Health Highlights: March 14, 201203/14/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
3 Brands of Pet Treats Possibly Linked to Dog Illnesses
Some specific brands of jerky pet treats possibly linked to
kidney failure and other serious illnesses reported in at least 600
dogs in the United States are cited in internal Food and Drug
Of 22 "Priority 1" cases listed in a log of complaints from pet
owners and veterinarians, 13 cited Waggin' Train or Canyon Creek
Ranch jerky treats or tenders, both produced by Nestle Purina
PetCare Co., according to the documents obtained by
Three other cases listed Milo's Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats,
produced by the Del Monte Corp. The rest of the cases listed single
brands or no brand.
An FDA spokeswoman said Priority 1 cases involve animals aged 11
or younger for which medical records that document illness are
Officials at Nestle Purina and Del Monte officials said their
pet treats are safe. FDA officials said repeated tests have found
no solid link between the dog illnesses and any jerky treat brand
Doctors Repair Airway Disorder in Fetus
In what they say was a world-first surgery, Spanish doctors
fixed a blocked bronchial tube in a 26-week-old fetus while she was
still in her mother's womb.
The fetus had bronchial atresia, a condition in which the air
tubes (bronchi) leading from the trachea to the lungs do not
connect properly with the central airways. The condition results in
the death of the fetus in 90 percent of cases,
Agence France-Presse reported.
The surgery, which lasted 30 minutes, was performed in late
2010. The doctors used an endoscope to go through the fetus' mouth
and connect the right bronchi with the central airways.
Eleven weeks after the procedure, the mother gave birth to a
5.5-pound girl named Alaitz, which means "joy" in the Basque
language. The baby is now 16 months old and healthy.
"It is the first time in the world that this has been achieved. It is the first time that it has been tried and it turned out well," Eduard Gratacos, the head of the maternal-fetal medicine department at Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, said at a news conference Tuesday, AFP reported.
"It is an extremely delicate operation since it is carried out near the heart on tissues as thin as cigarette paper. But without this fetal therapy, the baby would not have survived," Gratacos explained.
Planned Repeat C-Sections May be Safer: Studies
Women who have a planned cesarean delivery after a previous
c-section are less likely to experience severe complications,
according to two studies.
An Australian team found that the risk of stillbirth was lower
in women who had a planned repeat c-section compared to those who
opted for natural birth,
BBC News reported.
U.K. researchers found that the risk of womb rupture was lower
for women who had an elective repeat c-section.
The studies were published in the journal
Experts say the risks are low for both natural birth and
BBC News reported. Women should discuss their individual
options with their health care provider, the Royal College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises.
Doc-Prescribed Heroin May Work Better Than Methadone as
Medically prescribed heroin is more cost-effective than
methadone for treating heroin addicts, according to findings from
North America's first clinical trial of prescribed heroin.
Compared to patients who received methadone, those who received
the medically prescribed heroin in the form of diacetylmorphine
stayed in treatment longer and spent less time in relapse, which
was associated with less criminal activity and lower healthcare
costs, reported the
National Post in Canada.
Patients who received the medically prescribed heroin also lived
longer than those who received methadone.
The study predicted an average lifetime societal cost of $1.09
million for addicts who received medically prescribed heroin and
$1.14 million for those who received methadone, the
Post reported. The costs include treatment expenses and costs
to the justice system.
The findings were published in the
Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Treatment Halts World's Tallest Man's Growth
Treatment to stop the world's tallest man from growing has been
successful, according to University of Virginia doctors.
The Daily Progress newspaper said 8-foot-3 Sultan Kosen of
Turkey had a tumor in his pituitary gland that was causing excess
growth hormone and gigantism,
USA Today reported.
It was feared that continued growth would put the 29-year-old at
even greater risk for joint and organ problems. Doctors began
radiation treatment on the tumor in 2010 and it was confirmed three
months ago that Kosen had stopped growing.
The treatment involved the use of gamma knife radiosurgery,
which delivers a focused beam of radiation to the tumor. But
The Daily Progress said before the procedure could be
performed, special medical equipment to fit Kosen's enormous skull
had to be flown in from Sweden,
USA Today reported.
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