Review Category : Health

Why It May Be Dangerous to Bundle Kids Up in Carseats

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Experts say bundling up children with puffy jackets and thick blankets in carseats can be a bad idea because they can leave them loose in an accident.

Phyllis Larimore with Children’s Mercy in Kansas City says babies should be tucked in with a blanket, but not near the head, to avoid obstructing air flow around the face.

Larimore also said down-filled coats can be dangerous if they leave a gap between the harness and the baby.

“What will happen in a crash is that crash force will collapse that, compress it, and the babies will be loose,” Larimore said.”

According to Larimore, better options are an extra layer of clothes, a blanket, or a Thinsulate jacket.

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Elisabeth Hasselbeck Reveals She Had an Abdominal Tumor

ABC(NEW YORK) — Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned to her post on Fox and Friends Friday after a month away. She also revealed the surprising reason for her absence.

“I had a tumor in my abdomen,” Hasselbeck explained. “[The] doctor said, ‘Look, you’ve got to get it out by the end of the month. We don’t like how it looks.’ I was facing something that potentially could have gone either way.”

“I did what they said, had a phenomenal surgeon, and I had a scary week where we didn’t know what the results were, but I’m okay,” she went on. “Everything came back okay. Surgery’s not fun, but it is necessary to find out if you have something really terrible in you or not. And thankfully I had the blessing of it not being cancer.”

Along with thanking Fox, the former View co-host thanked her husband, Tim, for his support and for being her “hospital buddy.”

She added, “I’m not a person who thinks or believes that I take a lot for granted, but I certainly don’t take it for granted now.”

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Are Women More Emotionally Intelligent than Men?

iStock/Thinkstock(SURREY, England) — Its been demonstrated throughout history that women are generally more emotionally intelligent than men. But why?

Scientists from the University of Surrey believe the answer lies in how parents communicate with their children as your emotional intelligence is largely formed when you’re a small child.

Specifically, lead author Dr. Harriet Tenenbaum says that mothers use more emotional words such as “happy,” “sad” and “worried” when they speak with their daughters as compared to their sons. According to Tenenbaum, mothers also converse in more emotional terms than fathers do.

Tenenbaum adds, “This inevitably leads to girls growing up more attuned to their emotions then boys” although it also reinforces gender stereotypes.

Nevertheless, Tenenbaum says emotional intelligence has been shown to be more and more valuable in the workplace “when it comes to positions such as sales, teams and leadership.”

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How Eating Raw Cookie Dough Led to One Mom’s Death, Son Recalls

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — His mother died an agonizing death, possibly because she ate a few bites of raw cookie dough years earlier.

Richard Simpson, of Las Vegas, recounted his mom’s painful battle with E. coli Thursday at an FDA hearing about stricter regulations on food production.

Linda Rivera died last summer, four years after she ate a few spoonfuls of prepackaged cookie dough that was later found to be contaminated with a dangerous strain of E. coli. First, her kidneys stopped functioning and she went into septic shock. Over the years, she became sicker as more organs failed and she was in and out of the hospital for operations.

“There were moments of hope — and of despair,” Simpson, 22, said Thursday. “She fought very hard. We knew she didn’t want to give up.”

Rivera died in July 2013 from medical complications that appeared to stem from the E. coli she was infected with years earlier, her son said.

“Eventually, her body just couldn’t take it,” said Bill Marler, Rivera’s friend and the attorney who handled her claim against Nestle, which manufactured the contaminated cookie dough in 2009.

“She was probably the most severely injured E. coli victim I have ever seen,” he added. “She suffered brain injury. She had quite a large section of her large intestines removed. She suffered so many infections while hospitalized it was incredible. She was on a ventilator for several months in a coma. She was a very sick lady.”

“I remember the first time I met Linda, she was vomiting and retching and she was really sick, but she would apologize — ‘I am so sorry, please sit down, do you need anything to drink?'” Marler said. “That’s just the way she was. She was just the most graceful, caring person you can ever meet.”

Simpson, who recently got married, said he’s fighting for stricter food regulations so another son doesn’t have to testify about his mother’s eventual death after she ate contaminated food.

