<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Health News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/health http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usThu, 29 Jun 2017 09:37:43 -0700Thu, 29 Jun 2017 09:37:43 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[GOP Health Care Bill Could Raise Premiums 74 Percent: Study]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:44:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/699666664-Mitch-McConnell.jpg

Health care premiums could rise 74 percent for the average customer under the Republican Senate health care bill, according to a new report.

Older and low-income Americans could face the highest increases for coverage, with Americans between ages 55 and 64 with lower incomes seeing a 294 percent increase in premiums. NBC News reported that the study by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation factored in the price of insurance and the amount of subsidies people would receive. 

The Senate bill, supported by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., encourages customers to purchase plans with higher deductibles. The subsidies would cover an average of 58 percent of costs, compared to Obamacare’s 70 percent.

In its analysis on Monday, the Congressional Budget Office said that premiums and deductibles could be too high for many low-income customers to buy coverage.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Hot Car Deaths: Scientists Detail Why Parents Forget]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 09:58:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hotweatherPHX_1200x675.jpg

Neuroscientists at the University of South Florida have taken a deep dive into the psychological and biological science behind the "Forgotten Baby Syndrome," NBC News reported.   

Dr. David Diamond has studied the phenomenon of children forgotten in cars and discovered it can be common.

“We all experience when we have a plan to do something in the future and then we forget to complete that plan," he told NBC News.

Diamond's research team has focused on the brain center, which operates on a subconscious level and stores abilities such as riding a bike -- the brain center allowed people to turn on their "autopilot" brain function.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Solution Proposed to E. Coli Tainted Water: School Officials]]> Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:34:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/School+Water+Generic.jpg

Mountain Empire Unified School District officials will install a new pressure tank to alleviate E. coli in the school water at Clover Flat Elementary in Boulevard, the Superintendent Kathy Granger confirmed Monday.

One child's godparent, Vanessa Heath, told NBC 7 she thinks the district is handling the issue well.

"I think that seems like a good solution," said Heath. "They're trying to fix it first, and if not then, they'll provide an alternate source for them, and I think that is good as long as they allow the children to have enough water for themselves."

She says the district acted appropriately by communicating about the concern to parents, although it made her worry more about her godchildren.

"I was concerned and I watched them very close and they didn't end up getting sick so that was a good thing," added Heath.

This proposed pressure tank is a result of the district working with experts from the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health (DEH), said Assistant Superintendant Gary Hobelman. Once the pump is installed, school officials will retest the water.

DEH officials say the school should work with their water system operator to clean the tanks and lids, fully flush the system and retest the water. 

There is adequate separation between the septic system and the water wells, confirmed DEH officials. The structures are separated by more than 200 feet, in adherence with state guidelines.

If the pump doesn't resolve the issue by the time school reopens in August, students will drink bottled water. If that happens, the drinking fountains will be taped off, and kids will not be allowed to drink from the fountains, as the district works to resolve the issue.

School officials are also considering putting water filters on drinking fountains, said Hobelman.

The school has previously drawn its water supply from big water tanks that are used not just for drinking water, but also for fire protection. County and state regulations permit the school to use the tanks as a water source.

But DEH officials say that's not wise because the longer water sits still, the more likely it is to stagnate.

A water sample tested positive for E. coli on June 16, the last day of school before students were released for summer vacation. The county's Environmental Health Department conducted an inspection of the system Thursday.

The school water system operator noted that the lids on their water tanks were not sealed correctly.

School officials are actively working with county officials to fix any issues with the water system.

Parents reached out to NBC 7 last week to report that several students at the school are suffering severe stomach symptoms, and some students have been hospitalized. It remains unclear whether E. coli in the water caused the illnesses.

<![CDATA[Seniors Concerned Health Care Plan is 'Age Tax']]> Mon, 26 Jun 2017 10:22:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/senior-health-care.jpg

A Senate Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act aims to reduce funding for Medicaid, the single largest source of health care coverage in the United States.

Organizations like AARP are concerned that the cuts unfairly target senior citizens.

AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said in a statement that the Senate bill imposes an “age tax” on older adults.

“AARP is adamantly opposed to the Age Tax, which would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more for coverage than everyone else while reducing tax credits that help make insurance more affordable,” LeaMond noted.

The advocacy organization notes on its website that the current law keeps insurers from charging older adults more than three times as much for premiums as they charge those who are younger for the same coverage. Both the Republican House and Senate legislation would "allow insurers to charge older adults five times as much, and states could receive waivers to remove even that limit."

Jerome Mosman agrees with the “age tax” characterization.

Mosman is the CEO of Sixty & Better, a nonprofit that provides nutrition and socialization services to senior citizens at 25 activity centers across Tarrant County in Texas.

“I think it is an Age Tax because there is a presumption that all older people are sicker, and this is not true,” Mosman said.

“To lose that [Medicaid] safety net is frightening. States are ultimately going to have to ration [their allotment] and say, ‘Well, we only get so much from Medicaid, therefore we cannot insure more disabled people, more elderly people.’ It is frightening for those on low income,” Mosman said.

At the age of 71, Anita Strange — a retired school teacher and lifelong Fort Worth resident — was dropped by her health insurance company, Aetna, which Strange believes was a direct result of her age.

Since then, Strange, now 74, has been enrolled in Medicare.

“I’m watching [the developments] but I’m just going to wait and see [before I pass judgment],” Strange said. “There’s got to be a better plan out there for us because we have to have insurance.”

Republicans have been said to be considering a vote this week, though the bill has a narrow path to victory with Democrats united against it and some moderates and conservatives calling for changes. 

A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the number of people likely to keep coverage under the bill is due out this week. Twenty-three million people would lose insurance under the House version of the legislation, the CBO said last month. 

"Republican Senators are working very hard to get there, with no help from the Democrats," Trump tweeted on Monday. "Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!"

Photo Credit: NBC 5 News]]>
<![CDATA[Medical Groups Hate the 'Heartless' Senate Health Care Plan]]> Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:11:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-699840802.jpg

Both versions of the Republican plan to fix the American health care system would make things worse, not better, according to groups that represent a variety of physicians.

NBC News reported that pediatrician, cancer specialist, cardiologist and family doctor groups were denouncing the Senate version of the bill within hours of its release Thursday.

"The Senate draft health care bill is literally heartless," American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.

Among the reasons so many medical professionals oppose the changes Republicans have proposed to the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," is that it reduces funding for Medicaid, the state-federal health plan that covers many low-income, disabled and pregnant people, as well as a large portion of American children.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hummus Sold At Wal-Mart, Target Recalled for Listeria Risk]]> Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:40:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/armus-hummus.jpg

A brand of pine nut hummus sold at major retailers including Wal-Mart and Target has been recalled by its manufacturer because it may be contaminated with listeria.

House of Thaller, which is based in Knoxville, Tennessee, voluntarily recalled all 10-ounce packages of hummus products containing pine nut topping, after a supplier reported the possible contamination.

Thaller sells its hummus under the brand names Marketside, Lantana, and Fresh Foods Market across the country, including at large nationwide retailers.

Listeria monocytogenes, the bacteria that may have contaminated the hummus, can cause serious infections in young children, the elderly, and anyone with weakened immune systems. Symptoms include fever, nausea and diarrhea.

No illnesses have been reported in relation to the product, which was distributed from April 18 to June 13, according to the FDA.

Anyone with questions about the recall can call the House of Thaller customer service center on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST at 855-215-5142. Or click here for more information.  

Photo Credit: US Food & Drug Administration]]>
<![CDATA[5 Key Issues to Look for in the Senate Health Care Bill]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:44:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mcconnell3.jpg

With Senate Republican leaders expected to release details of their health care bill in a 9:30 a.m. meeting Thursday, NBC News rounded up five big issues that are at the heart of the proposed legislation. 

Medicaid has been a major talking point in the health care debate. Republican leaders have been contemplating a slow winding-down of the program, making it less generous or creating carve-outs so certain groups don't lose coverage, such as children with chronic health problems.

