health

Health Warning
8:06 am
Thu June 26, 2014

FDA Warns Of Life-Threatening Reactions With Acne Products

This might help with pimples, but be aware of risky reactions.
iStockphoto

The announcement that popular over-the-counter acne treatments can cause rare but life-threatening reactions sure got our attention. Who among us hasn't slathered that stuff on our face?

The reactions include throat tightness, shortness of breath, wheezing, low blood pressure, fainting and collapse. Hives and swelling of body parts where the products were not applied were also reported. And 44 percent of the people affected were sick enough to be hospitalized.

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Health
3:18 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Fatal Birth Defects Surge In South Central Washington, And No One Knows Why

Marcie Sillman talks with Washington State Department of Health's Dr. Kathy Lofy about the work the state is doing to figure out why south central Washington is experiencing a surge of fatal birth defects.

Health News
8:05 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Heart Of The Matter: Treating The Disease Instead Of The Person

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 6:28 am

A 56-year-old man is having lunch with his wife at a seafood restaurant just outside Boston when he develops crushing chest pain. He refuses an ambulance, so the man's wife drives him to the ER.

What happens next says a lot about the difference that being a doctor or a patient can make in how one feels about the health care system.

First, how did the patient and his wife see the trip to the hospital?

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Patient Safety
3:14 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Feds To Washington State Hospitals: Improve Patient Safety Or Face Penalties

Marcie Sillman talks with freelance journalist Lisa Stiffler about infection rates and patient safety in Washington hospitals.

Family Care
3:05 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Depression Not The Only Risk After Giving Birth

Marcie Sillman talks to Dr. Leslie Butterfield about the challenges new parents face and how to spot the signs of postpartum depression and anxiety.

One in five new moms and one in ten new dads have some form of postpartum depression. Postpartum Support International and Postpartum Support International of Washington State are resources for information about postpartum depression, as well as local support groups and counselors. You can also call the toll-free line anytime to talk to a volunteer: 1.888.404.7763.

Health News
11:39 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Expert Who First Spotted Lyme In Ticks Calls 'Chronic' Lyme Overdiagnosed

Lyme disease is spread by deer ticks like this one. (Getty Creative Images)

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 12:58 pm

Health officials are warning it’s going to be a big year for deer ticks, which of course can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

It’s most prevalent in the Midwest and Northeastern states such as Connecticut, where the bacteria was first traced to ticks in the town of Lyme.

Dr. Allen Steere was 33 years old when he made that discovery in 1975, after a Connecticut resident came to him with swollen joints, flu-like symptoms and pounding headaches that no doctors could diagnose.

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Health Care
7:21 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Employer Health Costs Are Expected To Rise In 2015

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 7:40 am

Increases in health costs will accelerate next year, but changes in how people buy care will help keep the hikes from reaching the speed seen several years ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers says.

The prediction, based on interviews and modeling, splits the difference between hopes that costs will stay tame and fears that they're off to the races after having been slow since the 2008 financial crisis.

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Health
12:31 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Measles Outbreak In Ohio Leads Amish To Reconsider Vaccines

Amish show up at a makeshift clinic to get vaccinated against the measles. There's been an outbreak of measles among the Amish in central Ohio.
Sarah Jane Tribble Sarah Jane Tribble

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 6:53 am

The Amish countryside in central Ohio looks as it has for a hundred years. There are picturesque pastures with cows and sheep, and big red barns dot the landscape.

But something changed here, when, on an April afternoon, an Amish woman walked to a communal call box. She picked up the phone to call the Knox County Health Department. She told a county worker she and a family next door had the measles.

That call spurred nurse Jacqueline Fletcher into action.

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Environmental Health
2:22 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Pregnant Women Should Eat More Fish, Unless It Was Caught In Puget Sound

Flickr Photo/Rob Bixby (CC-BYC-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with Bill Daniell, an associate professor at the UW's School of Public Health, about Washington's fish consumption rate — a little number that has a big impact.

Health Care
8:17 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Oregon Tries New Health Care Benefits Model For Public Employees

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 4:09 pm

Public workers in Oregon will soon receive health care under a new model that's meant to rein in costs.

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Safe Sex
3:16 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

The HIV Prevention Pill No One is Taking

Truvada, a daily blue pill, is 99 percent effective in preventing HIV infection.
Flickr Photo/felix.castor (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Shaun Knittel, associate editor at Seattle Gay News and founder of Social Outreach Seattle, about why few people in the gay community are taking Truvada, a pill that when taken daily is 99 percent effective in preventing HIV infection.

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Insurance Commissioner Hearing
10:50 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Whistleblower In Children's Hospital Hearing Alleges Pressure In Ruling

If you have a dispute with a government agency, chances are, your complaint will go through a process called an administrative hearing. These hearings usually haven’t attracted public attention — until recently.

Last October, Seattle Children’s Hospital challenged the Office of Insurance Commissioner for allowing health plans to exclude providers like Children’s from their networks.

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Health
2:02 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

City Of Seattle Ramps Up Efforts To Make Healthy Food Accessible To All

Marcie Sillman speaks with Sharon Lerman, food policy advisor for the City of Seattle, about efforts to get healthy, fresh and affordable food in reach of all Seatttleites.

Health
12:50 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes

Ed Damiano and his son David, 15, play basketball at home in Acton, Mass. Ed has invented a device he hopes will make David's diabetes easier to manage.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 5:00 am

An alarm sounds on Ed Damiano's night stand in the middle of the night. He jumps out of bed and rushes into his son's room next door.

His son, David, has Type 1 diabetes. The 15-year-old sleeps hooked up to a monitor that sounds an alarm when his blood sugar gets too low. If it drops sharply, David could die in his sleep.

"The fear is that there's going to be this little cold limb, and I screwed up. It's all on me," Damiano says.

But when he touches David's hand, he's warm. He's OK. Damiano says, "That's the moment of relief."

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Author Interview
11:50 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Confronting Menopause In A RV On The Way To Burning Man

Credit Sandra Tsing Loh's book "Madwoman in the Volvo."

We've all done it — that crazy RV trip to Burning Man. It leads to all sorts of problems. In hindsight, maybe not a great idea, but you make the best with what you've got, right? Well, perhaps, if you’re anything like our guest this week. Her trip proved to be the start of an arduous journey, but it makes for a great story. 

Sandra Tsing Loh’s new book is “The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones.” In it she takes on her experience of menopause.

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