Review Category : Health

30,000 Die Yearly from Brain Aneurysm Rupture

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For over 14 years, Lisa Colagrossi was a fixture of New York television news. Last week, she died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 49.

Colagrossi is one of an estimated 30,000 people in the U.S. who experience a rupture of a brain aneurysm, a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery, according to the National Institutes of Health. Aneurysms typically form at the branches in the brain’s arteries where blood vessels are the weakest. The most common breaks occur at the base of the brain.

Approximately 40 to 50 percent of brain aneurysm ruptures are fatal, said Dr. M. Shazam Hussain, a neurologist with the Cleveland Clinic’s Neurological Institute.

“Many die before they make it to the hospital,” Hussain said. “Of those who survive, a third will go home, a third will have a disability and a third will die in the hospital.”

About 5 percent of people have a brain aneurysm, Hussain said. Fortunately, only about one in 10,000 of them will rupture and the vast majority of people with the condition live long, health lives, he added.

“The majority of time there are no symptoms leading up to the rupture until right before the bleed,” Hussain said.

When there are symptoms, Hussain describes them as “stroke-like,” including severe headache, difficulty speaking, weakness, vomiting and loss of consciousness.

Colagrossi, who collapsed while returning from a television shoot, was the typical age for a rupture Hussain said.

“You can see them in people as young as 18 but the average age is between 50 and 60,” he said.

The best way to save someone’s life when they’ve had a rupture of a brain aneurysm is to seek medical attention as soon as possible so they can be stabilized and treated, Hussain advised. Staying healthy, treating high blood pressure and avoiding tobacco is the best way to avoid one in the first place, he said.

Someone with a history of brain aneurysm ruptures should talk to their doctor about the possibility of getting a brain scan, Hussain said. If one is discovered, doctors will often recommend regular monitoring but in high-risk cases they may be treated, he said.

Colagrossi joined ABC’s New York station WABC-TV days after the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. She is survived by her husband Todd, and their two sons, Davis and Evan.

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How a Boy Survived Nearly Two Hours Without a Pulse

iStock/Thinkstock(MIFFLINBURG, Pa.) — A 22-month-old toddler was revived after falling into a frigid creek near his home and undergoing 101 minutes of CPR — a recovery that one doctor said may have been made possible by a type of “suspended animation.”

Gardell Martin was pulled from a nearly frozen creek March 11 after going missing for approximately 20 minutes, said his mother, Rose Martin. The toddler had been playing outdoors with his older brother near their home in Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, when he fell into the fast-moving water.

By the time a neighbor found Gardell, the boy was face-up in the water and was not responsive, his mother said.

Emergency crews started CPR, which continued as the boy was flown to Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, where he was rushed to the critical care department, according to ABC News affiliate WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

“A couple things were in his favor,” Rose Martin told ABC News. “The cold water helped preserve his organs and his brain.”

A hospital official confirmed that Gardell’s body temperature was a frigid 77 degrees when he arrived for care. As CPR continued, doctors worked to warm the boy up and see if his heart could get started. After 101 minutes of continuous CPR, doctors found a tentative pulse.

“In my 23 years, I have not seen an hour-and-41-minutes comeback to this degree of neurological recovery,” said Dr. Frank Maffei, a pediatric critical care doctor at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. “That doesn’t happen by accident. It happens because people are trained.”

Dr. Alexandre Rotta, chief of pediatric critical care medicine at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, said the case clearly demonstrates how, in rare cases, hypothermia can lead to a kind of “suspended animation” that can protect the body when the heart stops.

“Hypothermia has been known for years to slow down metabolism,” said Rotta, who said at around 77 degrees a body needs only 30 percent of its normal oxygen intake, which can help preserve the organs.

In a normal case of cardiac arrest, a patient can have irreversible brain damage after three to five minutes of oxygen deprivation, Rotta said. However, a person who has had his or her internal temperature lowered to less than 82 degrees Fahrenheit needs just 30 percent of normal oxygen consumption, meaning doctors can have more time to resuscitate the patient before they have permanent brain or organ damage, according to Rotta.

“At 28 degrees Celsius [82 degrees Fahrenheit], [you] can safely arrest someone for 20 minutes,” Rotta said. “There was a saying … that you’re not dead until you’re warm and dead.”

Rotta said children are better able to be revived in such circumstances because they will cool down faster than adults and they also have slightly better rates of being revived following cardiac arrest.

“Most likely, [Gardell] was trying to swim or trying to hold on to something. His body started to cool down and it became very cold, and then he arrested because of his hypothermia,” said Rotta. “It has a better prognosis.”

However, Rotta said, these cases are extremely rare and he, himself, has seen only one case of a child coming back after being found in cold water in cardiac arrest.

“These cases are out there, but it requires tremendous [luck] your way,” he said.

