Wednesday, February 23, 2022 |  Kaiser Health News

Friday, August 5, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

Longer Looks: Interesting Reads You Might Have Missed

Each week, KHN finds longer stories for you to enjoy. This week’s selections include stories on death with dignity, ADHD, the Transplant Games, nicotine addiction, and more.

The Atlantic: The Dangers Of Saying “Patient Zero”

This summer, yet another disease unfamiliar to most people in the United States is being transmitted around the world—as is the impulse to find someone to blame. Many news stories about the current monkeypox outbreak make reference to a “patient zero,” supposedly the one person who brought the virus into a particular state or community. This kind of finger-pointing, which long predates monkeypox, is a deeply flawed framing. Worse yet, stigmatizing individuals who get sick—and portraying the social, interconnected nature of communicable disease as an individual matter—actually impedes efforts to slow the spread of infection. (Thrasher, 7/31)

Los Angeles Times: One Last Trip: Gabriella Walsh’s Decision To Die — And Celebrate Life — On Her Own Terms

Gabriella Walsh knew she wanted to die on a Saturday. She’d settled on July 16, dressing that morning in a flower crown and a T-shirt with a picture of a dragonfly, an image that had comforted her in recent weeks. She took a deep inhale from a bottle of lavender oil and listened to a playlist of sea sounds. Earlier in the morning, friends and family nuzzled up against her in bed. Rest easy, they told her, and keep wandering. “I just feel like I’m going on a trip,” she said calmly. (Gerber, 8/1)

The Washington Post: As Children’s ADHD Diagnoses Rise, Parents Discover They Have It, Too

When her son Jake was diagnosed with ADHD at age 11, it didn’t occur to Cary Colleran that she may have the condition as well. It didn’t occur to her that the appointments she forgot, the permission slips left on the kitchen table, the misremembered dates of field trips might be anything other than a symptom of her personality. She’s disorganized. That’s all. (Onwuamaegbu, 8/1)

NBC News: ‘Social Contagion’ Isn’t Causing More Youths To Be Transgender, Study Finds

“Social contagion” is not driving an increasing number of adolescents to come out as transgender, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics. The study also found that the proportion of adolescents who were assigned female at birth and have come out as transgender also has not increased, which contradicts claims that adolescents whose birth sex is female are more susceptible to this so-called external influence. (Yurcaba, 8/3)

The Washington Post: An 18-Year-Old Lifeguard Helped Deliver A Baby On A YMCA Pool Deck

It was a typical Sunday morning shift for Natalie Lucas, who works as a lifeguard at the YMCA of Northern Colorado. Until, suddenly, a pregnant woman’s water broke on the indoor pool deck. “This was something I wasn’t prepared for,” said Lucas, 18, who has been a certified lifeguard for three years. (Page, 8/1)

Times Of San Diego: ‘Walking Miracles’ At Transplant Games Show World Organs Don’t Go To Waste

Shaleen Martel had important news in 2019. Her father figured she was going to announce a second pregnancy. Instead she asked him to open a box in front of her extended family. Inside was a small plush kidney with a message: I’m a donor match. Martel dismissed doctor’s advice that she couldn’t donate a kidney to her father who had been on dialysis for 22 months. Two months after the announcement, Gerald Wayman received his daughter’s kidney near Father’s Day. Tuesday, Wayman, 59, was resting between shot put throws at the track and field competition of the Transplant Games at UC San Diego. Her daughter had just finished first in her 100-meter dash heat. This was his third Transplant Games. (Stone, 8/4)

Also —

Mother Jones: Why Do Orthopedic Surgeons Have Such High Breast Cancer Rates?

The first time Loretta Chou drilled a hole in a bone, as a medical student in the mid-80’s, she thought it was the most fun thing she had ever done. “I liked that you could actually make people better—almost immediately better—by operating on a fracture,” she recalls. When she decided to specialize in orthopedic surgery, the branch of medicine that treats the musculoskeletal system, she knew that her chosen profession was a boys’ club. Just six percent of orthopedic surgeons are women. But it didn’t dawn on her that her job could be a health risk until the mid-2000s, when Chou, by then the chief of foot and ankle surgery at Stanford University, noticed that an alarming number of female colleagues were being diagnosed with breast cancer. (Lurie, 8/4)

The New York Times: Breaking Nicotine’s Powerful Draw

At some point in the next few years, the 30 million smokers in the United States could wake up one day to find that cigarettes sold at gas stations, convenience stores and smoke shops contain such tiny amounts of nicotine that they cannot get their usual fix when lighting up. Would the smokers be plunged into the agonizing throes of nicotine withdrawal and seek out their favorite, full-nicotine brand on illicit markets, or would they turn to vaping, nicotine gum and other less harmful ways to get that angst-soothing rush? (Jacobs, 8/2)

Bloomberg: Texas Pregnancy Care Worsens As Maternity Wards Close

Since 2020, dozens of hospitals have closed or suspended their maternity services. In Florida, so many hospitals have stopped delivering babies that the only facilities left are in and around cities, leaving rural counties entirely without maternity care. “Having a place for people in your community to give birth is just a basic service,” says Katy Kozhimannil, a professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota who specializes in rural maternal health. “You can’t have a functioning community without it. And yet it’s increasingly seen as extra. The burden of pregnancy and birth is getting exponentially harder in this country. At a certain point it’s like, what are moms supposed to do?” (Suddath, 8/4)

Reuters: South Korea Develops Nanotech Tattoo As Health Monitoring Device

South Koreans may soon be able to carry a device inside their own bodies in the form of a bespoke tattoo that automatically alerts them to potential health problems, if a science team’s project bears fruit. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in the city of Daejeon southwest of Seoul have developed an electronic tattoo ink made of liquid metal and carbon nanotubes that functions as a bioelectrode. (Park, 8/2)

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