Review Category : Health

Dallas Nurse Nina Pham Reunites with Her Dog

The Pham Family(DALLAS) — Dallas nurse Nina Pham was reunited with her dog Saturday after the animal completed his 21 day monitoring for Ebola.

Pham was declared Ebola free last week and discharged from the hospital. The dog, Bentley, has also been declared free of the disease.

Pham said in a statement, “I’d like to take a moment to thank people from all around the world who have sent their best wishes and prayers to me and Mr. Bentley.”

She added, “My hope and thought with my treatment and care at the NIH researchers and doctors are one step closer to finding a cure for Ebola.”

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California Heart Surgeon’s Patient Is Doctor Who Delivered Him

Dmitrii Kotin/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was a near-full-circle moment for Dr. Jim Affleck, a retired obstetrician, when he went in for heart surgery last month at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento, California.

One of the doctors in the operating room with Affleck was Dr. Robert Kincade, a heart surgeon whom Affleck delivered 45 years ago.

Luckily for Affleck, he said, the uncanny coincidence was not a completely full-circle moment.

“We didn’t have to come full circle on this delivery-death thing,” Affleck, 84, told ABC News Friday, adding that he “feels like a new person” after having his aortic valve replaced.

Affleck spent 33 years as an obstetrician in the Sacramento area delivering thousands of babies — so many that he says he lost count. So no one can blame him for not immediately recognizing that his patient was now his doctor.

“I was surprised because, as an obstetrician, your patient is the mother,” he said. “You just hand the baby off to the pediatrician and never see it again.”

Dr. Kincade is the medical director of the Sutter Transplant and Advanced Therapies Programs, located at Sutter Memorial Hospital, the same hospital where he was born and where Affleck practiced.

When Kincade realized the coincidence, he called the best source possible to confirm who delivered him: his mom, according to Affleck and the hospital. The doctor, who could not be reached Friday by ABC News because he was in surgery, then confirmed again via his birth certificate that Affleck was his doctor.

“I was surprised he would look at his birth certificate and remember that and his mother remembered it too,” Affleck said.

Affleck, who lives just outside Sacramento with his wife, Dona, and has three kids of his own, called his recovery from the heart surgery “marvelous.”

He had a chance to reunite with Kincade on Monday when he went back to the hospital for his final check-up.

“We’ve stayed in touch,” Affleck said. “The day after the surgery I got up and I could just tell that everything was different.”

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Many High School Seniors in Favor of Marijuana Reform

CapturedNuance/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A survey of high school seniors found that most 18-year-olds want marijuana reform.

According to the study, published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, nearly one-third of students surveyed felt marijuana should be entirely legal, and nearly that amount — 28.5 percent — felt that marijuana should be treated as a minor violation.

The survey included 12,000 students between 2007 and 2011. Researchers did find that certain groups were more or less likely to support marijuana legalization. Among those more likely to be in favor of legalization were black, liberal and urban students, while women, conservatives, religious students and those with friends who disapprove of marijuana use were less likely to support legalization.

Interestingly, the survey found, nearly 17 percent of those students who had never used marijuana before were in favor of legalization.

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Dallas Ebola Survivor Nina Pham to Reunite with Her Dog

Dallas Animal Services(DALLAS) — Dallas nurse Nina Pham, who last week was declared Ebola-free and discharged from the National Institutes of Health’s hospital in Maryland, will finally reunite with her dog, Bentley, who has been in quarantine for 21 days over fears that he, too, would develop the deadly virus.

“She’s pretty excited,” Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed told ABC News. “We’ve been talking to her every day.”

Pham is expected to reunite with Bentley Saturday morning, give a short statement and accept a gift basket filled with donations from people around the country, Syed said.

Pham, 26, contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, a native of Libya who was the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States and also the only person to die of the disease in the U.S.

Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, was diagnosed with Ebola and isolated on Oct. 11. She was then transferred to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, on Oct. 16 and discharged on Oct. 24.

Bentley’s quarantine won’t be over until Nov. 1, so his veterinarians thought it best not to confuse Bentley with visits from Pham if he couldn’t go home, Syed said. Caregivers feared if Bentley saw Pham and she left, he might become anxious or depressed, and have other health concerns.

“It’s been a tough week for her, since she’s been back and obviously wanted to see Bentley right away,” Syed said, adding that Pham has maintained her distance.

Over the last three weeks, the King Charles cavalier spaniel has been cared for by a crew of veterinarians in isolation at Hensley Field in Dallas, she said.

“They played with him and hugged him, really just gave him that attention he needed during this time,” Syed said. “They dedicated so much time caring for Bentley to make sure he got loved during this isolation period.”

