A bi-weekly review of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine media appearances.
IN THE NEWS March 12, 2014
As leaders in medicine, we are frequently featured in the media both locally and nationally. Here are highlights from the past two weeks:

New York Times
 (Associated Press)
Centralizing organ removal may benefit transplants
A WUSM study suggests that removing organs at a central location saves money and has the potential to improve the odds of transplant success. “There’s no question in my mind” this should be done everywhere, said transplant surgeon Dr. Majella Doyle, who led the study. “It will increase the number of organs that are used and it will increase efficiency and decrease costs.”
 Other outlets: Associated Press video, NPR, CTV News (Canada), Atlanta Journal-Constitution,CBS News, Fox News
Related WUSM news release

New York Times
Rare gene found to protect against Type 2 diabetes
A new study based on genetic testing of 150,000 people has found a rare mutation that protects even overweight people from getting Type 2 diabetes. “The study is a tour de force and the authors are the top people in the field,” said Dr. Samuel Klein, who was not involved in the study.

Los Angeles Times
Does no-cost contraception promote promiscuity? No, says study
Researchers at WUSM analyzed data from the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, a study of 9,256 women in St. Louis, aged 14 to 45, who were at high risk for unintended pregnancy. Among the 7,751 participants who completed the surveys, researchers observed a statistically significant decrease in the number of sexual partners that participants reported having had in the 30 days preceding. 
Other outlets: USA Today, Fox News
Related WUSM news release

Advanced tonsil cancer may respond well to targeted radiation
Targeted radiation therapy benefits people with advanced tonsil cancer, a new study suggests. “Our research indicates that for appropriately selected patients with tonsil cancer, the volume of radiation therapy necessary to control the cancer can be significantly reduced, therefore reducing the side effects and toxicity of radiation while maintaining a high rate of tumor control,” said study author Dr. Wade Thorstad.

Bloomberg Businessweek
These high-tech surgery goggles can spot glowing cancer cells
When surgeons remove a tumor, the search for every last cancer cell is critical. But the diseased tissue can be difficult to distinguish from the healthy. Now, researchers have developed high-tech goggles that allow doctors to see tumors glowing under infrared light. “As soon as [surgeons] open the body, they will see the cancer tissue light up,” says Dr. Samuel Achilefu, the brains behind the goggles. Achilefu came up with the idea about four years ago after listening to a group of frustrated doctors.
Related WUSM news release

Wall Street Journal
Pediatrics group balks at rise of retail health clinics
A study co-authored by Jane Garbutt and colleagues is used as a source for statistics in a chart illustrating how and why some parents bring their children to retail outlets for health services. Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the “Parents’ Experiences With Pediatric Care at Retail Clinics” study surveyed 1,400 families in 19 Midwestern practices, including 344 families that said they sought care at retail clinics. (Story access may require site registration.)

Washington Post
Experts: Officials missed signs of prescription drug crackdown’s effect on heroin use
“Much of the heroin use you’re seeing now is due in large part to making prescription opioids a lot less accessible,” said Dr. Theodore Cicero. He co-authored a 2012 study, cited in the New England Journal of Medicine, that found that a reformulation of OxyContin to make it harder to abuse caused heroin use to nearly double. 
Other outlets: Seattle Times, Denver Post,
Governing Related WUSM news release

ABC News
Boy with rare disease gets surgery to smile
Dawson Barnett, 6, has Moebius syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that paralyzes the muscles that control facial expression. Dawson and his mom shared their story after a facial reconstruction surgery with Dr. Alison Snyder-Warwick allowed Dawson to smile for the first time. Other outlets:

Everyday Health
How to fall without breaking a bone
People with multiple sclerosis face a four times greater risk for hip fracture than others. This is due to balance issues, feeling dizzy and the bone-weakening effect of many long-term medications to fight the disease. Occupational therapist Vicki Kaskutas offered tips on how to boost balance and prevent falls. Among them: wear good shoes, shift your center of balance, pick up clutter around the house and check the lighting in your house.

Runner’s World Magazine
The body shop: flex benefits
March 2014 Issue
Physical Therapist Greg Holtzman describes exercises to help strengthen hip flexors – a group of muscles in the pelvic region and upper thighs that help drive up the knees and keep the pelvis and thighs aligned when running. Holtzman, who directs the WUSM Running Clinic, explained that weakness in the hip flexors can contribute to lower-leg running injuries.

Daily Mail (UK)
Is Pilates bad for your back?
Millions of people now take Pilates classes regularly. The fitness craze is touted for improving back pain and poor posture. But some experts now are casting doubt over its ability to relieve back problems. Dr. Shirley Sahrmann said because back pain has so many different causes, attempting to strengthen the core muscles may be entirely the wrong remedy for some.

