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California Heart Surgeon's Patient Is Doctor Who Delivered Him

Dmitrii Kotin/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It was a near-full-circle moment for Dr. Jim Affleck, a retired obste­tri­cian, when he went in for heart surgery last month at Sut­ter Memo­r­ial Hos­pi­tal in Sacra­mento, California.

One of the doc­tors in the oper­at­ing room with Affleck was Dr. Robert Kin­cade, a heart sur­geon whom Affleck deliv­ered 45 years ago.

Luck­ily for Affleck, he said, the uncanny coin­ci­dence was not a com­pletely full-circle moment.

We didn’t have to come full cir­cle on this delivery-death thing,” Affleck, 84, told ABC News Fri­day, adding that he “feels like a new per­son” after hav­ing his aor­tic valve replaced.

Affleck spent 33 years as an obste­tri­cian in the Sacra­mento area deliv­er­ing thou­sands of babies — so many that he says he lost count. So no one can blame him for not imme­di­ately rec­og­niz­ing that his patient was now his doctor.

I was sur­prised because, as an obste­tri­cian, your patient is the mother,” he said. “You just hand the baby off to the pedi­a­tri­cian and never see it again.”

Dr. Kin­cade is the med­ical direc­tor of the Sut­ter Trans­plant and Advanced Ther­a­pies Pro­grams, located at Sut­ter Memo­r­ial Hos­pi­tal, the same hos­pi­tal where he was born and where Affleck practiced.

When Kin­cade real­ized the coin­ci­dence, he called the best source pos­si­ble to con­firm who deliv­ered him: his mom, accord­ing to Affleck and the hos­pi­tal. The doc­tor, who could not be reached Fri­day by ABC News because he was in surgery, then con­firmed again via his birth cer­tifi­cate that Affleck was his doctor.

I was sur­prised he would look at his birth cer­tifi­cate and remem­ber that and his mother remem­bered it too,” Affleck said.

Affleck, who lives just out­side Sacra­mento with his wife, Dona, and has three kids of his own, called his recov­ery from the heart surgery “marvelous.”

He had a chance to reunite with Kin­cade on Mon­day when he went back to the hos­pi­tal for his final check-up.

We’ve stayed in touch,” Affleck said. “The day after the surgery I got up and I could just tell that every­thing was different.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio

Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Many High School Seniors in Favor of Marijuana Reform

CapturedNuance/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A sur­vey of high school seniors found that most 18-year-olds want mar­i­juana reform.

Accord­ing to the study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Psy­choac­tive Drugs, nearly one-third of stu­dents sur­veyed felt mar­i­juana should be entirely legal, and nearly that amount — 28.5 per­cent — felt that mar­i­juana should be treated as a minor violation.

The sur­vey included 12,000 stu­dents between 2007 and 2011. Researchers did find that cer­tain groups were more or less likely to sup­port mar­i­juana legal­iza­tion. Among those more likely to be in favor of legal­iza­tion were black, lib­eral and urban stu­dents, while women, con­ser­v­a­tives, reli­gious stu­dents and those with friends who dis­ap­prove of mar­i­juana use were less likely to sup­port legalization.

Inter­est­ingly, the sur­vey found, nearly 17 per­cent of those stu­dents who had never used mar­i­juana before were in favor of legalization.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio

Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Dallas Ebola Survivor Nina Pham to Reunite with Her Dog

Dal­las Ani­mal Ser­vices(DALLAS) — Dal­las nurse Nina Pham, who last week was declared Ebola-free and dis­charged from the National Insti­tutes of Health’s hos­pi­tal in Mary­land, will finally reunite with her dog, Bent­ley, who has been in quar­an­tine for 21 days over fears that he, too, would develop the deadly virus.

She’s pretty excited,” Dal­las spokes­woman Sana Syed told ABC News. “We’ve been talk­ing to her every day.”

Pham is expected to reunite with Bent­ley Sat­ur­day morn­ing, give a short state­ment and accept a gift bas­ket filled with dona­tions from peo­ple around the coun­try, Syed said.

