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Substance Abuse Rampant Among Pregnant Teens

Substance Abuse Rampant Among Pregnant Teens

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Teenage girls who become pregnant certainly have to grow up much faster than their non-pregnant peers.However, it turns out that a majority of them engage in destructive behavior than can harm their unborn child as well as themselves, according to researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Saint Louis University's School of Social Work.Based on a large, nationally representative sample, almost six in ten pregnant teens admitted taking one or more substances during the past 12 months that included alcohol, marijuana and other drugs. That’s compared to 35 percent of girls who are not pregnant.The study also found that a third of pregnant girls age 12 to 14 years old said they used one or more of these substances within the last 30 days.However, alcohol and drug use dropped substantially across all ages groups as the girls went further into their pregnancies.Nevertheless, lead study author Christopher Salas-Wright at UT Austin's School of Social Work says that statistics show more work needs to be done. He added that levels of substance abuse among pregnant teens declined by 50 percent when the girls came from homes with strong adult support and supervision. Also, girls who kept attending school were also less inclined to use alcohol and drugs.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lengthy Unemployment Shown to Change Personalities

Lengthy Unemployment Shown to Change Personalities

iStock/Thinkstock(STIRLING, Scotland) -- The longer unemployment lasts, the longer it can affect one’s personality, according to one study, which seems to disapprove the notion that people’s personalities are fixed.Researcher Christopher Boyce of the University of Stirling in Scotland says that over time, being out of work can make people less agreeable and as a result, may hamper their efforts to get hired.Based on a standard personality test given to 7,000 German adults, Boyce looked at the effects of unemployment on hundreds who were thrown out of work by examining the following personality traits: conscientiousness, neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion and openness.  Interestingly enough, unemployed men’s levels of agreeableness increased in the first two years of being out of work but those levels dropped afterwards. Meanwhile, women’s agreeableness declined steadily from the point when they first lost their jobs.On the other hand, conscientiousness, which is tied to the enjoyment of income, fell among men throughout their unemployment but rose initially for women before declining.One way or the other, Boyce says prolonged unemployment has a detrimental effect on one’s personality and society should have more compassion for people who are unable to find a job due to changes that are often beyond their control.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Men Who Share Equally in Housework Don’t Like It Much

Men Who Share Equally in Housework Don’t Like It Much

Pixland/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Who knew? Men who live in a country where the culture is more open to husbands and wives sharing housework seem to get more upset about their participation in this drudgery than in countries where women are expected to do all the housework.Researchers from Emory University and Umea University in Sweden surveyed 14,000 adults from 30 countries and discovered that women on average said they did about three-quarters of the housework while men handled just over 30 percent.Meanwhile, around 38 percent of men from the U.S., Australia, Denmark, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Latvia, Sweden and Poland, all considered gender egalitarian countries, said they shared about 50 percent of the chores at home.But here’s where it gets interesting. Men from these countries also complained about doing an unfair amount of housework as opposed to those from less egalitarian countries.Although it seems counter-intuitive, lead study author Sabino Kornrich says this resentment may stem from being aware that shared housework is just assumed in the country they live in.Meanwhile, men in Japan, where women are expected to do most if not all of the housework, don’t feel the same kind of resentment even if they actually get around to helping a little bit around the house.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Proposed Updates to Dietary Guidelines Include Limits on Caffeine and ‘Empty Calories’

Proposed Updates to Dietary Guidelines Include Limits on Caffeine and ‘Empty Calories’

hemeroskopion/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- An advisory panel made its recommendations to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services in regards to an update of dietary guidelines for Americans for 2015.In the 600-page report, the panel recommends setting daily limits for "empty calories," or the solid fats and added sugars that "provide calories but few or no nutrients." Those limits would vary by age and gender. Children between the ages of two and eight would be urged to keep their "empty calories" at about 120 calories per day; children nine to 13 years old would be advised to keep that figure between 120 and 250 calories per day. Girls and women above the age of 14 would have their guidelines for "empty calories" set at 120 to 250 daily, while boys and men of the same age would be advised to stay between 160 and 330 calories. The panel also recommends a daily limit of 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Consumption of caffeine to that point "is not associated with adverse health consequences." The average cup of coffee contains about 95 milligrams of caffeine, allowing up to four cups daily for coffee drinkers.Finally, the panel placed more pressure on the food industry to promote healthy eating, urging the industry to encourage healthy eating by making low-fat or fat-free options default in restaurants, as well as fruit and non-fried vegetables in children's meals. Further recommendations included whole wheat buns in restaurants and reformulated food by manufacturers to lower intake of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and calories, while increasing consumption of whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell released a statement on the proposed guidelines, saying that they are "at the core of our efforts to promote the health and well-being of American families." The two departments will now review the report and begin the process of updating those guidelines.