Lawmakers are also looking at taxes. The Senate is trying to correct the House's version of the bill that gives tax credits based on age. But some lawmakers also want to repeal the taxes they believe increase the cost of premiums, including the tax on insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and more.

Opioid treatment could also lose funding, though some senators are weighing the option of creating a pool of money to be available for that purpose. And Planned Parenthood is facing strict opposition from Republicans, but moderates don't want the organization to lose funding.

Photo Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[Women Keep Dressing Like ‘Handmaids’ at Statehouses]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:02:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/handmaidslegislation_1200x675.jpg

Women across the country are using creative methods to get their message on reproductive rights to their local and state legislative bodies by channeling the characters from the dystopian novel "The Handmaid's Tale," NBC News reported.

Groups of women gather in legislative rooms and hold discussions dressed in long red robes and white bonnets, just like the characters in the Margaret Atwood novel and current Hulu series.

"The Handmaid’s Tale is based on what actually has happened to women throughout history, where women have been essentially narrowed down to their reproductive abilities," said Stephanie Craddock Sherwood, executive director of the Ohio abortion fund Women Have Options (WHO).

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[FDA Wants To Stop Pharma From 'Gaming' Generic Drug System]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:30:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/pills-generic-03-GettyImages-108339198.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration is trying to stop pharmaceutical companies from "gaming" the system by blocking or delaying generic competition, Reuters reported.

The agency plans a public meeting on July 18 to help it search for ways pharmaceutical companies are using its rules to block generic competition, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a blog post Wednesday.

"We know that sometimes our regulatory rules might be 'gamed' in ways that may delay generic drug approvals beyond the time frame the law intended, in order to reduce competition," he said in the blog post. "We are actively looking at ways our rules are being used and, in some cases, misused."

President Donald Trump and lawmakers in Congress are searching for ways to lower prescription costs.

Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Namaste: It's International Yoga Day]]> Wed, 21 Jun 2017 11:13:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+YOGA+DAY+THUMB.jpg

June 21 is the third annual International Yoga Day, which thousands of yogis across the world marked at mass gatherings. It's estimated that over 36 million Americans practice yoga annually, spending more than $16 billion on classes, clothes and equipment.

<![CDATA[Six Experts Resign From President's HIV/AIDS Advisory Panel]]> Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:40:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-499435366.jpg

Scott Schoettes, Counsel and HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, explained in a Newsweek op-ed Friday that he and five colleagues decided to leave their posts on the council in protest of the Trump administration, which they allege "has no strategy to address the on-going HIV/AIDS epidemic."

Schoettes, who is openly HIV positive, added that the White House is also pushing legislation that would harm people with HIV and “reverse gains made in the fight against the disease.”

Lucy Bradley-Springer, Gina Brown, Ulysses W. Burley III, Michelle Ogle and Grissel Granados are the five other members who resigned.

The White House and the Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.

Photo Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Laundry Pods Can Be Fatal for Adults With Dementia]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:14:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/detergent-pods-file.jpg

Within the past five years, six adults with cognitive impairment have died from ingesting brightly colored laundry detergent pods. During the same time, two children died from doing the same.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the numbers indicate that the pods, which some argue closely resemble sweets or candy, pose more of a danger to adults with dementia than they do to children.

The deaths were first revealed by independent non-profit consumer advocacy group Consumer Reports after it filed a Freedom of Information Act Request with the CPSC. The CPSC told NBC News it was aware of five such deaths in the U.S. and one in Canada.

Photo Credit: Pat Sullivan/AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[App for Air Pollution Could Make City Living a Lot Safer]]> Fri, 16 Jun 2017 08:50:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/calipollutionx1200x675.jpg

Out of a pollution study an app, that can pinpoint pollution hot spots block by block, is being developed for city dwellers, reported NBC News. 

A study suggests that it might be possible for local authorities to pinpoint air quality that would otherwise go undetected — and help citizens avoid living in or traveling through those areas.

Researchers from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the University of Texas tracked two Google Street View cars rigged with air quality monitoring equipment for levels of black carbon, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide as they drove throughout Oakland, Calif.

