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October 30th, 2009
02:05 PM ET

Breast cancer scare an insurance nightmare

By Ashley J. WennersHerron
CNN Medical News Intern

Breast cancer runs in my family; even my dad had it. I routinely do self-checks, always terrified that I'll find some indication of my worst nightmare.

Two weeks ago, I did. I found a lump the size of a pea buried in the skin between my right breast and my armpit. I paled, I cried, I panicked about the future, and then I did the sensible thing. I searched the Internet. Typing "Right Breast Lump and 20-Year-Old Woman" into Google didn't reveal anything. Neither did "Breast Cancer in 20-Year-Old Girl." I fruitlessly searched every site I could think of, turning up contradictory results.

An hour into my self-diagnosis, it occurred to me to call a doctor.

Living away from home and my usual doctors, I called my insurance provider. After 45 minutes on hold, an operator listed four doctors in Manhattan that would accept my insurance. The first three were booked through November. The fourth could see me the week before Thanksgiving.

The thought of not knowing for nearly a month was unbearable. Tears welled up in my eyes and fear was obvious in my voice when I confirmed a time with the receptionist. She must’ve heard how scared I was, she told me that they could squeeze me in early the next day.

The next morning, after arriving an hour early, I was told that the doctor’s office was out of network for my insurance. They’d take me, but I’d have to cough up almost $200 just to be seen, and I’d have to pay out of pocket for testing –up to $3,000.

I was shocked. Something was wrong with me and I was getting it checked. I was being responsible. I had called my insurance company, thinking they would send me somewhere I could afford. Not only was I worried about a potentially serious health problem, I was also concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have it looked at because it was too expensive. It turned out that the doctor’s office was willing to work with me. Maybe they just wanted to get me, crying and hyperventilating, away from their other patients out of their waiting room. But they took me; they didn’t turn me away.

The doctor examined the lump and sent me for a battery of tests.  After being poked and prodded and monogrammed and sonogrammed, I waited.

Eventually, I was told the good news—a benign cyst and an inflamed lymph node. Two completely harmless conditions that I could have agonized over for weeks and weeks, if I hadn’t known what it could have been.

If you are truly concerned that you might be sick, get it checked out.  A lot more doctors’ offices than you might think are willing to work out payment plans. It’s worth knowing what you are facing.

Hopefully, it’ll end up being nothing, but if it is something worse, catch it as early as possible.

Have you ever ignored a health problem, because you thought you couldn’t afford to get it looked at? Are you putting off going to see a doctor because you don’t want to know if you are sick?

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


October 29th, 2009
02:51 PM ET

Will breastfeeding protect my baby from H1N1?

As a  feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Shannon:

"I have a 4-month-old infant and I recently had myself and my 6-year-old son vaccinated for H1N1. My question is, will my infant also gain my immunity to H1N1 through my breast milk? I hope so." 

Answer:

This is a great question and a huge concern for many parents whose children are less than 6 months old and therefore too young to get the H1N1 vaccine. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to your question, Shannon, so the best we can do is spell out what we do know.

We know that any time you breastfeed your 4-month-old, you pass on potent antibodies (proteins that your immune system produces to fend off disease in the body) that protect him or her against a whole range of infections.

We also know a bit about other vaccines and breast milk, for example, the pneumococcal vaccine that protects against things like pneumonia and meningitis. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, mothers who received that vaccine produced antibodies that were detectable in their breast milk, and passed them on to their babies. What is not as clear is whether those antibodies actually conferred immunity to their newborns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance about breast milk and the flu vaccine is a tinge more hopeful, albeit far from conclusive: "By breastfeeding, mothers can pass on to the infant the antibodies that their bodies make in response to the flu shots, which can reduce the infant's chances of getting sick with the flu."

While experts wrestle with this question, you have already taken a positive step – and significantly reduced your baby’s chances of getting the H1N1 virus – by getting yourself vaccinated. The next step is to create a "cocoon of protection" around your baby by making sure that other caregivers in the family also get vaccinated.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


Filed under: Caregiving • Children's Health • Cold and flu • Expert Q&A • H1N1 Flu • H1N1 Flu Vaccine • Parenting • Vaccinations

October 28th, 2009
05:04 PM ET

It’s not always H1N1

By Miriam Falco
CNN Medical Managing Editor

For all the (legitimate) talk about the new H1N1 influenza virus, it's worth a reminder that this new flu strain is not all we have to worry about as fall turns into winter (except for Colorado, which evidently has winter now).

