact of Medical Malpractice Cap Unclear

Boone family
Credit Rose Hoban

This year, another bill capping damages and changing the medical malpractice system is making its way through the legislature. Rose Hoban reports.

At least thirty states across the country have enacted some form of cap on the so-called pain and suffering damages available to victims of medical malpractice. Republicans in the General Assembly have repeatedly introduced similar legislation in North Carolina, but in the past have been stymied by Democrats. This year, another bill capping damages and changing the medical malpractice system is making its way through the legislature. And with Republicans in control it has a good chance of passing the General Assembly.

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