Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
GMAHost Robin Roberts to Hospital
Television host Robin Roberts has been hospitalized with
The "Good Morning America" host was diagnosed with a rare blood
disorder about a year ago and had a bone marrow transplant in
September. She returned to the show in February but hasn't been on
the air this week,
"Last week, in the middle of my Key West vacation, I began not to feel well. Nothing serious, just under the weather. I contacted my doctors and flew back to NYC. They felt it best to admit me into the hospital for a few days," Roberts said in a Facebook note.
"Seems my young immune system needed a little boost to fight off 'opportunistic infections,' " she explained.
"My doctors assured me that this was NOT because I was working or doing too much, too soon. It's extremely common, post bone marrow transplant, to have complications. I'm blessed that mine have not been severe," Roberts wrote, USA Todayreported.
She added: "I'm feeling MUCH better, and will relax at home for
the rest of the week. I'll be back on GMA next week...as my sweet
momma would say: 'Good Lord willing, and the creek don't
No 'Sustained' Evidence of Human-to-Human Transmission of H79N
Four possible cases of human-to-human transmission of the H7N9
bird flu in China are being investigated, but so far there is "no
sustained" evidence of the virus being passed between people,
according to the World Health Organization.
The investigation involves three families in Shanghai and two
young boys in Beijing who may have infected each other, WHO
spokesman Gregory Hartl told
The New York Times.
"Even if two family members are positive, it is not necessarily the case they got it from each other. They may have gotten it from the same bird," Hartl noted.
He also said there is growing concern that the H7N9 virus --
which has killed 17 people so far -- may not originate in birds but
in other animals and in environmental sources,
Gay 'Conversion Therapy' Case Heard by Appeals Court
A California law that forbids gay "conversion therapy" for
children and teens is an unjustified infringement on free speech,
according to opponents. Supporters say it prevents therapeutic
Arguments for and against the ban were heard Wednesday by a
federal appeals court in San Francisco. The law is being challenged
by several therapists and some patients who say there were helped
by the treatment,
The New York Timesreported.
The ban, which was adopted last year, bars licensed therapists
from trying to change the sexual orientation of people under the
age of 18. Mainstream professional associations say there is no
proof that this therapy is effective and also say it can harm young
In December, a federal district judge imposed an injunction on
the law. After Wednesday's hearing, the three-judge United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit was to decide whether to
continue the injunction or allow the law to take effect,
Surgical Complications Profitable for Hospitals: Study
Surgical errors help boost hospitals' profits and some would end
up losing money if they took better care of patients, according to
a new study.
The researchers explained that mistakes can add cash to
hospitals' coffers because insurers pay them for the longer patient
stays and extra care associated with surgical complications that
could have been prevented,
The New York Timesreported.
Altering the payment system so that poor care is not rewarded
could help reduce surgical complication rates, said the study
authors from the Boston Consulting Group, Harvard's schools of
medicine and public health, and Texas Health Resources, a nonprofit
The team analyzed the records of more than 34,000 patients who
had surgery in 2010 at one of 12 hospitals operated by Texas Health
Resources. Of those, 1,820 had one or more preventable surgical
complications, such as blood clots, pneumonia or infected
The median length of stay for patients with these complications
was 14 days, about four times longer than for patients without
complications. Hospital revenue averaged $49,400 for a patient with
complications and $18,900 for a patient without complications,
according to the study in the
Journal of the American Medical Association.
The researchers said they are not suggested that hospitals are
trying to make money by deliberately causing surgical complications
or refusing to remedy the problem. But they said the current
payment system makes it difficult for hospitals to make changes
because improvements in patient care can end up costing them money,
HealthDay, Dr. David Troxel, medical director of The Doctors
Company, the leading provider of malpractice insurance in the
United States, said that "reducing the incidence of preventable
post-surgical complications is an important patient safety
He added that the study "points out how difficult it is in our
complex health care delivery system to align hospitals' financial
incentives with needed system improvements in order to achieve
improved patient outcomes."
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