In January, a U.K. college student suffered three heart attacks after consuming 10 Jagerbombs in one night. Jagerbombs, as you may know, are made by mixing the liquor Jagermeister with Red Bull.
18-year-old Jayde Dinsdale said she consumed the inordinate number of Jagerbombs on a 2-for-1 night at a local club. She went home and slept following her night out, but problems started the next morning.
While talking to her mother, Dinsdale suddenly dropped to the floor. She was having a heart attack.
“She was her normal bubbly self, but suddenly her chest jolted and she fell to the floor, hitting her head on the bath and radiator,” her mother said. “I put her in the recovery position and stabilized her but she had another fit. I screamed for my husband. Dinsdale’s pulse was very faint and she started to go purple. She was dead on the bathroom floor – it’s a miracle that she is still with us.”
Her father saved her life by performing CPR. Her family called an ambulance, and Dinsdale was taken to the hospital. There, doctors put her in an induced coma to prevent more heart attacks. She stayed in the coma for 52 hours.
After waking from the coma, doctors implanted a defibrillator under her shoulder to shock her heart back into a normal rhythm if it started beating too fast or too slowly.
“She was covered in tubes. Nothing can prepare you for seeing your child like that,” Dinsdale’s mother said.
Doctors told Dinsdale her heart attacks were likely caused by the amount of caffeine she consumed the night before. A 250 milliliter can of Red Bull contains 80 milligrams of caffeine, which is comparable to an 8 oz. cup of coffee. It’s not hard to see why drinking the equivalent of 10 cups of coffee in two hours could prove problematic.
“I hope people will think twice about energy drinks – they could be deadly,” Dinsdale said.
A large study of women receiving free birth control found that it didn’t result in risky sexual behavior or more sexually transmitted diseases.
The study, conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, followed 10,000 low-income women of reproductive age for several years. Participants, aged 14 to 45, received free FDA-approved contraception.
Many women reported they were having sex more frequently, but 70 percent reported no increase in the number of sexual partners they had. Most women who reported having new partners went from having zero partners to one.
In fact, the percentage of women who reported multiple partners at the beginning of the study declined throughout the study.
There was no increase in the rate of sexually transmitted diseases among the group.
“Increasing access to no-cost contraceptives doesn’t translate into riskier sexual behavior,” Jeffrey Peipert, the study’s senior author, said in a release. “It’s not the contraception that drives their sexual behavior.”
The research stands in stark contrast to the conservative Family Research Council, which argues that restricting women's access to contraception is the only way to keep teens from having sex.
In November, FRC President Tony Perkins said that private companies should deny birth control coverage to adult women.
“I think [the Obama administration sees] religious freedom as fine with it as long as it’s in the four walls of a church,” Perkins said. "But if it comes into workplace, the marketplace, if it comes into the public square, it’s not welcome. But the reality is the founders saw us with an aggressive ability to live our lives according to our faith. I mean, that’s why the Pilgrims came here.”
A two-year-old girl has reportedly been suspended from daycare for three days because she brought in a cheese sandwich.
The girl’s father, Randy Murray, says that he didn’t have enough time to feed his two children breakfast while trying to get them out the door one morning, so he quickly made them each a cheese sandwich so that they could eat in the car on the way to daycare.
Unbeknownst to Murray, his daughter Faith decided not to eat the sandwich during the ride to Centre de l'Enfant aux 4 Vente daycare and instead slipped it in her pocket to save for later.
As Murray escorted his children into the daycare facility, a staff member immediately noticed the sandwich sticking out of the toddler’s pocket. The sandwich was promptly confiscated, as the daycare has a strict policy that does not allow outside food. Murray says he completely understands why they took the sandwich away, but he didn’t expect them to suspend the two-year-old for three days.
"I thought they were joking,” recalled Murray of being told his daughter was suspended. “I was like why would I bring one kid home and be home from doing work and everything...I'd bring them both home and that's the end of that."
The daycare defends its policy, which states that if outside food not containing peanuts is taken into the facility, the child automatically receives a mandatory three-day suspension. If the food actually contains peanuts, however, the child is permanently expelled.