There's also something called "RSV." As a medical reporter, I've come across this term a few times. As a new mom of a 6-month-old, I've paid a little more attention and did some research. RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, can cause upper- and lower-respiratory infections.
The symptoms include runny nose, dry cough, low-grade fever, sore throat, mild headache and general discomfort. But in severe cases, it can cause bronchiolitis (infection of the tiny airways in the lungs) and pneumonia. According to the Mayo Clinic, severe symptoms include "high fever, severe cough, wheezing - a high-pitched noise that's usually heard on breathing out (exhaling), difficulty breathing, and bluish color of the skin due to lack of oxygen. "

RSV is so common that virtually every child will be infected before his or her second birthday. Fortunately, only a small percentage of infants develop severe illness. Luckily for my little guy, he's apparently no longer in the highest risk group, since most children hospitalized for RSV infection are younger than 6 months of age, according to the CDC. However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February suggests that among children 5 and younger, RSV infection is responsible for approximately 1of every 334 hospitalizations, 1 of every 38 visits to an emergency department, and 1 of every 13 visits to a primary care office each year in the United States.

Older people and adults with underlying illness can also be affected, but young children are at highest risk. One way to limit the risk to your child is to require folks to wash their hands before picking up your baby. Kissing can also spread RSV.

On August 30, the CDC stopped counting only H1N1 hospitalizations and deaths and started counting all hospitalizations for H1N1 and pneumonia; the new numbers will probably include cases of RSV too.

Consider this your reminder that in addition to H1N1 or swine flu, there are other viruses that lurk around. So if you or your children or parents get sick, it's not automatically always swine flu.

Have you had an experience with RSV that you can share with others?


October 26th, 2009
12:28 PM ET

Learning from death: the ultimate teaching tool

By Val Willingham
CNN Medical producer

As a medical producer I am often asked where I get my story ideas. Most of them come from contacts I know. Other times I read about certain events or people I think would make interesting TV stories. I've even pulled a couple of ideas off my gym's bulletin board. Who knew that women's rugby was becoming popular? If you keep your eyes and ears open, "good" story ideas always seem to materialize.

That's how I met Ronn Wade. A few years ago, when I was suffering from insomnia, I flipped on the National Geographic channel, only to catch a special on mummies. Most of it was shot in Cairo, some in Peru and other exotic locales. Then the story switched to Baltimore. The director of the anatomical services division of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Ronn Wade, along with Bob Brier, a professor of philosophy and Egyptology at Long Island University took a donor cadaver and decided to mummify it using the same techniques as the Egyptians. Removing the organs one by one and placing them in canopic jars, extracting the brain with a hooked instrument, wrapping the body in bandages treated with special oils, Wade and Brier took weeks to preserve the body. I was fascinated. I knew I had to interview Ronn Wade.

Since that time I have worked with Ronn twice. Although he deplores the title, most people refer to him as the “Mummy Man”. He not only was the co-creator of the modern mummy, now on display at the San Diego Museum of Man, he also oversees a collection of 200, 18th century medical mummies called the Burns Collection. His department is also responsible for providing donor cadavers for local hospitals and medical schools. But what's most intriguing about Ronn's research is his ongoing effort to find a better way to preserve bodies with a treatment called plastination. By immersing donor cadavers in a plastic-like substance, made up of polymers, Ronn can actually take the organs, skin, anything found in the human anatomy and cut it into sections, much like slices from an MRI, but you can hold them in your hands. By looking at these slices, doctors and medical students are able to learn how diseases develop, why they develop, and in many cases, how they can be treated.

With today's fascination with the Twilight saga, displays like "Body: The Exhibition”, and television shows such as True Blood, Ronn Wade could probably do his own reality show. But death is more than gore and corpses to him. To him it's a teaching tool and a way to learn more about life.

Why do you think we are fascinated with death? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


October 23rd, 2009
12:50 PM ET

Motivation secrets from a fitness expert

Jillian Michaels and Dr. Sanjay Gupta at a Fit Nation event in St. Paul, MN

Jillian Michaels and Dr. Sanjay Gupta at a Fit Nation event in St. Paul, MN

Editor's Note:  Four months ago, Dr. Sanjay Gupta began his “Four months till 40” quest to get in the best shape of his life by his 40th birthday, which is today.  Along the way, he checked in with personal fitness trainer Jillian Michaels, who is our guest blogger today. 

By Jillian Michaels
Guest Blogger

Motivation – "a reason for doing something or behaving in some way”. Motivation, it’s one of the most illusive American traits. Many of us can’t get motivated in the first, place let alone stay motivated.