Pham, 26, con­tracted Ebola while car­ing for Thomas Eric Dun­can, a native of Libya who was the first per­son to be diag­nosed with Ebola in the United States and also the only per­son to die of the dis­ease in the U.S.

Pham, a nurse at Texas Health Pres­by­ter­ian Hos­pi­tal in Dal­las, was diag­nosed with Ebola and iso­lated on Oct. 11. She was then trans­ferred to the NIH Clin­i­cal Cen­ter in Bethesda, Mary­land, on Oct. 16 and dis­charged on Oct. 24.

Bentley’s quar­an­tine won’t be over until Nov. 1, so his vet­eri­nar­i­ans thought it best not to con­fuse Bent­ley with vis­its from Pham if he couldn’t go home, Syed said. Care­givers feared if Bent­ley saw Pham and she left, he might become anx­ious or depressed, and have other health concerns.

It’s been a tough week for her, since she’s been back and obvi­ously wanted to see Bent­ley right away,” Syed said, adding that Pham has main­tained her distance.

Over the last three weeks, the King Charles cav­a­lier spaniel has been cared for by a crew of vet­eri­nar­i­ans in iso­la­tion at Hens­ley Field in Dal­las, she said.

They played with him and hugged him, really just gave him that atten­tion he needed dur­ing this time,” Syed said. “They ded­i­cated so much time car­ing for Bent­ley to make sure he got loved dur­ing this iso­la­tion period.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

What Kaci Hickox Has to Say About Court’s Quarantine Decision

ABC News(FORT KENT, Maine) — A nurse who fought quar­an­tine rules after return­ing from treat­ing Ebola patients in West Africa said a court rul­ing in her favor will ensure that other health care work­ers return­ing from Africa are given “human treatment.”

I am hum­bled today by the judge’s deci­sion and even more hum­bled by the sup­port that we have received by the town of Fort Kent, the state of Maine, across the United States and even across the bor­der,” Hickox, 33, told reporters Fri­day from her home in Fort Kent.

A judge in Maine ruled Fri­day that Hickox could leave her home and spend time in pub­lic spaces despite other state offi­cials’ attempts to force her into a manda­tory quar­an­tine until a 21-day poten­tial Ebola incu­ba­tion period ends.

The judge noted in his rul­ing that although the state’s fears may be irra­tional, they are real and Hickox should be mind­ful of them.

I know Ebola is a scary dis­ease,” Hickox said Fri­day. “I have seen it face-to-face.”

Maine Gov. Paul LeP­age attempted to force Hickox to take a blood test for Ebola to prove she doesn’t have the deadly virus. Hickox tested neg­a­tive for Ebola twice in New Jer­sey after arriv­ing at Newark Inter­na­tional Air­port, and experts have said a per­son must be symp­to­matic to test pos­i­tive. Hickox has not shown any Ebola symp­toms, she said.

Hickox had been treat­ing patients in Sierra Leone with Doc­tors With­out Bor­ders before she returned to the United States and landed New Jer­sey a week ago. Upon land­ing, she was ques­tioned for six hours and quar­an­tined in an iso­la­tion tent until she was allowed to drive up to Maine on Mon­day. In Maine, offi­cials first sug­gested a vol­un­tary quar­an­tine and then sought to legally enforce it.

But Hickox said she wouldn’t com­ply because the quar­an­tine rules weren’t “sci­en­tif­i­cally valid.” She said she fought the quar­an­tine for all the other health work­ers expected to return from West Africa in the com­ing weeks.

The Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol doesn’t require quar­an­tines for return­ing health work­ers who wear pro­tec­tive gear because they can’t spread the virus unless they are symp­to­matic for Ebola and oth­ers come into con­tact with their bod­ily fluids.

Accord­ing to the judge’s order, Hickox will need to agree to active mon­i­tor­ing and coor­di­nate her travel with health author­i­ties. She must also report any symp­toms she expe­ri­ences to pub­lic health authorities.

Hickox said she plans to spend this evening eat­ing her boyfriend’s cook­ing and watch­ing a scary movie. She said she won’t be able to take trick-or-treaters because she hasn’t been able to buy candy.

