medicine

Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Cheney Operation Underscores Heart Transplant Issues

Dick Cheney is interviewed in New York in August 2011. The former vice president is recovering after having heart transplant surgery on Saturday.
Richard Drew AP

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is recovering from a heart transplant he received Saturday at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Va.

The operation makes Cheney among more than 2,300 Americans who get heart transplants every year.

Heart transplantation has come a long way since Christiaan Barnard stitched the heart of a young woman into the chest of a middle-aged man in South Africa in 1967. That transplant recipient died 18 days later. Today, recipients can expect to get a decade or more of life from their new hearts.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Ira Byock: The Best Care Possible

Dartmouth physician Ira Byock says even with incredible advances in medicine, far too many Americans suffer needlessly and die “badly”.  In a new book, Byock calls for a new approach toward the end of life; one focused on taking care of persons, not just “bodies”, and helping patients and their families reach decisions about dying.

Guest: 

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Shots - Health Blog
4:14 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Prone To Failure, Some All-Metal Hip Implants Need To Be Removed Early

Young-min Kwon of Massachusetts General Hospital holds the metal-alloy ball of Susy Mansfield's faulty artificial hip joint. The yellowish tissue on top is dead muscle caused by a reaction to the metal debris produced by the defective hip implant.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 5:01 pm

When Susy Mansfield needed a hip replacement in 2009, her orthopedic surgeon chose a relatively new and untested kind of artificial hip made entirely of metal.

"He said, 'You're young. Metal is good for younger people. It's going to last a lot longer,' " says Mansfield, who was 57 at the time.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:17 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

Connecticut Considers Letting Health Aides Give Medicines To Homebound

Connecticut is rethinking who should be allowed to give medicines to Medicaid patients cared for at home.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 1:44 pm

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon February 27, 2012

New Methods Could Speed Up Repair Of Injured Nerves

Pinwheels like these are often used to test nerve responses.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 11:07 am

When a nerve is injured, it's often hard to get it to regrow fast enough to restore function.

But now researchers say they can speed up that process, so that damaged nerves can be healed in days instead of months — at least in rats.

The scientists say they've developed a technique that reconnects the severed ends of a nerve, allowing it to begin carrying messages again very quickly. Usually, severed nerves must regrow from the point of injury — a process that can take months, if it ever happens.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Latest Drug Shortage Threatens Children With Leukemia

Many hospitals are perilously close to running out of a form of methotrexate that's necessary to inject in high doses to treat certain forms of cancer.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 5:55 pm

It's a new kind of brinksmanship for U.S. doctors: caring for patients with life-threatening diseases when the supply of critical drugs threatens to disappear.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:27 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Asperger’s Syndrome… No More ?

Photo by utbmobile, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

After taking nearly two decades to root itself in the popular consciousness, the mysterious neurological condition Asperger’s Syndrome may soon be history - proposals for the fifth edition of the psychiatrist’s bible, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM five, recommend filing Aspergers under the general category of autism spectrum disorder.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
3:35 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

From Russia with...Acupuncture?

Awesome Russian dolls, all lined up
(Photo by

Jessica Golloher, Word of Mouth's eyes and ears in Moscow, reports on the scads of Russians signing up for alternative medicine. 

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