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April 12th, 2011
03:03 PM ET

HHS takes aim at medical errors, health care costs

Tens of thousand of lives and millions of dollars in health care costs can be saved, by taking steps to reduce medical errors.  That's what health officials say will happen by implementing a new initiative announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, "Partnership for Patients" will save 60,000 lives over the next three years by reducing millions of preventable hospital related complications and injuries.  Sebelius says the new partnership will also save about $35 billion in health care costs including $10 billion in Medicare savings.

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Teen 'sleeping sickness' is bizarre, rare
April 12th, 2011
02:03 PM ET

Teen 'sleeping sickness' is bizarre, rare

Lisa Shives, M.D., is the founder of Northshore Sleep Medicine in Evanston, Illinois. She blogs on Tuesdays on The Chart. Read more from her at Dr. Lisa Shives’ Sleep Better Blog.

A bizarre, but thankfully, rare disorder has received a lot of press in the past few months and one of my patients asked me about it this week worried that her son was sleeping too much and that he had “that sleeping sickness.”

Kleine-Levin syndrome is marked by recurrent periods of excessive sleepiness during which the patient can sleep for 24-48 hours, getting up only to urinate and often to eat.  In fact, other than hypersomnia, that is, the excessive sleepiness with long sleep times, this disorder is characterized by compulsive eating, called megaphagia, hypersexuality, and almost all patients have cognitive and mood dysfunction.

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Filed under: Sleep

Relief for nickel allergy on the nano level
April 12th, 2011
11:20 AM ET

Relief for nickel allergy on the nano level

Have you ever gotten an itchy rash after touching something that's normally harmless? That's a key sign of contact dermatitis, a skin condition involving inflammation as a result of coming into contact with a particular substance. One of the most common irritants is nickel.

Now there may be a solution, and it involves particles smaller than the width of human hairs. In a study published recently in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, Harvard researchers demonstrate that a cream containing nanoparticles of calcium carbonate may be able to protect a nickel-allergic person from having reactions to the metal.

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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