Review Category : Health

Adam Sandler Calls 8-Year-Old Fan with Leukemia

ABC/Randy Holmes(LOS ANGELES) — After a family friend wrote a blog post in which he tried to connect his friend’s 8-year-old son battling leukemia with the boy’s idol, Adam Sandler literally came calling.

In late July, John Kinnear wrote a sweet note about Jeff Lynch, whom he worked with in 2004, and his son Grady, who was diagnosed with Leukemia in February.

“He has a long, rough road ahead of him, but with the support of his awesome family and his doctors, I am confident he is going to kick cancer’s butt,” he wrote on AskYourDad.com.

Kinnear works with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and he wrote on July 24, “This time I’m not asking for any money, just for you to use your personal reach to get a message out.”

Grady’s wish?

“Grady wants to have a low-key BBQ and eat a kosher hot dog with Adam Sandler,” he added, posting a video of the boy inviting Sandler to a barbecue. “So anyway, just a shot in the dark, do any of you know Sandler or someone who knows Sandler, or someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows Sandler. If you do, would you mind showing them this video?”

So guess what happened — Sandler got in touch with the boy and gave him a call.

“Adam Sandler’s people reached out to me earlier today and we were able to get them hooked up with Jeff and his wife Carry. Adam was fantastic and called Grady directly this evening, the two of them hit it off and had a great conversation! Here is a pic of Grady on the phone with his hero! Thank you all for your help in getting this out there. You are all awesome!” reads an update on the blog, along with a picture of Grady smiling wide.

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New York City Hospital Treating Potential Ebola Patient

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City is treating a possible Ebola patient who recently traveled to West Africa, hospital officials said.

The patient arrived at the hospital’s emergency room early Monday morning with “a high fever and gastrointestinal symptoms,” according to a statement from the hospital. The patient has been isolated and is undergoing diagnostic testing.

“All necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff,” the hospital said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with federal, state and city health officials to address and monitor this case, keep the community informed and provide the best quality care to all of our patients.”

ABC News chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser said the patient’s symptoms don’t necessarily point to Ebola, but Mount Sinai was following precautionary recommendations sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

“Many things cause fever and gastrointestinal symptoms,” Besser said. “The steps they are taking are wise given the travel history, but nothing about the symptoms is specific to Ebola.”

The death toll of the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone has climbed to 887, according to the World Health Organization. In all, 1,603 people have been infected.

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How Did US Ebola Patients Get Experimental Drug?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Desperate to save the American Ebola patients in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse started researching experimental treatments last week, according to an official at the National Institutes of Health.

The organization called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which referred them to an NIH employee deployed in Africa who would be familiar with the treatments.

“She was able to answer some questions and referred them to appropriate company and embassy contacts to pursue their interest in obtaining experimental product,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

He added that the NIH employee was not working in any official capacity for the NIH at the time. She was working for a team led by CDC and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

When the vials arrived, those caring for Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol could not tell if there would be enough of the experimental drug for both of them. Brantly said Writebol should get the dose first, but soon his condition worsened and doctors gave him the first dose. Doctors realized there was enough for both of them and gave Writebol the second dose shortly thereafter.

Within 20 minutes to an hour after getting the drug, Brantly “improved dramatically.”

Brantly was flown from Liberia to Emory University Medical Center over the weekend for supportive care, where he shocked doctors by walking into the hospital.

Writebol is expected to fly out Tuesday, and her appetite has reportedly improved.

“Her husband, David, told me Sunday her appetite has improved and she requested one of her favorite dishes — Liberian potato soup — and coffee,” Bruce Johnson, president of Writebol’s missionary group SIM USA, said in a statement.

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Liberia’s Medical Conditions Dire Even Before Ebola Outbreak

Stephen Harris/Liberiamovie.org(NEW YORK) — Ebola has run rampant throughout West African countries such as Liberia because the medical situation there is so dire to begin with, according to an American doctor who leads humanitarian missions into the region.

“The health care system and infrastructure are very poor,” said Dr. Anne Marie Beddoe, a gynecologist with Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City. “Handling an outbreak of this magnitude only highlights the deficiencies in personnel and equipment.”

