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Health Headlines

4-year-old who received new heart after waiting 1,025 days goes home from hospital

Texas Children's Hospital(NEW YORK) -- A 4-year-old girl was discharged from Texas Children's Hospital on Thursday after waiting on the organ transplant waiting list for 1,025 days, or nearly 3 years.The staff at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston lined the halls on April 18 to give 4-year-old Arctura, who received a donor heart on March 29, a celebratory send-off parade."I like my new heart," Arctura said ahead of her discharge, adding that she was looking forward to seeing "the ducks and the turtles" at the local park.Arctura's journey has been a long one. According to her parents and doctor, the 4-year-old was born with a congenital heart defect, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes is the most   ... Read More

Trans care restrictions force some families to travel hours, spend hundreds for treatment

Flavio Coelho/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Misty Stamm was working tirelessly to figure out the details: waking up early, the hourslong drives, booking hotels and finding doctors who could legally administer gender-affirming hormone therapy to her 16-year-old transgender daughter.Stamm is living in one of the 24 states where legislation is restricting gender-affirming health care for transgender youth, so she and parents like her must make long, expensive trips out of their home states to find the care their children need, according to a new report from the Southern Equality Research and Policy Center.“If we didn't have the care, I don't think she'd be alive,” said Stamm.Stamm, who lives in Tennessee, drove five hours to get her daughter to a gender clinic   ... Read More

Couples allege IVF provider destroyed their embryos in toxic solution: Lawsuit

Carlos Duarte/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Two couples have filed lawsuits against in vitro fertilization provider Ovation Fertility alleging its clinic destroyed their embryos when a lab employee wrongly used hydrogen peroxide instead of a sterile solution in an incubator.The couples allege that the clinic still used the embryos despite knowing they were nonviable. Neither woman got pregnant.In two nearly identical lawsuits filed on Thursday against Ovation Fertility in Newport Beach, California, two unnamed couples are asserting multiple claims, including negligent misrepresentation, fraud, negligence and medical battery. The couples are not revealing their names in the lawsuits to protect their privacy, according to the suits.Embryos belonging to likely dozens of patients were destroyed by hydrogen peroxide in the latter half of   ... Read More

ER visits for heat illness rose in 2023 amid record-breaking temperatures: CDC

SimpleImages/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Heat-related emergency room visits increased in 2023 in the U.S. compared to previous years, according to new federal data.Between Jan. 1, 2023 and Dec. 31, 2023, there were a total of 119,605 ER visits for heat-related illnesses, with 92% of those visits occurring between May and September, according to a report published Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.July and August had higher than average ER visits due to heat than other warm-season months, including May, June and September, according to the report, which looked at data of ER visits caused by heat in 2023 and compared it t visits between 2018 and 2022. These findings are "consistent with record-breaking temperatures observed … in   ... Read More

Evidence of racial disparities in health care reported in every US state: New report

ATU Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Racial and ethnic disparities in health care are evident in every state, even those with robust health systems, according to a new analysis from the Commonwealth Fund.In the analysis from the organization, which is aimed at promoting equitable health care, researchers found health system performance is markedly worse for many people of color compared to white people."Even among high performing states, we see significant disparities," Joseph Betancourt, M.D., president of the Commonwealth Fund, said in a report on the organization’s updated findings.Six states were found to have better-than-average health system performance among all racial or ethnic groups, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Hampshire and New York. However, even among these high-scoring health systems,   ... Read More

Consequences of aging, why we die explained by Nobel biologist

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Venki Ramakrishnan sat down with ABC News Live to discuss the science and ethics of extending the human lifespan.In his new book, "Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality," Ramakrishnan explains why we may not want to lengthen our lives much longer.Ramakrishnan's thought-provoking argument is that a society where people lived for hundreds of years could potentially become stagnant, as it would consist of the same group of people living longer, raising important questions about societal dynamics and progress.He discussed the cycle of life and why we die.ABC NEWS LIVE: If you think it might be wonderful to live forever, you may want to hear what a   ... Read More

Human infections from rat urine on the rise in New York City

Thir Sakdi Phu Cxm / EyeEm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released a health advisory after multiple cases of human leptospirosis -- an infection that is associated to exposure to rat urine -- have been reported so far this year in New York City.There were 24 cases of leptospirosis in the city in 2023, higher than in any prior year, according to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.However, in the first quarter of this year alone, there have already been six to date.“For comparison, the average number of locally acquired cases during 2021 to 2023 was 15 per year, and 3 cases per year during 2001 to 2020,” health officials   ... Read More

Melatonin makers urged to follow new packaging, labeling guidelines to protect kids

