NPR Health

In 2004, during the height of fighting in Fallujah, a baby named Mustafa Abed was hit by a U.S. missile strike.

It nearly severed his leg, just above the hip; his leg had to be amputated.

Four years later, the Portland, Ore., chapter of "No More Victims" brought the little Iraqi boy to the U.S. for medical care and a prosthetic leg.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Editor's note: Shortly after this story by Kaiser Health News and NPR was published and broadcast on Monday, St. David's said it was now willing to accept $782.29 to resolve the $108,951 balance because Drew Calver qualifies for its "financial assistance discount." In a statement, the hospital said this offer was contingent on Calver submitting his application for a discount based on his household finances. Calver disputed that he owes any additional money to St. David's and said this situation should have been resolved long before now.

Researching Heatstroke In Athletes

Aug 26, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

In 2013, NPR reported on an improbable inventor: Jorge Odon, a middle-aged car mechanic who — inspired by watching a stupid party trick — designed a medical device that could revolutionize childbirth. Here's how we described it: "The Odon Device ... guides a folded plastic sleeve around the baby's head.

More Americans die from the effects of heat than of any other form of severe weather, and this summer has seen one heat wave after another. Some places in the U.S. and elsewhere have recorded their highest temperatures ever. In fact, the average temperature around the planet over the past four years has been the highest ever recorded, and nine of the 10 hottest years were all in this century. (The other was 1998.)

Dr. Thomas Frieden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was arrested and charged on Friday after he was accused of groping a woman, law enforcement officials said.

Detective Sophia Mason of the New York Police Department told NPR that the public health expert allegedly "grabbed a victim's buttocks without her permission." The incident was said to have happened last October in his home.

It was reported to police in July.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Countless scientific studies have espoused the idea that a glass of red wine a day can be good for the heart, but a new, sweeping global study published in The Lancet on Friday rejects the notion that any drinking can be healthy.

No amount of alcohol is safe, according to The Global Burden of Diseases study, which analyzed levels of alcohol use and its health effects in 195 countries from 1990 to 2016.

How To Survive A 10,000-Foot Fall

Aug 24, 2018

Falling from an airplane would ruin most people's day.

But if you're James Bond, it's no big deal.

After getting pushed out of a plane in the 1979 film Moonraker, Bond initiates a midair fight with a nearby skydiving villain and takes the evildoer's parachute.

As his enemy plunges to the ground, Bond fights off a second bad guy, deploys his chute and floats gracefully to Earth. Piece of cake.

An audience gathers around the transparent 14-foot-long "culinary instrument" in a restaurant called Creator in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood.

One of the largest supermarket companies in the U.S. has announced it is phasing out single-use plastic bags in an effort to reduce plastic waste.

The Kroger Co. says it plans to stop distributing single-use bags completely by 2025 across its chains.

New York University's School of Medicine is learning that no good deed goes unpunished.

The highly ranked medical school announced with much fanfare this month that it is raising $600 million from private donors to eliminate tuition for all its students — even providing refunds to those currently enrolled. Before the announcement, annual tuition at the school was $55,018.

In the Altai mountains of southern Siberia, there's a cave that was inhabited for millennia. It's called Denisova, and it shelters something remarkable: the bones of different types of ancient human relatives.

Sherri and Thomas Croom have been foster parents to 27 children — from newborns to teenagers — during the past decade.

That has meant visits to dozens of doctors and dentists for issues ranging from a tonsillectomy to depression.

Four years after going out on a limb to get Medicaid expansion enacted in Ohio, outgoing Republican Gov. John Kasich is worried about the future of the program. So he is now defending it — through a study and through the stories of people who have benefited from the coverage expansion.

There's no shortage of statistics about the depth of America's opioid epidemic — there were 72,000 overdose deaths just last year — but numbers don't tell the whole story. Beth Macy takes a ground-level look at the crisis in Dopesick, a new book focusing on central Appalachia. Macy has spent three decades reporting on the region, focusing on social and economic trends and how they affect ordinary people — she says this area is the birthplace of the modern opioid epidemic.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams made a plea in April for more Americans to be prepared to administer naloxone, an opioid antidote, in case they or people close to them suffer an overdose.

"The call to action is to recognize if you're at risk," Adams told NPR's Rachel Martin. "And if you or a loved one are at risk, keep within reach, know how to use naloxone."

Federal health advisers say women can now consider three options when it's time for their cervical cancer screening tests. The influential group, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, has expanded its recommendations for this potentially lifesaving exam.

The new recommendations are published in the latest issue of JAMA.

The Food and Drug Administration took a big-tent approach earlier this month when it approved two new forms of birth control that seek to prevent pregnancy in very different ways.

Americans In Combat

Aug 20, 2018

Journalist C.J. Chivers doesn’t sugarcoat the American war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq.

When it comes to cancer survival, the United States is sharply divided by race. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cancer death rate for African-Americans is 25 percent higher than whites, and Hispanics and Latinos are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at a late, and more dangerous, stage of the disease.

As a nation, we could do a better job at taking time off.

About half of full-time workers recently surveyed by the U.S. Travel Association didn't take all the paid vacation days they earned last year.

More than 700 million vacation days went unused, and we forfeited about 200 million of those days — when vacation benefits didn't roll over. On average, American workers took almost six fewer vacation days than we earned.

Michael Doody remembers some things about his Columbus, Ohio neighborhood in the 1990s:

"Gunshots, helicopters, thefts, smashed out windows, burglaries, robberies, assaults and murders."

In addition to the crime, roughly 50 percent of the children were living in poverty in this area, known as Southern Orchards.

During the mid-20th century, construction of an interstate through the middle of the community separated many of the neighborhood's majority black residents from job opportunities in downtown Columbus.

Congo Faces Another Ebola Outbreak

Aug 19, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

What's it like to live in Honduras today — and why do so many people want to leave?

Those are the questions that photojournalist Tomas Ayuso, who grew up in the Central American country, explores in a project he calls "The Right To Grow Old."

Your doctor probably nags you to schedule cancer screening tests like mammograms and colonoscopies. These tests, after all, can be life-saving, and most doctors want to make sure you get them done.

But when it comes to explaining the ways that certain screenings can cause you harm, your doctor may not be doing such a good job.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

Note to readers: As you would expect in a story about a sex advice columnist, this post contains some frank language about sex.

Growing up in India, I had no sex ed in school. Sex was a taboo. Indian parents largely avoid the whole birds-and-bees talk.

I'd never heard words like condom, intercourse, ejaculation or penetration spoken aloud.

Pages