"We need to ensure their well-being and safety,” said Deb Ducharme, director of the daycare. “Most parents are comfortable with our rules because it creates a safe environment for their children.”
Still, Murray says the disciplinary action taken by the school against the innocent two-year-old is over the top.
"I'm speechless,” said Murray. “I wish they had handled it differently. They freaked out. If I got a warning, I'd admit my mistake and move on. But it seems they want to penalize the parents. There's no logic to it. I'm going to the media because I think people have to speak up when something's fishy."
Murray, a graphic artist, is planning to send Faith and her brother Michael to another daycare.
The New York City Health Department announced an outbreak of a rare skin infection this week. It is being associated with people who came into contact with raw or live seafood at Chinatown markets.
At least 30 people who touched the fish in question were infected with this rare type of bacteria, called aquarium granuloma. New York City hasn’t seen an outbreak of the bacteria in 20 years, according to medical experts.
“This is a very uncommon bacteria, so the fact that we’ve detected 30 cases so far suggests that something has changed, either about the water in the tank or the tanks themselves or the types of fish or seafood that are causing this problem,” Dr. Jay Varma, the health department's deputy commissioner for disease control, said.
The infection leaves red bumps on the hands or arms and can also swell underneath the skin. Those infected may have difficulty moving their fingers.
If left untreated, the infection can become significantly worse and require surgery.
Medical professionals suggest that anyone dealing with seafood from the Chinatown markets should wear waterproof gloves. While raw seafood should be treated with caution, eating it cooked is not considered dangerous.
A 9-month-old baby who was born in a Los Angeles suburban hospital with HIV may have been cured by administering anti-viral drugs just four hours after her birth. A Reuters news story reports that the child is the second such case in the United States. A child in Mississippi was also confirmed to be free of the virus that causes AIDS after similar early treatments over 3 years ago.
The news is promising, says Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, executive director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“This could lead to major changes, for two reasons,” he told the New York Times. “Both for the welfare of the child, and because it is a huge proof of concept that you can cure someone if you can treat them early enough.”
More research will need to be done in light of the new developments, says Dr. Deborah Persaud, a pediatrics specialist with the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who is heading up the treatment of the child in California.
"Really the only way we can prove that we have accomplished remission in these kids is by taking them off treatment and that's not without risk," she said. "This is a call to action for us to mobilize and be able to learn from these cases.”
The New York Times article reports that news of the California baby is the third piece of good news in two days regarding HIV treatment. On Tuesday, scientists reported that injections of potent AIDS drugs appeared to have fended off infection in monkeys, and on Wednesday, researchers announced a breakthrough “gene-editing” procedure that may help immune system cells fight the virus.
Dr. Yvonne Bryson, an infectious disease specialist at Mattel Children's Hospital in California, has also been involved in the treatment of the child in Los Angeles, according to USA Today. In an effort to keep momentum going for early HIV treatment, she has become a leader of a new federally funded study, just getting underway, to test 60 babies in the United States with the new techniques. She and Persaud are both hopeful that the treatments will keep the children HIV-free.
"These kids obviously will be followed very, very closely" for signs of the virus, Persaud said.
The Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colo., is under intense scrutiny after an investigation found officials from the district intentionally destroyed records of a special needs student in order to keep them away from his family.
The district’s actions were brought to light after the student’s father, corporate lawyer Ephraim Starr, filed an Open Records Act request with the school. Starr requested the educational records of his 9-year-old autistic son, Isaac, after the child started reverting back to problematic behaviors he hadn’t displayed in years. The behaviors started soon after Isaac was enrolled in the Poudre School District following the family’s move from California.
"He would throw 45-minute tantrums, things he had done when he was several years younger, that now started resurfacing again," said Starr. "He wasn't doing well in school. Things were getting much worse."
Starr’s Open Records request did turn up a number of documents, though they were not at all what the Starr’s expected to see. The family discovered that Sarah Belleau, the district’s director of integrated services, was telling school staff to delete all records they had on file for Isaac.
