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Gun violence in the United States has become a national public health crisis, the U.S. Surgeon General declared Tuesday.

"Today, for the first time in the history of our office, I am issuing a Surgeon General's Advisory on firearm violence. It outlines the urgent threat firearm violence poses to the health and well-being of our country,"

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 25, 2024
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  • For the first time since the pandemic, it got a little safer to cross America's streets in 2023, new statistics show.

    According to data released Monday from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 7,318 American pedestrians were killed by motor vehicles last year -- a dip of 5.4% from 2022 and the first such decline seen ...

    For the fourth year in a row, rates of gun injuries stayed above levels seen before the pandemic, a new government report shows.

    Race played a key role in who saw those higher rates of gun violence in 2023, the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted.

    "Annual rates among Black and Hispanic persons remained elevated through 2023; by 2023 rates in ot...

    A new smartphone tool could help paramedics identify a stroke in seconds by scanning the patient’s face.

    The AI-driven tool analyzes facial symmetry and specific muscle movements to detect subtle signs of stroke, researchers explained.

    “One of the key param...

    Patients are less likely to fill prescriptions for the overdose-reversing drug naloxone when they have to shell out more at the pharmacy, a new study finds.

    Naloxone (also known by the brand name Narcan) is a critical lifesaving tool in preventing deaths from opioid overdose, researchers said.

    But about 1 in 3 naloxone prescriptions for privately insured and Medicare patients went u...

    In a success story for Americans seeking affordable healthcare coverage, tax credits put in place during the pandemic helped millions gain health insurance, a new report found.

    Trouble is, the credits are set to expire at the end of 2025, noted a research team from the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJ).

    According to RWJ's

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 18, 2024
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  • America's poison control centers are increasingly fielding calls on cases of deliberate or accidental poisonings that end in disability or death, a new report finds.

    Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System reviewed more than 33.7 million poison exposures reported to the 55 poison centers in the United States between 2007 and the end of 2021. 

    Over that time, the...

    Teens on the verge of falling asleep behind the wheel is a common threat to public safety on U.S. roadways, a new study reports.

    About 1 in 6 teenage drivers say they've driven while drowsy, according to a National Sleep Foundation study presented Wednesday at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Houston. The research was also published in a special supplem...

    About one in eight U.S. seniors will be treated for a traumatic brain injury, typically during a fall, a new study finds.

    Medicare data shows that about 13% of seniors suffered a severe concussion during an average follow-up period of 18 years, researchers report.

    Although these injuries...

    In just one year, U.S. deaths linked to the use of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) jumped by a third, according to the latest report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

    With another summer set to begi...

    Ambulances meant for people having a mental health crisis could help folks get the care they need with less confrontation and friction, a new study says.

    People transported to the hospital by a “psychiatric ambulance” required fewer restraints or coer...

    The rate at which Americans under the age of 65 suffered a stroke rose by about 15% between 2011 and 2022, new government data shows.

    That was true even among the young: The rate of stroke jumped 14.6% among people ages 18 to 44 during the study period, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

    It's not clear why stroke rates have risen so sharply, ...

    Only about half of Americans feel prepared to help someone during a medical emergency, a new poll finds.

    Only 51% of Americans think they would be able to perform hands-only CPR to help someone who's collapsed. Similarly, only 49% feel they could step in and staunch serious bleeding, while 56% said they can help someone who's choking to death.

    “Before emergency responders arrive, ...

    TUESDAY, May 14, 2024 (HeathDay News) -- Following decades of declines, drowning deaths are once again climbing in the United States, new government data shows.

    More than 4,500 people died from drowning each year in 2020 through 2022, 500 more per year than in 2019, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found.

    Increased access to basic swimming lessons...

    Ascension, a major U.S. health care system with 140 hospitals in 19 states, announced late Thursday that a cyberattack has caused disruptions at some of its hospitals.

    "Systems that are currently unavailable include our electronic health records system, MyChart (which enables patients to view their medical records and communicate with their providers), some phone systems, and various syst...

    Many fewer Americans are falling prey to the most dangerous form of heart attack, a new study says.

    STEMI (ST‐segment-elevation myocardial infarction) heart attacks have declined by nearly 50% during the past 15 years in the United States, researchers found.

    STEMI he...

    At major medical centers across the southeast, 1 in every 20 visits to emergency departments involve people who are homeless or face "housing insecurity," a new U.S. study finds.

    Concerns of suicide was the leading medical reason bringing these types of patients to the ER and many were uninsured, said a team reporting recently in the journal

  • Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 30, 2024
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  • Black and Hispanic Americans are gaining a better understanding of CPR, with a growing number expressing confidence they could use it to save a life, a new survey finds.