Trying to conceive? Lose extra weight first
If you are planning for a baby and are overweight, doctors advise losing the extra pounds before you conceive. “If the goal is [to lose] 40 pounds and you can get halfway there and lose 20 pounds, we know that has a positive effect,” said OB/GYN Dr. Alison G. Cahill.

Science Magazine
Low-protein diet may extend lifespan
A controversial new theory about the foods that can extend life is taking shape. Two recent studies, one in mice and another primarily in people, suggest that eating relatively little protein and lots of carbohydrates—the opposite of what’s urged by many diet plans—extends life and fortifies health. “If these two studies really are correct, what people in general are trying to do” to get and stay thin “might be completely wrong in terms of maintaining health and even longevity,” said molecular biologist Dr. Shin-ichiro Imai, who was not involved in the study. The Scientist,U.S. News & World Report

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 (front page)
Specialists help the show go on for injured dancers and musicians
Physiatrist Dr. Devyani Hunt and physical therapist Lynnette Khoo-Summers, both dancers, co-direct Washington University’s Medical Program for Performing Artists. They specialize in treating musicians, dancers, acrobats and singers and have worked with nearly half of the musicians in the St. Louis Symphony and performers from most of the dance companies in the area.

Science 2.0
Are depression and smoking equal risks for heart disease?
A 12-person panel including Drs. Robert M. Carney and Kenneth E. Freedland recently published a review article in the journal Circulation indicating that depression should be listed with smoking, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure as risk factors for heart disease. “We suspected we would find this link, having gone through all of these studies and conducted such a careful evaluation,” said Carney. We are more confident than ever that depression is a risk factor for mortality in people who have heart disease.” He added that more trials are needed to identify treatments that may improve heart health along with depression. Other outlets: Science Newsline, Times of India, KMOX radio
Related WUSM news release

KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5
Revolutionary proton therapy available in St. Louis
Doctors at the S. Lee Kling Center for Proton Therapy used the technology to treat the center’s first pediatric patient, a six-year old, with a malignant brain tumor. Proton therapy is thought to provide a more targeted stream of radiation that minimizes damage to surrounding tissue.

KWMU St. Louis Public Radio / The Beacon
Wash U, U of I scientists use 3-D printer to help create prototype next-gen pacemaker
Biomedical engineer Igor Efimov helped design and test a new device that may one day help prevent heart attacks. It is a thin, elastic membrane designed to stretch over the heart like a custom-made glove. Efimov said the membrane’s spider-web-like network of specialized electrodes can continuously monitor the heart’s electrical activity and keep it beating at a healthy rate. He calls the new device a huge advance and hopes it will be approved for use in patients in 10 to 15 years. 
Other outlets: The Scientist, KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5, KTVI-TV Fox 2, The Independent (UK)
Related WUSM news release

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Parents talk back
SLCH Mom Doc Kathleen Berchelmann provided advice on children’s headaches, breakfast battles and the appropriate age to allow children to stay home alone in her weekly online chat hosted by Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan.

KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5
Is yelling the new spanking?
As more parents abandon the practice of spanking for discipline, more are finding themselves raising their voices or yelling to get their kids’ attention. Dr. Kathleen Berchelmann explained that yelling can have many of the same psychological consequences as spanking. She also shared tips for parents who they find themselves yelling too much.

Ivanhoe Broadcast News
CPAP for asthma
As part of a clinical trial, doctors are testing whether treatment with a CPAP machine will improve symptoms in asthma patients by making their airways less reactive.

KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5
Wash U neurosurgeon pens novel about artificial intelligence
Scientists are on the brink of developing a new generation of machines and computers that are capable of thinking like humans. These so-called brain-computer interfaces, and the effect they could have, are the subject of “Red Devil 4,” a new novel written by neurosurgeon Dr. Eric Leuthardt.
Other outlets: West End Word

KWMU St. Louis Public Radio
An update on the ‘bittersweet progress’ at the site of the old Jewish Hospital
Curious about what happened to artifacts like the cornerstone of Jewish Hospital and the menorah that sat in the front window? Project spokeswoman Kathy Bretsch said they’re all in storage and will be incorporated into the new building.

Jefferson City News-Tribune
Senate committee hears two proposals to change damage awards
A Missouri Senate committee recently was asked to endorse bills that would change how damages are calculated in medical malpractice lawsuits. Attorney Kristen Cardenas, assistant vice chancellor at Washington University, told the committee that, under current state law, “juries can be presented with the provider’s original, gross charges as evidence of the ‘value’ of medical services — allowing plaintiffs to recover not only the amount paid for the services, but these ‘phantom’ damages or write-off amounts. Essentially, plaintiffs are allowed to recover damages that don’t actually exist.”

