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Concerns over drug shortages with Mass. company recall
October 31st, 2012
05:48 PM ET

Concerns over drug shortages with Mass. company recall

A sister company to the Massachusetts compounding pharmacy linked to a multistate meningitis outbreak on Tuesday announced a voluntary recall of any products remaining in circulation.

Ameridose, a drug manufacturer and compounder with the same ownership as the New England Compounding Center, said in a statement the move was voluntary "and represents an expansion of our cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy."

The company said during the FDA's ongoing inspection of its facility, it was notified the FDA would be "seeking improvements in Ameridose's sterility testing process. ... Ameridose has not received any adverse reports related to the products subject to this recall and neither Ameridose nor the FDA has identified impurities in any Ameridose products." FULL POST


For math-phobic, numbers pose threat of pain, study says
October 31st, 2012
05:01 PM ET

For math-phobic, numbers pose threat of pain, study says

You're at a big group dinner and it's time to pay up, to divide the total and multiply a certain percentage for the tip. How many people tense up and say something like, "Oh, I'm so bad at math"?

Fear of math is everywhere - in the adult world where there aren't official pop quizzes, and in schools where the next generation of scientific problem-solvers are struggling with homework.

Researchers report in a new study in the journal PLoS One that this anxiety about mathematics triggers the same brain activity that's linked with the physical sensation of pain. FULL POST


Antidepressants during pregnancy can be tricky
October 31st, 2012
11:53 AM ET

Antidepressants during pregnancy can be tricky

For years, pregnant women who suffer from depression have been told it's safer for them and their unborn child to continue taking antidepressants during pregnancy.

Now a new study is challenging that advice, suggesting the opposite is true and advocating against most women taking these drugs. If the depression is severe, however, the benefits might outweigh the risks, so it's best to check with your psychiatrist or physician.

Experts say about 13% of women take an antidepressant at some point during their pregnancy. Many drugs are called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

Taking these medicines while pregnant, however, may raise safety concerns, according to a review of existing research published Wednesday in the journal Human Reproduction. FULL POST


October 31st, 2012
11:50 AM ET

A tale of two transplants

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessedTwo years ago, we profiled singer Charity Tillemann-Dick, whose lungs were failing due to pulmonary hypertension.  But she survived thanks to a double-lung transplant.  This week Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on how this soprano from Denver, Colorado, was facing death a second time because her lungs were failing again. Here, Tillemann-Dick writes about her struggle.

It was the worst of times.  I was afraid to go to sleep, fearing the next breath just wouldn’t come if I didn’t force my diaphragm down. The muscle is supposed to work involuntarily, but I think my diaphragm forgot that fact.

I had tubes coming out of my arms, wrists, chest and anywhere else you might be able to fit a tube.  My body ached.  My head pounded. I was miserable. Still, all I wanted was to live.  I wanted to wake up and see my husband.  I wanted to sit down at a meal and eat with my family. I wanted to stay up late gossiping with my mother and my sisters. I wanted to go outside and take a walk. I wanted to continue my life-long dream of being an opera singer.

I was waiting at The Cleveland Clinic for a lung transplant. But I wasn't waiting for my first. One year earlier, my body began to reject the first set of transplanted lungs and so I waited behind others, hoping a match would come but knowing it wasn’t a sure thing -– it wasn’t even likely. FULL POST


300 blood drives canceled because of Sandy
October 30th, 2012
05:45 PM ET

300 blood drives canceled because of Sandy

About 300 American Red Cross blood drives have been canceled because of Superstorm Sandy, the organization said Tuesday, and more cancellations are expected.

"Patients will still need blood despite the weather," said Dr. Richard Benjamin, Red Cross chief medical officer, in a statement. "To ensure a sufficient national blood supply is available for those in need, both during and after the storm passes, it is critical that those in unaffected areas make an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible."

Because of the cancellations, more than 9,000 blood and platelet donations across 14 states - which would otherwise be available for those needing transfusions - did not take place, the organization said. The situation may worsen as the remnants of Sandy may continue to cause damage. FULL POST


Sandy's flooding: 5 things you need to know
A flooded street in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
October 30th, 2012
01:27 PM ET

Sandy's flooding: 5 things you need to know

Flooding overwhelmed parts of the East Coast Tuesday as a result of Superstorm Sandy.

In Little Ferry, New Jersey, floodwaters were six to eight feet deep, and about 75% of the city was underwater, according to the police chief.

“We have people who were actually on roofs of their homes in certain sections. We needed, actually, boats – we’re still using boats to get people out of the low-lying areas,” Chief Ralph Verdi told CNN. “I’ve been a police officer for 33 years. I’ve never seen this type of devastation from flooding.” FULL POST


Post-Sandy water safety tips
You should even use bottled or disinfected water when brushing your teeth after a natural disaster, experts say.
October 30th, 2012
12:21 PM ET

Post-Sandy water safety tips

Ever heard the line, “Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink?" Never is that more true than during a hurricane.

Superstorm Sandy came ashore Monday night, flooding parts of the East Coast. After a natural disaster, your water may not be safe for use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This includes any water used for drinking, cooking, food preparation and/or personal hygiene.

Residents in Sandy’s path should be on the lookout for boil water advisories from their local and state departments of health, as well as from utility companies. These signify that your water may be contaminated.

Still, even if no notice has been issued, consumers should never assume that water in a flood-affected area is safe to drink, the Rhode Island Department of Health says.
FULL POST


Know how to keep weight off before you lose it
October 30th, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Know how to keep weight off before you lose it

With all the talk about obesity in America, you might be surprised to know that most people are pretty good at losing weight.

Weight loss programs have proven effective in helping people drop pounds. But keeping them off is another story.

Studies have shown that overweight participants typically give up their newly learned health habits and regain 30 to 50% of the weight they lost within one year, even if they participate in a post-weight loss maintenance program.

“There’s something we’re missing in terms of what it takes to maintain our weight,” says Michaela Kiernan, an expert in behavioral weight management at the Stanford Prevention Research Center.
FULL POST


Easier to sweat while wet, study finds
October 30th, 2012
12:02 AM ET

Easier to sweat while wet, study finds

During spinning class, I often find myself wishing I was in a pool. For one, water would make the sweat dripping down my back less noticeable. Two, it has to be easier to sneak a break when the instructor can’t see your legs below the surface.

A new study presented this week at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress suggests there might also be other - more important - benefits to hydro-spinning.

The study analyzed cardiovascular data from 33 young, healthy participants who performed the same workout on a dry land stationary bike and on a water stationary bike.

Also called hydro-riders or aqua bikes, water stationary bicycles are anchored to the bottom of a pool so that cyclists are submerged up to their shoulders. Resistance can be added by changing the pedal size or, in some bikes, the angle of plates in the wheels.

Researchers found that participants’ oxygen consumption and average heart rates were lower while riding in the water. In other words, their cardiovascular systems were working more efficiently to do the same amount of exercise.
FULL POST


Spiderwebs may inspire better medical tape
October 29th, 2012
03:00 PM ET

Spiderwebs may inspire better medical tape

Taking medical tape off an adult isn't too painful because breakage occurs in the glue (you can sometimes see the leftover residue). But removing the same adhesive from a newborn can break fragile skin, causing significant damage, says Jeffrey Karp, researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Traditional medical tape has two layers: the sticky one and the non-sticky one that forms the backing. The adhesive is designed for adults, Karp said; newborns need something else just for them.

In the neonatal intensive care unit tape often needs to be changed, Karp said. If the tape is on a joint, peeling the fragile skin can cause mobility problems.

"The kids are just completely helpless here," he said.
FULL POST


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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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