Health & Wellness

Life Preserver

UK: Handshake may have saved a life

Before the handshake that may have saved his life, Mark Gurrieri thought his hands were getting bigger because of too much DIY and working in his restaurant kitchen. But a chance meeting with a doctor revealed the growth was related to a rare disease which could have cost him his sight.

Alarm bells rang for GP Chris Britt when he spotted Gurrieri's fleshy hand and large features. Gurrieri, 36, had acromegaly, a condition caused by excessive growth hormone from the pituitary gland, usually prompted by a tumour, that affects three in a million people.

Britain near top of heart death list

Britons are three times more likely than the French to die from heart disease, according to a new European league table.

Heart Disease map
©European Society of Cardiology
Age-standardized mortality from ischaemic heart disease in European regions (men; age group 45 - 74 years; year 2000)

Shocking! Bush-backed drug marketing schemes

At a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing on the safety of psychotropic drugs on Feb 2 2005, dozens of despondent parents testified that their children had committed suicide or other violent acts after being prescribed the same drugs that are being marketed in the Bush-backed pharmaceutical industry schemes aimed at recruiting the nation's 52 million school children as customers.

In July 2003, the Bush appointed New Freedoms Commission on Mental Health (NFC) recommended screening all children for mental illness and designated TeenScreen as a model program to ensure that every student receives a mental health check-up before finishing high school.

The NFC also has a preferred drug program in place, modeled after the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP), that lists what drugs are to be used on children found to be mentally ill.

The list contains every drug that people complained about at the FDA hearing, including Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Wellbutron, Zyban, Remeron, Serzone, Effexor, Buspar, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroqual, Geodone, Depakote, Adderall, and Prozac.

Antidepressants: "Four people dead is four too many"

Don Schell was taking a Prozac-type antidepressant when he killed his wife, daughter and granddaughter, then turned the gun on himself. His son-in-law sued the drugs company - and won £5m. Sarah Boseley meets him.

Teenager with four kidneys wants to become organ donor

A teenage girl who recently discovered she has four kidneys is hoping to be able to donate two of them to patients desperately in need of a transplant.

Laura Moon, 18, from Whinmoor, Leeds, is one of a tiny number of people to have four of the organs growing naturally. She only became aware of her unusual anatomy six months ago after undergoing an ultrasound scan to investigate stomach pains following a car crash.

UK: Scandal of patients left for hours outside A&E

Hospitals were last night accused of keeping thousands of seriously ill patients in ambulance 'holding patterns' outside accident and emergency units to meet a government pledge that all patients are treated within four hours of admission.

Those affected by 'patient stacking' include people with broken limbs or those suffering fits or breathing problems. An Observer investigation has also found that some wait for up to five hours in ambulances because A&E units have refused to admit them until they can guarantee to treat them within the time limit. Apart from the danger posed to patients, the detaining of ambulances means vehicles and trained crew are not available to answer new 999 calls because they are being kept on hospital sites.

Vaccine Mismatches Drive Influenza Virulence

The vaccine match failures in this season's trivalent vaccine are creating health concerns. Last Friday the CDC held a media conference in advance of the weekly CDC influenza report. Influenza activity nationwide had taken a sudden jump, which was linked to poor vaccine matches with circulating influenza strains. Moreover there had been reports out of Europe on increased Tamiflu resistant which has "startled" influenza "experts."

New Jersey Bill to encourage organ gifts advances

New Jersey would become the first state to require anyone getting or renewing a driver's license to choose whether to register as an organ donor, under a bill a Senate committee approved yesterday.

The measure, called the New Jersey Hero Act, also would make the state the first to require high schools' health classes to teach the importance of organ donation.


Researcher: FDA Was Too Slow On Trasylol


A renowned researcher calculates that 22,000 patients could have been saved if the Food and Drug Administration removed the heart surgery drug Trasylol two years ago, when his study revealed widespread death associated with it.

The researcher, Dr. Dennis Mangano, also tells 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley that Bayer, the drug's maker, failed to tell the FDA about negative results of their own Trasylol study and that the company's failure placed the drug's success before patient well-being.

Mangano's interview will be broadcast this Sunday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Why Anticancer Drug Avastin Causes Potentially Fatal Brain Inflammation In Certain Patients, Study Suggests

New research by scientists at Schepens Eye Research Institute may help explain why the anti-cancer drug Avastin, which targets a growth factor responsible for creation of new blood vessels, causes potentially fatal brain inflammation in certain patients.

Institute scientists mimicked the drug's activity in mice and found that it damaged the cell lining that prevents fluid from leaking from the ventricle into the brain. The ventricle is the structure in the brain that holds cerebral spinal fluid after it is produced and which is continuous with the spinal cord.