More ABC US news | ABC Health News

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Look Inside Isolation Ward Where Nina Pham Was Treated for Ebola

National Insti­tutes of Health(BETHESDA, Md.) — Sim­ple beige walls and the Spar­tan fur­nish­ings is what Ebola patient Nina Pham lived with dur­ing the eight days she was treated at the iso­la­tion block of the National Insti­tutes of Health.

ABC News got a look inside the spe­cially designed unit, one of only four facil­i­ties in the coun­try spe­cially designed to han­dle a con­ta­gion of Ebola’s level. This one was designed in 2010 to cope with the threat of out­breaks for dis­eases such as Influenza or SARS, and then adapted for Ebola.

A small antecham­ber with neg­a­tive air-pressure sep­a­rates the cor­ner room where Pham was treated from the rest of the block, known as the Spe­cial Clin­i­cal Stud­ies Unit.

NIH’s infec­tious dis­ease direc­tor, Dr. Anthony Fauci, demon­strated the facil­ity and com­plex bio­haz­ard suits used by its clinicians.

It can take over 10 min­utes to assem­ble the apparel known as PPE, for Per­sonal Pro­tec­tive Equip­ment, and roughly a dozen sep­a­rate pieces go into it. From mul­ti­ple lay­ers of the spe­cial repel­lant cloth known as Tyvek to wire­less radio trans­mit­ters and a res­pi­ra­tor, the dizzy­ing process of don­ning and remov­ing the gear — known as doff­ing — is designed to never expose the wearer to con­t­a­m­i­nated material.

The pro­ce­dure is so com­plex that a spe­cially trained observer stands by to super­vise with a lengthy checklist.

There are vari­a­tions of this process,” Fauci said as two clin­i­cians donned and doffed behind him. “So if some group doesn’t do it exactly like this it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. This is just best for us.”

This process is not an easy process. The one thing you want to be sure of is that you are at your most fatigued when tak­ing off your mate­r­ial, when you are doff­ing. And that’s when you are most vul­ner­a­ble of being infected, so that’s why you do it very, very care­fully,” he said.

Pham was released last week after eight days under super­vi­sion at the cen­ter. She was diag­nosed on Oct. 11 after con­tract­ing the deadly virus in the process of treat­ing Thomas Eric Dun­can, the first to bring the dis­ease to Amer­i­can soil, at a Dal­las hos­pi­tal. Dun­can died from the virus.

The dis­ease, for which there is no proven antibi­otic cure, has killed thou­sands since this year’s out­break began in West Africa.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Five Tips to 'Fall Back' from Daylight Saving Time 2014

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What’s bet­ter than sleep­ing in on a Sun­day? How about dodg­ing the days-long con­se­quences of rolling the clocks back this weekend?

Day­light Sav­ing Time ends this week­end, which means that most res­i­dents in the coun­try return to Stan­dard Time at 2 a.m. Sun­day. To do so, most peo­ple set the clocks back one hour Sat­ur­day night, before they hit the hay. This does not apply to you if you live in most of Ari­zona or Hawaii, where it’s always island time.

Sure, you’ll gain an hour when Day­light Sav­ing Time ends at 2 a.m. Sun­day. But spend­ing said hour in bed after sun­rise will do you few favors in the long run, sleep experts say.

It will hit you Sun­day evening,” said Dr. Yosef Krespi, direc­tor of the New York Head and Neck Institute’s Cen­ter for Sleep Dis­or­ders. “But if your body clock is tuned to wak­ing up with sun­light, you’re going to benefit.”

The body clock is a clus­ter of neu­rons deep inside the brain that gen­er­ates the cir­ca­dian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. The cycle spans roughly 24 hours, but it’s not precise.

It needs a sig­nal every day to reset it,” said Dr. Alfred Lewy, direc­tor of Ore­gon Health and Sci­ence University’s Sleep and Mood Dis­or­ders Lab­o­ra­tory in Portland.

The sig­nal is sun­light, which shines in through the eyes and “cor­rects the cycle from approx­i­mately 24 hours to pre­cisely 24 hours,” said Lewy. But when the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles don’t line up, peo­ple can feel out-of-sync, tired and grumpy.

