Health & Medicine

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Parents have all heard the advice: you’re not supposed to sleep with your newborn baby. According to the CDC, in 2015, an estimated 900 infants died from preventable sleep-related accidents.

Now, Virginia is kicking off a safe sleep initiative, beginning with a unique practice that began in Finland: baby boxes.

In response to Virginia’s opioid crisis, which the State Health Commissioner declared a “public health emergency” last year, counties across the Commonwealth are stepping up their efforts to wage war against fatal overdoses. A new program in Central Shenandoah makes it easier for locals to stop an overdose in its tracks.

Medicare, which covers medical services  for older Americans, spends nearly a third of its budget on people in their final year of life, and more than half of that money goes for people who die within two months.  The University of Virginia’s School of Nursing thinks part of the problem is our discomfort with death – an insistence that hospitals do everything possible to keep loved ones alive.  Sandy Hausman reports on what the school is doing to change public perceptions.

Brandon Giesbrecht / Flickr

By the end of this year, the number of fatal opioid overdoses in Virginia is expected to increase by 77% compared to five years ago. It’s a situation that is now defined as a public health emergency. 

Virginia Commonwealth University

Substance abuse and emotional problems are common at many of the nation’s colleges and universities, but helping students to stay strong and healthy is no easy job.  At Virginia Commonwealth, scientists are taking a whole different approach – asking students to take part in research on what genetic factors may put them at risk, and looking for ways to prevent or treat problems when they occur. 

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