A New Orleans hospital is being sued after at least five children, including premature babies, were infected with a flesh-eating fungus and later died.
One thing the three boys and two girls at Children’s Hospital had in common was that their hospital linens were contaminated with mucormycosis, according to a soon-to-be-published research study.
Five children from 35 days old to 13 years old were infected in various wards of the hospital from 2008 to 2009, the New Orleans Advocate reported.
Many parents were not aware of the cause of their child’s infections. Six years later, a 14-page report about the New Orleans mucormycosis outbreak will be published in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal next week.
Now Cassandra Gee and Terrel Jones are suing the hospital after their son was born premature in 2008 and died of a subsequent infection.
The couple says their baby, Tyrel, was doing fine until they noticed a spot on his groin.
"The area of irritation spread extremely rapidly, ultimately becoming what appeared to petitioner to be an open wound with extreme discoloration which was obviously causing extreme pain and suffering to her young child Tyrel Gee,” the suit states.
The infant died in August 2008. The couple was told their son died of sepsis. They filed suit after the mother found an article about the report in the Times-Picayune.
"Much to the shock and dismay of petitioner, the description of one of the children that died matched identically with that of her son Tyrel Gee. Specifically, the birth date published of the child was July 12, 2008, and the child was described to have been born at 26 weeks gestation,” the claim states. “Additionally, the article discussed the fact that Tyrel Gee had contracted and/or come in contact with a flesh eating bacteria known as mucorycosis [sic].”
Parents Stephen Tyler and Dorothy Malik say doctors failed to promptly biopsy a black spot on 13-year-old Zachary Tyler’s armpit in March 2009.
It grew to the size of baseball, then another one appeared on his spine. Zachary went to Children’s Hospital with a rare blood disease and eventually died from herpes infection on May 17, 2009, according to a malpractice suit filed by his parents. The suit, filed four years ago in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, claims doctors cut away tissue and major muscle and performed a colonostomy over more than 20 procedures to stave off further spread of the fungal infection.
A year after his death, Zachary’s family said a “confidential source” told them that “there was an outbreak of mucormycosis at Children’s Hospital as a result of contaminated linens supplied by TLC Services, Inc. and that as a consequence of this outbreak five patients died, including Zachary Tyler,” the lawsuit states.
“The organism is very invasive. It can invade through tissue planes, and it likes iron, so it invades blood vessels. You can also inhale it. It can cause very severe pulmonary disease, and it sort of just chews through you,” Dr. Tom Chiller, a CDC medical epidemiologist who specializes in fungi, told the The Advocate. “These are incredibly — thankfully — rare infections, and they’re very severe.”
An Ohio mother has been convicted of soliciting at least $21,000 in donations under the false pretense that she had cancer.
Mindy Taylor, 35, was convicted on a fourth-degree felony theft charge and is set to be sentenced on June 16. Since Taylor is a first-time offender, she has a chance to qualify for diversion. If she is granted diversion, her charge will be dropped if she repays all of the solicited money and admits to her wrongdoing, among other things.
Taylor was found to have contrived a scheme so deceitful that even her family bought into it. She created a page on Caring Bridge on which she regularly shared updates about her health and treatment and asked for money. The page shows people donated over $13,000 to her. Her own mother held a spaghetti fundraiser dinner that raised over $7,000.
Here’s an example of the kind of updates Taylor would post on her Caring Bridge page:
"For those of you who don't know, last week was really hard for me. I pushed myself a little too much (shocking I know) and wasn't prepared for the increase in chemo."
Taylor’s scheme was uncovered after an anonymous tipster contacted Ohio police and suggested they look into her prescription records to see if they matched her claims. Sure enough, they didn’t. Taylor had never been diagnosed with any form of cancer, despite routinely telling people she suffered from heart disease, lupus, and cancer.
Ross County, Ohio prosecutor Matt Schmidt thinks Taylor’s scheme may not have all been for the cash. He speculates she may have a personality disorder.
