VA chief vows renewed focus on customer service
WASHINGTON -- On the eve of Veterans Day, the Veterans Affairs Department announced a reorganization Monday designed to make it easier for veterans to gain access to the sprawling department and its mazelike websites. VA Secretary Robert McDonald called the restructuring the largest in the department's history and said it will bring a singular focus on customer service to an agency that serves 22 million veterans...
Hundreds of kids harmed by detergent 'pods,' study says
CHICAGO -- Accidental poisonings from squishy laundry detergent packets sometimes mistaken for toys or candy landed more than 700 U.S. children in the hospital in just two years, researchers report. Coma and seizures were among the most serious complications...
Eating season: Holidays are approaching
Abandoning your usual day-to-day eating and drinking habits to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas may have all sorts of untoward effects, which hospital dietitians say can be avoided with a more sophisticated approach to the euphoric period. Southeast HealthPoint Fitness Group Nutrition Services Coordinator Raina Childers and Saint Francis Medical Center dietitian Janet Anders say celebrants should have a light snack before attending a holiday feast and then select the less highly caloric alternatives when they arrive there, among other advice.. ...
FTC sues Gerber over allergy claims on infant formula
WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators announced Thursday they were suing Gerber, the well-known baby food maker, for claiming that its Good Start Gentle formula can prevent or reduce allergies in children. That claim is bogus, and the company misled consumers by suggesting that its formula was the first to meet government approval for reducing the risk of allergies, the Federal Trade Commission alleged in a complaint filed in federal court. ...
Isle Casino Cape Girardeau to host Alzheimer's seminar
As baby boomers age, the stage is set for a generational spike in Alzheimer's disease diagnoses. Alzheimer's Association St. Louis vice president of programs Stephanie Rohlfs-Young explained that even though someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds, early detection is as accessible as ever...
Fluoridated water remains large component of healthy teeth and gums
The multifaceted issue of children's dental health raises questions about the benefits of water fluoridation, dentists' use of tooth sealants and the involvement of parents and schools. And considering the importance of healthy teeth and gums to a child's physical well-being, the subject prompts a quick precision in the responses of dentists, parents and public officials...
Gay-rights group backs use of HIV-prevention pill
NEW YORK -- The largest U.S. gay-rights organization Saturday endorsed efforts to promote the use of a once-a-day pill to prevent HIV infection and called on insurers to provide more generous coverage of the drug. Some doctors have been reluctant to prescribe the drug, Truvada, on the premise that it might encourage high-risk, unprotected sexual behavior. ...
Wellness Fair set for Wednesday
The Southeast Missourian's first Wellness Fair is set for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the J.C. Penney court of West Park Mall, 3049 William St. Directed toward adults and seniors, 15 participants are expected, said Paul Walker, medical marketing strategist at the Missourian. A variety of specialties and screenings will be available -- from a firm that offers a personal emergency response system to answering dental questions and grip testing...
Misconceptions, assumptions plague understanding of children with Down syndrome
Sarah Kuntze taught early childhood special education for years before her son Carter was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth in 2005. Even so, she says the immediate impression she and her husband had was probably similar to that of most other people: largely clouded by assumptions and popular misconceptions...
Officials to hospitals: 'Think Ebola'
DALLAS -- Federal health officials on Monday urged the nation's hospitals to "think Ebola" and launched a review of procedures for treating infected patients, while the World Health Organization called the outbreak "the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times."...
Mother seeks to dispel some myths about Down syndrome
The following was written by Hillarie Mueller, lead project manager at rustmedia. I'm a mom of two wonderful boys, Colt Bentley, who will be 2 in October, and Lincoln Matthew, who will be 5 months old in October. October is a very special month for our family. It's the month we celebrate another year in Colt's extraordinary life and a month we celebrate awareness for our second extraordinary child, Lincoln...
Americans living longer as most death rates fall
NEW YORK -- Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report filled mostly with good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell. Rates also dropped or held steady for nearly all the leading causes of death. ...
Flu season has arrived
A long-known virus has sickened hundreds throughout the country, including Southeast Missouri, although it hasn't been confirmed. Meanwhile, flu season is starting. Dr. Andrew Sledd, a pediatrician at Saint Francis Medical Partners, said there are definitely cases of enterovirus D68 here, but there is no way to test for it locally. Generally, Sledd said the illness has not been fatal -- just like a bad cold with wheezing...
Speech, hearing center attracts clients from wide geographic area
The Center for Speech and Hearing at Southeast Missouri State University is a hub for adults and children in need of affordable and sometimes difficult-to-find services, which is why it plans to expand in the future. Usually the center has between 50 and 60 clients a semester, plus an additional 25 or 30 for evaluations...
Mother with womb transplant says risk paid off with birth of son
LONDON -- For the world's first baby born to a woman with a transplanted womb -- a medical first -- only a victorious name would do. Which is why his parents named him "Vincent," meaning "to conquer," according to his mother. The 36-year-old Swedish mother learned she had no womb when she was 15 and was devastated, she said Saturday...
Free birth control cuts teen pregnancy and abortions, study finds
Giving teens free birth control encourages them to use long-acting methods and greatly cuts the chances they will become pregnant or have an abortion, a new study finds. The average annual pregnancy rate was 34 per 1,000 girls in the study -- far below the national average of 158.5 for sexually active teens...
Virus probed in paralysis cases in 9 kids
NEW YORK -- Health officials are investigating nine cases of muscle weakness or paralysis in Colorado children and whether the culprit might be a virus causing severe respiratory illness across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday sent doctors an alert about the polio-like cases and said the germ -- enterovirus 68 -- was detected in four out of eight of the sick children who had a certain medical test. The status of the ninth case is unclear...
Recovery time after surgery being studied
WASHINGTON -- One of the big frustrations of surgery: There's little way to know if you'll be a fast or slow healer, someone who feels back to normal in a week or is out of work for a month with lingering pain and fatigue. Now Stanford University researchers have discovered that right after surgery, patients' blood harbors clues about how fast they'll bounce back -- and it has to do with the activity of certain immune cells that play a key role in healing...
New mosquito-borne virus spreads in Latin America; some cases seen in U.S.
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- An excruciating mosquito-borne illness that arrived less than a year ago in the Americas is raging across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, and infecting more than 1 million people. Some cases already have emerged in the United States...
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