Health

When Priscilla Graham-Farmer went to get her hair done in Newark, N.J., recently, she noticed the elevator in the building was broken, so she took the stairs. And that's when Graham-Farmer saw him: a young guy sprawled out, not breathing.

"He was literally turning blue," she says. "And everybody was walking over him."

But Graham-Farmer stopped. And looked closer. She saw that he had a needle and some cotton balls. The guy had clearly overdosed.

"I'm screaming in the hallway," Graham-Farmer remembers. "Nobody's answering."

More than five decades on, the battle for justice over birth defects caused by the drug thalidomide continues in only one European country: Spain.

When an Abu Dhabi film company, Image Nation, asked filmmaker Tom Roberts last summer to come up with an idea for a documentary about polio, he was flummoxed.

The state government and the marijuana industry in Colorado are working to educate people about how to use pot safely. But in the high Rockies, one community is taking matters into its own hands.

The local sheriff in Aspen is leading an education effort that targets skiers and snowboarders flocking to the winter resort. And the sheriff isn't waiting until visitors hit the slopes — their education starts at the airport with pamphlets on marijuana.

Dr. Senga Omeonga met us under a huge mango tree outside St. Joseph's Catholic Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. Behind the main building, several dozens of disinfected rubber boots worn by health care workers were propped upside down on stakes planted on a patch of lawn.

This is the hospital where Omeonga works as general surgeon and the head of Infection Prevention Control. It's also where he came down with Ebola on Aug. 2.

He says his days in treatment were "a living hell." And the experience has changed his view of the world — and the way he treats patients.

The day after Christmas is the deadline for the state of Washington to end a practice known as psychiatric “boarding.”

This time last year, federal officials were scrambling to get as many people enrolled in health insurance through HealthCare.gov as they could before the start of the program on Jan. 1.

Now, with the technical problems mostly fixed, they're facing a different problem: the possibility that the Supreme Court might rule that the subsidies that help people afford coverage are illegal in the 37 states where the federal government is running the program.

Every week, Dr. Michael Poshkus visits the John J. Moran Medium Security prison in Cranston, R.I., to see patients infected with hepatitis C.

Until recently, their only treatment option was a weekly injection in the stomach for at least a year. It worked less than half the time and caused debilitating side effects. But everything has changed.

Blood drive sticker from the Red Cross.
Flickr Photo/Maia C. (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks to Randall Russell, CEO of Lifelong, about the FDA's announcement that it will recommend the lifting of a ban on gay and bisexual men who want to donate blood. The decision will be put up for public comment in 2015.

California is battling the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years.

Nearly 10,000 cases have been reported in the state so far this year, and babies are especially prone to hospitalization or even death.

Six of 10 infants who have become ill during the current outbreak are Latino. There's no conclusive explanation, but there are a few theories that range from Latino cultural factors to a lack of health insurance.

Ebola may have slid off the nation's worry list, but that doesn't mean the United States is ready to handle an outbreak of Ebola or another infectious disease, an analysis says. That includes naturally occurring outbreaks like dengue fever, tuberculosis and measles, as well as the use of bioterrorism agents like anthrax.

It’s that time of the year when kids can come down with all manner of ailments. Of all the illnesses kids pick up, ear infections are the most common. About 80 percent of all children get one before the age of 3, and some susceptible children have recurring infections throughout their early years. From our tech partner IEEE Spectrum, Eliza Strickland has the story of a new smartphone tool that will soon help parents cope.

Northwest potato farmers are cheering a small provision tucked into the newly passed federal spending package.

A new documentary out earlier this year, Alive Inside, explores the mysterious link between music and memory.

It got us wondering how music is being used to help people with Alzheimer’s disease.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Colorado Public Radio’s John Daley discovered elder care providers are using music to help those who suffer memory loss.

The U.S. Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of an Arizona law aimed at limiting use of the increasingly popular abortion pill. In 2012 nearly half of the abortions in the state were via the pill, known as RU-486.

The pill was approved by the FDA in 2000 for the first seven weeks of pregnancy. Since then, scientists have developed safer and smaller doses that allow the drug to be used through the ninth week.

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