Review Category : Health

Wife of Falcons Player Who Watched Playoffs in Labor Says Newborn Will Attend Super Bowl

Katie Levitre(ATLANTA) — The Atlanta Falcons’ Andy Levitre will have his biggest fan watching from the stands in Houston at Super Bowl 51.

Lily Gene Levitre was born at 12:07 a.m. on Jan. 15, 2017. Levitre’s wife Katie gave birth just hours after witnessing the team’s NFC playoff win against Seattle.

“We got the clearance from her pediatrician to bring her so I am going to keep her bundled up next to me and we are going to head to Houston,” Katie Levitre, 26, told ABC News. “We’ll definitely tell her she’s a playoff baby and hoping soon she’s a Super Bowl baby. Everybody on the team says she’s a good luck charm, so we are hoping to keep that up.”

On Jan. 14, Levitre was on her way to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome with her mother when she began to have contractions.

“I was well aware I was in labor, but I thought it was going to be a day or two, so I didn’t panic at the beginning,” Levitre said. “When we got to the game [the contractions] started to ramp up a bit. By the end of the game, I couldn’t take anymore.”

Levitre said she texted a football staffer to let him know she was in labor, but asked to keep the message from Andy so it would not “break” his focus, she said.

After the game, Levitre met her husband at home before leaving for Atlanta Medical Center.

About two hours later, Lily came into the world, weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces.

“She’s perfect and healthy and she’s been quite the joy since,” Levitre said of her daughter.

After the 44-21 win over the Green Bay Packers, Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn praised Katie Levitre’s dedication by presenting her with the game ball.

Andy Levitre told ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta that he has two special goals for 2017.

“I had written that I want to be standing up on the stage with the Super Bowl trophy in one hand and my newborn daughter in my other hand,” he said.

Levitre might get his wish. The New England Patriots take on the Falcons at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Feb. 5.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Kidney Injuries Can Complicate a Pregnancy

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Expectant mothers who’ve had history of acute kidney injury are at a greater risk for preeclampsia and other complications, according to a new study published in the journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Researchers looked at about 25,000 women over a 10-year period and found that of the patients who experienced preeclampsia — a complication of high blood pressure and pregnancy — 23 percent had a history of kidney problems in the past.

Here’s my take: Since you can’t really control whether or not you get a kidney injury, focus on knowing the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia so at least it could be detected early. Symptoms include headache, blurry vision, sudden swelling of the hands and lower legs, increase in weight gain and signs of high blood pressure or protein in the urine.

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Mumps Outbreak Worsens in Washington State, with Nearly 300 Reported Cases

iStock/Thinkstock(SPOKANE, Wash.) — Cases of mumps in an ongoing outbreak in Washington state have continued to rise, with at least 298 likely or confirmed mumps cases, according to the state health department and the Spokane Regional Health District.

There are at least 166 likely cases in King County, where Seattle is located, and 94 cases in Spokane, where at least 300 students were told to stay home due to concerns they were not up to date on their vaccinations, the health departments in those counties said Thursday.

Approximately a two-thirds of those infected were vaccinated, but the mumps vaccine can wane over time. A full two doses of the vaccine provides approximately 88 percent protection, while a single dose can provide 78 percent protection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten cases were reported in King County in November, according to the county health department.

“Because some people do not get lasting protection from the vaccine and mumps spreads easily from person to person, outbreaks can still occur in vaccinated populations,” Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for public health, Seattle and King County, said in a statement earlier this month. “But, if unvaccinated, many, many, more people would become ill.”

A community should be between 75 to 86 percent vaccinated in order to prevent an outbreak of mumps, according to UNICEF.

Mumps cases rose dramatically in the U.S. in 2016, with approximately 5,311 cases reported, according to the CDC. Eight states have reported an outbreak of 100 people or more. The virus famously can cause swelling of the salivary glands, causing a swollen jaw or face. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches and tiredness. In rare cases, it can cause swelling of the testes, ovaries, breasts or the brain.

