November 19, 2015 |
When it comes to a still-mysterious condition known as Castleman disease, David Fajgenbaum, a professor of hematology/oncology at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, is more than an advocate or a physician/scientist: He is also a patient. Addressing a team of volunteers for the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN), Fajgenbaum quickly details on a white board what is known about CD, a group of poorly understood inflammatory disorders that can vary from a single enlarged lymph node to life-threatening multiple organ failure.
November 15, 2015 |
Tamela Oglesby was gasping for air. "It felt like my last breath," the 35-year-old nursing assistant said, reaching for her throat as she recounted that night one year ago. "I thought I was going to die. My heart was just beating, really, really fast. " Figuring it would be the fastest way there, she took a bus to Pennsylvania Hospital's emergency room, a few blocks from her Northern Liberties apartment. A chest X-ray revealed the diagnosis that changed her life in ways Oglesby could not have expected.
November 10, 2015 |
IS IT POSSIBLE to die of a broken heart? When Tony Lyle's longtime partner, Jim Clark, died in February, Tony's doctor suggested he take an antidepressant. "I'm not depressed," Tony insisted. But on Oct. 27, Tony died of a heart attack in his apartment on Rittenhouse Square. He was 79. "He was very upset by Jim's death," said Tony's niece, Alison Lyle Flowers. "Could it have been a broken heart? Who knows?" Anthony A. Lyle, who with his partner, James N. Clark, were active in caring for victims of the HIV/AIDS virus from the early days of the disease, was a longtime editor of the Pennsylvania Gazette, the University of Pennsylvania's prizewinning alumni magazine.
November 5, 2015 |
"VIRGINIA ROSS started as a hugger," the Daily News' Ron Goldwyn wrote about her in 2001. Virginia visited hospitals "to hug and rock babies left behind by AIDS- and HIV-infected mothers," Goldwyn wrote. That kind of love and compassion for the sick and those "left behind" by sufferers marked Virginia's life of service to AIDS and HIV patients, as well as in education programs to call attention to the disease and ways to prevent its spread. Her particular emphasis was on the impact the dreaded disease has on the African-American community, where for many years it was a forbidden topic because of its association with homosexuality.
October 16, 2015 |
A Pennsylvania task force called Wednesday for an increase in surveillance, education, and common-sense preventive measures to combat the increasing prevalence of Lyme disease. The panel did not issue any recommendations on treatment. But its 64-page report alluded to sharp disagreement on that topic among some of the members. No surprise, given that the task force was mandated by law to include both mainstream medical practitioners as well as representatives of a group that advocates months of high-dose antibiotics to treat patients with lingering symptoms.
October 2, 2015
MENTION the word "health" and people usually think of doctors and hospitals. Those are the people and institutions that work to make individuals healthy. Public health has a broader mission - to make whole communities healthy. The first public health professionals were called "sanitarians," partly because of science's new found understanding of the link between disease and sanitation. It's hard to believe but Philadelphia did not begin to chlorinate its drinking water until 1913 - and that was decades after the link between typhoid and dirty water was a proven fact.
September 7, 2015 |
Donald Lewis Schotland, 84, of Wynnewood, an internationally known researcher into muscle disorders and for 38 years a leading figure in the University of Pennsylvania's neurology department, died Thursday, Aug. 13, of a stroke at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Dr. Schotland's career as an MD spanned almost 50 years. He arrived at Penn in 1967, rising through the ranks to become professor of neurology and, later, professor emeritus. He closed his lab in 1998 and retired from clinical practice in 2005.
July 31, 2015 |
An employee at West Chester University has tested positive for Legionnaires' disease, and "higher-than-acceptable" levels of the bacteria that cause it were found in eight campus buildings, officials said Wednesday. Immediate steps were taken to kill the Legionella bacteria that were found in the buildings' cooling towers, Mark Mixner, vice president of administration and finance, wrote in a memo to the university's more than 1,000 employees. The university "engaged a remediation firm that is treating the affected cooling towers" Wednesday and Thursday to eliminate the bacteria and ensure they do not return, Mixner said.
June 13, 2015 |
Just in time for peak tick season, the Pennsylvania Department of Health this week announced that Lyme disease cases went up by a whopping 25 percent in a single year. Given the state often has more cases of the tick-borne infection than any other, this might worry anyone who spends time in the woods. But experts say a lot goes into reports such as this one, some of it concerning, some perplexing - and some reassuring. "We know Lyme is out there," said Atmaram Nambiar, director of the Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Department of Health.
May 31, 2015 |
Greg Crawford's right wrist is covered with a half-dozen multicolored plastic bracelets. "Race for Adam," reads one, for a teen in Bethlehem, Pa. "Dillon's Army," reads another, in honor of a Maryland boy. "Fight for Jessica," reads a third, for a girl in Los Angeles. "I told them I'd never take them off until we have a cure," Crawford, 50, said. The children's families gave Crawford the bracelets in 2011, the second year he biked across the country to raise money for Niemann-Pick Type C Disease, a nervous system disorder that typically strikes children.