Black America
Winter asthma: how to manage your triggers
People with asthma are faced with two main challenges during the winter: “One is that [people] spend more time inside,” said Dr. H. James Wedner, where there is more opportunity to breathe in asthma triggers, like pet dander, mold and dust mites. “The other is that it’s cold outside,” and breathing cold air is another common asthma trigger.

KMOX Radio
Study: Hip resurfacing vs. hip replacement
Patients may benefit from having hip resurfacing verses a total hip replacement according to a new study. Dr. Robert Barrack recently found that hip resurfacing in some cases is better for younger, more active patients.

Experts say average American probably addicted to their cell phone
A new term – nomophobia – is being used to describe the fear of not having a cell phone. Research shows that 73 percent of Americans would feel “panicked” if they lost their mobile phone, while 14 percent took it a step further and said they would feel “desperate” without their device. “What it illustrates in part is the way in which we’ve become very dependent on an external validation and external connectiveness,” said psychiatrist Dr. Nigel Lester.

KMOX-AM radio
Wash. U study provides reassurance to older mothers
Dr. Katherine Goetzinger said a new WUSM study should provide reassurance to older pregnant women whose babies don’t have chromosomal anomalies. The research found that women aged 35 and older have a 40 percent decreased risk of having a baby with major congenital abnormalities, which include heart, brain and kidney defects, than younger women. Other outlet:St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WNDU-TV (South Bend, Indiana)
Aspiration therapy helping patients lose weight
Patients in a clinical trial are testing a new and very radical weight loss method called aspiration therapy. These patients first have a skin port placed in their abdomen. After a meal, they connect a tube to the port, turn on a valve and about 30 percent of food travels from the stomach to the outside of the body before it is absorbed, explained Dr. Shelby Sullivan.

KLKN-TV (Lincoln, NE)
Head injuries spike in winter
Dr. Angela Lumba-Brown, emergency medicine physician, explained the 20 percent increase in head injuries seen at the SLCH emergency department between January 2013 and January 2014. The temperature was only a bit lower this year when compared to last year, but may have contributed to an increase in traumatic head injuries – mostly from car accidents on snow and ice, or winter sports like sledding.

Incredible photos of tiny animal body parts
The Nikon Small World competition, which was founded in 1974, showcases the best examples of photomicrography—images taken under a microscope. Among the 2013 winners is a photo of Chrysemys picta (painted turtle) retina, magnified 400X, by Dr. Joseph Corbo.

Real Simple Magazine
Is your purse too heavy?
A purse that is too heavy can lead to neck and shoulder pain. According to Dr. Heidi Prather, your bag should, ideally, weigh no more than 10 percent of your body weight or 10 pounds, whichever is less.

Bleacher Report
An inside look into the NFL medical exam process at the Combine
Hundreds of draft prospects recently went to Indianapolis to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Matt Matava, president of the NFL Physicians Society, said doctors are looking at more than just shoulders and knees. He explained that each participant received an in-depth medical exam including blood work, EKGs, and stress tests, as well as a complete orthopedic evaluation.

KSDK-TV NewsChannel 5
Furry friends visit St. Louis Children’s Hospital
This year’s SLCH Fat Tuesday celebration included a visit from 15 therapy dogs with the TOUCH program. TOUCH stands for therapy of unique canine helpers. Pet therapy is one of the alternate therapies offered through the hospital’s Child Life and Volunteer Programs.

The Southern Illinoisan
Rare disease isn’t stopping Carterville Boy
Dr. Vikas Dharnidharka explained the unique case of a 16-month-old battling atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (aHUS), and a new drug that recently became available to treat it.

Chronicle Live
Little Lily Ketteringham home after pioneering surgery in America
Lily Ketteringham, 5, was born with cerebral palsy and has never been able to walk unassisted. Her family believes that could change after she recovers from spinal surgery with Dr. T.S. Park. The surgery, called selective dorsal rhizotomy, severs the spinal rootlets that cause spasticity and inhibit mobility. Other outlets: The News-Portsmouth.

Connect TriStates
Record-breaking year for Cadan’s Carnivan
Cadan’s carnival is organized annually in Quincy, Ill., by the parents of an infant who died in the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. This year’s event raised $22,000 for Dr. Brad Warner’s research.

Daily Beast
The medical community’s hidden abortion training war
Only 40 percent of OB-GYN programs in the country offer comprehensive abortion training. While that’s an increase from the early 90’s when only 12 percent of programs taught abortion techniques, there continues to be stigma and intimidation for those providing and teaching abortion care.
Dr. David Eisenberg, OB/GYN and a director of the St. Louis region Planned Parenthood, said, “We tell our residents over at Planned Parenthood it’s important to walk in and out of the building in plain clothes, not scrubs, because that way the folks who stand outside don’t know that you’re a doctor or a care provider.”

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Washington University
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Barnes-Jewish Hospital



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