Many people having a mental health crisis go to the emergency room. However, ER’s are not well equipped to handle them, and many patients are boarded there for hours or even days without treatment. Experts discuss the reasons for the failure, the outcomes it produces, and solutions that have been successful in limited trials.
Dr. Scott Zeller, Vice President of Acute Psychiatry, Vituity (formerly known as California Emergency Physicians)
Dr. Anne Zink, Medical Director for Emergency Medicine, Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, Plamer, AK
Heart disease is often preventable, but how people look at it often keeps them from doing as much about it as they could. Often this is a result of myth and misinformation. An expert physician discusses some of the most harmful of these myths.
A new study concludes that the number one public health threat to our lives isn’t smoking…. It’s a poor diet. The study in the journal The Lancet finds that 11 million people worldwide die every year because they’re eating too much of some things, and not enough of others. Too much salt and too few whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are the biggest offenders. Countries where people eat a so-called Mediterranean diet, including Israel, France, and Spain, have the fewest diet-related deaths, while the United States comes in 43rd.
If someone has what’s called rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder, odds are very high that they’ll develop Parkinson’s disease. But it may take years. A study in the journal Brain tracked people with REM sleep disorder and found that nearly three-quarters of them developed Parkinson’s within 12 years. REM sleep disorder causes violent acting out of dreams as the normal paralysis people experience in sleep is lost.
And finally, heart failure may be diagnosed soon using smart toilet seats. Scientists at the Rochester Institute of Technology have outfitted toilet seats with sensors that can detect heart failure through contact with the skin before any symptoms show up. The special toilet seats are intended for people who’ve already suffered a bout with heart failure and could be in serious trouble should it return.
Organ transplantation has dramatically changed lives and is raising hopes it could do even more for millions of people. But getting where we are has not been easy. A transplant surgeon traces the history of transplant research and notes the courage to fail among pioneering researchers and patients.
Dr. Josh Mezrich, Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and author, When Death Becomes Life: Notes From a Transplant Surgeon
Research shows that friends are the most powerful people in our lives, influencing our behavior, attitudes and health even more than our parents or spouses. An expert discusses the many ways friends determine our destinies.
Carlin Flora, author, Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are
Millions of Americans take a low-dose aspirin every day in hopes of preventing a heart attack or stroke. But now the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association say to stop taking it if you have no history of heart attack or stroke. The new recommendation comes in the wake of a major study showing that a daily aspirin does nothing to prolong life and increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Experts say doctors should limit aspirin to people at high heart risk who also have a low risk of bleeding.
Nobody likes to get caught in traffic caused by road repairs but a new study in the International Journal of Sustainable Transportationfinds that preventive road maintenance saves a lot of money, time, and pollution. Researchers say performing maintenance when a road is in its early failure stage ends up saving 10 to 30 percent in cost and saves drivers two to five percent in fuel consumption, tire wear, and vehicle repairs. Keeping roads in good shape also cuts greenhouse gases by as much as two percent.
Two Congressional plans, one from each side of the political spectrum, are competing to blow up the current healthcare system. Here experts examine one of them—the left’s bid to replace private insurers with a government-run single-payer plan labeled “Medicare for All.” Alternatives may include bolstering the Affordable Care Act, or getting rid of it completely.
Dr. Paul Ginsburg, Director, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy
Deborah Burger, RN, President, National Nurses United
Dr. Ken Thorpe, Professor of Health Policy, Emory University
Lauren Crawford Shaver, Executive Director, Partnership for America’s Health Care Future