So many of us go through our lives lost. Slogging away at a job we hate, in a body that is unhealthy, living a life that is unhappy. Some of us putting everyone else’s needs above our own. Meeting our “responsibilities” and doing what society tells us we are supposed to. The reason our motivation wavers like a candle dancing in a squall is because we have forgotten how to dream. You see motivation must come from an authentic internal desire to be and have more and we as Americans either don’t feel worth it or don’t feel capable or don’t feel worth it and capable. Sigh…

The way to get motivated and stay motivated is to identify, define, and emotionally connect to your dreams. Your dreams are your eternal motivation. They inspire us to our greatest heights, comfort us through hard times, and bring about the realization of our destiny. They are the first steps towards happiness and success and although dreaming is as natural as breathing, most of us have forgotten how. We are terrified to hope, paralyzed by thoughts of failure, ashamed of our desires and for absolutely no good reason.

Often, when we do get motivated it is a fleeting moment of bravado based in passion, but not practicality. In that moment of daring to try we are frantic for overnight results that will validate our ability to achieve the goal at hand. For this reason we engage in self-destructive behaviors like fasting, yo-yo diets, archaic surgeries where we remove parts of our internal organs. It would seem that nothing is unthinkable when we are in a place of desperation.

Sadly, these types of behaviors have the opposite effect- in some cases resulting in long term damage to our health and subsequently our morale to an even greater degree. Thus begetting the vicious cycle of hopelessness and helplessness that makes our health and happiness elusive.

Here is the good news: You DO have the power to change anything in your life, in any way you choose, at anytime you choose it.

People come to me on “The Biggest Loser” having hit the end of the road. Having tried “everything” imaginable to get healthy they show up weighing 500 pounds, with one foot in the grave. The reason I am able to help them is because I am able to educate them. You see with the proper information you have the ability to make powerful choices that affect positive change. Then, when contestants see results success begets success. Their self image is redefined as a person who CAN achieve and who IS worthy of all the good things this life has to offer. Instead of saying, “Why me? What makes me special? Why do I deserve health, wealth, love, etc?” They leave saying “why not me?”.

If they can achieve this empowered state of mind so can you. Start by writing down your dreams. Then educate yourself on how to achieve them SAFELY and effectively. Take deliberate action with your goals in mind. Then, take stock of your accomplishments and let them feed your self worth and self esteem for when times get tough. Success is a matter of attrition and when you feel your inspiration leaving you, know this: There is an abundance in this world. There are people who are rich, healthy, happy and in love. WHY NOT YOU?

How do you stay motivated?

Editor's Note: 
Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.
 

 

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Filed under: Exercise • Fitness

October 22nd, 2009
01:13 PM ET

Do the flu vaccines contain thimerosal?

By Ann J. Curley
CNN Medical Assignment Manager

Many of our readers are still asking questions about H1N1 and seasonal influenza. Today we’ve got a question from Patty:

I am a 63-year-old health care worker in relatively good health, and I’m caring for a 2-month-old infant (my granddaughter). I have had a reaction to thimerosal in the past. It was used as a preservative in contact lens solution.

Is thimerosal used as a preservative in either seasonal flu vaccine or H1N1 vaccine? Are there available alternatives to these vaccines? How would I access them?

Thanks,
Patty Holly

Patty,

Thank you for your question. It’s important that you make your health care provider aware of your sensitivity to thimerosal, which is a preservative used in many products, including some vaccines, nasal products, and eye solutions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines approved by the FDA are being manufactured with and without thimerosal.

Multi-dose vials of flu vaccine need to contain a preservative to prevent bacterial contamination, which can occur when multiple syringes are inserted into the same bottle.  However, some manufacturers also produce single-dose flu shots, which do not require any preservatives.

The nasal flu vaccine – both for seasonal flu and H1N1 – is always thimerosal-free. However, it is recommended only for people ages 2 to 49 who have no underlying health problems. The nasal spray vaccine is made from a weakened live virus and is not recommended for people with autoimmune disorders, pregnant women, and patients with certain chronic health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and lung disease. Unfortunately, you can’t take the nasal flu vaccine because you are 63. You can find more information about the live vaccine here.

Ask your doctor for a thimerosal-free flu shot. If he or she doesn’t have one, you can visit the CDC’s H1N1 Web site and check out its “flu shot locator” .  It has links to the Web site of each state’s health department, with specific information about where vaccine can be found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a lot of useful information about both seasonal flu and H1N1 flu on its Web site. Also be sure to check out CNN.com’s flu page.

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


October 20th, 2009
10:09 AM ET

Turn that frown upside down!

By Ashley J. WennersHerron
CNN NY Medical News Intern

As someone who frequently speaks with people who are less than pleasant on the phone, I’ve learned to employ an old telemarketing trick of physically smiling to sound happier. As soon as I set my cheek muscles to work, I feel a little happier, and that tends to rub off on others. The happier I sound, the quicker the person on the other end of the line is soothed. You smile because you are happy, but can you be happy because you smile?