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Scopes Faulted for Hospital ‘Superbug’ Outbreak Were New, Cleaned Properly, Officials Say, FDA Offers Recommendations

Scopes Faulted for Hospital ‘Superbug’ Outbreak Were New, Cleaned Properly, Officials Say, FDA Offers Recommendations

Photo by David McNew/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- A California hospital apologized Thursday to patients who became infected with an antibiotic-resistant bug, and said it has identified the source of the infections: two contaminated endoscopes that were cleaned according to manufacturer instructions but retained the bug anyway.Seven people have become infected with the drug-resistant "superbug" known as CRE at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after undergoing endoscopy procedures, and CRE may have played a role in two of its patients' deaths, the hospital said Wednesday afternoon, adding that 179 people were exposed to the germ.The scopes were new and had only been in use since June, said Dr. Zachary Rubin, medical director of clinical epidemiology and infection prevention at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center."There are several manufacturers for these scopes," said Dr. Benjamin Schwartz, deputy chief of the acute communicable disease control program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Because of the complexity of these scopes, which is necessary for the life-saving procedures for these scopes, they are very, very difficult to clean. The manufacturer recommendations were followed by UCLA."The first case occurred in mid-December when a patient became ill after undergoing endoscopy to examine his or her gallbladder, the hospital has learned."The patient developed almost immediately an infection afterwards with unusual bacteria that was resistant to strains of normally active antibiotics," Rubin said, explaining that it took time to trace the cases back to this original patient.The hospital has now taken all of its scopes out of use, and has implemented additional cleaning protocols beyond manufacturer recommendations. It has emailed and called all patients who underwent endoscopy from Oct. 23 through Jan. 28, officials said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday released a safety alert about duodenoscopes, the devices involved in the CRE outbreak in Los Angeles. The alert aims to "raise awareness among health care professionals...that the complex design of ERCP endoscopes may impede effective reprocessing." The administration defines reprocessing as "a detailed, multistep process to clean and disinfect or sterilize reusable devices."Even when done meticulously, however, the FDA is concerned that the process "may not entirely eliminate" the risk of transmitting infection.The FDA also offered recommendations for reprocessing, including urging healthcare professionals to follow manufacturer instructions, report problems to the manufacturer, and adhering to best practices including the implementation of a comprehensive quality control program.

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Alaska Claims Title of Happiest State in US

Alaska Claims Title of Happiest State in US

mfron/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Alaska, home to moose and the Palins, can finally claim that it is the happiest state in the U.S.Known as the Last Frontier, Alaska scored the No. 1 spot in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index for 2014, unseating North Dakota, which took the honor for 2013.  The annual ratings were released Thursday.Alaska had appeared thrice in the Top 10 since 2008, when the index started, but had never taken the top crown until now.Hawaii came in second — after falling to eighth place in 2013 — while West Virginia took No. 50 for the sixth straight year.States were measured on six subindexes, including individual life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities.The data was based on more than 176,000 interviews conducted last year with adults across all 50 states.