The state department of health is investigating the ongoing outbreak and testing possible new cases in the hopes of stopping the outbreak, officials said.

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In Chicago, Witnesses to Violence Turn to First Aid to Save Lives

Angel Canales/ABC News(CHICAGO) — On a chilly Saturday, 20 volunteers sat in a movie theater-turned-church located on Chicago’s South Side, taking detailed notes on how to properly tie a tourniquet, take a pulse and stop the bleeding from a serious injury as part of the inaugural Chicago South Side Trauma First Responders Course.

The course is a first-of-its-kind for the city, which had 762 homicides last year, according to the Chicago Police Department.

For the volunteers, the violence and shootings that have plagued the city are not an abstract concept but a part of daily life.

One participant, Caleb Jacobs, 23, has a quarter-sized scar from where he was stabbed in his abdomen in downtown Chicago in April 2014. That night, with blood seeping through his shirt, Jacobs thought about an alien movie he had seen with his brother, he told ABC News.

“A part of the movie he was bitten by one of the aliens, and he took the tooth out, [blood] gushing out, and he just packed it with his shirt and put pressure to it,” Jacobs said, recalling a character in the film.

In order to save his own life, Jacobs mimicked the movie, lying down on the sidewalk to put pressure on the wound, and waited for help.

“The littlest things and sometimes the littlest information can be a big part of saving your life,” Jacobs said.

Dr. Mamta Swaroop, 39, a trauma surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, created the Chicago South Side Trauma First Responders Course and wants to give all trainees basic knowledge of what to do in a situation like the one Jacobs faced so that they don’t have to rely on vaguely remembered movie scenes for medical guidance.

Swaroop came up with the idea for the course after having multiple patients bleed out to death before they could be saved at the hospital. She noticed many had wounds in their arms and legs that, if properly bandaged, may have been survivable.

“The worst thing in the world is when you have to tell families over and over and over again that there was literally nothing you could do for their family member,” she said.

For years, many South Side residents have been frustrated by the lack of trauma centers in the area despite the high level of violence. While there are four level 1 adult trauma centers, designed to treat the most serious traumatic injuries, in Chicago itself and 19 total in Cook County, few are close to the southern portion of the county.

The average time for paramedics to arrive on the scene after getting a 911 call is six minutes, according to the Chicago Fire Department. But paramedics can be delayed if the police need to secure a scene, and it can take far longer to get a patient to a trauma center.

A 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health examined data on 11,744 patients with gunshot wounds and found that 4,782 were shot more than five miles from a trauma center in the Chicago area. These patients had a mean transport time (from when the call came in to when they arrived in the hospital) of approximately 16 minutes compared to 10 minutes for people shot less than five miles from a trauma center.

Nearly one in five trauma patients in Chicago are “undertriaged” or going to hospitals not designated to treat their severe injuries, according to a study published earlier this month in JAMA Surgery. Co-author Lee Friedman explained this likely has to do with a lack of trauma centers in violent neighborhoods.

“People are being self-transported to these community hospitals … it’s not a failure of EMS,” Friedman told ABC News in an earlier interview. “It’s people saying, ‘Let’s get this person to [any hospital].'”

Swaroop doesn’t think her class will be the answer to the soaring numbers of victims or the long transport times. But she hopes to make a dent and empower residents to step up and save lives.

“I feel like this course is a Band-Aid,” she explained. “’Til the infrastructure, ’til the city, ’til everything else catches up. This is something that can be a stopgap.”

To ensure the course addresses the needs of people who live in these dangerous areas, Swaroop partnered with Cure Violence/CeaseFire Illinois, a violence prevention initiative that hires and works with people in the most violent neighborhoods to prevent further violence from occurring. She worked with the initiative to design the course and find people willing to come in on a Saturday to learn first-aid techniques.

LeVon Stone, the director of CeaseFire Illinois, said in some areas shooting or stabbing victims are often driven more than eight miles in order to reach a level 1 trauma center.

“We knew there was a need for someone to have some type of training,” Stone said. “[If] something was to happen in the community, they could possibly help save a life.”