According to several recent studies, emotions’ causes and effects work in a circle; one leads to the other. An April 2009 study, conducted by the University of Cardiff in Wales, determined that women with Botox injections are reportedly happier than women without the cosmetic injections. The boost in happiness is not attributed to a higher self-confidence, as there was not a significant difference in how the women ranked their own attractiveness. It seems that the women who’ve had Botox have an impaired ability to express unhappiness and, as a result, feel happier.

The same holds true for frowning and pain. In a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2008, subjects held relaxed or controlled faces, or were allowed to facially express displeasure at a painful heat prompt. Those who were allowed to frown and express their hurt reported feeling more pain than those who did not facially communicate pain.

Not expressing pain, and not feeling as much pain, doesn’t mean you are protecting yourself. Research conducted by Judith Grob, a psychologist at the Netherlands University of Groningen, proposes that suppressed emotion can express itself later. Grob subjected her study groups to a series of distasteful images, asking each group to keep its emotion a secret, or to hold a pen in the mouth to prevent frowning, or to express what group members felt. Each group then answered word puzzles. The groups who were allowed to express their emotions filled in missing letters of a word neutrally, while those who were unable to express their feelings created negative words.

Smile when you want to feel happier, but don’t ignore your negative feelings, either. Feelings don’t go away when they aren’t expressed; rather, they tend to emerge in unanticipated ways. Expressions aren’t working to convince others of your emotions, but also yourself.

Do you use facial expression to induce feelings, or do you express what you feel? Do you think there is a difference?

Editor's Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


October 16th, 2009
06:33 PM ET

Near-death experience

By Caleb Hellerman
CNN Medical Senior Producer

Our special this weekend, “Another Day: Cheating Death,” includes the story of Laura Geraghty, a school bus driver in Massachusetts who survived a cardiac arrest that left her without a heartbeat for 57 minutes.  While the medical aspect is astounding, just as interesting is the story Geraghty told when she was revived.

She’d floated out of her body, and found herself in a world of incredibly bright light – heaven, she says. While there she saw her son, daughter, granddaughter and even her ex-husband – who wouldn’t take her hand when she reached out to him. Eventually she came back to the real world.

Many cultures and religions describe a vivid world on the border of life and death, but the classic modern near-death experience, or NDE, was described by Dr. Raymond Moody in his 1966 book, “Life After Life.”  While not every NDE includes the same features, among the most common – according to Moody – are bright lights, a tunnel, a sense of being out of the body and an intense feeling of peace and calm.

Most people who return from the verge of death with memories like this say it’s a life-changing experience. Many view it as direct proof of an afterlife – that the place they “visit” is the world we all will see after we die. But increasingly, near-death experience (a term coined by Moody) is being studied from the perspective of science.

Dr. Kevin Nelson, a neurologist at the University of Kentucky, believes an NDE is caused by REM activity, the same type of brain activity that’s linked to dreaming.  REM activity, says Nelson, can be triggered by intense stress or even lack of oxygen. In fact, he says many people experience an out-of-body experience during fainting episodes, or if they momentarily lose blood flow to the brain – as in a massive head rush.

Another intriguing experiment is underway at more than two dozen medical centers in the U.S. and Europe. It’s led by Dr. Sam Parnia, a critical care physician at New York Presbyterian-Cornell Hospital in New York. The setup is ingenuous. In hospital areas with critically ill patients, panels are hung from the ceiling to a height at which only someone floating near the ceiling could see what’s painted on top. If any patient reports a sense of floating - investigators can see if they accurately report what’s on the panel. Because the patients are being carefully monitored in ICUs, the experiment could also determine whether there are physical differences among people who report NDEs, and those who don’t.  

Parnia says he doesn’t know what he’ll find – but he does believe science can answer the question of what these experiences are really all about.  

What do you think? Can near-death experience be explained by what’s going on in the brain?

Watch “Another Day: Cheating Death” at 8 and 11 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.

Don’t miss, Dr. Gupta’s new book “Cheating Death”, available now wherever books are sold.  Be sure to follow – and tweet your medical miracle to – @sanjayguptacnn with #miracle and you could win a signed copy of the book and a Skype guest appearance from Dr. Gupta at your book club event.

Editor’s Note: Medical news is a popular but sensitive subject rooted in science. We receive many comments on this blog each day; not all are posted. Our hope is that much will be learned from the sharing of useful information and personal experiences based on the medical and health topics of the blog. We encourage you to focus your comments on those medical and health topics and we appreciate your input. Thank you for your participation.