"I think she's a hypochondriac and that she enjoyed the attention. Even now," he said. "Negative attention is still attention, right?"
An Ottawa woman gave birth to a baby nine months ago who is healthy in every way—except for one, leaving his parents and doctors at a loss.
Wyatt Scott cannot open his mouth.
Born with a rare congenital condition called trismus, Wyatt’s jaw is locked, preventing him from eating, drinking, and making sounds.
Local doctors have been unable to explain the cause of the disorder.
“We have no idea how he’s going to progress. We can understand the family’s frustration, but we don’t know the diagnosis or the underlying condition,” said Dr. Kheirie Issa, Wyatt’s pediatrician at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.
The hospital has no previous case studies by which to determine a course of treatment.
The condition also makes it so Wyatt drools more than other babies, and has trouble moving his facial muscles, swallowing, and blinking. Wyatt has been fed through a nasal tube since birth, but Issa says hopefully it will soon be replaced with a tube to his stomach inserted through his abdominal wall.
Wyatt’s parents, Amy Miville and Andrew Scott, have launched a website called What’s Wrong With Wyatt? in hopes of raising awareness about their son’s mysterious condition.
One of the greatest agonies is not knowing their sons future, his parents say.
"Nobody can tell us if Wyatt is going to be better in two years, five years, 10 years or if he will be eating from a tube the rest of his life," Miville told CBC.
"He's so normal in every other way," she added.
"I want him to have the benefits that my other children have."
Indiana man Anthony Hopkins, 27, is both in jail and in the news today after he reportedly spit blood into a police officer’s face and told the officer he had Hepatitis C.
The incident took place on April 12, as Hopkins was in the process of being arrested after he fought another person and fled from police. When police finally found Hopkins in a nearby basement crawl space, they had to call in a K9 officer to get him out.
After coming out of the crawl space, Hopkins reportedly said “F-ck you, I hope you die” to an officer. Then, as the officer was leading Hopkins out of the basement, the man resisted the officer and the two went tumbling down the stairs. It was then that Hopkins spit blood into the mouth and face of the officer.
Upon arriving at the squad car, Hopkins said “You know I have Hep C. I hope you get Hep C and give it to your wife and kids. Once I get out of here I am going to kill you and your family.”
Officers found Hopkins had a BAC level of 0.16 after testing him, which is twice the legal driving limit. He is being charged with bodily waste, intimidation, resisting law enforcement, and disorderly conduct. It has not yet been confirmed if he truly has Hepatitis C.
Since 2007, Hopkins has been convicted of burglary, battery, receiving stolen property, and driving while intoxicated.
One of California’s largest healthcare providers admitted that they wrongfully listed nearly 1,000 physicians on the Covered California healthcare exchange two months after a local news station first reported the issues.
Residents told KPIX 5 that they had called dozens of physicians on the list and none of them would accept their new insurance policy with Anthem Blue Cross.
Anthem recently notified 965 doctors that they had wrongfully listed them, according to a statement from the California Medical Association. The notice said physicians were “inadvertently” listed for “a certain period of time” during open Obamacare’s open enrollment period.
Critics believe the mistake was a ploy to boost open enrollment numbers.
Guda Venkatesh, a Covered California enrollee, told KPIX 5 in February that the reason he chose an Anthem policy was because they listed so many Stanford doctors near his home.
“Except when I started going through the doctors, each one and calling them up, none of them actually accepted the Covered California plan,” Venkatesh said in February. “The premise of Covered California is that you’re able to compare plans and see which one is best for you. But if they are presenting that they have all these doctors in network but they don’t, then it doesn’t work.”
Anthem told patients they will either have to choose new in-network physcians or change to another plan by March 31.
State regulations on the marketplace allow insurers to change the provider list without any notice. The list must be updated quarterly, but there is no program in place to make sure this happens.
