health

'Strength And Focus'
1:02 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

They Are The Body Collectors: A Perilous Job In The Time Of Ebola

A team of body collectors carry the corpse of a woman suspected of dying of Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia's capital.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 9:28 am

"When I wake up in the morning, I will pray to God to give me strength and focus," says 21-year-old Sorie Fofana.

His job is collecting the bodies of those who die from Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city of roughly 1 million people. Before, Fofana was an artist, making designs for T-shirts. The new job pays better — $1,000 a month. But every morning, the lanky, laid-back Fofana has to steel himself to go out and do the job.

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Mental Health
7:15 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Washington Supreme Court Puts Hospital Boarding Decision On Hold

File photo of The Temple of Justice in Olympia, Washington

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 4:53 pm

The state of Washington will not have to start discharging severely mentally ill patients starting this week. The Supreme Court Monday put a hold on a recent ruling that says it’s illegal for the state to “board” psychiatric patients in non-psychiatric hospital beds.

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Health Crisis
1:51 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

UW Journalism Student On Covering Ebola-Stricken Sierra Leone

Health workers combatting Ebola in Sierre Leone.
Flickr Photo/EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

Marcie Sillman talks to Cooper Inveen, a University of Washington journalism student, about his experience in Sierra Leone as Ebola spread through West Africa. 

Dangerous Reactions
9:23 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Hypoallergenic Nuts: A Solution To Nut Allergies?

Originally published on Sat August 23, 2014 3:55 pm

It was just a baby-tooth-sized nibble of a peanut butter sandwich, but it was enough to send 18-month-old Gus into a violent coughing fit. Within minutes, his skin erupted into hives and his eyelids swelled shut. His mother, Laura Hass, rushed him from their Palm Beach, Fla., home to the ER. At a red light, she glanced in the rearview mirror — her son's head hung limply to one side, his cries replaced by silence.

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Mental Health
9:21 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Washington Seeks Emergency Stay On Psychiatric Boarding Ruling

File photo

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 8:01 am

The Washington Supreme Court recently ruled it’s illegal for the state to “board” mental health patients in emergency rooms and regular hospital beds.

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Health
2:42 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Is There A 'Best Way' To Overcome Addiction?

Ross Reynolds talks with Dennis Donovan, director of University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, about why it's so hard to determine what recovery strategies work best for overcoming addiction.

Labor Intensive
8:55 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Stories Of Courage From UW's Maternity Clinic

Janna Stombaugh is pregnant with twins. She had a kidney transplant 16 years ago.
KUOW Photo/Nick Danielson

Ross Reynolds talks with KUOW online editor Isolde Raftery about some extra stories that didn't make it into our series, "Labor Intensive."

The stories from the labor and delivery ward at UW Medical Center in Seattle are often told breathlessly.

A nurse tells of a pregnant woman who arrived at the hospital brain dead after being airlifted from Eastern Washington. She was kept alive as nurses pumped her breasts to feed her baby, who had been delivered by cesarean section.

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Labor Intensive
8:44 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Why Whidbey General Hospital Called The Midwife

Sarah Meyer (right), a midwife, was recently hired by Whidbey Island General Hospital, as part of a plan to reduce the hospital's C-section rate.
Credit Gary Taylor/Whidbey Island General Hospital

In Coupeville, Washington, Sarah Meyer is pressing a fetal Doppler on Christine Meyer’s belly to check the baby’s heart rate.

Meyer, no relation to Christine, then checks her ankles for swelling. Christine is 25, and this is her first baby. She says she chose Whidbey General because the hospital offers what she was looking for – a midwife.

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Health
11:54 am
Thu August 21, 2014

An Unstoppable Killer: New Research Suggests Cancer Can't Be Eradicated

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 6:44 am

Since Richard Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971, the National Cancer Institute has poured some $90 billion into research and treatments. Yet a cure remains elusive.

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Overcoming Addiction
10:24 am
Thu August 21, 2014

AA Alternative: You Have The Power, You Don't Have To Submit To A Higher Power

Credit Flickr Photo/MDMA (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Howard Pellett, the facilitator of an Alcoholics Anonymous alternative called SMART Recovery. Pellett describes his own experience with alcoholism and SMART's approach to addiction recovery.

Education
8:49 am
Thu August 21, 2014

University Of Washington's Plans For Expansion Include Animal Lab, Medical Program In Spokane

Students walk through the UW's Quad on the Seattle campus.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with University of Washington President Michael Young for an annual check-in. In this installment, he discusses a planned $124 million underground animal research laboratory on the Seattle campus and the expansion of the university's five-state medical program in Spokane. 

Last week, he discussed sexual assault policies and the state of athletic compensation at the university.

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Survival Story
4:05 am
Thu August 21, 2014

'I Am Thrilled To Be Alive': American Ebola Patients Released From Hospital

Ebola virus survivor Dr. Kent Brantly (center) and his wife, Amber (left), walk at a news conference at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Thursday. Brantly and aid worker Nancy Writebol were discharged from the hospital less than a month after they contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia.
Erik S. Lesser EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:31 am

The two U.S. patients who were treated for Ebola have been discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they had been in an isolation ward since returning from Liberia early this month. They are the first patients treated for Ebola on American soil.

Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol have been released after "a rigorous course of treatment and thorough testing," Emory's Dr. Bruce Ribner said. He added that he's confident that their release from care "poses no public health threat."

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Heartbleed
10:13 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Five Hospitals In Washington And Oregon Among Victims Of Computer Hack

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 9:56 am

A national hospital chain says it suspects Chinese hackers breached its computer system earlier this year. Patients whose doctors work with any of five hospitals in the Northwest might have had financial data stolen.

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Labor Intensive
7:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Letting Washington Moms Labor Longer To Avoid C-Sections

Emily Cameron, left, her husband and their five children. Her first-born was delivered by C-section at 37 weeks, which she believes was unnecessary.
Credit Courtesy Emily Cameron

Public health officials across the U.S. say the number of cesarean sections being performed has gotten way out of hand. It's a life-saving surgery for complicated births, but today nearly a third of pregnancies end up as a C-section.

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Labor Intensive
7:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

MAP: How Washington Hospitals Rank In Terms Of C-Sections

Kelly delivered baby Colton at Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane.
Credit Family photo

Map: Click on the map to see how C-section rates at hospitals in Washington state. The red dots indicate hospitals where the rate for low-risk, first time moms exceeds 20 percent -- about what the World Health Organization recommended in a 2010 report. (KUOW/Kara McDermott)

It’s 7 p.m. on a Thursday at Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane, and Dr. Nathan Meltzer has already had a very long day.

He has one mother in labor. She’s been there for more than 12 hours.

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