The study was published last week in the journal of Environment Science & Technology.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fewer Teens Are Vaping and Smoking, CDC Survey Finds]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:41:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-647804748.jpg

Teen smoking rates have hit new lows in the U.S. and, for the first time, fewer high school students are trying e-cigarettes, NBC News reported.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows cigarette smoking and vaping rates went down in 2016.

“The decline in use of tobacco products was primarily driven by a drop in e-cigarette use among middle and high school students from 3 million in 2015 to just under 2.2 million in 2016,” the CDC report says.

CDC and anti-smoking groups both said a combination of tobacco restrictions, advertising and taxes has helped reduce smoking rates.

Photo Credit: Sergei Konkov/TASS via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Local Veterans Could Receive Free Medical Marijuana ]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 20:39:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WEB_Marijuana_Maroney.jpg

Dozens of veterans gathered at Torrey Holistics Thursday, a medical marijuana collective in San Diego, to buy cannabis, with profits going towards the 'Weed For Warriors Project'.

The Weed for Warriors Project provides medical marijuana information to veterans who struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other medical conditions. They strive to deliver free medical marijuana to vets who need it.

"I never dealt with my experiences with PTSD. They didn’t talk about that in the military when I got out," said Sean Kiernan, founder of Weed for Warriors. "I started to go off the rails, just to be honest with you. I hit rock bottom and had a suicide attempt.”

Kiernan said medical marijuana helped him to get back on his feet. He started the nonprofit to help other veterans discover the benefits of medical cannabis.

“Cannabis allows you to calm down immediately, go out and get reintegrated into the social environment, which is one of the big healing processes.”

The Veterans Benefit Project event is going on at Torrey Holistics on Roselle Street in San Diego until July 4th. Veterans with proof of service and a medical recommendation may be eligible to receive free medical marijuana samples.

<![CDATA[Study Finds Traces of Lead in Some Baby Foods]]> Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:56:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/240*120/061517+generic+baby+food.JPG

A startling new report finds detectable levels of lead in baby food, a finding that may concern parents. But experts say it's important to stay vigilant about bigger sources of lead poisoning in kids.

Crumbling, peeling paint in older homes is one of the nation's biggest sources of lead exposure. Now there's evidence of another, more minor source of lead exposure in some food produced.

"That included fruit juices; baby fruit juices; root vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, and some categories of cookies, like arrowroot biscuits and teething cookies,” said Sarah Vogel from the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Environmental Defense Fund explored data from the Food and Drug Administration, finding what it calls "detectable" levels of lead in some baby food — though there's no information about how much or which brands are involved, and some samples had no lead at all.

"Lead can have an impact on the developing brain. It can have consequences later in life when it comes to issues around attention, behavior," said Dr. Aparna Bole, a pediatrician with UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

The FDA says the administration set a maximum daily lead intake of six micrograms, which is being reviewed, saying on its website, "lead is in food because it is in the environment and lead cannot simply be removed from food."

Doctors discourage parents from worrying too much about lead in baby food, saying they can make their own baby food by using local produce when possible and speaking to their pediatricians about the best ways to avoid lead.

"I certainly would not recommend avoiding entire food groups because of a concern about lead exposure," Bole said. "Root vegetables are a really healthy choice for babies."

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[GOP Health Care Law Could Cost Nearly 1 Million Jobs: Report]]> Wed, 14 Jun 2017 16:14:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-649341364.jpg

The American Health Care Act, the GOP’s answer to Obamacare, could end up costing the U.S. economy close to 1 million jobs, researchers predicted Wednesday.

If the bill passes, it would initially boost jobs and increase economic output, "however, cuts in funding for Medicaid and health subsidies then begin to deepen, triggering sharp job losses and broad disruption of state economies in the following years," said Leighton Ku, director of the Center for Health Policy Research, who led the study team.

Health care jobs are an enormous part of the U.S. economy — making for 18 percent of the total Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Hospitals, clinics, doctors and health care services are major sources of jobs, too.