Liberia, a country of four million people, has only 37 practicing doctors, according to Beddoe and health officials.

Beddoe said that when she and her husband, Dr. Peter Dottino, who is also a gynecologist, took their first trip to Liberia in 2008 they were shocked to see the state of the medical facilities there. The JFK Medical Center in the capital city of Sinkor, once considered a center of excellence in West Africa, was left outdated and crumbling after withstanding a 30-year civil war.

“Most of the hospital’s windows were broken, the paint was peeling and walls were crumbling,” Beddoe noted. “In the entire hospital there was one working bathroom and a few functional sinks on the patient floors.”

The Mt. Sinai team was forced to set up a woman’s oncology clinic in one of the hospital’s tiny supply closets because there was no other space available. Beddoe said that there were 20 patients packed into each room and a waiting list for admission. She also noted there is only one practicing gynecologist in the entire country.

Beddoe said that families of hospital patients bring their own food and bed linens. Most patients cannot afford medication because it is typically only available on the black market at astronomical prices. The hospital, she said, does not have the funds to provide these basic necessities.

Lack of medical resources diminishes the chances of survival, Beddoe said.

Of the 500,000 cases of cervical cancer diagnosed each year, 85 percent of them are in developing countries such as Liberia, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Beddoe estimated that nearly 80 percent of her Liberian cervical cancer patients eventually succumb to the disease. Here in the U.S., where screening and early medical intervention are routine, survival rate is quite high, the NIH reports.

The Liberian government is trying to address the crisis, Beddoe said. During the civil war that ended in 2003, the country’s only medical school was forced to close for long stretches and it took an average of eight years for students to graduate. But now, Beddoe said, a class of about 20 students is on track to graduate in 2016 and spend three years learning a medical specialty.

With the help of the Mt. Sinai team, a local doctor was able to open a tiny one-room chemotherapy clinic a few blocks from the hospital in 2012.

Beddoe and Dottino teamed up with Stephen Harris, a musician turned physician, to film Lay Your Trouble Down, a documentary that shows their efforts to treat patients in Liberia and get the clinic up and running.

Beddoe said part of her team’s mission is to build awareness for the challenges the country faces in offering even standard health care, let alone controlling a medical crisis like Ebola.

“If you went and you saw it, you would have to do something, you couldn’t walk away and do nothing,” she said.

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How Did US Ebola Patients Get Experimental Serum?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Desperate to save the American Ebola patients in Liberia, Samaritan’s Purse started researching experimental treatments last week, according to an official at the National Institutes of Health.

The organization called the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which referred them to an NIH employee deployed in Africa who would be familiar with the treatments.

“She was able to answer some questions and referred them to appropriate company and embassy contacts to pursue their interest in obtaining experimental product,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

He added that the NIH employee was not working in any official capacity for the NIH at the time. She was working for a team led by CDC and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

When the vials arrived, those caring for Dr. Kent Brantly and missionary Nancy Writebol could not tell if there would be enough of the serum for both of them. Brantly said Writebol should get the dose first, but soon his condition worsened and doctors gave him the first dose. Doctors realized there was enough for both of them and gave Writebol the second dose shortly thereafter.

Within 20 minutes to an hour after getting the serum, Brantly “improved dramatically.”

Brantly was flown from Liberia to Emory University Medical Center over the weekend for supportive care, where he shocked doctors by walking into the hospital.

Writebol is expected to fly out Tuesday, and her appetite has reportedly improved.

“Her husband, David, told me Sunday her appetite has improved and she requested one of her favorite dishes — Liberian potato soup — and coffee,” Bruce Johnson, president of Writebol’s missionary group SIM USA, said in a statement.

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‘Dumb Idea': Teen Burned in Fire Challenge Warns Others

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Videos on YouTube are revealing a disturbing trend: the so-called fire challenge.

Teenagers are setting themselves on fire and posting the video as a social media stunt.

It has become so popular that a quick YouTube search for the term “fire challenge” turned up tens of thousands of videos.

In the videos, teens typically apply flammable liquid to their bodies, then flick a lighter. They quickly douse the flames before they can be hurt, but not everyone is quick enough.