Here is one of Belleau’s emails to her special education coordinator from Dec. 9, 2010:
Please delete this e-mail when done…
Please ask all involved staff to delete AND destroy any e-mail or paper records related to this family. When they delete the e-mail, they need to then "empty the trash" Please have them do this immediately. All other records with the exception of the latest plan should be destroyed -- shred. The reason is to protect against an Open Records Request.
Thank you for doing this and for verbally communicating this with staff. I do not want this put in writing.
An email dated just days after Starr’s request shows that Isaac’s principal at Bacon Elementary, Joe Horky, was involved in the cover-up too. Horky mentioned both Belleau and Starr in an email and encouraged staff to use a code word when referring to the two in order to avoid the email from showing up in data searches.
“Student initials may not be the only/best answer to our email issue," read Horky’s email. "Please creatively think of something we may all be able to use as a 'code' word - haha!!”
He later reminded officials to delete all emails and records pertaining to Isaac in an email saying, “Delete your message!” “Delete your deleted!” and, “Delete your sent!”
Special Education Coordinator Gloria Hohrein told Colorado news station ABC 7 the officials deleted their messages out of fear “that he [Ephraim Starr] would bring a lawsuit against the school district. Because he wasn't getting the services he wanted."
As you would imagine, the Starrs feel incredibly betrayed by the district.
"I'd never seen a record like that in my life," Starr said. "I didn't know what to think. I felt like, so not only do we have every reason to be distrustful of these people, but by virtue of their approach to our son's special education they were intentionally destroying the very records on which we would like to rely to make sure his education was what he deserved."
The Starr family’s lawsuit against the Poudre District has cost taxpayers over $200,000. After finding the district illegally held records from the family, a judge ordered the district to pay the family’s $122,577 in attorney fees. The district also had to foot a $56,609 bill owed to a data recovery agency used in the investigation. The lawsuit has not yet come to a close.
"It's not merely unethical, unconscionable; it's fundamentally corrupt, I think," Starr said. "Parents throughout the district ought to be concerned that what the school district is telling parents is not the same as what's actually happening."
A lot of consumers have become addicted to weight-loss products because they have seen advertisements with dramatic before-and-after photos of real people.
A recent investigation by The Today Show revealed the validity of the photos from ads and discovered that many of the people featured never heard of the dieting product or even tried it.
Wu-Yi Source Tea has an ad that claims one of its customers lost a dramatic 68 pounds from drinking the product. The ad also offers her photos as proof for those who want to tone down.
When Today contacted Wu-Yi Source Tea, the company said that Brook Shadwell had knowledge of and payment for its use of the images.
The photos form Wu-Yi Source Tea's ad was known to be of Shadwell. The caption for the ad read, "Wu-Yi Tea is the only one I would have used. I'm extremely happy with the results. Looks like I'll be drinking tea now."
Shadwell told Today in an interview that the ad is "completely false, I didn't even drink the tea. I haven't even tried the tea. I don't even know what this tea is!"
The Daily Mail reported that Today also found one woman’s photo on promotional materials for several weight-loss drugs in which her testimonials are attributed to different names, such as “Jenny Conrad” and “Kathy Thompson.” However, the woman is not even a dieter, but a model in a stock photo manipulated over and over again.
“It's easy to fake those photos, and so consumers should not think that that reflects what they'll actually get,” Mary Engle, the associate director of advertising practices at the Federal Trade Commission, explained to Today.
The Obama administration has been accused by Republicans of setting up "death panels" that will supposedly "ration health care" for Americans via Obamacare.
That false claim was started by former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and called "lie of the year" in 2009 by Politifact.com.
However, Palin and other Republicans have been oddly silent about Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) limiting how many times poor people can go to a hospital emergency room.
Gov. Scott asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for permission to limit the number of times that people with Medicaid could go to the ER in 2012.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services refused to do so because Gov. Scott's request violated the Social Security Act by “arbitrarily denying coverage of a mandatory benefit and would not be in patients’ best interest," noted the Miami Herald.
Gov. Scott ignored the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid's decision and declared that people on Medicaid can only go to the ER six times a year, regardless of their medical condition.