During the first session earlier this month, Swaroop, along with other doctors and nurses from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, gave training on how to clear airways, move injured people from a busy intersection and minimize bleeding. But they also listened to the stories of the community members, many of whom have worked for years trying to reduce violence in their neighborhoods.

Priscilla Simes, a member of the regional grassroots social justice organization TARGET Area, recalled the moment a young man had been shot outside the organization’s offices just yards from where the first responders class was now taking place.

“The only thing that I knew to do was to grab his hand and pray,” Simes said. “This class here, even with our own family, our own children, we’ll know what to do [now].”

At the end of the session, Swaroop gave out certificates and cards for everyone so that if they step in to help, they can give the cards to paramedics or police officers as proof of their training. When Jacobs came up, Swaroop gave him a big hug.

The night Jacobs was stabbed, he was taken less than two miles to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where doctors including Swaroop were able to save his life. He ended up losing his spleen, pancreas and part of his colon. Despite all that, he said he’s lucky he was stabbed less than two miles from the hospital.

“I could have got stabbed anywhere, but at least it was downtown … at least I wasn’t here,” he said from his current home on Chicago’s South Side near Lake Michigan. He explained that if he had been injured in his current neighborhood, the ambulance would have had to travel nine miles to get to Northwestern.

If that had been the case, “I wouldn’t be here,” he said.

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Avian Flu Outbreaks Raise Concerns About Possible Pandemic

frank600/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An avian flu outbreak in the U.K. is just the latest to erupt across the globe, worrying health experts about the possibility that the virus could become more widespread.

On Thursday, U.K. officials confirmed a fifth area in the country has been hit with the H5N8 strain of the avian flu since December. The strain has been spread from wild birds to farmed poultry, but has yet to affect humans, according to the U.K. Department of the Environment.

There have been more than 40 countries reporting outbreaks of different strains of the avian flu since last November, according to World Health Organization officials.

With the new avian flu outbreaks popping up in recent months, health experts have been increasingly concerned that one or more of the various strains of avian flu could mutate, increasing the risk of a dangerous new flu that could spread quickly across the globe. Normally the virus spreads among birds, often transmitted long distances by wild birds that migrate. In rare cases people in close contact to the birds become ill and the virus rarely spreads from person to person.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the public health community is increasingly concerned that the virus could potentially mutate.

“The concern always is that they could pick up a gene that permits that kind of flu to spread readily from person to person,” Schaffner said. Currently “bird flu by itself cannot do that.”

However, Schaffner said in recent years the medical community has developed better surveillance technology to find new outbreaks more easily.

“We detect more of the outbreaks and characterize them even more precisely than 10 years ago,” he explained.

On Monday, World Health Organization said they were on “high alert” due to the avian flu outbreaks and the possibility of mutation.

During an address to the WHO executive board on Monday, WHO Director Margaret Chan explained one form of the virus first detected in humans in 2015 was created “by gene-swapping among four different viruses.” She urged all countries to closely watch for avian flu cases in both birds and humans to stop any new easily transmitted strain of the virus from spreading.

“We cannot afford to miss the early signals,” Chan said.

Multiple strains of the avian flu have spread through a diverse range of countries in recent months including Algeria, Finland, China and the United Kingdom, according to the World Organization for Animal Health. While the avian flu rarely affects people, it can have devastating consequences when it does. In China the mortality rate has hovered around 38 percent for the more than 1,000 people infected with a strain of avian flu since 2013, according to Chan.

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Your Body: Exercise for Stronger Bones

Wavebreak Media/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

When someone mentions bone health, your mind likely flashes to images of kids drinking milk from cartons on TV. But it turns out there’s more to building strong bones than just upping your calcium and Vitamin D intake.

Studies have shown that good exercise is linked to higher peak bone mass. That’s because bones require stress in order stimulate growth and maintain their integrity.

Here’s my prescription: Peak bone mass is stored in a person’s late teens and early 20s. That’s a key time for building bone.