Photo Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Are Your Allergies Worse Lately? Experts Explain Why ]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 16:16:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Spring+allergies.JPG

Medical experts say allergies may be worse for people living in San Diego lately. The reason why might have to do with the drought.

"Now that we are out of the drought and there's been more rain and water it is easier for plants to grow," said Dr. Eric White, an optometrist with VSP Network, based in San Diego. "That puts a lot more allergens into the air like pollen."

Dr. White said those with allergy symptoms might experience dry and itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, sore throat or other symptoms.  

“We’re having a lot more frequency of people coming in with allergy attacks," said Dr. White.

Dr. White said there are over the counter remedies for allergies. For example, taking an anti-histamine can help with symptoms of sneezing, dry eyes and coughing.

Dr. White also added for dry eyes, it is important to use eye drops, which can offer instant relief.

<![CDATA[Tyson Recalls 2.4M Pounds of Chicken Due to Allergy Risk]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 08:21:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tyson-Foods-generic.jpg

Tyson Foods Inc. is recalling more than 2.4 million pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken products because the bread crumbs may contain milk, a potential allergen not included on the label.

The Arkansas-based company said there have been no confirmed cases of illnesses related to the recall.

Affected frozen chicken products were packaged between Aug. 17, 2016, through Jan. 14, 2017, and sold nationwide.

Below is a list of affected products:

• 31.86-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN STRIP-SHAPED CHICKEN PATTIE FRITTERS-CN” with case code 003859-0928 and production dates of 09/09/2016, 10/05/2016, 10/14/2016, 10/15/2016, 11/09/2016, 12/10/2016, 12/30/2016 and 01/14/2017.
• 31.05-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN CHICKEN PATTIE FRITTERS-CN” with case code 003857-0928 and production dates of 11/12/2016.
• 30.6-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN BREADED CHICKEN PATTIES-CN” with case code 016477-0928 and production dates of 09/10/2016, 09/16/2016, 09/23/2016, 09/30/2016 and 10/06/2016.
• 30.6-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN CHUNK-SHAPED BREADED CHICKEN PATTIES-CN” with case code 016478-0928 and production dates of 09/16/2016, 09/28/2016 and 10/06/2016.
• 20.0-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, BREADED CHICKEN PATTIES-CN” with case code 005778-0928 and production dates of 09/14/2016, 09/19/2016 and 10/03/2016.32.81-lb. bulk cases of “Tyson FULLY COOKED, WHOLE GRAIN GOLDEN CRISPY CHICKEN CHUNK FRITTERS-CN CHUNK-SHAPED CHICKEN PATTIE FRITTERS” with case code 070364-0928, packaging and production date of 08/17/2016.
• 20-lb bulk cases of “SPARE TIME, Fully Cooked Breaded Chicken Patties” with case code 005778-0861 and production date of 10/03/2016.
• 20-lb bulk cases of “SPARE TIME, Fully Cooked Chicken Pattie Fritters” with case code 016477-0861 and production date of 09/16/2016 and 10/06/2016.

Schools have purchased the products through Tyson's commercial partners, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Affected products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

The recall was limited to foodservice customers, and affected products are not available for purchase in retail stores, according to the news release.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Trader Joe's Recalls Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream]]> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 06:35:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trader-joes-green-tea.jpg

Trader Joe's is recalling all of its Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream because the products may contain small pieces of metal.

The California-based company said on Saturday that all potentially affected products have been removed from store shelves.

Anyone who's purchased the ice cream shouldn't eat it. You can return it to any Trader Joe's for a full refund.

No one has gotten sick and no injuries have been reported, the grocery chain said.

Trader Joe's customer service can be reached at 626-599-3817 or through email.

Photo Credit: Trader Joe's]]>
<![CDATA[Study Shows Texting Could Help Type 2 Diabetes Management ]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 22:08:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NC_diabetes0509_1920x1080.jpg

A new study from the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute in La Jolla shows that texting could be as good as medication at improving Type 2 Diabetes management.

The study looked at a low-income Hispanic community, known to have a high-rate of diabetes.

“Lower income individuals sometimes don’t have the education to know what is the right approach to taking care of diabetes," said Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas, who spearheaded the study.

The 63 participants who were randomly assigned to the study group received 354 texts over six months--about two to three short messages a day.

Some of the reminder texts read: "Use small plates! Portions will look larger and you may feel more satisfied after eating."

Another text said, "Time to check your blood sugar. Please text back your results."

Ninety-six percent of the study group participants said the text messages helped them to manage their diabetes "a lot" by the time the trial ended.

"I lost weight," said Gloria Favela, a mural artist from Valley Center. "My blood sugars dropped. They were at a really healthy level.”

<![CDATA['Beating Heart in a Box' Promises Major Medical Revolution]]> Fri, 09 Jun 2017 11:57:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/humanheartcopyART_1200x675.jpg

The most current method and technology available for heart transplants is an estimated 50 years old but new technology may revolutionize how heart transplant surgeries may change in the near future, reported NBC News. 

The current method starts by having the organ taken out of the donor then it is flushed with a cold salt solution, which includes preservatives to  keep the organ viable for transplant. It’s then put on ice and sent to a hospital where it is needed. 

But the new technique will allow donated organs to stay healthy outside of a human body for longer periods of time, so they can be sent farther distances to waiting recipients.

Photo Credit: Lester V. Bergman/CORBIS/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[FDA Asks Company to Pull Its Opioid Opana Because of Abuse]]> Thu, 08 Jun 2017 17:56:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_16271837996563.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration has asked Endo Pharmaceuticals to remove Opana ER, an extended release form of the opioid drug oxymorphone made by the drug company, from the market because it has such a high potential for abuse.

"This is the first time the agency has taken steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse," the FDA said in a statement.

The company is pushing back, saying the drug is safe and effective. The FDA says if Endo doesn’t voluntarily pull the drug from the market, it will withdraw approval.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says opioid overdoses have hit record highs, killing more than 47,000 people in 2014 — more than the 32,000 who died in road accidents.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File]]>
<![CDATA[New UCSD Cancer Research Shows How Cells Resist Chemotherapy]]> Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:07:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/breastcancercells_1200x675.jpg

New revolutionary research out of University of California, San Diego shows that cancer cells can communicate with each other. This might be how they adapt to resist chemotherapy treatment.

The research is spearheaded by Dr. Maurizio Zanetti, who said Wednesday chemotherapy is only effective in twenty to forty percent of cancer patients.

"Cancer cells send signals to neighboring cancer cells and they make them do what they want, essentially," said Dr. Zanetti. "By releasing the signal they make other cells learn how to cope with difficult environments.”

Similar to how one would warn someone of danger through a cell phone, Dr. Zanetti said the cells are able to resist better than if they were not signaled.

"Overtime, they will develop survival capability, which is exactly what you don’t want," he added.

Dr. Zanetti said forming new treatment options from his research is still in the distant future. He added new treatment options will have to involve newly developed drugs that use this information to tactically stop the communication between cells.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[6 Reasons to Celebrate Global Running Day]]> Wed, 07 Jun 2017 13:49:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/running-shoes.jpg

Last week had National Doughnut Day. Global Running Day is here Wednesday, giving you a good excuse to work off those treats. 

Here are six reasons why you should join more than 1.2 million people from 185 countries around the world and get moving for the second annual Global Running Day:

Physical and mental health benefits: Physical exercise has long been known to improve health, and running provides an easy way to get active. Studies suggest that running can reduce the risk of heart problems and cancers as well as strengthen bones and joints. A study in PLOS Medicine showed that people who began exercising lived longer. Beyond physical health, running has the power to provide mental health benefits. The “feel-good” hormones associated with physical activity can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to a study in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Individual, but universal: Running is often solitary—treadmills are not built for two. But the individual nature of the activity does not stop runners from coming together with others who enjoy the sport either to discuss technique or participate in group runs. A runner’s personal goals can be shared and allow for connections with other runners.

Raise money for a good cause: Fundraising when participating in races or signing up for specific charities’ sponsored races has become the new norm among runners and non-runners alike. Online fundraising platforms let runners reach a wide audience when looking to raise money for a cause. The app Charity Miles, a Global Running Day sponsor, connects individuals and corporations with one of their 37 charity partners and allows users to track their distance and earn money for the charity.

You don’t need to be an athlete: Runners come in all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. Even people who steered clear of P.E. class in elementary school learn to run, even if they just begin by walking. People run at all different speeds and distances, and runners of any skill level can reap the physical and mental benefits that come with the sport.

Room for improvement: As with any activity, there are always ways to improve as a runner.

Apps such as Runkeeper or Nike+ Run Club allow runners track their progress on their smartphones, so goals to increase distance or decrease times have become easier than ever to achieve. Signing up for runs in your area can serve as motivation to boost running ability.

All you need to start is a pair of sneakers: Unlike activities that require equipment or a specific venue, running can be done anytime, anywhere. Routes for outdoor runs can easily be accessed online and treadmills are lined up in any local gym. Runners can choose the best time for their exercise in their schedule.

Global Running Day celebrates longtime runners and encourages those who have never run before to start. Take a pledge to run today on the Global Running Day website.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Schwalm]]>
<![CDATA[Mother of Teen Who Died From Flu Speaks Out ]]> Mon, 05 Jun 2017 19:22:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jenifer+wood.PNG

On April 6, 2017, Jenifer Wood, 14, collapsed in her Descanso home and never woke up. The Medical Examiner said her death was caused by Influenza B.

"You always think about what you could have done differently," said Tanya Wood, mother of Jenifer. Tanya said when Jenifer complained of a sore throat and coughing, she took her to the doctor.

"They did a nose swab and said Influenza Type B, so they said just go home, drink a lot of fluids. Then around one in the morning, she had a little bit of blood in her phlegm," Tanya recalled. "I called the ER line. They said if she develops a fever or it gets worse bring her back in. Well, I didn’t get the opportunity. She was gone by 5:50 in the morning."

The autopsy determined Jenifer had asthma, but her mother said she never showed signs of that.

"Jenifer never had an actual asthma attack. She was a gymnast, competitive cheerleader, swam, rode horses. She literally just passed a fitness test the week before," said Tanya.

NBC 7 reached out to the Children's Primary Care Medical Group, which supplied the medical history for Jenifer's autopsy. The President said he could not comment on the case because of medical privacy laws. But he did give this statement:

"Many providers and staff are really devastated by her [Jenifer Wood] passing.  This and any unexpected outcome we review thoroughly. We review all such cases to provide the best possible care to our patients.”

The San Diego Health and Human Services Agency said this year 87 people have died from Influenza in San Diego County. They added Jenifer was the youngest person to pass away from it.

Dr. Wilma Wooten with the Health and Human Services Agency said that Tanya did everything right to help her daughter. Dr. Wooten added it is important for anyone with the flu who has symptoms of weezing, shortness of breath or fever to get to a doctor immediately.

Wood's family held a fundraiser on May 20 to raise money to create a scholarship in Jenifer's name. They will be giving the money to a student at Jenifer's school, Granite Hills High School.

Photo Credit: Family ]]>
<![CDATA[Marathon Runner, 94, to Set Record in San Diego]]> Sat, 03 Jun 2017 18:35:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP204286827329.jpg

Harriette Thompson, 94, is about to set yet another record Sunday at the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon in San Diego, as the oldest woman to run a half-marathon.

"I never thought I would still be here!" exclaimed Thompson Friday.

Thompson broke the world record in 2015 as the oldest woman to complete a full marathon.

Thompson, a two-time cancer survivor, said she runs to raise money for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Through the years, she has raised $100,000 for the organization. She has raised $15,000 in 2017.

She said her secret to a healthy life at her age is, of course, exercise on a regular basis and a balanced diet. Though, she said it is hard for her to resist sugar.

"I might have to reward myself after the race with an ice cream cone," she said with a smile.

Thompson was joined by her son at the San Diego convention center Friday, where she gave a speech thanking participants for giving back to cancer research.

Photo Credit: AP]]>