WBEZ | medicine http://www.wbez.org/tags/medicine Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Cook County Hospital makes history http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-03/cook-county-hospital-makes-history-106011 <p><p>Cook County Hospital (<em>aka</em> Stroger) sometimes gets a bad rap. It&rsquo;s often forgotten that the hospital has a distinguished history. One important event in medical treatment took place there in 1937. The subject was blood.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3-15--Jeff%20Dahl%20photo%2C%20Wikipedia%20Commons.jpg" title="Cook County Hospital (Jeff Dahl photo, Wikipedia Commons)" /></div><p>By the turn of the 20th Century, medical science had learned much about working with blood. Transfusions were becoming common. But blood will go stale after a while. If a patient needed blood, a live donor had to give it, directly and immediately.</p><p>Could blood be stored for longer than a few hours? Researchers worked on that problem for decades. During the early 1930s, Russia was able to set up a network of blood depots, where patients could have access to preserved blood. This interested Dr. Bernard Fantus.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3-15--Dr.%20Fantus%20%28Smithsonian%20Institution%29.jpg" style="width: 255px; height: 382px; float: right;" title="Bernard Fantus. M.D. (Smithsonian Institution)" />Fantus was a Hungarian-born physician who had earned his M.D. at the University of Illinois. He became director of therapeutics at Cook County Hospital in 1934. In his new role he began a series of experiments on how to increase the storage time for blood.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Using refrigeration and various additives, Fantus was able to preserve blood for up to ten days. Early in 1937 he made plans to open the Blood Preservation Laboratory at County.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But he didn&rsquo;t like that name! Sure, it described the work that was going on at the new facility. Trouble was, calling it the &ldquo;Preservation Laboratory&rdquo; made it sound like something out of a Dracula movie.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">America was in the middle of the Depression. Saving was on everyone&rsquo;s mind. After some rough times, banks were starting to rebound. With that idea in mind, Fantus decided to call his facility the Cook County Hospital Blood Bank. It opened on this date 76 years ago&mdash;March 15, 1937.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">A few months later Fantus published an article on the blood bank in the <em>Journal of the American Medical Association</em>. Other hospitals adopted the idea, and it spread world-wide.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Bernard Fantus died in 1940. Today the out-patient clinic at his hospital is named the Fantus Health Center.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 15 Mar 2013 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2013-03/cook-county-hospital-makes-history-106011 Improving doctor-patient relationships http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/improving-doctor-patient-relationships-100011 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/doctor%20patient%20flickr.jpg" title="(flickr/Mercy Health)" /></div><p>Communication is paramount to the success of most relationships&mdash;especially in the case of doctors and patients, when lives can literally hang in the balance. OK, that may be a bit dramatic but imagine trying to put a puzzle together without all its pieces: Sure, you might be able to get the edges in order but you won&rsquo;t get the full picture. The same can be said of patient interviews; of course, these communications are often incredibly personal&mdash;and require a degree of comfort and trust.</p><p>Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum made their fortune building shopping malls. Last year, they gifted more than $40 million of that fortune to the University of Chicago to create the <a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/features/20110922_bucksbaum/sidebar.shtml" target="_blank">Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence</a>, a unique initiative that will focus on how to improve doctor-patient interaction. The institute&rsquo;s associate director, <a href="http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/matthew-sorrentino.html" target="_blank">Matthew Sorrentino</a>, says that there is emerging evidence that good communication with a patient can lead to better outcomes&mdash;when patients better understand their condition and course of treatment, Sorrentino explained, their compliance with medications and lifestyle recommendations improve.</p><p>So what do you look for in a doctor-patient relationship? Is it all about the bedside manner or do you prefer the brass tacks, &ldquo;just give it to me straight, Doc&rdquo; delivery? As the doctor-patient bond the bond is increasingly tested by modern medicine and all its trappings: insurance providers, specialists, the Internet and rising costs, Sorrentino and <a href="http://www.feinberg.northwestern.edu/emergencymed/faculty/Khare.Rahul.html" target="_blank">Dr. Rahul Khare</a>, who sees his fair share of patients in Northwestern&rsquo;s Emergency department, help us take a long hard look at what&rsquo;s happened to the doctor-patient relationship.</p><p>What kind of relationship do you have with your doctor?