Some agencies estimate that 50,000 children have been born in the US using donor eggs. But egg donation (or sale, as some insist) is not regulated, and while short term risks are known, few donors have been followed for years. Long term risks are not well understood. Experts discuss what we know… and what we don’t.
New studies show that changing your weekday sleep schedule by sleeping in as a little as an hour every weekend can have severe health impact. Experts discuss this “social jetlag,” why it occurs, and how people can avoid health concerns without avoiding staying out late.
There are about 22 million veterans in the United States, and odds are that you know at least one. More than 40% of veterans are enrolled in the Veteran Affairs Health Care System, or the VA, making it the largest healthcare system in the country. The VA provides life-saving treatments for our country’s former servicemen and servicewomen, but has long been criticized for its inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Is this negative perception warranted?
We talk with Suzanne Gordon, author of The Battle for Veterans’ Healthcare: Dispatches from the Frontlines of Policy Making and Patient Care, who believes we that the VA system offers more positives than negatives. She points out that salaried VA doctors are incentivized to provide comprehensive care to their patients, and that compared to private providers, VA doctors rarely refer a patient to outside specialists. Gordon argues against the push to privatize health care and believes that the shortcomings of the VA come from it being severely underfunded. Gordon says that although many Americans are willing to fund the military, few consider the importance of providing veterans with with healthcare and other aid after they have served their country.
Car accidents are the leading causes of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) in the US. We talk with Dr. Edward Hickling, author and Professor of Psychology at the University of Albany, who says that about 3 million people are involved in serious car accidents every year, and for about 20% of those people, the psychological symptoms don’t go away after a month. Hickling says that PTSD is a normal reaction to a traumatic incident because humans aren’t supposed to be in life threatening situations. One of the causes of PTSD after a car crash is hyperarousal, where any sight or sound related to a car crash can trigger a person’s memory and cause anxiety, stress and more. Individuals suffering from PTSD may also experience flashbacks in their daily life or in nightmares. Physical changes may range from hair fallout to respiratory or cardiovascular issues. PTSD is also more likely if the person believed that they were going to die as the crash was occurring.Dr. Hickling says that following an accident, many survivors find it harder to be a passenger rather than the driver because as a passenger they have less control and feel more vulnerable. He advises that it’s important for the survivor to learn something from the incident, no matter how horrific it was.
We talk with two crash survivors, Bill Hansen and Debbie Miller Koziarz, about their experiences with PTSD. Hansen, who walked away physically uninjured from his accident, describes feeling unsure whether he was alive or dead for days following the accident, and how these doubts persisted until he got help. Koziarz endured nine surgeries in the six years following her car accident, and describes feeling so anxious to be in a car again that sometimes she would even try to jump out.
PTSD is a serious condition, and survivors of traumatic events should not be afraid to seek help. Crash survivors are more likely to avoid taking risks of any kind, often choosing to stay indoors rather than resuming their normal lives, but this can prolong and worsen PTSD. Without treatment, the condition may alter their behavior and actions permanently. PTSD experts help patients to work through their trauma in order to see the world as it was for them prior to the accident.
Auto accidents are the largest cause of post-traumatic stress disorder. About 25 percent of people injured in car crashes will suffer from it. Accident survivors and one of the world’s foremost experts discuss variables that make PTSD worse and those that make recovery easier, as well as the essentials victims must carry out to recover.
Evaluating Veterans’ Healthcare
Around nine million military veterans receive healthcare services from the Department of Veterans Affairs. An expert discusses her contention that the care the VA provides is much better than its perception.
The 911 system started in 1968 and while it may have efficiently done its job in its early years, today is a different story. Many argue that the problem lies in cell phones. When cell phones weren’t invented, 911 call centers could be sure that the landline call was where the emergency was located. Today, more than 75% of 911 calls originate from cell phones. The challenge begins when 911 call centers receive wireless calls; they generally only know the sector of where the call originates from, but they don’t have the technology to pinpoint the caller’s location.
Many 911 caller centers haven’t upgraded their system’s technology yet. Because of this, many experts say it may be a while before all call centers are able to figure out the exact location of a wireless caller. Even when a caller gives an address, it’s not always easy to locate the address right away, so call centers have to use their dated technology find the location of the caller. Administrators need to carefully assess whether 911 centers should be consolidated. This means that each state will have a very limited number of call centers, but will be equipped with advanced technology and resources that are able to spread further. For example, in Vermont there are two centers that handle calls from the entire state. Elizabeth Adams, a former 911 call center administrator, says she understands that it’s a more efficient way, but she struggles to find the point at which it’s too much to limit the number of call centers in one state.
As 911 centers struggle with the costs of advanced technology, a number of states have passed legislation forcing consolidation in the name of lower costs. In certain states, maintaining a sustainable call center is not feasible when taking into account employee costs, fiscal challenges, and healthcare costs. It becomes even more difficult when communities are not able to raise enough money through taxes and other means. Budge Currier, a 911 Administrator, believes that while consolidation obtains next generation technology, the cost and services of these call centers show no significant change. So, is consolidation the logical next step for 911 call centers or is there another solution?
Children are not small adults; their biology differs from that of adults and therefore they have different medicine to treat the same illnesses that adults suffer from. Dr. Kurt Newman, President and CEO at Children’s National Health System, says that we don’t invest as much as we should in our children’s healths. When we don’t prioritize child’s health, we prevent early diagnosis of diseases and conditions that can alter a child’s life forever. Newman recommends that parents take their children to a specialized children’s hospital where the doctors, treatments, and equipment that are specifically designed for children.
Newman suggests that we need to make children’s health a national priority by specializing in treatments, equipment and doctors who know to treat children and their symptoms as those of children, not little adults. Newman also believes that the talks of cutting medicaid costs – that will impact over 30 million children – are short sighted because it will delay treatment that could occur at an earlier time and allow a child to live a more fulfilling life.