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What Kaci Hickox Has to Say About Court’s Quarantine Decision

ABC News(FORT KENT, Maine) — A nurse who fought quarantine rules after returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa said a court ruling in her favor will ensure that other health care workers returning from Africa are given “human treatment.”

“I am humbled today by the judge’s decision and even more humbled by the support that we have received by the town of Fort Kent, the state of Maine, across the United States and even across the border,” Hickox, 33, told reporters Friday from her home in Fort Kent.

A judge in Maine ruled Friday that Hickox could leave her home and spend time in public spaces despite other state officials’ attempts to force her into a mandatory quarantine until a 21-day potential Ebola incubation period ends.

The judge noted in his ruling that although the state’s fears may be irrational, they are real and Hickox should be mindful of them.

“I know Ebola is a scary disease,” Hickox said Friday. “I have seen it face-to-face.”

Maine Gov. Paul LePage attempted to force Hickox to take a blood test for Ebola to prove she doesn’t have the deadly virus. Hickox tested negative for Ebola twice in New Jersey after arriving at Newark International Airport, and experts have said a person must be symptomatic to test positive. Hickox has not shown any Ebola symptoms, she said.

Hickox had been treating patients in Sierra Leone with Doctors Without Borders before she returned to the United States and landed New Jersey a week ago. Upon landing, she was questioned for six hours and quarantined in an isolation tent until she was allowed to drive up to Maine on Monday. In Maine, officials first suggested a voluntary quarantine and then sought to legally enforce it.

But Hickox said she wouldn’t comply because the quarantine rules weren’t “scientifically valid.” She said she fought the quarantine for all the other health workers expected to return from West Africa in the coming weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control doesn’t require quarantines for returning health workers who wear protective gear because they can’t spread the virus unless they are symptomatic for Ebola and others come into contact with their bodily fluids.

According to the judge’s order, Hickox will need to agree to active monitoring and coordinate her travel with health authorities. She must also report any symptoms she experiences to public health authorities.

Hickox said she plans to spend this evening eating her boyfriend’s cooking and watching a scary movie. She said she won’t be able to take trick-or-treaters because she hasn’t been able to buy candy.

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Look Inside Isolation Ward Where Nina Pham Was Treated for Ebola

National Institutes of Health(BETHESDA, Md.) — Simple beige walls and the Spartan furnishings is what Ebola patient Nina Pham lived with during the eight days she was treated at the isolation block of the National Institutes of Health.

ABC News got a look inside the specially designed unit, one of only four facilities in the country specially designed to handle a contagion of Ebola’s level. This one was designed in 2010 to cope with the threat of outbreaks for diseases such as Influenza or SARS, and then adapted for Ebola.

A small antechamber with negative air-pressure separates the corner room where Pham was treated from the rest of the block, known as the Special Clinical Studies Unit.

NIH’s infectious disease director, Dr. Anthony Fauci, demonstrated the facility and complex biohazard suits used by its clinicians.

It can take over 10 minutes to assemble the apparel known as PPE, for Personal Protective Equipment, and roughly a dozen separate pieces go into it. From multiple layers of the special repellant cloth known as Tyvek to wireless radio transmitters and a respirator, the dizzying process of donning and removing the gear — known as doffing — is designed to never expose the wearer to contaminated material.

The procedure is so complex that a specially trained observer stands by to supervise with a lengthy checklist.

“There are variations of this process,” Fauci said as two clinicians donned and doffed behind him. “So if some group doesn’t do it exactly like this it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. This is just best for us.”

“This process is not an easy process. The one thing you want to be sure of is that you are at your most fatigued when taking off your material, when you are doffing. And that’s when you are most vulnerable of being infected, so that’s why you do it very, very carefully,” he said.

Pham was released last week after eight days under supervision at the center. She was diagnosed on Oct. 11 after contracting the deadly virus in the process of treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first to bring the disease to American soil, at a Dallas hospital. Duncan died from the virus.

The disease, for which there is no proven antibiotic cure, has killed thousands since this year’s outbreak began in West Africa.

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Five Tips to ‘Fall Back’ from Daylight Saving Time 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What’s better than sleeping in on a Sunday? How about dodging the days-long consequences of rolling the clocks back this weekend?

Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend, which means that most residents in the country return to Standard Time at 2 a.m. Sunday. To do so, most people set the clocks back one hour Saturday night, before they hit the hay. This does not apply to you if you live in most of Arizona or Hawaii, where it’s always island time.

Sure, you’ll gain an hour when Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. But spending said hour in bed after sunrise will do you few favors in the long run, sleep experts say.

“It will hit you Sunday evening,” said Dr. Yosef Krespi, director of the New York Head and Neck Institute’s Center for Sleep Disorders. “But if your body clock is tuned to waking up with sunlight, you’re going to benefit.”

The body clock is a cluster of neurons deep inside the brain that generates the circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours, but it’s not precise.

“It needs a signal every day to reset it,” said Dr. Alfred Lewy, director of Oregon Health and Science University’s Sleep and Mood Disorders Laboratory in Portland.

The signal is sunlight, which shines in through the eyes and “corrects the cycle from approximately 24 hours to precisely 24 hours,” said Lewy. But when the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles don’t line up, people can feel out-of-sync, tired and grumpy.

With time, the body clock adjusts on its own. But here are a few ways to help it along:

1. Wake Up at a Normal Time Sunday Morning

Many people see the extra hour as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in longer. But sleeping through the Sunday morning sunlight can leave you feeling out of sorts for the start of the week, according to Krespi.

Instead, try to get up at the same time. Use the extra hour to go for a morning walk or make a hearty breakfast.

2. Eat Well and Exercise

Speaking of morning walks and breakfast, an active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleep, according to Krespi. So grab your partner, your dog or your favorite playlist and get outside some fresh air and exercise. And dig into a breakfast packed with whole grains and protein to keep you energized through the 25-hour day.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Sunday Night

Still have extra time to kill Sunday? Use it to turn your bedroom into a full-fledged sleep zone.

“It has to be quiet, it has to be cool and it has to be dark,” said Krespi. “Shut down your gadgets and turn away that alarm clock so you don’t watch it tick.”

Try to hit the sack at your usual bedtime, even though it will be dark one hour earlier.

4. Try a Low Dose of Melatonin

While light synchronizes the body clock in the morning, the hormone melatonin updates it at night. The exact function of the hormone, produced by the pea-size pineal gland in the middle of the brain, is unclear. But it can activate melatonin receptors on the neurons of the body clock, acting as a “chemical signal for darkness,” Lewy said.

Taking a low dose of melatonin in the evening can help sync the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles. But be careful: Although melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement, it can cause drowsiness and interfere with other drugs. Talk to your doctor about the dosage and timing that’s right for you.

5. Know That Your Body Will Adjust

It might take a few days to feel 100 percent normal, but fear not: Your body will adjust to the new light-dark cycle.

“Some people suffer more, some people less, it all depends,” said Krespi, adding that falling back in November tends to be easier than springing forward in March. “On Monday morning, we’ll appreciate that we’re waking up for work or school with sunlight.”

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Working Moms Have It Tougher than You Think

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Many women who care for children while holding down a job are feeling overwhelmed by the stress of trying to balance both important responsibilities.

In a survey of 1,000 working moms by care.com, which helps parents find and manage family care, women report working an average of 37 hours a week while spending another 80 hours on child care, household chores and other matters.

According to the survey, more than a third say “they’re always falling behind” while two-thirds “imagine that others are more together than they are.”

It’s no wonder than that one in four working moms report that they cry alone at least once a week. About 30 percent say they also get into a fight at least once a week with their partner or kids.

In spite of these problems, three out ten working moms won’t hire someone to help because they feel guilty about not being to handle things by themselves.

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How to Get College Credit for Wasting Time on the Internet

iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) — Wasting time on the Internet is an American obsession. It also happens to be the name of a course at the University of Pittsburgh taught by professor Kenneth Goldsmith.

He says that the course is basically a rebuttal to the gloom- and doom-sayers who contend that all the time spent on the Internet doing basically nothing contributes to the dumbing-down of the nation.

Yet, Goldsmith says nothing could be further from the truth and to prove his point, students who take “Wasting Time on the Internet,” which is required of creative writing majors, will have to spend three hours per class interacting through chat rooms, social media and other platforms.

Their goal by the end of the session, according to the prof, is to find “substantial works of literature” online to show that it’s not such a waste of time after all.

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Teal Pumpkins Indicate Food Allergy Awareness This Halloween

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Of all the bizarre things kids and adults might see on Halloween are pumpkins painted the color of teal on people’s stoops.

If that’s the case, the little ones expecting candy might be disappointed because it means that home is participating in “The Teal Pumpkin Project,” meaning no sweet treats.

The project is described by a group calling itself Food Allergy Research and Education as promoting “safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies — and to keep Halloween a fun, positive experience for all.”

While it’s certainly a very serious issue, the group isn’t out to ruin a festive occasion.

Rather than hand out candy, FARE recommends that parents offer other fun stuff, including stickers, glow sticks or other knick-knacks that commemorate Halloween.

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