    About 44% of Black Americans now feel confident performing conventional CPR, up from 30% just three years ago, the American Heart Association (AHA)

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 24, 2024
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  • Last summer was a record-breaker for heat emergencies, so the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday launched a new online heat forecaster to help folks better prepare as summer nears.


    People should rely on the well-established Heimlich maneuver to save a choking victim, rather than newfangled “anti-choking” devices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

    “The safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter anti-choking devices have not been established; they are not FDA approved or cleared,” the agency said in a

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 23, 2024
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  • As climate change threatens another long hot summer for Americans, new data shows last summer's record-breaking temperatures sent a rising number of people to emergency departments.

    At special risk of heatstroke and other heat-related issues: Working-age Americans, who often found the...

    A total eclipse of the sun is coming up next week, and many folks don't know that watching it unprotected can cause permanent eye damage, a new survey finds.

    Nearly 30% of Americans don't know that looking directly into a solar eclipse without proper eye protection can cause permanent distortions or blind spots in their vision, the researchers found.

    “The survey results highlight ...

    There's been a big push over the past few years to get automated external defibrillators (AEDs) installed in public spaces, to help save lives threatened by cardiac arrest.

    Unfortunately, the devices are very seldom used.

    A new study finds that in nearly 1,800 cases where cardiac arrest occurred outside of a hospital, AEDs were only utilized 13 times.

    In many cases, the dev...

    New research offers an easy prescription to get people to roll up their sleeves for a flu shot.

    Just ask them to. 

    And then reinforce the invitation with a little video and print encouragement.

    "Our study adds to the growing body of knowledge showing that a number of important public health interventions can and should be delivered to underserved populations in emergency ...

    Americans living in areas where primary care doctors and nurse practitioners are in short supply face a greater risk for emergency surgeries and complications, new research shows.

    They're also more likely to wind up back in the hospital after they've left it.

    That's because serious health issues don't get addressed until they become emergencies, said lead study author

  • Carole Tanzer Miller HealthDay Reporter
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  • March 12, 2024
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  • A “universal” antivenom can block the lethal toxins in the venoms of a wide variety of poisonous snakes found in Africa, Asia and Australia, researchers report.

    The antibody protected mice from the normally deadly venom of snakes like black mambas and king cobras, according to findings published Feb. 21 in the journal

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • February 23, 2024
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  • Falls, frostbite, fractures: They are all potential hazards of icy winter conditions. But experts say there's a lot you can do to avoid injury when snowflakes fall.

    First, stay warm.

    According to the New York City Department of Health, people lose the bulk of their body heat through their heads, so scarves, hats and hoods are essential.

    Other trouble spots -- ...

    The care you receive in a medical emergency may hinge strongly on where you are when you need it.

    That's a key takeaway from a comprehensive review of the nation's emergency medical service (EMS) systems by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai in New York City.

    They found that EMS agencies that responded in mostly rural areas were less likely to treat low blood sug...

    CPR can save lives, but its ability to restore heart function goes from slim to none in a shockingly short time, a new study finds.

    How short? A person's chance of surviving cardiac arrest while receiving CPR declines from 22% after one minute of chest compressions to less than 1% after 39 minutes of compressions, researchers report Feb. 7 in the BMJ.

    Meanwhile, the chance ...

    Unprovoked shark attacks increased slightly worldwide last year, but twice as many people died from shark bites as the year before, new data show.

    There were 69 unprovoked shark attacks in 2023, higher than the five-year average of 63 attacks per year, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

    Patients who are bleeding out have a better chance of surviving if they're given whole blood transfusions, a new study shows.

    Traditionally, patients with significant bleeding are given transfusions of specific blood components -- red blood cells, plasma and platelets that have been separated out from whole blood.

    But researchers found that early whole blood transfusions were associ...

    The health dangers posed by colorful detergent pods continues to plague young children, a new study warns.

    U.S. poison control centers still receive one call every 44 minutes about a young child who's been harmed through exposure to a liquid laundry detergent pod, researchers report.

    The steady stream of calls is evidence that voluntary standards adopted by detergent manufacturers i...

    Electric scooters might seem a fun way to zip about, but they're also a pricey hazard to riders' health, a new study argues.

    Orthopedic treatment for 82 patients injured in e-scooter wrecks averaged more than $28,400 per person, as doctors labored to mend broken bones and dislocated joints.

    “E-scooters go up to 20 miles per hour, but people are allowed to ride them on sidewalks wi...

    When you're looking for a cheap and easy way to get around town, which is safer -- a scooter or a bike?

    A nationwide look at injuries related to both suggests biking may be the safer way to go.

    UCLA researchers report that scooter injuries nearly tripled across the U.S. between 2016 and 2020, many serious enough to require orthopedic and plastic surgery. The cost of treating those i...

