Medical campaigns account for a third of monies raised on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe, and many people who’ve fallen through the holes of the safety net have been helped this way. But new studies show that fraud is rampant in crowdfunding, with fake patients and medical providers who all too eager to take money for worthless treatment. Experts discuss these issues and the need for regulation.
Dr. Jeremy Snyder, Professor of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Art Caplan, head, Division of Medical Ethics, New York University School of Medicine
Dr. Nora Kenworthy, Assitant Professor of Nursing and Health Studies, University of Washington-Bothell
During the holidays, leftovers from gatherings and parties may threaten to take over the refrigerator. An expert discusses consumer-friendly how-to’s, including how to read labels, that can lengthen food life and help avoid food waste.
Karen Bakies, registered dietitian and Vice President of Nutrition Affairs, American Dairy Association Mideast
Millions of people take low dose aspirin in hopes of warding off a heart attack. Millions more take omega-3 fish oil supplements in part for the same reason. But a pair of studies in the Lancet and TheNew England Journal of Medicine show that if you’re healthy and haven’t had a heart attack already… neither one will do you much good. In both studies, heart events were virtually the same as for people taking a placebo. And those taking aspirin had nearly twice the stomach bleeding… and a lot more indigestion.
People who’ve suffered a terrible loss often suffer worse health afterward. Now scientists have tracked one reason. A study at Rice University shows that people suffering from severe grief experience as much as 53 percent higher levels of inflammation throughout the body compared to normal people, and that outward signs of depression are no guide to the inflammation going on inside. Researchers say inflammation contributes to almost every disease in older people… especially heart attack and stroke.
And finally… some people consider attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder to be a disability. But a study in The Journal of Creative Behavior finds that in some fields, like marketing, product design, and technology, having ADHD is an asset to employment. Researchers find that people with ADHD resist conformity and ignore typical information. In short, they much more easily think outside the box.
With monitors surveying every part of patients’ bodies, hospital intensive care units appear to be a model of high tech. But systems engineers say ICU’s are actually models of inefficiency because few of those high tech devices talk to each other. Experts discuss how ICU’s could be improved to save lives.
Dr. Peter Pronovost, Senior Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality, Johns Hopkins Medicine and Director, Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality
Dr. Brian Pickering, intensive care anesthesiologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
During the holidays, party foods are a prime source of food-borne illness. Two food scientists discuss common ways foods become contaminated, some of the myths of food contamination, and ways to keep foods safe when you have guests to protect.
Dr. Brian Sheldon, Professor Emeritus of Food Microbiology, North Carolina State University and co-author, Did You Just Eat That?
Dr. Paul Dawson, Professor of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Clemson University and co-author, Did You Just Eat That?
Skin cancer death rates around the world have skyrocketed over the last 30 years… and almost all of the increase is among men. A study presented to the World Congress of Cancers of the Skin shows that among the world’s 18 richest nations, men’s skin cancer deaths have risen by at least 50 percent in eight of them. Among women, the increase is much more modest and in some countries, women’s skin cancer deaths are in decline. Researchers say it appears that men are much less likely to protect themselves against the sun.
People with autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, systemic lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis have a higher heart attack risk than others… and now doctors believe they’ve found one reason. A study in the journal Cell Metabolism finds that the culprit is an overabundance of an immune molecule called IL-17. Researchers say the molecule prompts the walls of the blood vessels to store too much collagen… trapping cholesterol and making the blood vessels stiff. A number of drugs which target the immune molecule are already on the market.
And finally… if you’ve ever been to the emergency room in a lot of pain, you’ve probably had to choose your pain level based on the “smiley face” scale. But now doctors are working on a more objective measure of pain. A study presented to the Society for Neuroscience shows that using scalp electrodes and an EEG to measure specific brain waves is much more accurate, and could help people to more quickly get the pain medication they need.
Many people who have chronic recurrent sinusitis may have an allergic reaction to fungi rather than a bacterial infection. Treatments for the two are completely different, and in some cases, fungal sinusitis can be life threatening. Two experts and a patient explain.
Erin Porter, fungal sinusitis patient and founder, EatPrayGetWell.com
Dr. Donald Dennis, ear, nose & throat surgeon, Atlanta
Dr. Joseph Han, Professor of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Eastern Virginia Medical School