Health

Marcie Sillman gets Nancy Pearl's opinion on "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic," by journalist Sam Quinones. The book talks about the new generation of heroin addicts: they're young, white, relatively well-off, and they buy their fix the same way they order a pizza.

Heroin drugs seized by the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan.
Flickr Photo/UK Ministry of Defence

Marcie Sillman talks to journalist Sam Quinones about his book "Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic." 

Thom Pasiecki, 24, says that after he lost his job in Connecticut and broke up with his girlfriend, he realized he needed help with an online gaming addiction.
KUOW photo/Jamala Henderson

Thom Piasecki is on day 19 of digital rehab at a rural retreat in eastern King County.

His daily routine is mostly outside, walking on dirt paths through forested areas, feeding chickens and doves, and checking on goldfish in a tub outside. 

If you ran down the list of ailments that most commonly kill Americans, chances are you wouldn't think to name sepsis. But this condition, sometimes called blood poisoning, is in fact one of the most common causes of death in the hospital, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Jennifer Rodgers learned about sepsis the way many people do — through personal experience.

Vaccines don't always make it into the people who need them the most. Many require a syringe and a needle to enter the bloodstream and create immunity. And that means a doctor or nurse has to do the job.

In order to improve the quality of health care and reduce its costs, researchers need to know what works and what doesn't. One powerful way to do that is through a system of "registries," in which doctors and hospitals compile and share their results. But even in this era of big data, remarkably few medical registries exist.

File photo of students playing basketball.
Flickr Photo/Nick Hubbard (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds speaks with Dr. Jonathan Drezner, director of the University of Washington Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology, about sudden cardiac arrest and a new law to help protect Washington's student athletes.

As you're wheeled down to surgery, nervously waving goodbye to loved ones, it's unlikely that one of your fears is whether your surgeon will have to double up as your anesthesiologist.

But at a hospital in Kenya, Dr. David Barash remembers watching an obstetrician perform a cesarean section while at the same time instructing a nurse on how to deliver anesthesia.

Then at another hospital in Nigeria, Barash saw women left unattended, lying on beds in the hallway, to recover on their own after C-sections.

Maria Fabrizio

It’s a discussion that most people avoid: end-of-life planning.

Doctors say it’s important to have these conversations while you’re still able. But let’s face it, talking about advanced directives can be uncomfortable, even terrifying.

Seattle decreased the amount of fluoride it puts in drinking water in 2011.
Flickr photo/Vicki Timman (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Fluoride levels in water should be reduced, a federal agency said this week – but don’t expect a decrease from taps in Seattle anytime soon.

Until the state changes its fluoride standard, cities and counties that fluoridate their water can't immediately follow the recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Federal health officials Monday changed the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water for the first time since 1962, cutting by almost half the maximum amount of fluoride that should be added to drinking supplies.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommended 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water instead of the long-standing range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams.

We've all heard that an aspirin a day can keep heart disease at bay. But lots of Americans seem to be taking it as a preventive measure, when many probably shouldn't.

In a recent national survey, more than half the adults who were middle age or older reported taking an aspirin regularly to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Food and Drug Administration only recommends the drug for people wh have already experienced such an event or are at extremely high risk.

Scientists say progress is being made on technological replacements for animals in research and testing.
Flickr photo/Understanding Animal Research (CC BY 2.0)

Marcie Sillman talks with Joanne Zurlo,  senior scientist with the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, about how far science must go to develop alternatives to using animals in research and testing.

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. To help coax people to buy a health plan, the federal government now subsidizes premiums for millions of Americans.

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