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N.C., S.C. Hospitals Deal With 'Nightmare Bacteria'

Mar 10, 2013
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Hospitals in the Carolinas are dealing with a growing threat from a type of superbug. It's only infected a small percentage of patients. But that percentage is on the rise, and the infections can be deadly.

The superbug is called CRE, and a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control describes it as "nightmare bacteria." 

Dr. Katie Passaretti of Carolinas HealthCare System said it's evolved into something extremely difficult to treat.

Viagra, Cialis and Levitra... those erectile dysfunction commercials that air while you're watching sitcoms aren’t just awkward and uncomfortable, according to a new study, they are breaking rules too. Those rules, designed by the pharmaceutical industry itself, are meant to ensure the campaigns educate consumers and avoid targeting audiences for which the message is not age appropriate - like children. But the study out of UNC Charlotte says that 'Big Pharma's' efforts to self-regulate are "an industry-sponsored ruse" with the intention to deflect criticism and block any new Federal regulations. We'll talk with the researchers about direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing - about the effectiveness and the ethics behind the ads. Sex, Lies and Television, when Charlotte Talks.

Eat like a caveman. That's what some doctors are recommending. Stick to lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Cut out refined grains and sugar. Dr. Philip Goscienski is one of them, the "Stone Age Doc" says our cavemen ancestors had the right idea and if we followed the simple ways they lived by, we'd live healthier, longer lives. We'll talk with him about that and meet the founder of a local company who's helping people do just that. Is "paleo" an effective movement towards a healthier life or the oldest fad diet of all time? And in a fast-food, pre-packaged world, can we really cut out sugar and grains? We go back to the cave, when Charlotte Talks.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates one out of every twenty patients winds up with an infection when they get treated in a hospital.  Those infections can be serious and even fatal.  For the first time, North Carolina has published hospital-acquired infection rates for most of the acute-care hospitals in the state.

The idea behind publishing these rates is that infections are preventable.  A patient shouldn’t get an infection from undergoing surgery or having an IV treatment, if the proper precautions are taken.    

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services waited five days before it notified the public about the threat of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in the fall. Records obtained by the Associated Press provide a glimpse of how state officials deal with emerging health crises.

WFAE's Tasnim Shamma talks to the state's epidemiologist for this follow-up report.  

A doctor at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte was involved in a groundbreaking study on treating African-Americans who have Hepatitis C.


We all have a story about a trip to the Emergency Room or know someone who does, but how much do we really know about emergency medicine? There is a history behind the creation and evolution of emergency medicine and the doctors, nurses and staff who run emergency rooms 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and every day of the year. An important figure in Emergency Medicine lived and worked in Charlotte and he passed away this summer. A documentary to honor his legacy and that of all of the founders of emergency medicine, is underway and we'll talk to several guests who not only practice emergency medicine but honor it's history. Tune in stat, when Charlotte Talks.

Decision Looming For NC On Medicaid Expansion

Nov 28, 2012

North Carolina leaders are still deciding whether they'll expand Medicaid to cover almost 680,000 more uninsured adults. The expansion became an optional part of President Obama's health care law because of a Supreme Court ruling.

A major goal of the Affordable Care Act is to give every American access to health insurance. For low-income people, the Medicaid expansion is a huge part of that.

While only two cases of meningitis in North Carolina have been tied to the national outbreak, local health officials are taking extra precautions. They’ve even made house calls to track down everyone who might be infected, so basically anyone in North Carolina who could be part of the outbreak should already know it.

"All 93 of the patients from the clinic in High Point and the clinic in Wilson have been contacted," said Julie Henry, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicare Begins Penalizing Hospitals For Readmissions

Sep 30, 2012

Medicare will begin penalizing hospitals Monday that have too many repeat patients who check back in due to complications. The penalties will come out of Medicare’s payments to the hospitals, and they're part of President Obama's health care law. 

Nearly one out of every five Medicare patients who walks into a hospital today will be back in the hospital within a month. That’s according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and improving that ratio is what the penalties are all about.

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