&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 12 Jun 2012 08:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/improving-doctor-patient-relationships-100011 Surgeons in short supply in Uganda http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/surgeons-short-supply-uganda-95696 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-20/uganda1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span class="piece-description-lead">Uganda desperately needs surgeons. In a country of 32 million people, there are only about a hundred specialist surgeons. As a result, accident victims with critical injuries must sometimes wait weeks or months for operations. </span></p><p><span class="piece-description-lead">One reason for the shortage: Ugandan medical students increasingly choose to work in the better paying field of HIV and AIDS care. Bonnie Allen reports.</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>The piece originally aired on the <a href="http://www.prx.org/group_accounts/5538-worldvision" target="_blank">World Vision Report</a>. We got it from the <a href="http://www.prx.org" target="_blank">Public Radio Exchange</a>.</em></p><p style="margin-left: 1in;">&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 18:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-20/surgeons-short-supply-uganda-95696 Teens and tweens find they too need vaccines to attend school http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-18/teens-and-tweens-find-they-too-need-vaccines-attend-school-92171 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-19/tween_vaccine.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Parents used to think that once their kids were out of elementary school, they were done with vaccines. But the rules are changing.</p><p>In California, middle schoolers and high schoolers now have to prove that they're immunized against <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002528/">pertussis</a>, or whooping cough, in order to attend school. It's one of dozens of states that have recently passed laws requiring vaccines for teens and tweens.</p><p>The California law was prompted by an <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/06/24/128078400/whooping-cough-epidemic-strikes-california">outbreak</a> of whooping cough that killed 10 babies last year, and sickened 9,000 people. "It had been 63 years since we'd seen those types of numbers," says <a href="http://futurehealth.ucsf.edu/Public/Leadership-Programs/MiniProfile.aspx?asuid=4880">Ron Chapman</a>, director of the California Department of Public Health</p><p>Pertussis causes a violent cough that can last for weeks, and can be deadly in babies too young to get vaccinated. Because it spreads easily in schools, and because the protection that children get from pertussis shots in early childhood wears off, health officials vaccinate older children to help halt spread of the disease.</p><p>But that means they have to vaccinate about 3 million children. "It is a huge, massive vaccination response," Chapman says. It also means rolling out every public health communication tool in the book, from multilingual <a href="http://www.shotsforschool.org/psa_download.html">public service announcements</a> to <a href="http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=173912842658770" target="_self">Facebook posts</a>.</p><p>Parents are targeted, too. Jeanette Restauro of Fairfield, Calif., got four different reminders to get her 11-year-old daughter vaccinated. "The first time I got the information was through my daughter's backpack," she says. "Then a few weeks later they did it again. Then once on the email and once in a phone recording."</p><p>That worked: Restauro took Alyssa in to get the shot. It's something she never had to do when her four older children were that age.</p><p>But it's something that parents all over the country now have to start thinking about. In the past few years, dozens of states have passed <a href="http://www.immunize.org/laws/">laws</a> requiring shots for teens and preteens. Pertussis (given in the <a href="http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007334.htm">Tdap shot</a>) and <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mening/default.htm">meningococcus</a> are the most common.</p><p>"It used to be that when you were in kindergarten you were done with immunization, but that's not how it is any more," says <a href="http://www.childrensmercy.org/findadoctor/view.aspx?id=13592">Sharon Humiston</a>, a professor of pediatrics at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. "You have immunizations throughout the lifespan now."</p><p>Sometimes that's because early-childhood vaccinations, like whooping cough, wear off and boosters are required. In other cases, it's because doctors have come up with new vaccines, like <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/hpv/">HPV</a>. But it's not always easy to get teenagers in for these shots. One problem is that a lot of teens aren't covered by health insurance. And many parents and kids aren't familiar with the diseases.</p><p>Meningococcal disease is one of those. It's a rare but deadly form of meningitis. Humiston has seen teenagers grievously ill in the emergency room from meningococcus infections, and hopes she never sees it again. "I think that once parents see a photograph of one adolescent who has lost their limbs to meningococcal disease, they end up choosing the vaccine," she says.</p><p>That's why the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments are trying to educate tweens, teens, and their parents about both the diseases and the vaccines available. (The CDC's <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/">preteen and teen vaccines</a> website includes a quiz, videos, and a vaccine scheduler.)