Remember that some exercises that are great for your body, like swimming, are not so great for your bones. Bones need weight, and if pumping iron isn’t your thing, try wearing a weighted vest next time you walk your dog.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Singer Amy Grant’s Daughter Donates Kidney to Best Friend

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Gloria Mills Chapman, daughter of Christian singer Amy Grant, is recovering after donating a kidney to her best friend on Tuesday.

“Millie,” as she’s better known, is 27 years old and is Grant’s second child with her former husband, singer-songwriter Gary Chapman, according to Billboard.

Millie’s friend Kathryn Dudley was the recipient of the kidney, according to the Tennessean. On Monday night Gary Chapman posted a message on Facebook asking for prayers. Millie has known Kathryn their entire lives, he said.

“I’m so proud of her, words fail me,” Chapman’s post said.

Chapman posted again Tuesday afternoon confirming that Millie was recovering and the surgery had been successful.

“She’ll be hurting for awhile but healing is underway,” the post said.

The average wait time for patients on the national organ transplant list is three to five years, and can be even longer in some regions of the U.S., according to the National Kidney Foundation. The foundation also notes that although there are some risks involved, people who donate a kidney usually continue to live normal, healthy lives.

Grant’s Facebook page also included an update following the surgery, confirming that both women were recovering well.

“We are so proud of Millie’s selfless act of friendship and are grateful that both girls are doing well after yesterday’s surgeries,” Grant wrote.

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New Jersey to Provide New Parents with Baby Boxes, Encouraging Educated Parenting

The Baby Box Company(NEW YORK) — New Jersey is becoming the first state to officially partner with The Baby Box Company, a company that works to improve new parent education, encourage newborn health awareness and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome.

The program will distribute baby boxes filled with diapers and other newborn necessities to all new parents in New Jersey who complete a free online parenting education course. The course curriculum includes information on breastfeeding, prenatal health and safe sleep practices.

The box itself also acts as a mattress that the baby can use as a bed, encouraging healthy sleeping environments. According to a report by the Child Fatality & Near Fatality Review Board, 93 percent of infant deaths associated with Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome were directly related to a child’s sleep and sleep environment.

Jennifer Clary, co-founder of The Baby Box Company, said she hopes the program encourages parents to make good choices.

Clary first learned of the “baby box” concept in 2013 after reading an article about the practice in other countries. She then visited Finland and spoke with people who had been distributing similar boxes for more than seven decades. This made her realize the importance of combining helpful products with parental education.

“I really wanted to support families on a global scale with that in mind,” she said. “We think it’s a program that really resonates on a very core level with a lot of families.”

Dr. Kathryn McCans, chair of the New Jersey Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Board, also said she thinks the program will encourage parents to be more informed when making decisions regarding their child.

“It’s really about the prevention [of infant death] and empowering parents to make the best choices,” McCans said.

New Jersey already has a relatively low rate of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome, McCans said, but she still believes there are strides to be made.

“To me, as a pediatrician, if we can do anything to improve knowledge and decrease that rate even further, that’s wonderful,” she said. “I’m hoping if we can do it successfully … then more and more states will follow suit and we will see a national decrease in infant mortality.”

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Seoul Virus Spread by Pet Rats Under Investigation in Mulitple States

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Health officials are investigating an outbreak of the rare Seoul virus, among pet rats and people exposed to rat-breeding facilities in multiple states.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory Tuesday alerting doctors and other health officials they have expanded their initial investigation to 10 states.

Last week, the CDC reported an outbreak of the Seoul virus in Wisconsin and Illinois, which spread via infected pet rats. This is the first time that the virus has been known to spread via pet rats in the U.S., rather than wild rats.

The illness is part of the Hantavirus family of rodent-borne viruses and causes fever, headache, back pain, chills and nausea. In rare cases, the virus can cause renal failure and hemorrhagic bleeding. Patients who develop these rare serious symptoms face a mortality rate of approximately 1 to 2 percent, according to the CDC.

“Human and animal health officials are working together to trace-back from where infected rodents may have come,” CDC officials wrote in the health advisory, “and trace-out where potentially infected rodents may have been distributed, and make sure infected rats are not distributed further.”