Grace Cary/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A trade association is calling on melatonin makers to follow new guidelines on labeling and packaging for their products amid a rise in emergency room visits and calls to poison centers for accidental ingestion of melatonin by children.The new guidelines, announced Monday by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which represents the dietary supplement and functional food industry, call for melatonin-containing products to be sold in child-deterrent packaging and to caution consumers on the label that the products are for intermittent use only, may cause drowsiness and should not be taken with alcohol.The guidelines also focus specifically on melatonin products that are sold in the shape of gummies, which can be more appealing to kids.The guidelines   ... Read More

What to know about the counterfeit, mishandled Botox injections causing harmful effects across US

CDC.gov(NEW YORK) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- alongside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and local and state health departments -- is continuing to investigate after 19 people across nine states have experienced harmful reactions after being given botulinum toxin injections.The injections were either counterfeit or administered by unlicensed or untrained individuals and/or in non-health care settings, including homes or spas, according to the CDC.On Tuesday, the FDA issued an alert to health care professionals and consumers that "unsafe counterfeit versions of Botox" were found in multiple states, warning that bogus or mishandled Botox products can lead to serious complications.What is Botox?Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein made from a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium   ... Read More

Kansas governor vetoes gender-affirming trans care ban

Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images(TOPEKA, Ks.) -- Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, vetoed a ban on gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth in the state."This divisive legislation targets a small group of Kansans by placing government mandates on them and dictating to parents how to best raise and care for their children," said Kelly in a veto message on Friday. "I do not believe that is a conservative value, and it's certainly not a Kansas value."She vetoed a similar bill almost one year ago, saying, "Companies have made it clear that they are not interested in doing business with states that discriminate against workers and their families."She continued, "By stripping away rights from Kansans and opening the state up to   ... Read More

Drug shortages hit record-high with hundreds in short supply: Pharmacists

Getty Images - STOCK(NEW YORK) -- Drug shortages have reached an all-time high in the United States, pharmacists are warning.During the first three months of 2024, there were 323 active medication shortages, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and Utah Drug Information Service. Previously, the record high was 320 shortages in 2014.This ASHP started tracking shortages in 2001."All drug classes are vulnerable to shortage," Dr. Paul Abramowitz, CEO of ASHP, said in a statement. "Some of the most worrying shortages involve generic sterile injectable medications, including cancer chemotherapy drugs and emergency medications stored in hospital crash carts and procedural areas."Last year, the American Cancer Society issued a warning that chemotherapy drugs had returned to the list of   ... Read More

What the trans care recommendations from the NHS England report mean

Getty Images - STOCK(LONDON) -- A new report commissioned by the National Health Service England advocates for further research on gender-affirming care for transgender youth and young adults.Dr. Hillary Cass, a former president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, was appointed by NHS England and NHS Improvement to chair the Independent Review of Gender Identity Services in 2020 amid a rise in referrals to NHS' gender services. Upon review, she advises "extreme caution" for the use of hormone therapies."It is absolutely right that children and young people, who may be dealing with a complex range of issues around their gender identity, get the best possible support and expertise throughout their care," Cass states in the report.Around 2022,   ... Read More

What juice sodas, prebiotic beverages a nutritionist would actually drink and why

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- From Whole Foods to corner bodegas, fizzy juice drinks from fruity seltzers to reduced-sugar sodas that boast prebiotic and digestive support have exploded in popularity.But what are the actual benefits of these juices and sodas?Registered dietitian and nutritionist Maya Feller joined ABC News' Good Morning America on Wednesday to weigh in on the canned beverage consumption trend."Flavored sparkling water like Spindrift is literally seltzer water and a splash of real fruit [juice, with] no sugar added or sugar substitutes," Feller said. "[Juice sodas] can have cane sugar and other juice concentrates."Feller said that Spindrift and other similar sparkling water with real fruit is a great option for consumers looking to enjoy a zero-added-sugar soda alternative, and   ... Read More

Eight-year-old viral social media star raises awareness for ARFID through food tastings

Family photo(NEW YORK) -- Eight-year-old Hannah is winning over audiences and raising awareness for a rare but serious disorder one bite at a time.Hannah, along with her mother Michelle, has gone viral with her Instagram videos where she tries out little bits of certain food for the first time. She samples everything from mac and cheese to different yogurts, and ranks them on a scale from 1 to 10.Some days honeydew melon has her fighting back tears; some days a taste of a sweet apple pear is followed by a smile.The videos have been a form of therapy for Hannah, who suffers from avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, or ARFID, a disorder where a person is afraid of food to   ... Read More

EPA announces first national standard limiting ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

d3sign/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday announced a new rule mandating the first-ever national standard for the presence of so-called "forever chemicals" in drinking water.The new standard limits six types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, found in drinking water -- a move the EPA says will protect around 100 million people from exposure."Today, I'm extremely excited to announce that we are finalizing the first ever nationwide, legally enforceable drinking water standard for PFAS -- the most significant action on PFAS the EPA has ever taken," EPA Administrator Michael Regan said during a call with reporters. "This standard will reduce PFAS exposure to approximately 100 million people."PFAS are a ubiquitous group of chemicals found in   ... Read More

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