health | KUOW News and Information

health

An Ohio man who has the hepatitis C virus was sentenced to 18 months in prison on June 14 for spitting at Cleveland police and medics, according to a news report.

More than 115 Americans are dying every day from an opioid overdose. But a study out Monday finds that just three in 10 patients revived by an EMT or in an emergency room received the follow-up medication known to avoid another life-threatening event.

It's been a decade since the financial crisis drove up the unemployment rate in the U.S. and forced people in the prime of their careers to give up looking for work.

Even today, as employers add jobs at a furious pace, the workforce participation rate still hasn't recovered. And now researchers think they know one reason why: the opioid crisis.

This Apple Update Could Prove To Be A True Lifesaver

Jun 18, 2018

With about 80 percent of 911 calls made from mobile devices, it's sometimes difficult for emergency responders to pinpoint the location of those callers.

Rita Adele Steyn's mother had a double mastectomy in her 40s because she had so many lumps in her breasts. Her first cousin died of breast cancer. And Steyn's sister is going through chemotherapy for the disease now. Steyn worries she might be next.

"Sometimes you feel like you beat the odds. And sometimes you feel like the odds are against you," said Steyn, 42, who lives in Tampa, Fla. "And right now I feel like the odds are against me."

Want to know what the teenagers in your life really think about sex and drugs?

Are you sure?

Well, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a pretty good idea, thanks to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Every other year, thousands of teens in public and private high schools across the country take this nationally representative survey. The CDC just released results for 2017, and here are a few of the highlights:

Sex

Why Do We Have Allergies?

Jun 14, 2018

Summer’s back and every plant wants to fertilize your nose. At least that’s what it feels like if you have allergies. Itchy eyes, runny nose, constant coughing and sneezing — pollen can make us miserable.

The number of people dying by suicide in the United States has risen by about 30 percent in the past two decades. And while the majority of suicide-related deaths today are among boys and men, a study published Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics finds that the number of girls and women taking their own lives is rising.

"Oh my God, we dropped her!" Sandra Snipes said she heard the nursing home aides yell as she fell to the floor.

She landed on her right side where her hip had recently been replaced. She cried out in pain.

A hospital clinician later discovered her hip was dislocated.

That was not the only injury Snipes, then 61, said she suffered in 2011 at Richmond Pines Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center in Hamlet, N.C. Nurses allegedly had been injecting her twice a day with a potent blood thinner despite written instructions to stop.

Britta Kauffman speaks to Dr. Paul Sann about a pain in her foot during the Seattle/King County Clinic on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at Key Arena in Seattle. Kauffman waited in line starting at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

How about letting states offer their own universal health care plans?

That’s the goal of a new bill that Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal unveiled this week.


If you take Prilosec or Zantac for acid reflux, a beta blocker for high blood pressure, or Xanax for anxiety, you may be increasing your risk of depression.

More than 200 common medications sold in the U.S. include depression as a potential side effect. Sometimes, the risk stems from taking several drugs at the same time. Now, a new study finds people who take these medicines are, in fact, more likely to be depressed.

Three generations of Garbes women: Angela, Josie, and baby Ligaya.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Seattle writer Angela Garbes first became a mom, she wrote a piece on breastfeeding that went viral. It remains the most-read article The Stranger has ever published. The hunger for knowledge behind that response was part of what fueled Garbes to write the new book "Like a Mother." She joined Bill Radke in the studio to discuss it, along with her mom Josie Garbes and three-month-old daughter Ligaya.

The student comes in for a pregnancy test — the second time she's asked for one in matter of weeks.

She's 15. She lives with her boyfriend. He wants kids — he won't use protection. She loves him, she says. But she doesn't want to get pregnant. She knows how much harder it would be for her to finish high school.

At many schools, she would have gotten little more than some advice from a school nurse. But here at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C., she gets a dose of midwife Loral Patchen.

Young women, especially young women of color, tend to get less exercise than their male counterparts, and the disparities worsen after high school ends.

This is the finding of a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi and Gyasi Ross.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

You know the drainage pipes you sometimes see sticking out from underneath a road? They're called culverts. And they're creating a division between Washington tribes and state attorney general Bob Ferguson. The sovereign nations claim that Ferguson is failing to uphold their treaty rights; in response, he's escalated the lawsuit to the Supreme Court of the United States.


Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.

Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That is why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.

UPDATE (1:40 p.m. PT) — Salem has issued yet another drinking water advisory Wednesday for the city’s vulnerable populations – just four days after lifting an initial advisory that prompted Gov. Kate Brown to issue an emergency and activate the National Guard.

The new advisory is based off of water samples taken on June 3-4. 

For many years, the death rate from cancer climbed steadily, and the focus of big cancer meetings was the quest for better treatments to bring malignancies under control. Cancer death rates have been falling in recent decades, and that's allowed researchers to ask another important question: Are some people getting too much treatment for their cancers?

The answer, from the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago these past few days, is an emphatic yes.

Gov. Kate Brown is declaring an emergency and mobilizing Oregon National Guard soldiers in response to an ongoing water quality situation in and around Salem.

Hundreds of survivors of domestic violence have come through the doors of neurologist Glynnis Zieman's Phoenix clinic in the past three years.

"The domestic violence patients are the next chapter of brain injury," she says.

Zieman begins every new patient visit with a simple question: "What are the symptoms you hope I can help you with?"

A simple question at the pharmacy could unlock savings for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Under a little-known Medicare rule, they can pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using their insurance and doling out the amount the policy requires. But only if they ask.

That is because pharmacists say their contracts with drug plans often contain "gag orders" forbidding them from volunteering this information.

KUOW PHOTO/Diego Villarroel

There are only about 125 doctors across the country who perform heart surgery on children and babies.

Mike McMullan is one of them. He works at Seattle Children's Hospital and has spent his whole career operating on the hearts of children. 


Six months ago, Melissa Nichols brought her baby girl, Arlo, home from the hospital. And she immediately had a secret.

"I just felt guilty and like I didn't want to tell anyone," says Nichols, who lives in San Francisco. "It feels like you're a bad mom. The mom guilt starts early, I guess."

Across town, first-time mom Candyce Hubbell has the same secret — and she hides it from her pediatrician. "I don't really want to be lectured," she says. "I know what her stance will be on it."

Americans are rediscovering the coldest aisle in the supermarket.

According to a new report, sales of frozen foods, including vegetables and prepared foods, are now on the rise following a multi-year slump.

The uptick is new — and modest. But growth "is accelerating as consumers begin to see freezing as a way to preserve food with fewer negatives," concludes a report from RBC Capital Markets.

A military doctor sets up surgical tools
Flickr Photo/US Army Africa (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/RRummb

Andy Hurst talks with Politico editor Arthur Allen about a new report from the Pentagon that found massive problems with the U.S. military's effort to modernize health records. 

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

It sometimes seems as if author Barbara Ehrenreich has seen it all and done it all. From “Witches, Midwives, and Nurses: A History of Women Healers” to “Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything,” the scope of her writing has been vast.

Samantha Blackwell was working her way through a master's degree at Cleveland State University when she found out she was pregnant.

"I was 25, in really good health. I had been an athlete all my life. I threw shot put for my college, so I was in my prime," she says with a laugh.

Scents and sensibility. Noses illustration.
Flickr Photo/7-3_resto-2 (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/6DHoeH

Several weeks ago at KUOW, one of our colleagues placed anonymous notes in our work mailboxes. We used to have a scent-free policy, this person wrote. What would it take to bring that back?


Combat veterans from the Vietnam-era through the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan often turn to Vet Center counselors for help with post-traumatic stress or depression. And some of these counselors are themselves feeling stress - in part, they say, because of what they're calling unrealistic productivity requirements.

Ted Blickwedel, 63, is a Marine Corps veteran living in Smithfield, R.I. And recently, when he was working as a clinical social worker at his local Vet Center in nearby Warwick, he began to think about suicide.

Henry lives in Belltown, where he likes to cuddle, go for walks, and poop.
KUOW Photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

Everybody poops, especially your pooch.

Seattle pets generate over 80,000 pounds of poop a day, according to Seattle Public Utilities. That’s 40 poop tons — the weight of a fire truck.

Pages