Health and Medicine

The recent death of an American Airlines pilot on a flight from Phoenix to Boston made headlines. Medical emergencies on board commercial flights are rare, but when they occur, treatment can be a real challenge.  A University of Virginia physician who, over the years, has been called to treat three patients on board commercial aircraft thought it might be helpful to write an article on the subject, and the New England Journal of Medicine agreed.

It’s a sad fact that we produce enough food in this country to feed everyone in it, yet hunger remains a problem for many. 

Virginia Tech is joining the effort to change that.  It kicks off its “Campus Kitchens” program Wednesday, September 30th.  It’s a carefully orchestrated volunteer effort to save still-fresh food, left over from student dining halls, and get it to people who need it.  

State officials are looking for ways to sustain a program aimed at improving the quality of life for Virginians who suffer from chronic diseases, including COPD, hypertension, and diabetes.  The state had funded this Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program with a federal grant since 2010, but was recently turned down for another grant.

The program developed by Stanford University teaches patients about the steps they can take to control their chronic diseases and manage both symptoms and common problems.

Texting is now a routine part of life for many people - especially teenagers, who often sleep with their phones so they don’t miss anything. 

At Virginia Commonwealth University, social scientists are looking at positive ways to use the power of texting with teens.

Five years ago, the federal government announced it would begin fining hospitals if Medicare patients were discharged but had to come back.  Experts argued there was little incentive to follow-up on patients, since medical centers would make more money if people were re-admitted. 

Some hospital administrators dreaded the change, but at the University of Virginia, they’re excited to report dramatic reductions in re-admissions.