Health

Updates on healthcare, nutrition, and medical research in Louisiana.

At Baton Rouge Rehab Hospital, the support groups for survivors of strokes and brain injuries work a little differently. Four years ago, a meeting for just caregivers broke off. And now, medical staff at the hospital are trying to pay closer attention to the needs of caregivers earlier on.


At schools that offer comprehensive sex education, students tend to get the biology and the basics — they'll learn about sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, how to put a condom on a banana and the like.

But some public health researchers and educators are saying that's not enough. They're making the case that sex ed should include discussion about relationships, gender and power dynamics.

While studying to become a paralegal and working as a temp, Symphonie Dawson kept feeling sick. She found out it was because she was pregnant.

Living with her mom and two siblings near Dallas, Dawson, then 23, worried about what to expect during pregnancy and what giving birth would be like. She also didn't know how she would juggle having a baby with being in school.

The politics of the Affordable Care Act in the state of Louisiana aren't subtle: The law isn't popular.

The state was part of the lawsuit to strike down Obamacare in 2012; it didn't expand Medicaid and has no plans to. Louisiana also didn't set up its own marketplace to sell health insurance.

Ten years ago, Louisiana’s Public Health lab – where the state Dept. of Health and Hospitals tests for things like disease outbreaks and water safety – was in downtown New Orleans. It was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina and had been operating out of temporary facilities until a new lab opened just recently in Baton Rouge.


Take 2 for Increasing Access to Anti-Overdose Drug

May 4, 2015

Last year, State Representative Helena Moreno authored a bill allowing police and firefighters to carry Naloxone -- or Narcan -- a drug that can reverse heroin overdose. But it wasn’t enough to curb heroin deaths. This year, Representative Moreno is trying again to get Narcan into the hands of more people.

 

Right now, first responders are the only ones who can legally carry Narcan.  But some law enforcement officers have been reluctant to do that. The East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office doesn’t carry the drug. And some won’t call 911 for fear of being arrested for drug possession or distribution.

Parents worry about a child getting a concussion in the heat of competition, but they also need to be thinking about what happens during practices, a study finds.

High school and college football players are more likely to suffer a concussion during practices than in a game, according a study published May 4 in JAMA Pediatrics. Here are the numbers:

  • In youth games, 54 percent of concussions happened during games.

If you ran down the list of ailments that most commonly kill Americans, chances are you wouldn't think to name sepsis. But this condition, sometimes called blood poisoning, is in fact one of the most common causes of death in the hospital, killing more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined.

Jennifer Rodgers learned about sepsis the way many people do — through personal experience.

When patients show up in the hospital without health insurance, they often receive charity care — the hospital treats the person and then swallows some or all of the costs.

It's central to the mission of many nonprofit hospitals, particularly those serving low-income areas.

When patients brought to the ER have uncontrolled blood pressure, neglected asthma or diabetes that hasn't been dealt with, doctors often start treatment right then and there.

But what happens when the patient turns out to be addicted to opioids, such as oxycodone or heroin? In case of an overdose, the medical team can take action to rescue the patient. The underlying addiction is something else, though.

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