October 15th, 2009
05:49 PM ET

What are the signs of a stroke?

As a new feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

Question from Jane in Amsterdam:

"I fear having a stroke because I have high blood pressure and my life is very stressful. What are the signs to look for and what can I do to help myself?"

Answer:

Thanks, Jane, for the question. It’s an important topic and impacts people of all ages. As a neurosurgeon, I can tell you strokes don’t just strike older generations. Doctors today around the world are seeing people in the 30s, 40s and 50s having strokes. The reason? Mostly due to unhealthy lifestyles.

Jane you mentioned your life is very stressful and you have high blood pressure. These are two major risk factors of stroke. Other lifestyle factors that play a role include unhealthy diet, smoking,  lack of exercise and obesity. So any changes you can make in your life to increase physical activity, get your blood pressure in control will dramatically lower your risk. Studies show people with healthy blood pressure - less than 120/80 - have about half the lifetime risk of stroke as those with high blood pressure, or hypertension.

Knowing the early signs of a stroke is critical because immediate medical attention is needed to prevent long-term disability. What’s surprising is the majority of people ignore the early warning signs. In fact, a Mayo Clinic study found 58 percent of stroke patients brushed off the symptoms as another ailment, and delayed seeing a doctor for about 3 1/2 hours on average.

Time is critical because a stroke directly impacts your brain. There are two types, ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. An ischemic stroke is when the blood flow to a person’s brain is interrupted; hemorrhagic stroke occurs when the blood vessels actually burst in the brain.

Some strokes strike suddenly but more often than not your body will give you signals. Stroke patients often describe having the “worst headache of my life.” It comes on suddenly and can cause pain between your eyes, even a stiff neck. Suddenly feeling fatigued, dizzy and weak can be a signal. For example, you may be folding laundry or walking to a meeting and feel a strong, sudden loss of coordination. It’s also very common to feel numb on just one side of your body.

I can’t stress enough to tell your friends, neighbors, co-workers about these symptoms and don’t brush them off. If you are at high risk for a stroke and feel one of these symptoms suddenly occur, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

And Jane, remember that strokes are preventable. I challenge you to get moving! Make a goal to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. It’s not only going to naturally reduce your stress levels, but will also help bring your blood pressure down and reduce your overall risk.


October 14th, 2009
11:55 AM ET

During death, oxygen is a double-edged sword

By John Bonifield
CNN Medical News Producer

In college, I spent a summer in the Caribbean on an archaeology excavation. I remember submerging myself as deeply as I could in the ocean. I'd hold my breath as long as possible to admire the stunning underwater views of a shallow reef just off the beach at the site we were unearthing. I could never go more than about 45 seconds before surfacing for air. My lungs would burn as I hit the top of the water, gasping.

You probably know the feeling, too, if you've ever tried to hold your breath for as long as possible. Two or three minutes isn't unheard of for a lot of people. Expert breath-holders can go as long as seven minutes.

For Dr. Sanjay Gupta's upcoming documentary, "Another Day: Cheating Death," we've been taking a closer look at the human capacity to store oxygen. As it happens, oxygen is a double-edged sword when we die. Of course, we need it to sustain ourselves, but when a person's heart stops, the process of death is triggered. The body is designed to die, and to finish itself off; more oxygen is not what it wants. Get a cardiac arrest patient breathing again and you suddenly cheat death's plan. The body isn’t anticipating a new infusion of oxygen, and as the oxygen hits the cells and they begin to recover, they produce toxic molecules that are destructive.

Science is discovering innovative ways to mitigate the damage. Cooling patients down after a cardiac arrest seems to help. Chilled, their bodies can recover with less oxygen. New CPR techniques are also being utilized to keep the oxygen that's already in a victim's blood pumping through the body.

The concept is fascinating, and to make the point on television, we decided to spotlight synchronized swimmers. Their ethereal underwater dance is gorgeous to witness. They can remain submerged because there's a lot more oxygen in their blood than you might think, and they've trained themselves to utilize it efficiently. The synchronized swim team at Ohio State University is one of the best in the nation.

You'll see them featured in our program at 8 p.m. this Saturday and Sunday on CNN. When I visited the swimmers to watch a practice, they told me that although their routines sap them of air and energy, the performances actually help them to stay under longer. All that movement distracts them from thinking about how long they've gone without a breath. When I asked them to try it without moving, they still managed - impressively - some of them for more than two minutes - but it was harder, they said. Their trick: They went through the alphabet, letter by letter, associating words with each one until they could go no longer and had to surface for air.

Watch “Another Day: Cheating Death” at 8 and 11 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.


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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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