The CDC reported that they have notified local officials in 10 states that infected pet rats may have been sent to or purchased by residents in those areas. These states are Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

Officials first discovered the Seoul virus outbreak when a home-breeder of pet rats was hospitalized last December with fever, headache and other symptoms in Wisconsin. Blood tests revealed the patient was suffering from the rare virus, as was a close family member who also worked with pet rats, according to the CDC. Both eventually recovered from the virus.

Investigators then looked at rat breeders who supplied the rats to the first patient. They found six who also tested positive for the Seoul virus.

The virus is not passed person to person, but from infected rats to people via the rat’s droppings, saliva or urine or after exposure to dust from nests or bedding, according to the CDC.

There is no cure for the virus, but less severe cases can resolve in one to eight weeks, according to the CDC. Patients can be treated with supportive care such as extra hydration and electrolytes and maintaining correct oxygen and blood pressure levels.

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Nurse Reunites with Baby She Helped Deliver Mid-Flight

Erica Walton(ORLANDO, Fla.) — A Florida nurse who helped deliver a premature baby mid-air has reunited with the child and his parents since the flight.

“It was emotional,” new mom Erica Walton told ABC News of the reunion. “We were really happy and it was a big surprise to see her. I am grateful for her, Dr. Chad Garson and Dr. Bhasker Patel for helping us through a terrifying experience. Even though we only knew them for a short amount of time, we’re truly blessed that they’re part of our family now.”

Walton, 33, a nurse at Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, was aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 556 from Philadelphia to Orlando, Florida on Dec. 4, 2016 when she went into early labor. She and her husband, Chris Walton, 29, had been returning home to Titusville from a baby shower thrown by her family in their Pennsylvania hometown.

Walton was 26 weeks along with a healthy pregnancy. Her obstetrician, Dr. Lena Weinman, cleared her to fly, Weinman told ABC News Wednesday.

“Traditionally, we allow patients to fly up to 30 to 32 weeks, unless they have complications with maternal or fetal health,” said Weinman of Parrish Medical Group in Titusville. “I was shocked and alarmed and then reassured that her experience was overall optimistic and that mom and baby did well.”

Luckily, two doctors and a nurse, Loretta Bledsoe, 66, were passengers on Walton’s plane and rushed to her side after an emergency announcement made by the airline crew.

Minutes later, Walton gave birth to a 2 pound, 4 ounce baby boy — fittingly named Jet.

Bledsoe of Longwood, Florida works for Orlando Health and has been a nurse for 42 years. She had been flying home after her niece’s wedding in Pennsylvania.

After the birth, Bledsoe administered oxygen while the two other physicians tended to the first-time mom.

“Mom kept saying, ‘I just want my baby to be OK,'” Bledsoe said. “I just kept telling her, ‘Me too. He’s breathing, he’s opening his eyes.'”

The flight made an emergency landing in Charleston, South Carolina where paramedics took over.

Walton and her baby were “doing well when they left the aircraft,” Southwest Airlines told ABC News in a statement the day after the birth, on Dec. 5, 2016.

More than a month later on Jan. 23, ABC News’ affiliate WFTV in Orlando organized a reunion between Bledsoe and the Walton family at Nemours Children’s Hospital.

“It was great,” Bledsoe said. “We just hugged each other really tight and got teary-eyed. You’re strangers when you get on a plane, but after that I feel we are going to be lifelong friends.”

Dr. Chad Garson, an emergency room physician who also helped deliver baby Jet, said he’s hoping to reunite with the family on Feb. 2.

“Honestly it was one of the most amazing things I’ve had the opportunity to do,” Garson of Abington Memorial Hospital in Pennsylvania told ABC News. “It was a little bit scary, [but] I felt like I had the opportunity to help someone in an environment where I never thought I’d be able to, in that way.”

Jet is currently at Nemours in Orlando. He is now 7 weeks old and growing stronger. Mom and Dad hope to bring him home before March 8, which was the projected due date.

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