    Three twenty-somethings in Chicago took a street drug they thought was a harmless form of Xanax.

    All three were found collapsed and unresponsive eight hours later by one of their mothers, who had them rushed to the hospital.

    After multiple seizures, fever and heart damage, all three are thought to have recovered, but not before spending many days hospitalized.

    According to a n...

    Because athletes young and old can suffer cardiac arrest, some states have mandated the placement of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in gyms, stadiums and other sports venues.

    But a new study finds the use of AEDs by bystanders for cardiac arrest at athletic sites didn't improve much after states enacted these laws.

    The bottom line: “Legislative efforts alone may not be s...

    When hospitals support trauma survivors' mental health during and after treatment, patients are less likely to return in crisis, researchers report.

    There's no uniform guidance on how to offer mental health services to these patients, noted lead study author Laura Prater.

    Fewer hospital readmissions are a good sign that people's menta...

    It's that time of year when your kids come home with sniffles and sore throats, but when should you worry if they have a fever?

    To a certain extent, fevers are the body's natural way of fighting infection, one expert says.

    “Fever helps the immune system,” explained Dr. Christopher Tolcher, a pediatrician with Agou...

    TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2023 (Healthday News) -- Hunting season has begun in many parts of the United States, with millions of Americans heading into the woods in hopes of bagging a big buck.

    But with the season comes tragic accidents.

    “Every year, within the first 72 hours of hunting season, we see hunting-related injuries,” said

  • Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 5, 2023
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  • In some big cities, mobile stroke units can deliver a powerful clot-busting drug to patients as these specialized ambulances speed to the hospital.

    Now, a new study shows these units deliver anti-clotting treatment a median of 37 minutes faster than when traditional ambulances drive stroke patients to the ER. And that extra time gives stroke victims better chances of averting the stroke o...

    Despite warnings and public education campaigns, kids continue to suffer injuries from swallowing small but strong magnets, according to a new study.

    Children are also inserting high-powered, rare-earth balls into their ears and noses, even in households where parents fully understand the dangers of the toys, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

    “High-powered, ra...

    Being young or Black may make it more likely that you wind up in an emergency room with an assault injury, new research suggests.

    Living in metropolitan areas and being covered by state-based health insurance was also tied to a raised risk.

    The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released the r...

    When Hannah, a California marketing professional, showed up at her local emergency room in March 2023 for a pregnancy-related complication, she wasn't prepared for what happened next.

    “I arrived at 2 p.m. and finally saw the obstetrics team at midnight,” she recalled.

    After an exam, doctors scheduled her for a procedure on the following day, but there wasn't a room available. �...

    A popular type of off-road vehicle known as a “side-by-side” has been linked to high rates of severe hand injuries, according to a new study.

    Side-by-sides are utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) designed to carry more than one passenger and heavy loads. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are usually made for one driver going off-road.


  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 3, 2023
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  • It seemed to some that patients of color were being restrained in the emergency room more often than others, so researchers decided to investigate.

    While physical restraints can be used to keep staff and patients safe, they may also cause injury to the patient, including aspiration, physical trauma and psychological harm.

    A new study bears out what the team from Baylor College of Me...

    While the start of the school year can give kids and teens the chance to reconnect with friends and enjoy school sports and activities, it can also trigger stressors that send many to the emergency room for mental health woes, a new report shows.

    Among children aged 5 to 17, emergency department visits for depression, suicidal thoughts, stress and substance abuse increased significantly i...

    Helping undocumented immigrants in the United States connect with primary care doctors could be a money-saver, substantially reducing emergency department use and lowering health costs, a new study finds.

    The findings are from a New York City program that helped arrange medical appointments from May 2016 to June 2017 for undocumented immigrants with limited incomes.

    The data showed ...

    When an earthquake struck the center of Morocco earlier this month, killing nearly 3,000 and injuring thousands more, no one was expecting it.

    That sudden rapid shaking of ground as the rocks underneath the earth shift can happen anywhere, but higher-risk areas in the United States include Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Washington and the entire Mississippi River Valley....

    Emergency medicine doctors someday might rely on consultation from artificial intelligence (AI) programs like ChatGPT to help them quickly and accurately diagnose patients' ailments.

    A new study found that ChatGPT performed about as well as human doctors in diagnosing patients, when both are given the same set of clinical information.

    “In the end, they were pretty comparable,” s...

    CPR could save your life if you suffer cardiac arrest in a public place, but you're less likely to receive it if you're a woman, a new study finds.

    The findings were presented Monday at the European Emergency Medicine Congress, in Barcelona.

    “In an emergency when someone is unconscious and not breathing properly, in addition to calling an ambulance, bystanders should give CPR. Thi...