Gardell’s mother told ABC News the family is just happy to have the toddler back at home and “pretty much back to normal” after his ordeal. She said his relatives feel his survival was “an act of God.”

“I feel like we’re trying to get back to normal life and everyone is trying to get back to normal,” said Martin. “He’s smothered with love. We can’t give him enough attention right now.”

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Safety Experts Criticize CDC’s Safety Practices

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) — A report released earlier this week on the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the CDC’s own safety experts expresses concern that the agency is “on the way to losing credibility.”

The report offers more than a dozen recommendation for CDC improvement, including improvements to training, leadership, safety and encouraging staff to report accidents. “The CDC must not see itself as ‘special,’ the report states. “The internal controls and rules that the rest of the world works under also apply to CDC.”

The report highlights “inadequate” laboratory safety training, insufficient resources and a lack of leadership.

“The CDC is an incredibly capable organization and its value in promoting the health of our society cannot be lost,” the experts noted.

A statement posted to the CDC’s website alongside the report says that the agency “concurs with these recommendations, has made progress towards implementing them and will soon report on that progress.”

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Infant with Rare Disorder Saved After Lab-Tech Braves Boston Snow

Charlene Hills(BOSTON) — A lab technician may have saved a Massachusetts newborn’s life by braving deep snow to ensure routine lab tests were screened on time.

One of the tests revealed a rare genetic disorder that could have led to liver failure or death if Juliana Salvi had remained on the normal newborn diet of milk or formula.

Juliana was born the Sunday before Boston had a near-record snowfall on Jan. 27. The infant’s mother, Charlene Salvi, said she noticed the infant was lethargic and slightly jaundiced but didn’t think it was out of the ordinary.

“By the time we got home from that, we got an urgent call from both pediatrician and state lab trying to get a hold of us,” Salvi said. “She had one of the 30 disorders on newborn screening.”

If the lab hadn’t taken extra initiative, the test results would have been delayed because a historic snowstorm that blanketed the Boston area in feet of snow stopped the UPS delivery normally used to move lab samples.

Melody Rush, a lab technician, said the lab’s director asked for volunteers to pick up tests by hand and deliver them when officials realized UPS wouldn’t be running. Rush and other colleagues had to venture onto streets either by car or public transportation soon after a historic snow storm.

“We were able to go out and bring [tests from] 25 hospitals back and test them,” said Rush.

Juliana’s test samples were among those for 30 different babies that Rush picked up. Testing at the lab soon revealed Juliana has a dangerous metabolic disorder called galactosemia.

The genetic disorder means that Juliana lacks enzymes to fully break down a sugar in milk called galactose. The disorder is not just a milk allergy and can be life-threatening. The version of galactosemia Juliana was diagnosed with appears in about one out of every 60,000 births and will result in severe liver damage or death if the diet is not changed.

Juliana’s mother said she noticed her daughter seemed lethargic and slightly jaundiced, but she assumed that was just because she was a newborn. Because Juliana’s test was picked up, Salvi and her husband had calls on their answering machine when they arrived home alerting them that Juliana had the dangerous disorder.

“I just started crying. You don’t think you’re going to get a call that your child has one of the rare disorders,” said Salvi.

By the time Salvi and her husband rushed back to the hospital, Juliana’s health had already started to deteriorate.

“She was in crisis,” said Salvi, who said her symptoms were similar to sepsis. “She was in NICU and special care for two and half weeks and [we] removed milk source and got her on correct formula.”

After Juliana started to recover, Salvi said her doctor told her that because Rush and other lab technicians braved the New England weather, the newborn’s lab tests were done on time.

“There’s a few disorders like my child’s and it needs to be treated immediately,” Salvi said. “They couldn’t wait to get those labs.”

Rush said she was amazed to find out the following day that one of the samples she picked up tested positive for galactosemia. According to the director of Rush’s lab, the results are so rare that the last time a similar test came through the lab was 18 months ago.

“It was a nice feeling that I had made a difference in that baby’s life,” said Rush. “It was just luck of the draw. I just happened to find that needle in the haystack.”

Salvi was so grateful to the lab technicians, and especially Rush, that she took Juliana over to the lab for a visit. While Juliana will face additional issues because of the disorder, changing her diet meant her life was saved.

“I’m so thankful,” said Salvi, [for] the fact that they picked it up that day.”

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Why Some Parents Are Thinking Twice About Over-‘Sharenting’ Online

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Watch it, mom and dad.

A rise in over-“sharenting,” that’s parents who post nonstop about their children, is chipping away at the privacy of a younger generation, according to a survey from the University of Michigan.

“By the time children are old enough to use social media themselves many already have a digital identity created for them by their parents,” Sarah Clark, associate research scientist in the University of Michigan’s Department of Pediatrics, said in a statement.

Jennifer Collins of Houlton, Maine, identifies with the more than one half of mothers and one-third of fathers who told researchers they discuss parenting on social media.

