Health

Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation
Health

Severe Frostbite Gets a Treatment That May Prevent Amputation

The first time Dr. Peter Hackett saw a patient with frostbite, the man died from his wounds. It was in Chicago in 1971, and the man had gotten drunk and passed out in the snow, his fingers so frozen that gangrene eventually set in.Dr. Hackett later worked at Mount Everest Basecamp, on Denali, Alaska, and now in Colorado, becoming expert in treating cold-weather injury. The experience was often the same: There was not much to do about frostbite, except rewarm the patient, give aspirin, amputate in severe cases and, more often, wait and accept that six months later the patient’s body might “auto-amputate” by naturally shedding a dead finger or toe.His mentor in Anchorage used to say, “Frostbite January, Amputation July,” remembered Dr. Hackett, clinical professor at the Altitude Research Cen...
Hydeia Broadbent, H.I.V. and AIDS Activist, Dies at 39
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Hydeia Broadbent, H.I.V. and AIDS Activist, Dies at 39

Hydeia Broadbent, who was born with H.I.V. and as a child became a leading voice in raising awareness about the virus and AIDS, died on Tuesday at her home in Las Vegas. She was 39.Her father, Loren Broadbent, confirmed the death. He did not cite the cause.Ms. Broadbent was 6 years old when she began telling of her struggle with H.I.V. on television, aiming to educate the public amid an epidemic that produced panic and stigma. Even when new treatments dramatically improved the long-term outcomes for people with H.I.V., she stressed that there was no cure and that infection was a life sentence, and she urged people to prevent its spread.In 1992, when she was 7, Ms. Broadbent was interviewed on Nickelodeon in a special program featuring Magic Johnson, the basketball star, who, after his own ...
Alabama Rules Frozen Embryos Are Children, Raising Questions About Fertility Care
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Alabama Rules Frozen Embryos Are Children, Raising Questions About Fertility Care

An Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that frozen embryos in test tubes should be considered children has sent shock waves through the world of reproductive medicine, casting doubt over fertility care for would-be parents in the state and raising complex legal questions with implications extending far beyond Alabama.On Tuesday, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said the ruling would cause “exactly the type of chaos that we expected when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and paved the way for politicians to dictate some of the most personal decisions families can make.”Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as President Biden traveled to California, Ms. Jean-Pierre reiterated the Biden administration’s call for Congress to codify the protections of Roe v. Wade into...
How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health
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How Sleep Affects Your Mood: The Link Between Insomnia and Mental Health

It started with mild anxiety.Emily, who asked to be identified only by her first name because she was discussing her mental health, had just moved to New York City after graduate school, to start a marketing job at a big law firm.She knew it was normal to feel a little on edge. But she wasn’t prepared for what came next: chronic insomnia.Operating on only three or four hours of sleep, it didn’t take long for her anxiety to ramp up: At 25, she was “freaking nervous all the time. A wreck.”When a lawyer at her firm yelled at her one day, she experienced the first of many panic attacks. At a doctor’s suggestion, she tried taking a sleeping pill, in the hopes that it might “reset” her sleep cycle and improve her mood. It didn’t work.Americans are chronically sleep deprived: one-third of adults ...
Old and Young, Talking Again
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Old and Young, Talking Again

On Fridays at 10 a.m., Richard Bement and Zach Ahmed sign on to their weekly video chat. The program that brought them together provides online discussion prompts and suggests arts-related activities, but the two largely ignore all that.“We just started talking about things that were important to us,” said Mr. Ahmed, 19, a pre-med student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.Since the pair met more than a year ago, conversation topics have included: Pink Floyd, in a long exploration led by Mr. Bement, 76, a retired sales manager in Milford Township, Ohio; their religious faiths (the senior conversation partner is Episcopalian; the younger is Muslim); their families; changing gender norms; and poetry, including Mr. Ahmed’s own efforts.“There’s this fallacy that these two generations can’t co...
More Young People Are on Multiple Psychiatric Drugs, Study Finds
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More Young People Are on Multiple Psychiatric Drugs, Study Finds

The NewsGrowing numbers of children and adolescents are being prescribed multiple psychiatric drugs to take simultaneously, according to a new study in the state of Maryland. The phenomenon is increasing despite warnings that psychotropic drug combinations in young people have not been tested for safety or studied for their impact on the developing brain.The study, published Friday in JAMA Open Network, looked at the prescribing patterns among patients 17 or younger enrolled in Medicaid in Maryland from 2015 to 2020. In this group, there was a 9.5 percent increase in the prevalence of “polypharmacy,” which the study defined as taking three or more different classes of psychiatric medications, including antidepressants, mood-stabilizing anticonvulsants, sedatives and drugs for A.D.H.D. and ...
US Agencies Start Inquiry Into Generic Drug Shortages
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US Agencies Start Inquiry Into Generic Drug Shortages

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services said on Wednesday that they would examine the causes of generic drug shortages and the practices of “powerful middlemen” that are involved in the supply chain.The federal agencies’ inquiry is aimed at the group purchasing organizations and drug distributors that have been in the spotlight in recent months as drug shortages reached a 10-year peak. The agencies want to examine the companies’ influence on how the drugs are sold to hospitals and other health facilities, assessing whether the middlemen put pressure on pricing and manufacturing that led to breakdowns.During Congressional hearings in the last year, oncology experts have testified about the effects of the shortages, describing difficult decisions that for...
Brooke Ellison, Prominent Disability Rights Advocate, Is Dead at 45
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Brooke Ellison, Prominent Disability Rights Advocate, Is Dead at 45

Brooke Ellison, who after being paralyzed from the neck down by a childhood car accident went on to graduate from Harvard and became a professor and a devoted disability rights advocate, died on Sunday in Stony Brook, N.Y., on Long Island. She was 45.Her death, in a hospital, was caused by complications of quadriplegia, her mother, Jean Ellison, said.As an 11-year-old, Brooke had been taking karate, soccer, cello and dance lessons and singing in a church choir. But on Sept. 4, 1990, she was struck by a car while running across a road near her home in Stony Brook. Her skull, her spine and almost every major bone in her body were fractured.After waking from a 36-hour coma, she spent six weeks in the hospital and eight months in a rehabilitation center. And for the rest of her life she was de...
Memory Loss Requires Careful Diagnosis, Scientists Say
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Memory Loss Requires Careful Diagnosis, Scientists Say

A lengthy report by the Department of Justice on President Biden’s handling of classified documents contained some astonishing assessments of his well-being and mental health.Mr. Biden, 81, was an “elderly man with a poor memory” and “diminished faculties” who “did not remember when he was vice president,” the special counsel Robert K. Hur said.In conversations recorded in 2017, Mr. Biden was “often painfully slow” and “struggling to remember events and straining at times to read and relay his own notebook entries.” So impaired was Mr. Biden that a jury was unlikely to convict him, Mr. Hur said.Republicans were quick to pounce, some calling the president unfit for office and demanding his removal.But while the report disparaged Mr. Biden’s mental health, medical experts on Friday noted tha...