“She wanted as much peace in this world as possible,” he said of his mother. “I feel like I was put here in this position, for some reason, to help other people.”

The panel was to discuss proposed changes to the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, including updates that could help prevent the spread of bacteria including E. coli.

Nestle recalled its pre-made Toll House cookie dough in 2009 after dozens of E. coli illnesses were reported.

Rivera’s claim against the company was settled for an undisclosed amount, Marler said. ABC News has reached out to Nestle for comment.

Dr. William Schaffner, a professor at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, said Rivera’s long battle with E. coli is rare, but pointed out that it’s not the bacteria that ultimately killed her.

“She never really recovered completely from her initial illness, and then developed a series of medical complications,” he said.

Simpson, who recently bought a house with his new wife, said he knows his mom would be proud of him if she were alive today.

“I know she’s looking down and guiding me,” he said. “Emotionally, she’s here with me and I see signs everywhere. Like right now, I just saw a cup on a table that I have at my house that my mom had bought me two and a half years ago. That’s the exact same cup my mom bought me. I see that all the time.”

“I was always a mama’s boy,” he added.

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Meet the Men Having Sex with Strangers to Help Them Have Babies

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Once upon a time, when single women and infertile couples wanted a baby, they would pay a sperm bank to help them. Sometimes it costs thousands of dollars for a successful pregnancy.

But now, those services have gone online, and at the click of a mouse, donors make their sperm available by offering to have sex for free. It’s a surprising — and some say unconventional — method of making a baby called “natural insemination.”

Donors connect with women on the Internet who want to become mothers “the natural way,” because the recipients believe having sex maximizes their potential for getting pregnant.

ABC News’ 20/20 talked to one sperm donor who calls himself “Joe” and says he’s fathered more than 30 children.

“I’m not having intercourse with these women when there’s no chance of pregnancy,” he said.

Joe, a married man with three teenage children, asked 20/20 to hide his identity because of the double life he said he leads online as a “natural” sperm donor. He said his wife doesn’t know about his extracurricular activities, but he has written a book about his experiences entitled, Get Pregnant for Free on the Internet with a Private Sperm Donor.

“I have a Clark Kent life. Then, I have the Superman life,” Joe said. “People might want to have millions of dollars in the bank, and then, you know, some of us might want to have dozens of children out there.”

When he is not working as an Internet entrepreneur, Joe travels around the country to impregnate women from every walk of life. Sometimes Joe ships his sperm for artificial insemination, but he often donates by having sex.

After seven years, Joe said he has slept with over 100 women for natural insemination.

“I’m unable to have as many children as I want in my relationship, and that would be unreasonable to ask a woman to give birth to 30 children,” said Joe.

When asked how many children he expected to have over his lifetime, Joe’s answer was surprising.

“The World Health Organization said I can get up to 2,500, but I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime. The other donors I know who have a lot [of children] are up there around the 100 range. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.”

“I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have another descendant out there,” Joe said. “It’s not the road. It’s how we get there, if we actually get there.”

Kyle Gordy is also a donor. In addition to pursuing his master’s degree in accounting, he offers his sperm for free to women who want a baby.

“I don’t do any drugs. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t drink caffeine. I eat only sperm-friendly food: wheat, brown rice…fruit and vegetables,” Gordy told 20/20.

The 23-year-old said he has what it takes to be anyone’s father.

“Right now I’m attending university. Both siblings are engineers. The nuclear engineer is my twin. My grandpa was a scientist,” said Gordy.

On his online advertisement to be a sperm donor, Gordy posted photos of himself as a child and as an adult and information about himself, including his hair color and IQ.

No question is off limits for prospective sperm recipients who contact Gordy, who’s been asked: “‘Is your sperm good? Have you had success in the past? How do I know you’re going to get me pregnant? How do I know you won’t flake?’”

While he doesn’t get paid for donating his sperm, Gordy said his purpose is not about sex, but about creating new life.

“I’m passing on my legacy and giving these people kids,” Gordy said.

In fact, Gordy said his first child was born recently. “I feel like, wow, I did it,” said Gordy.

One of Gordy’s sperm recipients, 44-year-old Serena, asked 20/20 to conceal her identity. She recently drove two hours to be naturally inseminated by Gordy at his home. Serena said she’s never been married and longs for a child.