"In the process of updating our provider database, we found that while the vast majority of the listings were correct, there were some providers inadvertently listed," Anthem said in a statement Monday.
KPIX 5 reports they still found errors on the list Monday.
We’ve heard some awesome 3D printing stories over the last year or so, and this one ranks right up there with the best of them.
53-year-old Jose Delgado was born without a left hand. He’s used various prosthetics over the years, and most recently was using a $42,000 myoelectric prosthesis. Half of that price was covered by Delgado’s insurance, but he was forced to pay the rest of the $21,000 for the hand out of pocket.
Then, Jeremy Simon of 3DUniverse.org entered the picture. Simon told Delgado he could make him a hand using $50 of materials and a 3D printer. The results?
In a video interview, Delgado says he loves using the hand and even prefers it to his $42,000 hand for a number of tasks. Here’s a picture of it:
Another great thing about this hand, dubbed the Cyborg Beast, is that the printing instructions used to create it are available to anyone. For free. With a 3D printer, $50 of material, and a little assembly work, people who previously never could have dreamed of being able to afford a prosthetic can now have a fully functioning one. This is just the latest instance in which we all get to see the incredible potential 3D printing holds.
Check out this video of Delgado wearing and speaking about the hand:
Three years ago, the Groves family decided to take a vacation to Egypt for the Easter holiday. Liam, who was 13 at the time, and Owen, who was 11, pressed their mother Alison to allow them to get henna tattoos at their hotel. When she finally obliged, the boys sat down with the artist, who worked at the resort, to get the fake tattoos on their backs. To the family’s horror, the fake ink wound up leaving some gruesome permanent scars.
Henna is a generally a harmless product used to create beautiful brown temporary designs on the skin, but when Liam and Owen groves got their henna tattoos, the artist, unbeknownst to them, used black henna that’s made using hair dye and contains chemicals that can cause irreparable damage to the skin.
“The boys had been asking for henna tattoos and I gave in and we had them done by the man running the gift shop in the hotel,” said Alison Groves. “We sat in the gift shop whilst he did them. Now I wish I had never let them have them done.”
On the journey back to their home in the UK, both boys started to experience discomfort that eventually turned into severe itchiness and burning. Eventually, they discovered that the ink had burned their skin, and three years later, the family is in an ongoing legal battle with the travel company.
“As a parent I was mortified and devastated by what I saw,” continued Alison. “They had pussed and swelled up massively. I wish I had never let the boys have them. It was a huge mistake. I would ask any other parent to think twice before letting their children have them done. I can't believe it [the lawsuit] has dragged on this long. The pain and suffering my boys have been through I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. “
Virgin Holidays, the travel company that runs the Egyptian resort, has reportedly been less than helpful to the family since the ordeal.
“But all that is compounded by Virgin and their reaction,” continued Groves. “Their behaviour has been awful and that have treated us with contempt throughout this process. They are in the wrong but they think they can drag this out and we will just go away. But it's just not right that they can allow this sort of thing to go on in their resorts then cover it up as if nothing ever happened.”
“It is disgraceful that UK Tour Operators continue to allow Henna tattoo artists to operate within these resorts unchecked knowing that the ink they're using can lead to horrific scarring and disfigurement,” said the family’s attorney Nick Harris.
Virgin did release a statement via a spokesperson, which said, “Virgin Holidays were concerned to learn of the reaction that these customers experienced following the henna tattoos they had during their holiday to Egypt in 2011. Virgin Holidays takes the well-being of all of its customers very seriously. However, as this matter is the subject of ongoing legal proceedings we're unable to comment further.”
Three years later, the brothers, now 16 and 14, are still suffering from the effects of the black henna, and reports say they will never be able to get any permanent tattoos or piercings because of their reaction to the chemicals.
A former alcohol expert for the World Health Organization claims that alcohol is only bad for you when you consume more than a bottle of wine a day and that abstaining is less healthy than drinking.