With time, the body clock adjusts on its own. But here are a few ways to help it along:

1. Wake Up at a Nor­mal Time Sun­day Morning

Many peo­ple see the extra hour as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in longer. But sleep­ing through the Sun­day morn­ing sun­light can leave you feel­ing out of sorts for the start of the week, accord­ing to Krespi.

Instead, try to get up at the same time. Use the extra hour to go for a morn­ing walk or make a hearty breakfast.

2. Eat Well and Exercise

Speak­ing of morn­ing walks and break­fast, an active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work won­ders for your sleep, accord­ing to Krespi. So grab your part­ner, your dog or your favorite playlist and get out­side some fresh air and exer­cise. And dig into a break­fast packed with whole grains and pro­tein to keep you ener­gized through the 25-hour day.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Sun­day Night

Still have extra time to kill Sun­day? Use it to turn your bed­room into a full-fledged sleep zone.

It has to be quiet, it has to be cool and it has to be dark,” said Krespi. “Shut down your gad­gets and turn away that alarm clock so you don’t watch it tick.”

Try to hit the sack at your usual bed­time, even though it will be dark one hour earlier.

4. Try a Low Dose of Melatonin

While light syn­chro­nizes the body clock in the morn­ing, the hor­mone mela­tonin updates it at night. The exact func­tion of the hor­mone, pro­duced by the pea-size pineal gland in the mid­dle of the brain, is unclear. But it can acti­vate mela­tonin recep­tors on the neu­rons of the body clock, act­ing as a “chem­i­cal sig­nal for dark­ness,” Lewy said.

Tak­ing a low dose of mela­tonin in the evening can help sync the sleep-wake and light-dark cycles. But be care­ful: Although mela­tonin is sold as a dietary sup­ple­ment, it can cause drowsi­ness and inter­fere with other drugs. Talk to your doc­tor about the dosage and tim­ing that’s right for you.

5. Know That Your Body Will Adjust

It might take a few days to feel 100 per­cent nor­mal, but fear not: Your body will adjust to the new light-dark cycle.

Some peo­ple suf­fer more, some peo­ple less, it all depends,” said Krespi, adding that falling back in Novem­ber tends to be eas­ier than spring­ing for­ward in March. “On Mon­day morn­ing, we’ll appre­ci­ate that we’re wak­ing up for work or school with sunlight.”

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

Teal Pumpkins Indicate Food Allergy Awareness This Halloween

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Of all the bizarre things kids and adults might see on Hal­loween are pump­kins painted the color of teal on people’s stoops.

If that’s the case, the lit­tle ones expect­ing candy might be dis­ap­pointed because it means that home is par­tic­i­pat­ing in “The Teal Pump­kin Project,” mean­ing no sweet treats.

The project is described by a group call­ing itself Food Allergy Research and Edu­ca­tion as pro­mot­ing “safety, inclu­sion and respect of indi­vid­u­als man­ag­ing food aller­gies — and to keep Hal­loween a fun, pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence for all.”

While it’s cer­tainly a very seri­ous issue, the group isn’t out to ruin a fes­tive occasion.

Rather than hand out candy, FARE rec­om­mends that par­ents offer other fun stuff, includ­ing stick­ers, glow sticks or other knick-knacks that com­mem­o­rate Halloween.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio

 

How to Get College Credit for Wasting Time on the Internet

iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) — Wast­ing time on the Inter­net is an Amer­i­can obses­sion. It also hap­pens to be the name of a course at the Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh taught by pro­fes­sor Ken­neth Goldsmith.

He says that the course is basi­cally a rebut­tal to the gloom– and doom-sayers who con­tend that all the time spent on the Inter­net doing basi­cally noth­ing con­tributes to the dumbing-down of the nation.

Yet, Gold­smith says noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth and to prove his point, stu­dents who take “Wast­ing Time on the Inter­net,” which is required of cre­ative writ­ing majors, will have to spend three hours per class inter­act­ing through chat rooms, social media and other platforms.

Their goal by the end of the ses­sion, accord­ing to the prof, is to find “sub­stan­tial works of lit­er­a­ture” online to show that it’s not such a waste of time after all.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio