‘Is there a doctor on board?’ Stories of medical emergencies at 30,000 feet

‘Is there a doctor on board?’ Stories of medical emergencies at 30,000 feet

first_img By Patrick Skerrett Nov. 24, 2015 Reprints About 90 minutes before we were scheduled to land, there was a call for a doctor. A man traveling from Liberia was saying he needed to vomit. With his eyes tightly closed, he told me he felt like the plane was spinning around — even though there was no turbulence. He didn’t want to open his eyes because he knew if he did he would vomit.I had just been through Ebola training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, so I went through the checklist: fever, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, unexplained bleeding, exposure to someone with Ebola, and the like. He didn’t have any of these warning signs. I also asked what he had been doing in Liberia, and he didn’t seem to have engaged in anything that increased his risk for being infected. His symptoms were classic for positional vertigo, which I had seen many times. This sensation of spinning, often caused by an inner ear problem, can make you feel awful, but it isn’t transmissible.advertisement Editor, First Opinion Patrick Skerrett is the editor of First Opinion, STAT’s platform for perspective and opinion on the life sciences writ large, and the host of the First Opinion Podcast. Medical emergencies occur on about 50 commercial flights a day in the United States. Many are minor — a passenger feels faint or becomes anxious. Others are life-threatening, like a heart attack or difficulty breathing. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine offered doctors and other health care professionals advice for handling a variety of situations. That prompted us to ask physicians for their stories. Here are a few of them. If you’ve ever provided medical care while flying (or rising a bus or train), tell us your story.Gregg Greenough: An Ebola scareKeith Van Meter: A long CPR session saves a lifeDarria Long Gillespie: “Do I need to land this plane?”Wanda Filer: A woman was going in and out of consciousnessParveen Parmar: An older man, ashen gray, lying on the floorBy Gregg Greenough: One of my most memorable calls was on a flight from Europe to the United States during the Ebola outbreak last fall. It was soon after Thomas Duncan, who was infected with Ebola, flew from Liberia to Dallas.advertisement First Opinion‘Is there a doctor on board?’ Stories of medical emergencies at 30,000 feet Medical emergencies occur on about 50 commercial flights a day in the United States. APStock Patrick Skerrettcenter_img People on the plane, including the pilots, were getting anxious, since Ebola was fresh on everyone’s mind. With the flight attendant’s permission, I barricaded the man and myself into one of the plane’s bathrooms. There I was able to take his temperature and give him a medication to ease his symptoms.Despite my assurances that this was a form of vertigo and not Ebola, the pilots insisted on calling the CDC officer stationed at the airport. When we landed, the jet bridge wasn’t even extended to the plane. It was as if the entire plane was infected.After about an hour, the CDC official boarded, wearing the spacesuit-like gear required for health professionals taking care of someone with Ebola, along with two security guys in full hazmat gear. Now the other passengers were really getting nervous. There was a flurry of texting, taking photos, and posting to social media.The CDC representative checked the man and escorted him into a waiting ambulance. The rest of us were then allowed to disembark but were quarantined in a holding area for about four hours before the CDC let us go. People asked me if the man had Ebola. It presented a quandary: Do I ease their fears, or protect the man’s confidentiality? I told everyone that I wouldn’t have barricaded myself in the bathroom with the man if I thought he had Ebola.After arriving home, I received one last text, from the CDC: The man did not have Ebola.Dr. Gregg Greenough is an attending physician in the emergency department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School.By Keith Van Meter: In 1999, I was flying from New Orleans to Boston with two colleagues, Nelson and Starr Page, a husband and wife who were both highly skilled respiratory technicians. I was startled to hear the captain announce, “Dr. Van Meter, please come to the front of the plane.”As I approached, I saw my colleagues setting down a man in the aisle. He was ashen gray, not breathing, and had no pulse. Nelson started doing continuous chest compressions. Keep in mind that this was many years before continuous compressions were recommended for cardiac arrest. It was also before automated external defibrillators were required on board airliners. After a few minutes, I started mouth-to-mouth breathing.We checked the man’s pulse every so often, and it was nonexistent or very feeble. After 10 to 15 minutes, one of the flight attendants showed Starr the medical kit. In it were a syringe and some concentrated epinephrine. Almost immediately after giving the man some epinephrine, we got a powerful pulse with a nice strong bump, bump, bump.All this time the pilot had been bringing the plane down to a lower altitude. That may have helped some by increasing the oxygen level in the cabin, but it also made us bounce around more.The man’s pulse faded away. Nelson continued to do powerful chest compressions, but was getting tired and sweaty. I kept doing rescue breathing. At one point, I looked back down the aisle. Everyone was quiet and almost everyone was watching us. I said to Nelson and Starr, “We can’t stop now even if this is fruitless.”So we kept at it.Since we still had some epinephrine left, we gave the man another injection. Again his pulse returned.After about 30 minutes, we landed in Boston. The pilot had radioed ahead that emergency help was needed. Paramedics met us, gave the man antiarrhythmics and other medications, strapped him onto a board, and carried him off the plane. Everyone started clapping and cheering for us. It felt great.I got off with the patient and rode with him in the ambulance. After making do with almost nothing in the plane, it felt like I was back in the modern world.The man’s heart faltered again in the ambulance. We used the AED to shock him back into a persistent bounding rhythm. When we arrived at Massachusetts General Hospital, the emergency department staff stabilized the man.About a month later, I got a call from the patient. He was as crisp as a bell, was feeling well, and was most grateful for what Nelson, Starr, and I had done. A few months after that, I went to a meeting in Boston. The patient visited me and invited me to join him for a Red Sox game.So many things went right that day. All helped save a life.Dr. Keith Van Meter is a clinical professor of medicine and chief of the Section of Emergency Medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, as well as clinical professor of surgery at Tulane University School of Medicine.By Darria Long Gillespie: My husband and I were flying from Las Vegas to Boston when we heard a flight attendant ask, “Is there a doctor on board?” I stood and saw a gentleman in his 30s having a grand mal seizure in his seat. His traveling companions didn’t know him very well, and had no idea if he had a history of seizures or other medical conditions.I was delighted to see four other physicians also step up to volunteer — a neurologist, a urologist, my orthopedic surgeon husband, and a surgical intern. It was a moment of camaraderie to see physicians from multiple specialties united.The first three eventually went back to their seats, but I asked the surgical intern, who was a former paramedic, to stay with me in case I needed and extra hand.The flight attendant opened up the airplane’s medical kit, and I quickly realized how sparse it was. What I most wanted to know was this man’s blood sugar, a potential cause of seizures, but there was no glucometer. Fortunately, the surgical intern was also a diabetic, and he was able to use his personal kit to check our patient’s blood sugar, which turned out to be fine. He also helped me place an IV and give our groggy patient some fluids.At that point, the flight attendant asked me to come to the in-flight phone to speak with the pilot.As an emergency doctor, I’m used to colleagues asking me a lot of things. Do you want to give medication? Do you want to deliver the baby here? Is the patient having a heart attack? I was not prepared for the pilot’s question: “Doc, I’m circling Omaha, just waiting to hear. Do I need to land this plane?” I judged that the man’s seizures had abated and he was stable enough to make it to Boston.The two hours until we landed, with me watching my new patient, were two of the longest in my life. I’ll never forget the relief when we landed.I got a few glares from other passengers because the flight attendants weren’t able to do their typical in-flight beverage service. The man I helped, however, was very appreciative. When we landed in Boston, we were met by an emergency medical team. The man was doing well by this time, and didn’t want to go to the hospital. I told him he needed to go so he could be evaluated by a doctor. As he was being wheeled away, he flashed me a peace sign and said, “I don’t need to see a doctor. You’re my doctor.”Well, yes. Yes, I was.Darria Long Gillespie, MD, is a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, an assistant professor in Emory University School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine, and “chief doctor” and executive vice president of Sharecare, Inc.By Wanda Filer: En route to a meeting of the Idaho Academy of Family Physicians in Boise, I needed to catch a connecting flight in Denver. I had about 10 minutes to get from Gate 6, where we landed, to Gate 70. That meant I needed to hustle. I boarded the small turboprop plane just in time, along with a handful of others who had made the 64-gate sprint.About 30 minutes into the flight, a woman in the bathroom collapsed, crashing open the door and falling into the aisle. Two men sitting nearby picked her up and laid her in their seats.As a flight attendant rushed past, I grabbed her sleeve, identified myself as a family physician, and asked if they needed help. She gratefully said yes.The woman was pale and sweating heavily. I had trouble communicating with her because she was going in and out of consciousness, and also because she spoke Spanish. From her symptoms, I guessed that she had very low blood sugar.I asked the flight attendant to bring her some orange juice with extra sugar. She was able to drink some of it. We also packed ice on her neck and under her arms. Within 20 minutes, she was doing better. A little later, she was fully awake and able to eat.Knowing a bit of Spanish, I was able to figure out what had happened. The woman, who had diabetes, was one of the passengers who had hurried with me through the airport to make the connection. She had taken insulin at the end of her prior flight, planning to get something to eat between flights. That didn’t happen and she had to sprint to get to the gate.A couple who watched this drama unfold asked if I was a paramedic. I told them that I was a family physician. They smiled, since they were looking for a new doctor. Unfortunately, they live in Idaho, and my practice is in Pennsylvania.Wanda Filer, MD, is a family physician in York, Pa. She is also the president-elect of the American Academy of Family Physicians.By Parveen Parmar: My work in global health requires me to fly a fair amount. I’ve provided medical care in the air several times. In one memorable instance, I realized there was some chaos forward in the plane and heard someone ask (more like scream), “Is there a doctor on the plane?”I went up to find an older man, ashen gray, lying on the floor. One of the flight attendants started doing excellent chest compressions. It looked like she had been through this before. The plane was carrying an automated external defibrillator. We placed the pads on the man’s chest.The defibrillator detected organized heart activity, so we didn’t deliver a shock. Shortly after we placed the device on the man, his pulses returned and he began to move and open his eyes. The medical kit contained what we needed to start an intravenous drip through which we gave him IV fluids.As we were resuscitating and stabilizing the man, the pilot was diverting the plane to a major metropolitan airport. Emergency medical service personnel greeted the plane and transported the patient. He was awake and talking and able to follow commands. The entire process was incredibly efficient.Working in a tiny, cramped space with passengers looking on is difficult. It’s even worse when there is turbulence and the plane is bumping around. Thankfully, this patient was able to be seated and secured, but I can imagine instances where, if a patient is still requiring active CPR, this wouldn’t be possible for the patient or care team.Dr. Parveen Parmar directs the international emergency medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Harvard Medical School.Loading… Tags air travelEbolamedical emergency About the Author Reprints @PJSkerrett [email protected] last_img read more

Wall Street billionaire bankrolls a new center for brain science

Wall Street billionaire bankrolls a new center for brain science

first_img Sanford and Joan Weill donated $185 million to create a neuroscience institute at UC San Francisco. Elizabeth D. Herman for STAT Sean Parker’s put up big bucks for cancer. We’ve got questions Related: Weill made his fortune during the financial industry’s boom in the decades ahead of the market collapse in 2008. Like other billionaires recently have done, he and his wife have committed to donating most of their fortune during their lifetimes.Last year, that process hit some turbulence involving the tiny, financially strapped Paul Smith’s College in northern New York, which Joan Weill has served as a trustee and financial benefactor.She offered the college an additional $20 million, on the condition that the name be changed to Joan Weill-Paul Smith’s College. A court later ruled that the school charter could not be altered to allow the name change, and the Weills decided not to donate the funds — a response that offended some alumni.Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, said that while the controversy might seem to reflect poorly on the Weills, naming rights — such as those conferred for the UCSF and Cornell donations — can inspire large gifts from other wealthy individuals considering their public legacies.“It reminds people that philanthropy made this happen, particularly in the science arena, where people think the federal government is funding all of it,” she said, despite the declining availability of public funds in many technical fields. Former banker Sanford Weill transformed the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York with more than half-a-billion in donations in recent years. Now he is pivoting to the West Coast, pledging $185 million to create a neuroscience institute at the University of California, San Francisco.The gift from the the man who once led Citigroup and his wife, Joan, is the largest in UCSF history and among the largest anywhere dedicated to the study of brain disease and psychiatric disorders.“Neurosciences appear to be way behind the discovery and science” in fields such as cancer and cardiology, and as lifespans lengthen, “more people are going to be facing these neurodegenerative diseases,” Sanford Weill said in explaining his decision to underwrite a brain science center.advertisement Related: Leave this field empty if you’re human: Bringing together clinicians and researchers, Weill said, creates a culture of discovery meant to streamline the process for converting basic science into better clinical outcomes.This will include a circadian rhythms clinic for sleep disorders, clinics to treat migraines and dementia, and a facility to use deep brain stimulation for movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.Robert Desimone, who directs the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the UCSF venture would likely have national impact on the field, and make the campus a magnet for federal grants to augment its private donations. In the past year, philanthropists including the Weills have committed more than $500 million for neurosciences work at UCSF, according to campus officials.Desimone said the integrative approach taken by UCSF echoes that of his own center.“Neuroscience has matured,” folding in genomics, optics, and other fields, Desimone said. “The kinds of studies that are needed are not the kinds of studies a single person can do in their kitchen anymore. … You are seeing physiologists collaborating with computer scientists and computational modelers to try to make sense of all the data.”The Weills are among a wave of billionaires who have made life sciences their primary charitable cause. Just last week, former Facebook executive Sean Parker donated $250 million to cancer immunotherapy research. He created a national consortium of researchers coordinated by UCSF.Weill praised Parker’s approach as complementary to his own model of funding individual medical centers — first providing more than $600 million to Weill Cornell Medicine, that university’s medical school and research center, and now UCSF — to help them grow and adapt. Privacy Policy Newsletters Sign up for Daily Recap A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day. In a telephone interview, he called UCSF, already a global leader in neurosciences, an ideal location to help break down divisions between research and patient care. Billionaire Paul Allen bets $100 million on risky scientific research The Weill Institute for Neurosciences will include both laboratories and clinics for treating patients when it opens in late 2019. The Weills’ gift will also support faculty and postdoctoral fellows.advertisement Tags neurosciencephilanthropyUCSF By Charles Piller April 26, 2016 Reprints The facility will house 45 principal scientists from neurology, neurosciences, psychiatry, engineering, and other specialties, reflecting the primary goal of uniting and cross-pollinating researchers from diverse fields to advance cures more rapidly.Dr. Stephen L. Hauser, director of the Weill Institute, called the predominant “silo” effect — related but separately conducted research — in studies of the brain an “accident of history” that must be corrected.“Problems that we thought were disparate have become similar. For example, understanding sleep disorders becomes important for traumatic brain injury, concussion, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis,” Hauser said in an interview.The institute will include genomics experts, computer scientists, engineers, and chemical biologists who will work together to see how sleep interacts with a wide range of neurological conditions. Experts not traditionally considered integral to neurosciences — such as big-data analysts and ethicists — will help tie together new findings, said Hauser, who also chairs the UCSF Department of Neurology. BusinessWall Street billionaire bankrolls a new center for brain science Please enter a valid email address.last_img read more

Doctors hail China’s pledge to stop harvesting inmate organs

Doctors hail China’s pledge to stop harvesting inmate organs

first_img In a sign of the issue’s symbolic importance to China, the conference took place in an ornate, chandeliered ballroom inside the Great Hall of the People, the building next to Tiananmen Square that typically hosts foreign leaders and ceremonial Communist Party events.advertisement Tags Chinaorgan harvestingsurgeons By Associated Press Oct. 17, 2016 Reprints Related: In Iran, unique system allows payments for kidney donors HealthDoctors hail China’s pledge to stop harvesting inmate organs Doctors at the conference Monday described meeting patients and visiting hospitals around the country, and said the recorded usage of drugs given to transplant patients lined up with China’s reported numbers of transplants.Dr. Jose Nunez, an adviser on organ transplants to the World Health Organization, told the audience that he believed China was building the “next great” system.“You are taking this country to a leading position within the transplantation world,” he said.Others offered praise for Chinese officials, but stopped short of saying whether they could confirm China had stopped using executed inmates’ organs.“It’s not a matter for us to prove to you that it’s zero,” said Dr. Francis Delmonico, a longtime surgeon and a professor at Harvard Medical School. “It’s a matter for the government to fulfill what is the law, just as it is in the other countries of the world that we go to.”China is believed to perform more executions than any other country, though the government does not disclose how many. Associated Press About the Author Reprints Related: While China suppresses most discussions about human rights, government officials and state media have publicly talked about their commitment to ending a practice opposed by doctors and human rights groups due to fears that it promotes executions and coercion. The former vice minister of health, Dr. Huang Jiefu, publicly acknowledged in 2005 that China harvested executed inmates’ organs for transplant, and a paper he coauthored six years later reported that as many as 90 percent of Chinese transplant surgeries using organs from dead people came from those put to death.Huang has also responded to a report earlier this year that a Canadian patient apparently received a kidney from an executed inmate by announcing that the doctor and the hospital in question were suspended from performing more transplants.A key impediment is that members of a donor’s immediate family have the right to veto any transplant once the person is dead. There is also a traditional aversion to the removal of body parts from the dead and a fear that donated organs could be exploited for monetary gain.Dr. Philip O’Connell, the immediate past president of the Transplantation Society, told reporters later that he would work with doctors supporting reform in any country.“The options are that you completely isolate someone, which means that generally their practices get compounded, or you engage with them and you tell them your point of view and explain why it would be better for them to change,” O’Connell said. “That is, I think in the simple terms, what we’re doing.”— Nomaan Merchant Surgeons from around the world gathered in Beijing in China’s latest effort to fight persistent skepticism about whether its hospitals have stopped performing transplants with the organs of executed prisoners. Ng Han Guan/AP BEIJING — Surgeons from around the world gathered at a conference in Beijing on Monday in China’s latest effort to fight persistent skepticism about whether its hospitals have stopped performing transplants with the organs of executed prisoners.Doctors from the World Health Organization and the Montreal-based Transplantation Society who were invited to the conference by China praised Chinese officials for reforms they have made in the transplant system, including a ban put in place last year on using organs from executed inmates.Doubts persist that China is accurately reporting figures or meeting its pledge given its severe shortage of organ donors and China’s long-standing black-market organ trade. By its own figures, China has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the world, and even the system’s advocates say it needs hundreds of additional hospitals and doctors.advertisement Hospitals are throwing out organs and denying transplants to meet federal standards last_img read more

FDA slaps clinical hold on Seattle Genetics after four patients die in cancer drug trial

FDA slaps clinical hold on Seattle Genetics after four patients die in cancer drug trial

first_img Four patients have died of liver toxicity while being treated with an experimental cancer drug from Seattle Genetics — leading the US Food and Drug Administration to place a handful of the company’s early stage clinical trials involving the treatment on hold.The drug, called vadastuximab talirine, was being tested in patients with acute myeloid leukemia — a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. More than 300 patients have been tested with this drug thus far, the company said in a statement. FDA slaps clinical hold on Seattle Genetics after four patients die in cancer drug trial By Meghana Keshavan Dec. 27, 2016 Reprints Meghana Keshavan What is it? What’s included? Tags cancerdrug developmentgeneticsSTAT+ Leukemia trials involving a monoclonal antibody treatment from Seattle Genetics are on hold after four deaths Anna Tanczos/Wellcome Images [email protected] GET STARTEDcenter_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. About the Author Reprints Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED Biotech STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Biotech Correspondent Meghana covers biotech and contributes to The Readout newsletter. @megkesh Log In | Learn More last_img read more

With Trump in the White House, Obama science experts operate shadow network to press their positions

With Trump in the White House, Obama science experts operate shadow network to press their positions

first_img Lev Facher Washington Correspondent Lev Facher covers the politics of health and life sciences. With Trump in the White House, Obama science experts operate shadow network to press their positions Tags CongresspolicyWhite House By Lev Facher Aug. 7, 2017 Reprints WASHINGTON — Nearly all of the Obama administration’s science staff has departed the White House since January, and the Trump administration has moved slowly to replace them. In the meantime, however, an unofficial shadow office, stocked with Obama loyalists, is quietly at work.The network, described to STAT by officials from the previous administration who are involved, is informal yet organized, allowing for a far-reaching if largely inconspicuous effort to continue advocating for the Obama science agenda. What is it? [email protected] Politics STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.center_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. GET STARTED About the Author Reprints Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED @levfacher Log In | Learn More Photo illustration: STAT; Source: Getty Images What’s included?last_img read more

Is pharma’s biggest internal critic risking a reckoning?

Is pharma’s biggest internal critic risking a reckoning?

first_imgBiotech @damiangarde About the Author Reprints National Biotech Reporter Damian covers biotech, is a co-writer of The Readout newsletter, and a co-host of “The Readout LOUD” podcast. Log In | Learn More STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. One of the drug industry’s most persistent critics happens to be one of its most famous faces. And Dr. Leonard Schleifer, founder and CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), didn’t disappoint in his latest performance.“It’s nuts,” Schleifer said Thursday of Allergan’s (AGN) controversial move to protect patents by transferring them to a Native American tribe. Brent Saunders, Allergan’s CEO, made waves and headlines alike last year with a promise to do right by society. To Schleifer, the patent deal violates Saunders’s vaunted social contract and, plainly, “makes your company look bad.” What is it? GET STARTED Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the biotech sector — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTEDcenter_img Tags pharmaceuticalsSTAT+ By Damian Garde Dec. 1, 2017 Reprints Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Is pharma’s biggest internal critic risking a reckoning? Damian Garde [email protected] Dr. Leonard Schleifer, founder and CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Mike Groll/AP What’s included?last_img read more

Science education needs a reboot. LabXchange can help

Science education needs a reboot. LabXchange can help

first_img About the Author Reprints Leave this field empty if you’re human: Today, Harvard University and the Amgen Foundation, which I lead, launched LabXchange, a free online science education platform that offers this and more. It brings together dynamic simulations, high-quality curricula, and social networking so anyone, anywhere, can enhance his or her science literacy. It fills a critical gap that the foundation long ago identified for science education, and we hope that it’s just the first of many platforms of its kind that grow young people’s knowledge of and appreciation for science.Reimagining science learning through programs like LabXchange lets educators extend the reach of science instruction even further and ensure that young people are prepared to solve tomorrow’s biggest challenges. A strong science education can be a powerful way to create a better and more just world, one that everyone deserves a chance to be a part of.Eduardo Cetlin is president of the Amgen Foundation. In most high school science classrooms, teachers tend to lecture on the concepts of chemical reactions or photosynthesis while students sit in rows of desks, listening and taking notes so they can memorize the information to recall later for endless standardized tests. Through this approach, they learn that the point of science education is to commit facts to memory — and probably soon forget them — rather than to embrace a mindset of inquiry and discovery they can apply to anything else in their lives. We need to fix this so our next generation is equipped to handle the challenges ahead, from curbing climate change and discovering lifesaving drugs to caring for their own families. And that means reinventing how we teach science.Education isn’t keeping up with scienceThe vast majority of teens I meet tell me they find science relevant and interesting. But their science classes? Not so much.advertisement [email protected] Related: Tags education Summer research opportunities for high school students should be available to all @AmgenFoundation Instead of nurturing every child’s scientific curiosity and creativity and setting teachers up for success to spread the wonder of science, we have created a system that seems designed to stifle it.This is underscored in one of my favorite books, “Most Likely to Succeed,” in which authors Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith imagine what it would look like if a traditional U.S. high school taught its students how to ride a bicycle. Students would learn the history of bikes, their many parts and how they interact, and, if they were lucky, the physics of balancing. But the wild joy of sitting on the seat and pedaling for the first time would be replaced by something far less exhilarating: a multiple-choice exam.Their hypothetical example shows what we lose when we fail to give students an opportunity to observe, experiment, test, modify, and try again.Inclusive, accessible scienceTo reinvent our approach to science education, we must make high-quality opportunities accessible to anyone, even when schools or communities don’t have the resources to provide a top-notch lab experience.Imagine if any student, anywhere, could access authentic and engaging science experiences that bring together scientific videos, articles, animations, and interactive exercises. Virtual tools would allow students to design and run experiments and learn from their mistakes or build on their successes. Educators from top institutions could answer their questions or teach them key concepts. Professional scientists would be on hand through the platform to provide modeling and inspiration for the careers they could pursue.Teachers would have instant access to a network of peers for insights and mentorship, co-creation of lessons and content, and access to cutting-edge discoveries so they could enhance their students’ in-class and online learning. With access to a computer and the Internet, classrooms anywhere could tap into rich science education at any time.center_img Privacy Policy Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. First OpinionScience education needs a reboot. LabXchange can help By Eduardo Cetlin Jan. 22, 2020 Reprints Please enter a valid email address. Eduardo Cetlin Adobe What does it take to bring science alive from the pages of a book? A whole lot more than a hunk of Play-Doh.That’s what stands out from my seventh-grade science class in Brazil, when my teacher gave us an assignment to shape the colorful clay into a model of an embryo. On that day some 30 years ago, my group proudly unveiled our flat, pizza-like creation, just like what we had seen in the book. Our classmates laughed: Everyone else had 3-D models. They had grasped a simple concept that our textbook couldn’t explain.Fast forward to today, where my understanding of science has fortunately progressed, but where science education still is mostly limited to words and diagrams rather than hands-on, engaging opportunities that can deepen students’ understanding and interest in meaningful ways. While science is moving fast, economic and geographic limitations mean that too many high school and college students around the world don’t have opportunities to learn the latest science and explore the scientific process. And the significant gaps in gender, racial, and socioeconomic diversity in scientific fields underscore the deep inequalities in science education.advertisementlast_img read more

Google continues its wellness expansion with sleep sensing technology for Nest Hub

Google continues its wellness expansion with sleep sensing technology for Nest Hub

first_img Google is turning another device into a wellness gadget. A month after introducing two health features to the Pixel smartphone, Google on Tuesday added a new sleep sensing component for the Nest Hub, its smart display device.The feature is the product of a collaboration between Google’s Nest and Health teams. The company recruited Stanford neurologist and sleep researcher Logan Schneider to help study and validate the effort against polysomnography, the standard form of sleep study that records brain waves, blood oxygen level, heart rate and breathing, and eye and leg movements — typically in a special type of sleep lab or clinic. Google validated its approach with data from 33 people ages 19 to 78 without significant sleep issues. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Log In | Learn More [email protected] GET STARTED Erin Brodwin By Erin Brodwin March 16, 2021 Reprints What is it? Unlock this article — and get additional analysis of the technologies disrupting health care — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED What’s included? Tags medical technologySTAT+wellness STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Health Tech linkedin.com/in/erinbrodwin/ Health Tech Correspondent, San Francisco Erin is a California-based health tech reporter and the co-author of the STAT Health Tech newsletter. About the Author Reprints @erbrod Google continues its wellness expansion with sleep sensing technology for Nest Hub Spencer Platt/Getty Imageslast_img read more

As syphilis comes roaring back, newborn babies are tragic victims

As syphilis comes roaring back, newborn babies are tragic victims

first_img Some diseases fade away. Others seem to do that, but then come roaring back. That’s what has happened with syphilis, especially congenital syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection passed from mother to child.When I became a public health physician in 2007, congenital syphilis was something I had read about but never seen. Today, consulting on cases of it has become routine; my colleagues and I at the California Prevention Training Center received more than 100 requests for consultations about congenital syphilis in 2019 and 2020. An April 2021 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms this disturbing trend nationwide. In 2019, the last year with complete data, there were 1,870 cases of congenital syphilis in the U.S., a 300% increase over the past five years.Though congenital cases are just fraction of the country’s approximately 130,000 cases of syphilis, it’s spiraling out of control, surpassing the peak of mother-to-child transmissions of HIV at the height of the AIDS crisis.advertisement By Ina Park May 20, 2021 Reprints First OpinionAs syphilis comes roaring back, newborn babies are tragic victims The public health response to congenital syphilis must address lapses in maternal screening and treatment, which states are attempting through increasing the frequency of prenatal screening or deploying contact tracers to deliver penicillin to clinics so pregnant people with syphilis are given timely treatment. Clinicians also need additional anti-syphilis therapies, as the fragile supply chain for injectable penicillin makes it vulnerable to shortages.Health departments will need to get creative in their outreach to pregnant people who don’t seek out prenatal care. In western states, where one-third of women with syphilis use methamphetamine or opioids, integrating public health efforts for sexually transmitted infection programs and substance use programs will be essential to ensure success.The Covid-19 pandemic may inadvertently help the U.S. public health system get where it needs to go. The pandemic brought an influx of funding to health departments to modernize infrastructure and expand the contact tracing workforce. Once the end of the pandemic is in sight, it will be essential to maintain gains in staffing and pivot efforts back toward the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections and other ills that went neglected while the pandemic consumed the country’s attention.Those of us in public health would also be wise to learn from the successes of the past. If HIV/AIDS has taught us anything, it’s that ending mother-to-child transmission of infectious diseases is achievable when health care workers and public health experts have the tools for prevention and the political will to use them. HHS must honor its commitment to the federal Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan, fight the scourge of congenital syphilis, and provide all infants born in the U.S. the healthy starts in life they deserve.Ina Park is a public health physician, medical director of the California Prevention Training Center at the University of California San Francisco, and author of “Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History, and Surprising Secrets of STDs” (Flatiron Books, 2021). Tags infectious diseasepediatricspublic health But though we thought we were done with syphilis, syphilis was just getting started with us. Fueled by waning fear of HIV coupled with the rise of internet hookups, cases began to creep up in 2001.Despite laws in most states requiring prenatal screening for syphilis and HIV with blood antibody tests, the curves of these two infections began to diverge. HIV in newborns plummeted from 1,760 cases in 1991 to 39 cases in 2018. Meanwhile, congenital syphilis cases soared, with 43 states reporting cases in 2019; Texas and California vied to be the best of the worst, accounting for half of all U.S. cases.Pregnant people affected by syphilis and HIV reside in overlapping Venn diagrams. They tend to be people of color struggling with poverty, homelessness, substance use, or incarceration. Yet while eleventh-hour interventions such as antiretroviral therapy can prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, it’s not so easy to prevent transmission of syphilis, which requires one to three weekly penicillin injections delivered at least a month before delivery. Many pregnant people fall through the cracks here: One-third of congenital cases occur because the mother is not adequately treated before delivery. One in four get prenatal care only late in their pregnancies or no care at all until the onset of labor, missing the window to prevent congenital syphilis and its consequences.Bending the curve of syphilis transmission will take a robust, coordinated prevention plan. A road map to guide this effort is the Department of Health and Human Services’ first Sexually Transmitted Infections National Strategic Plan, which went into effect in January 2021. Its five-year goals include reducing the rate of congenital syphilis by 15%, and lowering disparities among Black, Hispanic, and Native American babies, who are three to six times more likely to suffer from congenital syphilis than white infants.More funding will be needed to get there. Until now, sexually transmitted infections like syphilis and gonorrhea have been HIV’s poor cousins: CDC funding for them has stalled out at approximately $160 million per year for nearly two decades compared to routine increases for HIV, with funding for it reaching $964 million in FY 2021. Congenital syphilis cases surge to 20-year high as officials re-up calls for testing Related:center_img About the Author Reprints Ina Park Infants infected with HIV appear to be normal and healthy. Those born with syphilis, in contrast, can have skeletal and facial deformities, as well as deafness and blindness, and up to 40% of those with congenital syphilis are stillborn or die early. These deaths and physical problems are preventable tragedies: Testing is cheap and widely available, and treatment with antibiotics is highly effective. Every case is a sentinel event, signaling holes in the health care safety net that must be addressed with the same urgency as the perinatal HIV epidemic 30 years ago.First Opinion Podcast: STAT’s weekly podcast covers the people, issues, and ideas shaping the life sciences writ large. Subscribe today.Most physicians of my generation emerged from medical training unaware of syphilis. Two decades ago, this sexually transmitted infection had reached a nadir — 80% of U.S. counties reported zero cases in 1999. Capitalizing on this “narrow window of opportunity” the CDC launched an elimination campaign, the third such attempt in the agency’s history. As rates dipped lower the following year, it seemed that Y2K would usher in a syphilis-free millennium, and public health officials were poised to pop the champagne.advertisement @InaParkMD The left palm of this newborn infant’s hand exhibits a copper colored rash, characteristic of congenital syphilis. CDC [email protected] last_img read more

Lee County burglar dies after window closes on him

Lee County burglar dies after window closes on him

first_imgLehigh Elementary preschool teacher accused of child abuse won’t renew contract June 16, 2021 Lehigh Acres man gains attention for riding bike backwards June 16, 2021 AdvertisementDC Young Fly knocks out heckler (video) – Rolling OutRead more6 comments’Mortal Kombat’ Exceeded Expectations Says WarnerMedia ExecutiveRead more2 commentsDo You Remember Bob’s Big Boy?Read more1 commentsKISS Front Man Paul Stanley Reveals This Is The End Of KISS As A Touring Band, For RealRead more1 comments “He liked to have a good time,” Tyson Lane said. “When he walked into the room, his smile just bright up everybody. And he just get along with everybody.”They said they are still processing his death. Duarte said from the moment she saw the house in person, something didn’t seem right. Driver slams parked cars into Lehigh Acres home June 17, 2021 LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. – A man died during an attempted burglary Saturday after a window closed on him, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday. Jonathan Hernandez, 32, was attempting to burglarize a home on Nora Avenue and 46th Street SW by climbing through a window. While he was partially through the window, it slammed down on him. Hernandez’s neck was caught in the window, according to the incident report. He was dead by the time deputies arrived on scene, LCSO reported. His family and friends said they believe that’s not the full story.  Advertisement“When I first met him, I was like man he looks like he has a rap sheet like El Chapo,” his fiancee Patricia Duarte said. “And he’s the complete opposite of that. He’s the sweetest person you’d probably ever meet and has the biggest heart.” AdvertisementTags: crimeLehigh Acrescenter_img Advertisement RELATEDTOPICS Advertisement “Soon as I got there I’m like, there’s no way. This isn’t what happened,” she said. “He is not a burglar. He’s not a thief. He’s not a bad guy,” Lane said. That’s not what he is. If he had a roof over his head and you didn’t, he would give you a roof over your head, bring you in his household. That’s something that he did for a lot of people including myself.”His family and friends said they’ll continue to push for answers.“I just need something to be done the right way. I need a proper investigation,” Duarte said. “I need the actual truth to come to light.” AdvertisementRecommended ArticlesBrie Larson Reportedly Replacing Robert Downey Jr. As The Face Of The MCURead more81 commentsGal Gadot Reportedly Being Recast As Wonder Woman For The FlashRead more29 comments Two men arrested for stealing construction equipment form site in Estero June 17, 2021last_img read more