Collins’ blog, Graceful Mess, is hosted by the Bangor Daily News. She also has an Instagram account, Twitter feed and Facebook page devoted to the antics of her 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.

She told ABC News she’s “seriously re-thinking” her approach after her daughter saw a photo she posted on Facebook and asked why she has to share “everything.”

“Mom, do you really have to share everything that happens in our lives on Facebook?” Collins said her daughter asked.

“There have been times she has gone to school and people know about her weekend before she had the chance to share her story,” she said. “As they get older they realize they don’t even have the chance to tell the story.”

Collins said she has no plans to stop being a “mom blogger” but will be more careful about the personal stories she chooses to tell, especially as his daughter gets older.

“Recently I felt the need to rein that in a bit because it is their story to tell,” she said.

While there are pitfalls to sharing certain information online, there are also plenty of reasons how it can help parents to share common experiences.

The University of Michigan survey covered parents of children ages 0 to 4 years old. It found that 28 percent of parents discussed how to get their children to sleep, while 26 percent discussed eating tips and 19 percent asked other parents for advice on discipline.

“It’s relatable,” Collins said of the reason why she joined the blogging community five years ago. “I didn’t want to feel like I was the only one experiencing or going through a problem.”

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Sexting More Prevalent than Americans Realize

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If a new poll from the April issue of Glamour magazine is to be believed, we have turned into one naughty nation.

The proof is in our texting, or rather, sexting, since two-thirds of the 2,000 men and women surveyed claim to have sent at least one risqué message in their lives. Overall, 30 percent told Glamour that they do so frequently.

If there is any guilt associated with sexting, it wasn’t evident in this poll. Over nine in ten admitted they actually enjoyed sending a naughty message or photo.

However, it all may come at a cost. Forty percent of the respondents did express some anxiety that what they sext might one day be shared with a much wider audience.

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Beware The Pitfalls of Cooking Shows

iStock/Thinkstock(BURLINGTON, Vt.) — Are you captivated by cooking programs on the Food Network and elsewhere on TV? Be careful or your waistline may suffer the consequences.

In a study of 500 women ages 20-to-35 years old, University of Vermont researcher Lizzy Pope found that those who watched cooking shows and dutifully made meals that tantalized them weighed an average of ten pounds more than women who don’t view these programs.

Pope isn’t saying that people shouldn’t watch cooking shows or cook meals from scratch since doing so “definitely can result in healthier food than eating out all the time.”

However, she also maintains that food show executives have an obligation to offer healthier recipes to reduce both obesity and the cost of health care.

Meanwhile, Pope has another warning for foodies: avoid being tempted by the photographs of luscious, fattening foods friends post on social media sites that make “it seem like their unhealthy eating patterns are the norm.”

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Trust Builds as We Age

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — There’s one expression every man has to learn when he reaches his golden years, namely, “Get off my lawn!”

Clint Eastwood notwithstanding, there is the perception that old men are naturally grumpy and cantankerous, whether they can help it or not.

Yet, Claudia Haase who heads Northwestern’s Life-Span Development Lab, says that something entirely different happens as people grow old and mature, which is that they become more trusting of others.

Partnering with researchers from the University of Buffalo, Haase and her team examined two studies, one involving 1,200 people from the U.S. and another massive study of close to 200,000 individuals form 83 countries.

What Haase concluded from looking at different age groups from a vast spectrum of cultures is that “levels of trust increase as people get older.” With perhaps a little grumpiness thrown in for good measure.

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Unemployed Young Adults At Increased Risk of Depression

dmitry zubarev/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Being unemployed and young may make you three times more likely to be depressed, a new study says.

Researchers at Emory University examined over 1,500 young adults and found a correlation between unemployment and mental health issues. The study, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease, notes that in the current economy one in five young adults are unemployed, which could be a public health concern.

Among the other risk factors researchers found for mental health were being female, not having a high school diploma, and not having health insurance.

Depression can lead to other disabilities, reduced quality of life and increased risk of certain physical health problems.

“Reducing the prevalence of depression during the transitional period of early adulthood may contribute to improved outcome throughout the lifespan,” researchers speculated.

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Healthcare Worker Being Monitored for Ebola at Nebraska Biocontainment Unit Released

Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images(OMAHA, Neb.) — A healthcare worker who had been admitted to the Biocontainment Unit at Nebraska Medicine was released on Thursday after exhibiting no symptoms of Ebola and returning multiple negative tests.

The individual, who was not identified, initially showed some symptoms of Ebola, and was taken to the unit “out of an abundance of caution,” a spoksperson for Nebraska Medicine said. Those symptoms cleared up by Monday morning and the patient was returned to on-campus housing at the medical center with four other individuals who are still being monitored for Ebola.

The five individuals were potentially exposed to the disease while working in Sierra Leone, and the person to whom they were exposed is currently being treated for Ebola at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

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