Science

Drinking and driving
8:48 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Designated Drivers Often Fail To Abstain From Drinking

Has the person taking the car keys been drinking, too?
Jacom Stephens iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 5:45 am

We might need to change the definition of a designated driver from noble abstainer to something along the lines of not as drunk as you.

The idea of having one person in a group agree not to drink so that everyone else can get home safely after a night of alcohol-fueled fun has been promoted as a way to reduce the dangers of drunken driving, especially among teenagers and young adults.

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health insurance
4:41 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Obamacare pitch coming to libraries, pulpits, malls

Working families without health insurance will get extra attention all over Washington this fall. Health organizations are getting $6 million in federal grants to send health recruiters to libraries, church pulpits, and shopping malls. 

Face-to-face marketing and in-person recruiting are needed, according to the masterminds behind the the new health-care law, because about 25% of the uninsured won’t be able to use the new website.

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prescription narcotics
5:00 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Wash. state earns 'A' grade for pain prescribing, for now

(white rabbit) Flickr

Washington state has earned a top grade from the American Cancer Society when it comes to helping people suffering from long-term pain. However, the state’s law on pain medication is unusual enough that the Cancer Society is surveying doctors to learn more about how it’s working.

In the past, many patients in chronic pain—lasting months or years—believed they were just supposed to suffer through it.

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cafe racer anniversary
1:56 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

How a person becomes involuntarily committed

Deb Clark and Racheal Stuth respond to distressed callers in a marked county car.

Exactly one year has passed since an angry and unstable man killed four people at Seattle’s Café Racer and one more woman near downtown before shooting himself. Ian Stawicki was never diagnosed with a mental illness, but he exhibited many of the signs.

When someone is in a mental health crisis, who decides if the or she gets hospitalized involuntarily?

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Space Exploration
3:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Bellevue-based asteroid miners plan public space telescope

The "space selfie:" donors can get a picture of their face in space (seen here in an artist's rendering).
Planetary Resoruces

A company devoted to space exploration is planning to make an orbiting telescope available to students, scientists, and space enthusiasts.

Bellevue-based asteroid mining company Planetary Resources hopes to eventually extract rare minerals from asteroids. But first the company must prospect, which will involve a fleet of space-based telescopes. Now the company has announced it will deploy an extra telescope for public use, paid for by a crowdfunding campaign on the website Kickstarter.

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medible overdose
12:38 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Study suggests link between edible pot and overdose among kids

Associated Press

Doctors are sounding an alarm about marijuana and young children, especially when it comes to marijuana-infused products, or "medibles". 

The rise of medicinal marijuana has brought a growing number of food products that contain the drug and might appeal to kids. Pot brownies have been around for decades, but nowadays you can also find pot cookies, lollipops, bon-bons, lasagna, and more. These products make it easier on someone who needs to use marijuana for medical reasons but doesn’t want to smoke. 

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health reform
2:51 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Most young adults won't pay more for coverage under Obamacare

Associated Press

If the price tag for health insurance goes up under Obamacare, it’s likely to hit some policy holders in their 20s, economists have warned. Now that the first round of numbers are available in Washington state, we can see whether that’s the case.

If the price tag for health insurance goes up under Obamacare, it’s likely to hit some policy holders in their 20s, economists have warned. Now that the first round of numbers is available in Washington state, we can see whether that’s the case.

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resuscitation
4:13 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Under new law, CPR training mandatory in Wash. high schools

Associated Press

Starting this fall, all high school students will get CPR training under a new mandate signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

The students don’t have to get certified in CPR—the proposal for certification was rejected as too cumbersome for public schools. But the state-mandated health class, which kids typically take in 9th or 10th grade, will now include a day or two of CPR training. 

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health
3:03 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Born between '45 and '65? Get tested for hepatitis C, says CDC

Dr. Paul J. Pockros, head, Division of Gastroenterology/ Hepatology and director, Liver Disease Center, talks with patient Loretta Roberts as they view her liver on a computer screen in his exam room at Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, in this photo t
Lenny Ignelzi Associated Press

A silent epidemic in the baby-boomer generation has health officials urging widespread testing. It’s hepatitis C, which can quietly infect your liver for years, leaving tiny scars but without showing any symptoms. 

Left untreated, you end up with cancer or in need of a transplant.

Now, a new battery of tests and better treatments are arriving, just as boomers reach an age when their livers could suddenly fail.

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preview of summer
2:21 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Balmy Monday breaks records in Seattle, Bellingham, Olympia

A couple is seen enjoying the weather on Alki Beach on Monday, May 6, 2013.
Justin Steyer

May 6 isn’t known for much. Perhaps it languishes in the shadow of its older sibling, Cinco de Mayo.

But at least this year, May 6 saw something special when the mercury climbed to a record-breaking high of 87 degrees at Sea-Tac Airport around 5 p.m., crushing the past record high of 79 set in 1957.

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Health care & religion
12:49 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Fears of a Catholic monopoly dominate talk of hospital mergers

istockphoto.com

Washington is one of the least religious states in the country, but when it comes to health care, it has some of the fastest growing religiously-affiliated hospitals, partly because so many hospitals are merging.

The trend has some communities worried about losing access to certain medical procedures—if they’re not allowed under church teachings. 

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Sweets in space
11:43 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Dessert in space: Not so bad!

“The food’s not so bad,” says Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield shared video of himself enjoying a post-lunch dessert of chocolate pudding cake and coffee.

Hadfield let the cake float out of its container in the gravity-free space before chasing after it a la Homer Simpson

health and schools
5:01 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Help coming to protect students with allergies

Nurses, teachers and other school staff will likely have more flexibility next fall to give adrenaline shots if a student goes into allergic shock. Both houses of the Legislature have unanimously approved a bill that loosens restrictions on how and when schools can use an epinephrine injector. 

The change is meant to save the lives of kids who have a severe allergy, including some rare cases in which the first-ever reaction to a not-yet-diagnosed allergy takes place at school or on a field trip.

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sports medicine
10:24 am
Tue April 23, 2013

College athletes urged to get high-tech heart test

A portable electrocardiogram machine tests UW students for hidden heart ailments
Keith Seinfeld kplu

College and high school athletes are typically in top physical shape. Except a few have an invisible heart condition that can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, where they drop dead on the court or field.

A new study by a group of physicians led by a team doctor for the University of Washington Huskies recommends all student athletes get a high-tech heart scan called an electrocardiogram, or EKG.

The catch is their doctors probably need additional training.

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public health
12:04 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Changing of guardian for health as smoking reaches crossroads

Retiring Washington state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky is seen in this photo.
Department of Health

For the first time since 1998, Washington is getting a new secretary of health. Mary Selecky is retiring, and her replacement starts today.

Selecky has been a familiar face during health emergencies, such as the pandemic flu. She made tobacco her top health priority, and saw smoking rates drop year after year. But, as she steps down, the anti-smoking crusade is at a crossroads.

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