</p><p>In some cases, teenagers may need <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/who/teens/for-parents.html">catchup vaccines</a> for diseases such as chicken pox or hepatitis B. And as teen vaccines become more common, parents and pediatricians are learning that while big kids may not cry, they don't always handle shots so well. Humiston says: "We even sometimes have adolescents who faint after getting their shots."</p><p>That's a reminder, if any is needed, that big strong 17-year-olds still need parents watching their backs when it comes to health.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Sun, 18 Sep 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-18/teens-and-tweens-find-they-too-need-vaccines-attend-school-92171 Mutants, androids, cyborgs and pop culture films http://www.wbez.org/story/scitech/mutants-androids-and-cyborgs-science-pop-culture-films <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-October/2010-10-26/Off-Air_Oct-scientists.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span id="ctl00_content1_lblDescription">Ever wonder about the line between science and science fiction? Could we ever selectively erase experiences from our memories?&nbsp; Upload information to our brains like a hard drive? Control robotic limbs with our minds? <br /><br />Throughout history, fiction has made some bold predictions about future technology. In 1870, Jules Verne imagined the now-commonplace fax machine, but H. G. Wells&rsquo; 1895 visions of time travel have yet to pan out. What science of tomorrow can we look forward to by viewing the films of today?<br /><br />On October 20th, WBEZ's <strong>Gabriel Spitzer</strong> was joined on stage by four of Northwestern's leading scientists to discuss their fields as seen on the big screen and learn how closely futuristic depictions of science match what's really possible. The audience was treated to some of our favorite science fiction movie moments and then heard what researchers are working on now in exciting areas like prosthetics, robotics, nanotechnology, and neuroscience.</span></p><p><span id="ctl00_content1_lblDescription">On Stage:<br /><strong>Todd Kuiken, MD, PhD</strong>, is director of the&nbsp;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.ric.org/research/centers/necal/index.aspx">Neural Engineering Center for Artificial Limbs</a> (NECAL) and director of amputee services at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. He is also a professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as biomedical engineering at Northwestern University.&nbsp; Research in NECAL focuses on improving control of prostheses using targeted reinnervation, a procedure that reroutes brain signals from nerves severed during amputation to intact muscles, allowing patients to control their prostheses intuitively.</span></p><p><span id="ctl00_content1_lblDescription"><strong>Malcolm MacIver, PhD</strong>, is an associate professor of biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern University. He studies how the brain and body work together to obtain information about the world through sensory systems, using a combination of biological experiments, large-scale simulations, and robotics. He is also interested in bringing research to the broader community through interactive art installations and through involvement with the Science Entertainment Exchange, a program sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences that connects members of the entertainment industry with scientists. He recently served as a scientific consultant for the Disney film TRON: Legacy, and is the science advisor for the television series Caprica.</span></p><p><span id="ctl00_content1_lblDescription"><strong>Tom Meade, PhD</strong>, is the Elieen M. Foell professor of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular and cell biology, neurobiology and physiology, and radiology at Northwestern University. He is the founder of four biotechnology companies, and he holds more than 60 issued patents with 40 others pending. Meade's research covers a wide range of disciplines, including the emerging field of nanotechnology. Using nanotechnology, he and his collaborators are developing ultra-sensitive hand-held diagnostic tools and genetic tests, as well as improving current imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).</span></p><p><span id="ctl00_content1_lblDescription"><strong>Catherine Woolley, PhD</strong>, is a professor of neurobiology and physiology and also directs the Biological Imaging Facility at Northwestern.&nbsp;&nbsp; She studies plasticity, or the capacity for structural and functional change, of neural circuits in the brain, focusing on brain areas important in learning and memory, addiction, and epilepsy. Her research uses cellular and subcelluar imaging, electrophysiology, and biochemistry to understand how internal factors, such as hormones, and external factors, such as drugs of abuse, drive plastic changes in these brain areas and alter neural function.</span></p><p><span id="ctl00_content1_lblDescription"><strong><a target="_self" href="http://blogs.vocalo.org/blog/clever-apes"><strong>WBEZ's Clever Apes</strong></a></strong> is a nano-sized show with a cosmic scope, reflecting this take on science. It tells the stories of the Chicago-area&rsquo;s rich scientific community, its quirky characters and the fascinating, often mind-bending questions they&rsquo;re out to answer.&nbsp; </span></p><p><span><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/31646672@N06/sets/72157625111154391/">Click here</a> to see more photos from this event.</span></p></p> Wed, 27 Oct 2010 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/scitech/mutants-androids-and-cyborgs-science-pop-culture-films