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Same-Sex Couple Blames Discrimination After Pediatrician Allegedly Refuses to See Their Newborn

Same-Sex Couple Blames Discrimination After Pediatrician Allegedly Refuses to See Their Newborn

byryo/iStock/Thinkstock(OAK PARK, Mich.) -- A married same-sex couple in Michigan say they felt discriminated against after a pediatrician refused to see their newborn daughter, according to their attorney.Jami and Krista Contreras of Oak Park, Michigan, welcomed their daughter, Bay, four months ago. Six days after Bay was born, the couple took the infant to a pediatrician, Dr. Vesna Roi, they had chosen after an earlier prenatal visit with the doctor, the couple’s attorney, Dana Nessel, told ABC News.But after they arrived in the waiting room at Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, Michigan, Roi’s colleague came out to meet the family and told them that Roi had decided she couldn’t care for Bay, Nessel said.Eastlake Pediatrics didn’t immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.Nessel said the couple had met with Roi after a long search for a pediatrician who worked in holistic medicine.The couple immediately found a pediatrician elsewhere, but were still upset by their interaction. Nessel said they posted about their experience on Facebook and that they felt discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. The couple started to get responses from family and friends.The couple decided to take their story public recently to show discrimination among LGBTQ people that they say is still occurring, according to Nessel. She also said the couple wanted to draw attention to other potential instances of discrimination, including a pending state law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which could, in Nessel’s opinion, allow for people to discriminate based on their moral or religious beliefs.Calls to Roi’s office and home were not immediately returned.There are no laws in Michigan that protect lesbian, transgender, gay, bisexual or queer people from discrimination.After Contreras posted about Roi allegedly dropping them as patients, the pediatrician apparently sent the couple a letter apologizing for not meeting them in person, but not changing her position.The doctor wrote she “would not be able to develop the personal patient doctor relationship that I normally do with my patients,” according to a copy of the letter Nessel sent to ABC News on behalf of the couple.Roi also wrote that she didn’t talk to them in person because she felt her presence “would take away much of the excitement” for the new parents. She also wrote in the letter she did not have their number to call them before they arrived for their first appointment with Bay.Roi didn’t specifically write that she refused to treat Bay because of the couple’s sexual orientation, but both spouses and their lawyer said they believe Roi’s letter leaves no doubt about her motivation.She added in the letter, ”Please know that I believe that God gives us free choice and I would never judge anyone based on what they do with that free choice.”The couple has no plans to file a lawsuit or medical complaint, according to Nessel.Medical ethics experts say Roi’s actions may have been legal, but are ethically complicated.According to the American Medical Association, doctors should not "refuse care based on race, gender or sexual orientation," but they can refuse specific treatments if they are incompatible with "personal, religious or moral beliefs."Dr. Margaret Moon, associate professor of pediatrics and a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, said it’s acceptable that Roi felt she could not establish a patient-doctor relationship with the family, but said the doctor could have been upfront earlier.“The family experienced distress and a sense of discrimination. The family experienced a harm,” Moon said. “The pediatrician could have handled this much differently.”

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Race Against Time for Baby in Need of Heart, Lung Transplant

Race Against Time for Baby in Need of Heart, Lung Transplant

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Shortly after baby Olive Kang was born, doctors told her parents that because she had a rare heart defect, she would only survive two weeks -- maybe two months if she was lucky.She's been defying the odds for more than a year, but time is running out for her to get the heart-lung transplant she needs to survive, her mother, Robin Kang told ABC News."She's funky and feisty," Robin Kang said of her 16-month-old, who likes to wink and blow kisses when she's feeling good. "In the last two weeks, it seems like Olive is not -- she can't seem to hold her own without high-flow oxygen. They pretty much told us there was nothing they could do. We've heard that before, but we can physically see with our eyes that she's not able to support herself."Olive has was born with several heart and lung conditions, tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia, and major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. All of these things combined render her heart and lungs unable to sufficiently provide oxygenated blood to the rest of her body. She's undergone several procedures, including cardiac catheterization to widen her pulmonary veins, but they're scarring and closing fast.Olive has been waiting for a new heart and new lungs for the last 10 months on the organ transplant waiting list.According to data from the Organ Transplant and Procurement Network, an organization under contract with the federal government to allocate organs, 21 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant that never comes, and a new person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.Organ transplants for children so young are even more scarce. Last year, of the 27,036 heart/lung transplants performed, only 252 were in children under a year old and 462 were performed in children between 1 and 5 years old.Olive Kang's aunt, actress Moon Bloodgood, made a YouTube video to raise awareness about organ donation "so that beautiful children, like my niece, Olive, have a chance at a normal life.""Please, please consider organ donation for people of all ages," Bloodgood said into the camera. "It is truly the best thing that you can give."

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What to Know About the CRE ‘Superbug’ Infecting UCLA Patients

What to Know About the CRE ‘Superbug’ Infecting UCLA Patients

Huntstock/DisabilityImages/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Seven patients at a California hospital have been infected with a drug-resistant "superbug" and 179 people were exposed to it, according to health officials. But with several so-called superbugs out there, the health scare can be confusing.Here's what you should know about Carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, the bug that's affecting patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center:

What is CRE?CRE is a family of germs normally found in the gut that have become resistant to a class of antibiotics that includes penicillin, amoxicillin and several other commonly used drugs that help fight harmful bacteria. These germs have an extra enzyme that breaks up antibiotics, making them difficult to treat, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How serious is it?"It really depends on the patient, not the bug sometimes," said Dr. Frank Esper, an infectious diseases expert at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland.If CRE is in a healthy gut, it won't necessarily cause an infection, Esper said. But if it gets into the blood, the bladder, or a wound on the skin, it can cause serious illness and death. And if someone has an underlying medical condition like cancer or pancreatitis, the patient is more likely to come down with a serious infection.About half of the people who develop CRE in a hospital will die, according to the CDC, but it's important to note that these patients are already very sick. As a result, it's hard to say whether CRE caused or played a role in their deaths.According to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, CRE may have played a role in two of its patients' deaths.

How is it spread?CRE is considered a hospital-acquired infection because it normally spreads on contaminated intravenous lines, catheters and other devices.At Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, a contaminated endoscope was to blame, the hospital said.An endoscope is a long tube with a camera on the end that's used to help doctors take a look at the inside of the digestive tract. And while endoscopy helps doctors catch diseases they would otherwise never be able to see, endoscopes are to blame in more hospital-acquired outbreaks than any other device because they're exposed to so many colonies of bacteria, Esper said.

How is it treated?Since CRE is resistant to most antibiotics, doctors are forced to use the antibiotics they stopped using 40 or 50 years ago, Esper said. The germs "forgot" how to be resistant to these older antibiotics, but doctors stopped using them because they were more toxic, he said."We don't have a lot of choices," he said. "There are not a lot of drugs coming out of the antibiotic pipeline."He said drug companies have stopped making new antibiotics because there isn't as much money in making something a patient doesn't have to take long term, but doctors have been begging for new antibiotics for decades.

Has a CRE outbreak ever happened before?Yes. According to the CDC, almost every state has had a confirmed case of CRE, but state health departments are not required to notify the CDC about CRE infections.Last month, a report revealed that a Seattle hospital had a CRE outbreak in which 23 patients were exposed between 2012 and 2014. Eleven people died, but it's hard to say whether the superbug played a role in their deaths. Similar incidents have occurred in Pittsburgh and Chicago.

How is CRE different from other superbugs?Most superbugs are drug-resistant bacteria.One that's probably familiar is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is a bacteria normally found in the nose that can infect sick patients via contaminated intravenouses, for instance. But there are more treatments for MRSA because it isn't resistant to as many antibiotics as CRE.

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Kristen Bell Demands Friends Get Vaccinated Before Holding Her Baby

Kristen Bell Demands Friends Get Vaccinated Before Holding Her Baby

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) -- Kristen Bell, an actress and mother of two under the age of 2, is not holding back about her pro-vaccine beliefs. The House of Lies star told The Hollywood Reporter she won’t allow her unvaccinated friends near her babies.“The whooping cough epidemic was on the rise and she wasn’t interested in taking any changes,” Chris Gardner, the reporter of The Hollywood Reporter story, told ABC News.Bell, 34, who gave birth to daughter Delta on Dec. 19, told the magazine that after the birth of their first daughter, Lincoln, in March 2013, “we simply said [to friends], 'You have to get a whooping cough vaccination if you are going to hold our baby.’”The actress added that she and her husband, actor and comedian Dax Shephard, plan to do the same thing with their newborn baby.“It's a very simple logic: I believe in trusting doctors, not know-it-alls,” she explained.The straight-talker took her frustration to Twitter, recently retweeting this pro-vaccine comment which says, “something 4 anti-vac parents 2 think about: if there were a peanut allergy vaccine created, would u give it 2 your kids?"The outspoken funny parents clearly see this topic as no laughing matter. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Could Germs Be Hiding in Store Makeup Testers?

Could Germs Be Hiding in Store Makeup Testers?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When it comes to makeup, there are 50 shades of everything. Should you buy firehouse red or petal pink? Which lipstick looks good is a distinction you can see, but with sample makeup testers, it’s what you can’t see that could make you sick.ABC's Good Morning America went undercover to six locations, from high-end department stores to discount retailers, swabbing testers from lipstick, mascara, foundation, and creams to see what germs and bacteria you could be rubbing on your skin.While none of the makeup looked particularly grubby, it was definitely used. I did see discoloration and noticed strange smells with some of the facial cream testers we swabbed.Makeup is notoriously hard to match to your skin tone -- you need to try on that bronzer or bright red lipstick to see if it looks good -- so I asked a salesperson how I could test a lip gloss color.The salesperson told me I could just try it on, and then she offered to help. She used a fresh, one-time use applicator but dipped it into the tester that was out on the floor. Then she admitted that many people just use the lipstick with the applicator that's built into the cap, meaning they apply it directly their lips and then put it back into the tube, the same tube another person may dip into to try five minutes later.The salespeople generally practiced good hygiene. One clearly stated “We don’t double dip,” which means they use a fresh applicator with every dip into the makeup, however another sent us home with face cream she dug out of the half empty tester that was out on the floor. Yuck!We sent all our swabs to Dr. Susan Whittier, Associate Professor of Clinical Pathology and Cell Biology at the microbiology lab at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. She pointed out that makeup testers all present perfect opportunities for bacteria to grow.Of the 25 samples she we sent her, nine tested positive for bacteria. It looks gross but it’s mostly bacteria we would find in everyday life. However, it could be harmful to some people who are immunocompromised.But three other results got Dr. Whittier’s attention.“We found that three samples were only growing yeast. That was worrisome,” she said. “If you are putting a product on your face that has yeast, that could definitely cause some sort of skin infection."Those infections include rashes and the dreaded pinkeye.These three results come from hand cream samples. Imagine that you rub it on in the store and then a few minutes later rub your eye. Yikes!Dr. Whittier’s advice: leave the testers alone.“I would never use a free sample in any kind of store whether it is high end or whether it is low end,” she said. “You just don’t know who’s had their finger in there.”So how are you supposed to figure out what shade of makeup is right?

Go to a sales associate. They have their own supplies and are usually trained in hygienic practices. Closed dispensers, such as pumps, are less likely to have germs. Don’t test at all. Some stores have a return policy for makeup that doesn’t work out. If you must try with a tester, ask a clerk to sterilize it with alcohol first. Don’t apply anything to your eyes or lips, where you are most vulnerable to infection.

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Is It Time to Do Away with Nap Time?

Is It Time to Do Away with Nap Time?

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(BRISBANE, Australia) -- As the joke goes, kids at nap time are often guilty of resisting a rest. But parents know that naps can be beneficial for youngsters while also giving adults a much-needed break.However, there seems to be some difference of opinion on whether daytime naps are really worthwhile, based on a study from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia.After analyzing 26 studies concerning the sleep habits of children from infancy through age five, lead study author Karen Thorpe and her team contend that naps for kids two and older might not be the best thing for them because daytime nappers tend to have a more difficult time falling asleep at night.Apparently, this has to do with something called homeostatic drive, a pressure that builds during waking hours. As a result, when there’s less homeostatic drive, the urge to sleep at night isn’t as great.Despite these findings, the Australian research team says naps still offer cognitive and physical benefits so they don’t recommend parents try to rouse tired kids who might need to grab a quick 40 winks.Essentially, since every kid is different, parents should decide if and when a child should nap.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Getting Bullied at Work Leads to More Bullying

Getting Bullied at Work Leads to More Bullying

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NORWICH, England) -- People bullied at work often don’t have the wherewithal to bounce back from harassment, which makes them vulnerable to other attacks by bullies.Researchers at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, say that a study of nearly 350 Spanish employees found that those who were bullied often experienced “deteriorated mental health and decreased well-being.”As a result, this left many of them weakened psychologically and turned them into easy targets for even more abuse.Researcher Dr. Ana Sanz Vergel emphasized that in no way was the study trying to blame victims for not being strong enough to stand up to others who harass, offend or isolate them at the office. Rather, according to Dr. Sanz Vergel, “Employers need to have strong policies against workplace bullying."She adds that "training programs to help victims learn coping mechanisms could help to break the vicious cycle."Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Promising New Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer

Promising New Treatment for Advanced Breast Cancer

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nearly one in five women with breast cancer will have a form of the disease termed "HER-2 positive," a type associated with more aggressive cancer. Now, a new treatment regimen tested in a phase three trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows promising results, extending the lives of women taking it by 15.7 months compared to those taking the standard treatment. The regimen involves adding a third drug called Pertuzumab to the currently used combo of the cancer drugs Trastuzumab and Docetaxel. Researchers looked at about 800 women with advanced disease for who a prior treatment had already failed. When researchers compared the women taking this three-drug combo to those taking the standard two-drug combo, those taking the additional drug survived 56.5 months on average, compared to 40.8 months for women taking only the two drugs. Moreover, researchers said that side effects and adverse events did not increase or change significantly in the Pertuzumab group.

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Los Angeles Hospital Warns of ‘Superbug’ Exposure

Los Angeles Hospital Warns of ‘Superbug’ Exposure

joeygil/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- More than 160 patients at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center may have been exposed to deadly bacteria.  Hospital officials confirmed to ABC News on Wednesday the bacteria was spread through contaminated medical scopes used during endoscopic procedures between October 2014 and January 2015. The superbug is known as CRE, and it may have contributed to two patients dying. Fears linger that more confirmed cases of the bacteria could emerge.Federal, state and local health officials are investigating the outbreak in Los Angeles, and warning letters, as well as home testing kits, have been sent to those potentially at risk.

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Undetected Ectopic Pregnancy Leaves Woman in Coma

Undetected Ectopic Pregnancy Leaves Woman in Coma

Courtesy Avila Family(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- The family of a pregnant woman who has been in a coma since Sunday is blaming the hospital that they say failed to realize she was experiencing a ruptured ectopic pregnancy and bleeding internally. Lisa Avila, 36, of Anaheim, California, was 12 weeks pregnant when she woke up on Valentine's Day with severe pain in her abdomen, her aunt, Jessica Jule, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Doctors at Anaheim Regional Medical Center's emergency room did an ultrasound, said her baby was fine and sent her away with a prescription for painkillers, Jule said. Afterward, her husband left her in their car while he went into a pharmacy, and when he returned, Avila was unconscious and not breathing, Jule said. Paramedics rushed her back to the same hospital, where they learned Avila had an ectopic pregnancy, meaning the fetus was developing outside the uterus, Jule said. The ectopic pregnancy ruptured, causing her to bleed internally, the aunt said. "She needed emergency surgery to stop the bleeding," Jule said at the news conference outside the hospital. The next day, Avila, who has seven other children, slipped into a coma, Jule said. "Why did they make my niece leave this hospital when obviously there was something wrong?" Jule said. "How could they say the baby was fine if it was an ectopic pregnancy and you did an ultrasound?" Avila's family, including Jule, could not be reached by ABC News for comment. Anaheim Regional Medical Center released the following statement: "Patient safety is Anaheim Regional Medical Center’s foremost priority and we are committed to providing the highest quality care to every patient we serve. The physicians, nurses and staff at Anaheim Regional Medical Center care deeply for the health of this patient and our thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family. Patient privacy laws prevent us from sharing any additional information." Ectopic pregnancies are relatively common and occur in about 1 percent of all pregnancies, said Dr. Marjorie Greenfield, chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. As a result, hospitals have experience spotting and treating them, she said. "Some of them are very easy to diagnose, and they get diagnosed every day in the emergency room," she said, explaining that if a woman has a positive pregnancy test, but a doctor can't spot the embryo in the "frame" of her uterus on an ultrasound, that's usually enough to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy. But sometimes a doctor can't spot an ectopic pregnancy until he or she operates, said Dr. Keith Eddleman, director of obstetrics at The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. "If you have a patient in the first trimester with abdominal pain and bleeding and you can't see the pregnancy inside the uterus -- and you have a positive pregnancy test -- you have to assume it's ectopic until proven otherwise because it is life-threatening," Eddleman said. Although most ectopic pregnancies develop in the fallopian tubes, they can also develop on the ovary or elsewhere in the abdomen, but it's extremely rare, said Dr. Jennifer Ashton ,a senior medical contributor for ABC News and practicing obstetrician-gynecologist. Another rare possibility that would make an ectopic pregnancy harder to diagnose would be something called a heterotopic pregnancy, or when one embryo starts developing in the uterus and another starts developing in the fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies usually rupture at about five or six weeks, when the fallopian tube can't stretch to hold the developing embryo as it grows, so a 12-week ectopic pregnancy is unusual, Greenfield said. "Ruptured ectopic pregnancy is the number one cause of maternal mortality in the first trimester," Ashton said. "If it ruptures, women can lose liters of blood very quickly." Signs include pelvic pain on one side, dark red vaginal bleeding and a positive pregnancy test, Ashton said. Because they ultimately lead to life-threatening miscarriages, treatment for ectopic pregnancy is usually surgery or medication to end the pregnancy. None of these doctors has treated Avila.

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Paralyzed Teen Walks in New York Fashion Week

Paralyzed Teen Walks in New York Fashion Week

malexeum/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Megan Silcott seems like a typical teenager, one who loves spending time with her family and dreams of a career in fashion.But make no mistake, there is nothing ordinary about this Maryland teen.Life as Silcott knows it today began two years ago.“When I was 16 years old, one night I was out with my friends and I had to come home, I didn’t feel that great,” she said. “I went to bed and I woke up in the morning and I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t walk.”Silcott, once an athlete and aspiring model, was paralyzed overnight from the neck down.An undiagnosed case of mononucleosis (mono) led to acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM), a rare neurological disorder that attacked Silcott's brain and spine.“I couldn’t believe it,” Silcott recalled. “I thought, ‘Why did this happen to me? How am I not walking?’”For many teens the inability to walk might have been soul-crushing, but that was not the case for Silcott, who never gave up on her dreams of modeling.“I told myself I was going to heal from this and I was going to be able to pursue everything I wanted to pursue before,” she said.Her mom, Jen Silcott, still remembers what the neurologist told the family about Megan's recovery.“The neurologist said to me that this was not going to be a sprint, it was going to be a marathon,” Jen Silcott recalled.Today, that marathon continues at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, where Megan Silcott has been making great strides.“She started out kind of in the power chair, with not a ton of function in her arms or legs, and she’s progressed to walking with the walker,” said her physical therapist, Lizzie Neighbors.The biggest leap forward for Silcott came this winter when the fashion designer Nina Perdomo called Silcott and asked her to walk in New York Fashion Week wearing one of Perdomo’s designs.“I design for a woman that is strong and knows what she wants from life,” Perdomo said. “And I feel like Megan is the perfect example of that.”"I think just getting out there and showing everyone I can do it," Silcott said when asked what she was most looking forward to in her runway debut. "That I'm confident enough to walk down the runway with a walker."On Monday night, Silcott walked down the prestigious runway, taking center stage at Lincoln Center in New York City."Here I was not able to move, not thinking I would ever be able to walk again," she said. "You know, it just goes to show that anything is possible and if you put your mind to it, it can get done."