In response, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid says it will withhold 10 percent of federal matching funds for Florida’s Medicaid program and escalate that penalty by 5 percent each quarter, reports the Bradenton Herald.
Governor Scott also rejected the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.
The Scott administration claims that limiting emergency room medical care will encourage patients to stay out of expensive ERs and use primary care doctors instead.
While that would be cheaper, many doctor's offices do not accept Medicaid patients who often have no other choice but to use the ER.
Ironically, Republican President George W. Bush and GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney told poor people to use the ER for health care, noted The Washington Post.
As China’s rural migrants are moving into cities looking for work, the wealthiest residents are fleeing urban centers in droves in search of less pollution.
“Only a small portion of people who made profit in the city can afford to relocate to a slightly better place,” said Yuan Xuecheng, a teacher at Suzhou High School. “However, in China, where is there a better place? The air is polluted, the water is polluted, even the food is polluted. Where can you go? Some go abroad, but only few of them, very few of them. The majority of us just cannot escape.”
“Pollution is everywhere, in the air, water and food. There are now also more than 200 ‘cancer villages’ in China,” writes the New Tang Dynasty (NTD), a news service based in New York City and founded by Chinese Americans.
Some are moving overseas in search of clean air, to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and small European countries. Others relocate to less populated Chinese cities like Dali in Yunnan, Sanya in Hainan, Weihai in Shandong, and Zhuhai in Guangdong, according to NTD.
Critics argue that companies are pumping industrial waste deep underground in order to avoid waste treatment and regulation, contaminating ground water.
“Some industrial waste is very difficult to handle and the associated costs are relatively high. They don’t want to spend that kind of money,” Yu Xinyong, an investment manager for a Shandong company that handles industrial sewage, told NTD.
"Discharge is not allowed, and there is also monitoring facility on the ground," Yu continued. "So, they dug wells 50 meters, 80 meters, 200 meters, and 300 meters deep, and pumped the waste into the ground. No one knows they are discharging the waste in this way. Underground water hundreds of meters deep has taken tens of thousands of years to purify, and is totally ruined.”
Yu says the communist regime doesn’t care about long-term consequences. He accuses officials of having a “doomsday” mentality. He says the Chinese people have to turn to elected officials if they want pollution to be checked.
“In other words, if the people's congresses are elected by people, they may surely handle these problems,” Yu said. “In an ordinary society, we all think for our children. The reality now is that the people’s congresses are appointed by the regime. They will only listen to the authorities.”
Bad news for those of us who don't like viruses.
French scientists recently revived a virus after it had been frozen in Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. The virus, called Pithovirus sibericum, became infectious after scientists thawed it from the freeze.
"This is the first time we've seen a virus that's still infectious after this length of time,” Professor Jean-Michael Claverie said.
Don’t worry about Pithovirus infecting you – it only attacks single-celled organisms. But the fact that ancient, frozen viruses can remain infectious poses a serious potential threat if arctic regions continue thawing as they have since the 1970’s. Professor Claverie notes that the same region Pithovirus was revived from is being eyed by businesses all over the world because of its natural resources.
"It is a recipe for disaster,” Claverie said. “If you start having industrial explorations, people will start to move around the deep permafrost layers. Through mining and drilling, those old layers will be penetrated and this is where the danger is coming from."
Claverie told BBC News that formerly eradicated viruses like smallpox could be lying dormant in the freeze.
"If it is true that these viruses survive in the same way those amoeba viruses survive, then smallpox is not eradicated from the planet - only the surface," he said. "By going deeper we may reactivate the possibility that smallpox could become again a disease of humans in modern times."
Professor Jonathan Ball is a virologist from the University of Nottingham. He commented on the research and said that, although the Pithovirus findings are alarming, we shouldn’t expect to see all viruses remain so potent after being frozen for such a long time.
"Finding a virus still capable of infecting its host after such a long time is still pretty astounding - but just how long other viruses could remain viable in permafrost is anyone's guess,” he said. “It will depend a lot on the actual virus. I doubt they are all as robust as this one.”