Fernando Valencia did the challenge and ended up burning his waist and neck. Now he’s sounding the alarm, and has posted video of his burns as a warning.

Valencia, 16, told ABC News affiliate KABC-TV in Los Angeles that he couldn’t see through the flames on his body.

“You just see fire, you can’t really see nothing,” he said. “Since I saw other people fail, I thought I could do the same thing but actually last longer under the flame…I can’t really say nothing else besides it was a dumb idea.”

Similar attempts by other teens have resulted in emergency room visits all over the country, and authorities are urging parents to pay attention.

“We’re just asking parents and even other teenagers to sit down with each other and talk about what the real consequences are,” Micki Trost of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control told ABC News’ Denver affiliate KMGH-TV.

The trauma of a stunt gone wrong can be more than physical. Some experts say teens can find it hard to rid their minds of the images of fire.

“It can create this feeling of risk that can be exciting in the moment, but then can also make some of the kids that we see have trouble with sleeping,” Brad Jackson, a child psychologist with the burn unit at Children’s Hospital Colorado, told KMGH. “They often become more fearful about other situations where they might be at high risk.”

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More Sex Education Advised for Younger Adolescents

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A Georgetown University study suggests that policy makers, schools and parents across the world are falling down on the job when it comes to giving children accurate and useful sex education.

Authors Susan M. Igras, Marjorie Macieira, Elaine Murphy and Rebecka Lundgren say that younger adolescents, defined as those between ten and 14, from lower- and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies and STDs, noting that they’ve increased significantly over the past quarter century in these parts of the world.

Therefore, the researchers say that much more needs to be done to instruct younger adolescents about their sexual and reproductive health, including those in the U.S.

Adults are also being advised to get over their fear of talking to their kids about sexual matters since they worry it could lead to experimentation.

The researchers conclude, “If programs…are implemented at a time when adolescents are still malleable and relatively free of sexual and reproductive health problems and gender role biases, very young adolescents can be guided safely through this life stage, supported by their parents, families and communities.”

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More Sex Education Advised for Younger Adolescents

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — A Georgetown University study suggests that policy makers, schools and parents across the world are falling down on the job when it comes to giving children accurate and useful sex education.

Authors Susan M. Igras, Marjorie Macieira, Elaine Murphy and Rebecka Lundgren say that younger adolescents, defined as those between ten and 14, from lower- and middle-income countries are particularly vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies and STDs, noting that they’ve increased significantly over the past quarter century in these parts of the world.

Therefore, the researchers say that much more needs to be done to instruct younger adolescents about their sexual and reproductive health, including those in the U.S.

Adults are also being advised to get over their fear of talking to their kids about sexual matters since they worry it could lead to experimentation.

The researchers conclude, “If programs…are implemented at a time when adolescents are still malleable and relatively free of sexual and reproductive health problems and gender role biases, very young adolescents can be guided safely through this life stage, supported by their parents, families and communities.”

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Sure, I Know That Song…What’s It Called?

Blend Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Like Al Bundy trying to remember the name of his favorite song from high school in a famous episode from Married with Children, we’ve all been stuck trying to recall the title of a tune or movie. Nowadays, you can always Google the answer but an even better method is simply asking your spouse or some other loved one.

According to a study published in the journal Memory Studies, working together on trying to remember something either important or trivial is generally more effective than doing it on your own.

For instance, couples got to the answer faster when they tried to remember the name of a musical they saw. The same was true when it came to remembering detailed descriptions of certain events they shared.

The researchers did note that when couples tried to recall words from studied lists, they did as well independently as they did together.

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Sure, I Know That Song…What’s It Called?

Blend Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Like Al Bundy trying to remember the name of his favorite song from high school in a famous episode from Married with Children, we’ve all been stuck trying to recall the title of a tune or movie. Nowadays, you can always Google the answer but an even better method is simply asking your spouse or some other loved one.

According to a study published in the journal Memory Studies, working together on trying to remember something either important or trivial is generally more effective than doing it on your own.

For instance, couples got to the answer faster when they tried to remember the name of a musical they saw. The same was true when it came to remembering detailed descriptions of certain events they shared.

The researchers did note that when couples tried to recall words from studied lists, they did as well independently as they did together.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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