December 29, 2013 |
The twice-extended deadline to enroll in subsidized health insurance and be covered from the start of the new year has finally passed. Well, sort of. Administration officials said last week they would try to arrange Jan. 1 coverage for people who have had trouble getting through the cranky website. Meanwhile, insurers are switching their focus to confirming that the people who have successfully signed up appear in company records. The problem is that the transfer of customer data from healthcare.gov to insurance companies and the quality of the information has been - you guessed it - glitchy.
December 16, 2013 |
"My son will be 4 weeks old on Saturday," the young woman thought glumly as she sat burning with fever and with the same dull ache in her lower belly she'd had for weeks. She'd always been healthy and optimistic. The pregnancy had been a breeze. Now, in a hospital hours from her newborn at home, she was feeling discouraged. Her first pregnancy four years earlier had been complicated by prolonged labor, and she'd had a cesarean section. With her narrow pelvis, her doctors recommended another C-section for her new son. The surgery had gone well, and she'd gone home with the healthy baby a few days later.
December 2, 2013 |
She closed her calculus textbook and put it aside. The text and equations on the page had started to blur together, and all she could focus on was how her throat was on fire. She took a few small sips from the bottle of orange juice that had been her constant companion for the last week. "It can't be the flu," she thought, since she didn't have a headache, runny nose, cough, or muscle aches. Having had strep throat many times as a child, she had initially thought this episode was no different.
November 13, 2013 |
IN EVERY emergency room in every hospital in Philadelphia, doctors treat ailing homeless men and women, and then send them back into the streets a few hours later because they aren't sick enough to keep in the hospital. But because the streets are no place to recover, it doesn't take long before they come right back to the ER, sometimes even sicker. These doctors and nurses know it's inhumane and costly, but they've had few options. Until now. Come January, Philadelphia will finally have a clean and safe place for homeless patients to recuperate, with a six-bed medical respite center in the former chapel at Depaul House in East Germantown.
October 20, 2013 |
He woke up abruptly one morning with horrible pain in his left knee. Within an hour he had unbearable right hip pain that doubled him over and prompted him to go to the emergency room. The patient, now in his mid-50s, was no stranger to pain, but it was belly pain he was used to, not pain in the joints. He had been dealing with Crohn's disease for most of his life. The Crohn's had started in college with belly pain and diarrhea that had gone on for weeks. While the disease was hard to control the first few years, causing him to have part of his bowels removed, he managed quite well overall and lived a full life.
October 12, 2013 |
VENTNOR, N.J. Nearly a decade ago, Bill Ferrier saw a yellow laundry bag tumbling around in the Atlantic Ocean. He carried it to the Ventnor boardwalk and opened it. Inside, he found the body of a newborn, umbilical cord and placenta still attached. He called the police, then his wife, Susan. "You're not going to believe what I found," he told her. "Is it a body?" Susan Ferrier recalled asking her husband. He replied: "It's a little bit worse than that; it's a newborn. " The six-pound girl had been in the water for one to two days, but it was not clear when or where she had been strangled, an autopsy showed.
September 8, 2013 |
Ashley Grim suffers from a variety of medical problems, among them scoliosis, difficulty swallowing, and unstable blood pressure, so she has had to endure being poked and prodded more times than most children. Yet Ashley also has a harder time coping with medical settings than most children, as she has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. When she went to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for a procedure last year, the experience of being placed under anesthesia was too much.
August 23, 2013 |
Q: I'm starting my freshman year in college and am leaving my high-school boyfriend behind. I expect to find new romantic partners, but I don't want to get a bad reputation. How many sexual partners is too many? If I have more than a dozen, am I a slut? What's the average for a normal woman? Mia: The number of men you choose to sleep with is between you and God, if you are a believer. Don't worry about what your high-school boyfriend thinks, and forget about what society says.
August 7, 2013 |
If you show up to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's emergency room but aren't in serious trouble, get ready to wait. New federal data show that the prestigious university hospital has the highest median ER wait times in the city at 81 minutes to see a doctor. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which publish the data from hospital submissions, say long waits can be a sign of understaffing or gridlock elsewhere in the hospital. And they can lead to lower quality care and more stressful stays for patients and families.
July 15, 2013 |
One in an occasional series on attempts to solve a medical mystery. Forty years ago, his wife mistakenly assumed his weekly fishing trips would taper off after the wedding. Then, perhaps after the children came. But throughout his career as a research chemist, through raising three children and supporting his wife's chemistry career, he'd kept up his passion for the hobby. So she had no doubt when he retired last year how he would be spending his days. She was at an out-of-town conference when she received his call.