“Always, since I was a very young child, and sometimes career and life just gets in the way,” the insurance broker told 20/20. “Then oops, I’m 38. Oops, I’m 40.”

Though she’s thought about going the traditional route and getting married, Serena said dating is difficult.

“I don’t care if I have a husband or a man, I just want the child,” said Serena.

Serena was also unable to afford the fees at a sperm clinic. Sperm banks such as California Cryobank have strict standards screening for disease, genetic history and even physical characteristics. A vial of sperm costs about $700.

After turning to the Internet for help, Serena said the words “free sperm” led her to Gordy.

“[I felt] that there’s maybe no other alternative for me. My clock is obviously ticking loud and louder every day,” she said.

Serena will also soon find out if she’s a mother at last. She said she’s prepared for what she will say to her child about his or her father.

“Kyle and I like to think of ourselves as friends too,” Serena said. “My friend is my donor.”

Serena is just one of many other women online eager to become pregnant. Another natural insemination recipient already has a 4-year-old son, but wanted another child. After she split from her boyfriend, she began searching for options.

“I think just always growing up thinking I’d find the right man and always had that fairy tale growing up,” the woman told 20/20. “Hopefully, I find the right man, eventually, but maybe he won’t be the biological father of my children.”

Three tries with artificial insemination where she inserted donor sperm herself failed, so she tried natural insemination.

“I had read a couple of books that talked about fresh semen being a lot more effective than frozen sperm,” the woman said.

She said she found hundreds of men online to choose from, but she chose a man who advertised his “intelligence.” The two met at a local coffee shop.

“I thought he was cute,” the woman said. “But, yet, I had to keep reminding myself, ‘This is a donor, not a date.’”

They had sex only once, but she is still deeply affected by the memory as she waits to find out whether she is pregnant.

“I felt it was sad, at least for me, but it’s the route I’ve chosen,” the woman said. “And I want my son to have a sibling, most of all.”

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, Nov. 14, at 10 p.m. ET.

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Why this Doctor Is Bringing Back House Calls

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Dr. Ernest Brown often gets recognized as he walks down Washington, D.C. streets in his blue scrubs with his black doctor’s bag in hand. He’s the family physician who, for eight years, has only made house calls, doesn’t have an office, doesn’t take health insurance and doesn’t take payment until the patient is well.

“For me, medicine is a calling. It’s not just a career choice,” the 46-year-old told ABC News.

Brown was inspired to make house calls in medical school when he watched an older doctor perch on the edge of a patient’s bed, discharge her and promise to go see her in a week. He eventually asked to learn under that doctor, and soon, it was just the two of them driving around the city, treating patients.

After school, he started visiting elderly patients in a low-income neighborhood of Washington, D.C. His colleagues asked him if he was worried about his safety.

“My car did get shot at once, and I did get mugged once,” he said, adding that the experience made him a better doctor. “It’s all part of the story and the history of it.”

But Brown didn’t just want to treat elderly patients at home, he said. And he was finding that Medicare paperwork was taking him two hours a day.

“I wanted to be the old-school family physician [so] that I treated everyone from what we call sunrise to sunset,” he said.

It happened out of the blue, when a friend working at a hotel said he had a famous guest who was sick and needed a doctor. Brown treated the patient, and soon, other hotels started calling him. Then, his reputation spread through word of mouth to families in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Now, Brown says he can afford to treat geriatric patients for free.

He said his patients are like family.

“It’s a connection. A physician back in the day was part of a community,” he said, adding that modern medicine has lost that. “What I see is a divide between patient and physician that’s only getting worse, devoid of the heart and soul.”

Home health physicians are on the rise, said Constance Row, executive director of the American Academy of Home Care Medicine.

There were more than 10,500 home health care workers in the United States in 2012, Row said, citing Medicare data. Brown would not be included in that figure because he no longer takes Medicare.

Brown said he hopes other family doctors will join him, someday. He thinks family medicine is on the decline, and the answer may be to go into work doing house calls.

“We are the white rhinos,” he said. “We need to get back into the community and give ourselves the opportunity.”

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TV Viewing Could Reveal Symptoms of Glaucoma

Hemera/Thinkstock(LONDON) — How you watch TV could indicate whether you’re suffering from the debilitating eye disease glaucoma.

That’s according to City University London Professor David Crabb, who says that glaucoma, a disease affecting 65 million people worldwide, can be detected by a map of eye movements during the viewing of a movie.

Crabb and his team studied a group of elderly people with both healthy vision and those diagnosed with glaucoma as they watched TV and film clips.

Through a device that tracked eye movements, researchers were able to verify those with unaffected vision and the others with glaucoma, which causes loss of peripheral vision and in some cases, blindness.

Crabb says that although more testing needs to be done, this way of diagnosing glaucoma could help get people treatment early since once the damage is done to the eyes, it cannot be reversed.

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Couple That Lost Twin Baby Weds at Bedside of Surviving Infant

WFAA(FORT WORTH, Texas) — A Texas couple coping with the loss of one of their twin babies got married at the bedside of the surviving infant in an emotional hospital ceremony.

Kristi and Justin Nelson said their vows Tuesday at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth next to their 2-month-old son, J.J., who was dressed in a tuxedo onesie and served as the ring bearer.

“We couldn’t leave him out of our wedding,” Kristi Nelson told ABC News Wednesday.

“It was a dream come true,” she added. “I could not have wished for it to be any more perfect. The main thing was having our son there by our side. It meant the world to us.”

She gave birth to J.J. on Sept. 2, but his twin was stillborn. J.J. survived, but was premature and only weighed 1 pound and 13 ounces at birth. J.J. has remained at the hospital’s NICU since birth because his lungs are underdeveloped, but his parents hope they can take him home soon. He’s already tripled in size, his mom said.

“He’s definitely made some improvements and he is a fighter,” she said.

The couple’s family and their 8-year-old daughter joined them for the one-of-a-kind wedding, the first time anyone has married at the hospital, while the rings balanced on J.J.’s chest.

“After losing our baby Colt, J.J.’s twin, we decided that we’ve been putting it off for too long and with him getting stronger, we wanted to share this day and include him in it as well,” Nelson said.

Her wedding dress was donated and the couple borrowed J.J.’s tuxedo onesie from a friend.

The couple says the ordeal has only made them stronger.

“We’ve had great times and we’ve definitely been through some very tragic and hard times,” Nelson said. “Our love has only grown and made us stronger. We know that after all we’ve been through, there’s no doubt that we can make it through anything.”

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For Some, Moderate Drinking Defends Against Coronary Heart Disease

iStock/Thinkstock(GOTHENBURG, Sweden) — A new study out of Sweden has good news and bad news for those who enjoy drinking alcohol in moderation.

Researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg say that people can protect themselves from coronary heart disease, which is shrinking of vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, through moderate alcohol consumption.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it only works for 15 percent of the population, which has a particular genotype, that is, the genetic make-up of cells.

Alone, neither moderate drinking nor the genotype defend against coronary heart disease. The protective effect occurs when the two are combined.

Although the researchers aren’t sure why this happens, they believe it might have to do healthy, protective antioxidants in alcohol.

Moderate drinking is usually defined as one alcoholic beverage per day for women, two for men.

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The Bigger the Age Gap in Marriage, the Greater the Chance of Divorce

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There’s a reason why a lot of May-December marriages don’t work out and data scientist Randy Olson says the answer is pretty simple to explain.

After studying the various make-or-break factors of a marriage, Olson concluded that the more years that separate spouses age-wise, the greater the likelihood these unions won’t last.

In an analysis of 3,000 marriages in the U.S., many of which are now history, Olson found that an age separation of as little as five years translates into an 18 percent greater chance of divorce compared to people of the same age.

If there’s a 20-year gap, the chance of divorce grows as much as 95 percent, says Olson.

He explains that what usually breaks up the marriage are often incompatible differences in life experiences. For instance, someone who grew up in the 80s might find it hard to relate to a person who went through their growing pains during the Internet age.

There is one thing that does seem to help bridge this gap, according to Olson, and that’s having a baby, which reduces the chance of divorce by 76 percent.

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