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Myth Debunked: Treadmill Just As Good as Road Running

Myth Debunked: Treadmill Just As Good as Road Running

YanLev/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Frigid temperatures and unrelenting snow mean a lot of exercisers stuck indoors grinding out their miles on a treadmill. Many of them wonder if their run to nowhere is somehow inferior to hitting the pavement, track or trails.Let’s break it down:BiomechanicsTreadmill running has a few negligible variations in biomechanics compared to outdoor running, said exercise physiologist Reed Ferber, who is the director of the running injury clinic at the University of Calgary in Canada.“You have more forward lean from your trunk and more flexion at the hips and knees when you run on a treadmill because you don’t need to generate as much power at the same speed as you do running on level ground outdoors,” he said. “For the average runner, this doesn’t mean much.”Calorie BurnStudies show there are miniscule differences in calorie burn when running at the same speed and incline on a treadmill compared to outdoors. These differences only become meaningful at speeds faster than about 8.5 miles per hour -- which, let’s face it, is way faster than an average runner’s pace, Ferber noted.Ferber said that speedsters can incline their treadmill by 1 or 2 percent to make up the difference.InjuryThere are no studies comparing the injury rate or types of injuries you get on a treadmill versus running outdoors. However, Ferber still cautions runners who spend their winters on the treadmill to cut their mileage in half when they finally get back out on the road.“When you run outdoors, your calf muscles produce about 80 percent of the forward propulsion power but this drops significantly on a treadmill because the ground moves underneath you,” he said. “When you transition from the treadmill to the road, you could be at risk for calf strains, plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.”BoredomTreadmill workouts are the exercise equivalent of watching paint dry for many people, Ferber admitted. Some exercisers tend to cut their workouts short out of sheer boredom.But studies have shown distraction techniques like listening to music, watching a movie or taking a treadmill class can help speed up time. Ferber also recommended playing around with any preprogrammed workouts that automatically change speed and incline to help keep the brain engaged.

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The Secret Weapon of CEOs, Basketball Pros to Get in the Zone

The Secret Weapon of CEOs, Basketball Pros to Get in the Zone

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Basketball legend Michael Jordan’s weapon of choice early in his career was his slam dunk, but he also had a secret weapon in his arsenal: meditation.George Mumford was Jordan’s meditation coach, and he said practicing mindfulness helped Jordan and his other clients -- including Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant -- get in the zone."If you really look at the elite athletes, you will find they have this ability to be in a moment and actually slow things down," Mumford told ABC News. "Mindful meditation helps them do that."Meditation is a practice that’s more than 1,000 years old and involves pausing to focus on breathing and relaxation.Off the basketball court, experts say meditation is becoming more common in the corporate board room as well.Bill George, former CEO of medical device company Medtronic, said he used to meditate in secret behind a closed office door. Now a fellow at Harvard Business School, he meditates 20 minutes, twice a day with the door wide open.Meditation "was the best thing that ever happened to me, in terms of staying grounded," he told ABC News. "It has helped me become a much better leader."Leading companies such as Google, Aetna and General Mills have meditation programs for their employees. George teaches a Harvard course on leadership and requires students to do a reflective practice, in which they quiet down and either meditate or answer introspective questions in a journal.“To be a successful leader you need to be authentic, grounded, and you need to be mindful," George said.Meditation helps in the business world by helping people “get out of [their] own way," said Dr. Judson Brewer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School."Suddenly, you are in the zone," he said.When a basketball player is caught thinking about the shot they just missed, they are more likely to miss the shot in the next moment, Brewer said. Meditation techniques help people train their minds to stay in the present without getting caught up thinking about other stressors."Don't believe me, just try it a little bit and see if it is actually helpful for you," Brewer said.

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Are You Using Your Brain’s Full Capacity?

Are You Using Your Brain’s Full Capacity?

janulla/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A myth persists in popular culture that humans only use 10 percent of their brain. People have even gone so far as to explore the idea that tapping in to the unused parts of our brains would give us supernatural powers, as seen in the 2014 film Lucy.Dr. Ashley Winter, urologist in residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital, explains:“We love the idea that we only use 10 percent of our brain, it gives us this feeling of untapped potential that if only we could use more of our brain we would be able to move objects with thought or see into the future. But in reality, this isn’t true.”There are two types of cells in the brain -- neurons, the thinking cells, and glial cells, which perform maintenance functions.“And while you’re using all of these cells, they’re not all doing the thinking,” says Winter.So no, you can’t achieve special powers or telekinesis by using 100 percent of your brain -- in fact, you’re already using 100 percent.

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