Dr. Kari Poikolainen analyzed decades of research on alcohol’s effects on the human body. He claims drinking is only harmful if a person imbibes more than 13 units – equal to four or five pints of beer or more than one bottle of wine, which usually contains about 10 units – in one day.
He also recommends drinking, stating that’s its healthier than abstaining.
“The weight of the evidence shows moderate drinking is better than abstaining and heavy drinking is worse than abstaining – however the moderate amounts can be higher than the guidelines say,” Poikolainen told the Daily Mail.
The recommended daily alcohol intake in the U.S. is 1 to 2 units, not to exceed 14 units in a week.
Poikolainen says that exceeding the recommended daily limit could help people live longer than teetotalers.
Critics say his claims are clearly dangerous.
“This is an unhelpful contribution to the debate. It makes grand claims which we don’t see evidence for,” said Julia Manning of 2020Health. “Alcohol is a toxin, the risks outweigh the benefits.”
Eight students at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken were diagnosed with mumps this week, as New Jersey becomes the third state to see a mumps outbreak this year.
All of the students, age 18 to 21, were fully vaccinated against the mumps.
“All Stevens’ students are required to have full vaccinations before attending the University,” the college said in a statement, noting that “outbreaks of mumps have occurred in vaccinated populations before.”
The MMR – measles, mumps, rubella vaccine – given twice to children before first grade is only 88 percent effective in preventing mumps, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s 99 percent effective against measles and 90 percent effective against rubella.
The CDC says more than 95 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR develop some immunity to all three viruses.
Officials are warning those that live on or around the campus that they may have been exposed and should watch out for symptoms, which are very similar to the flu.
"At Stevens our top priority is the health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff. Consistent with the procedures outlined by the NJDOH, all students with suspected mumps infection were isolated from others during the infectious phase of the illness and returned to their homes off campus," said Maggie Cunning, Director of the Student Health Services. "There have been no reports of newly symptomatic cases since the initial cases last week."
Officials say that infected students should make a full recovery within 10 days.
A ongoing outbreak in Ohio has seen more than 200 cases. An outbreak at New York’s Fordham University in February saw 13 cases.
Maddie Yates, a 16-year-old high school student from Louisiana, died by suicide on Monday night just moments after posting a YouTube video explaining her decision.
The video, titled “Important”, was viewed over 10,000 times before YouTube took it down on Tuesday. In a transcript of the video published by BuzzFeed, Yates said she had been dealing with depression and anxiety for years.
Here is the transcript:
“I know it’s not OK for me to be doing this, but I just can’t do this anymore. It feels like I’m being swallowed whole into myself. It physically hurts. Sometimes it hurts so bad that I throw up, and sometimes I just get panic attacks. I know this is selfish. You know, the doctor prescribed Prozac for depression and anxiety, but those are just fancy words for “selfish.” I know that I’m going to hurt everyone who loves me, and I really do love them too. But I’ve been like this for so long, and there’s still a chance that the worst day might still be coming. And I just don’t see how this is a bad idea because it’s like someone’s on the 12th floor, and the room behind them is on fire. And they’re standing on the window ledge and they have a choice whether or not to jump and get away from the fire or just stay and die a slow, excruciating death. It feels like that.
But I don’t want anyone to feel like it was their fault. This was my decision, not yours. I’m the one who messed up, not you. There’s nothing, literally nothing that you could have done; you’ve all tried so hard to help me. And I tried too. I guess it’s like I don’t mean to be over dramatic, but it’s like there’s a demon inside of me [inaudible].
You can’t help me. You’ve tried. And I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to hurt anyone. Remember that I’m doing you a favor. Remember how bad of a person I really am. I say awful things. Even if I don’t mean them, I say them. You don’t even want to know the things that I think; I am not a good person. I’m doing literally the whole world a favor. But I love you, and I’m sorry. And I really, really love you.”