See how a 5-year-old girl helped save her mother’s life, and learn crucial tips for creating an emergency action plan with your child. And, a pregnant woman’s dramatic roadside delivery: Learn must-have items every expectant mom should have on hand. Plus, breaking health headlines in The Doctors’ Friday News Feed!
Celebrity Health Rumor Fixes
Executive Editor of RumorFix.com Richard Ayoub joins The Doctors to give the scoop on the latest celebrity health rumors.
• Is pop sensation Justin Bieber retiring from the music industry after his next album is released?
RumorFix.com is owned by The Doctors' creator and executive producer Jay McGraw.
Multistate Meningitis Outbreaks
In recent weeks, there have been alarming reports of meningitis outbreaks around the country — one at Princeton University and another at UC Santa Barbara. "Fewer than 1,000 cases of meningococcal meningitis occur in the U.S. each year, but what is really scary is how deadly it can be," ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says.
Meningitis is typically caused by bacterial, viral or occasionally fungal infections. Meningococcal disease is a relatively rare type of bacterial meningitis, but it can lead to death very quickly.
"The two outbreaks do not seem to be related. The bacterial strains that are causing outbreaks in Princeton and Santa Barbara are different strains," explains infectious disease specialist Dr. Brad Spellberg. "This is a type of bacteria that lives in the normal airway of about 5 to 10 percent of people, and if you get the wrong strain in the wrong person at the wrong time, it starts to cause a really bad infection."
Adolescents and young adults are at a greater risk for bacterial meningitis, accounting for 15 percent of all cases. One out of seven people who contract meningococcal disease will die. Communal settings, such as dormitories or summer camps, can be a risk factor.
Receiving a vaccination between 11 and 13 years old and a booster between 16 and 18 years old is the most effective way to prevent bacterial meningitis. "There are two vaccines that are licensed for this infection in the United States. They cover four of the five common types [of meningitis]; the one type those two vaccines do not cover is the type that's causing these two outbreaks," Dr. Spellberg says.
• Learn how the FDA has responded to stop the spread of the new meningitis strain.
• Click here to learn more about bacterial meningitis.
Emergency Roadside Delivery Caught on Tape
The birth of a child is exciting news for family members, but in the case of one married couple, their baby’s birth became headline news when it was featured on TV. Early one morning, Celeste, 34, began experiencing sudden contractions. Already a mother of three, Celeste knew that she was in labor. Her husband, Elijah, a professional photographer, quickly grabbed his camera and car keys, and they headed toward the hospital. “We got two exits down, and her water broke,” Elijah says.
Celeste knew they would not make it to the hospital in time, and she instructed Elijah to pull the car over. Elijah dialed 911, and the emergency dispatcher helped walk him through the steps of delivering a baby. Within a matter of minutes, baby Augustine Blue was born on the side of the freeway. Several minutes later, emergency services arrived. “It was the most intense moment of our lives, by far,” Elijah says.
Shocking Post-Pregnancy Condition
The following content contains mature subject matter of a sexual nature. The Doctors discuss the story of a Canadian woman and her husband who both sued a gynecologist for physical pain, emotional distress and loss of enjoyment in life. The lawsuits, totaling $300,000, were filed after the woman experienced a painful post-pregnancy condition that allegedly prevented her from having sex with her husband. While giving birth to her son in September 2010, she received an episiotomy, a controlled cut made between the vagina and anus to help facilitate delivery.
Following the birth, her obstetrician mended the incision with sutures, and she and her husband were instructed to avoid sexual intimacy for at least six weeks. According to the lawsuit, the couple attempted to have sex again — three months after the episiotomy was performed — but they were unable to because of severe pain in the affected area. During a follow-up exam with another doctor, the woman was informed that she had developed rigid scar tissue and a narrowing of her vagina, which were causing pain during intercourse. She was given two options to treat the condition: reconstructive surgery or dilation therapy. She elected the latter choice, but after more than two years, she claims that she is still unable to make love to her husband.
The Doctors discuss the potential risks and benefits of episiotomies. The procedure was more commonly performed during the 1980s, due to popular beliefs that it would help avoid larger, deeper tears during the birthing process. While this can be true in certain cases, there has been a significant decline in episiotomies over the years. Today, less than 10 percent of births require an episiotomy, and the procedure is usually only performed during deliveries that threaten the life of the baby or the mother. “This is a decision that has to be made by a skilled health care provider attending the delivery, whether it’s a midwife, or an obstetrician or an MD,” Dr. Ashton explains. “And it should be a discussion that that person has with the pregnant woman well before she’s in labor.”
5-Year-Old’s Heroic 911 Call
Five-year-old Jillian isn’t the average kindergartner. She recently became a hometown hero after she helped save her mother’s life. Elisabeth, Jillian’s mom, has Type 1 diabetes and began teaching her daughter at an early age about the disease, as well as how to react in the event of an emergency. Early one morning, while house-sitting with her mother at a relative’s home, Jillian awoke to the alarming sounds of her mother calling out for help. Jillian rushed to her mother’s bedroom and found that she had fallen out of bed and struck her head on the nightstand. Moments later, Elisabeth lost consciousness.
After a failed attempt to reach her father on the phone, Jillian called 911. She informed the emergency dispatcher of her mother’s condition and provided the home address, while maintaining a calm and collected demeanor. The dispatcher walked Jillian through checking her mother’s vital signs and unlocking the front door for first responders. Minutes later, police and paramedics were on the scene. They soon discovered that Elisabeth was in diabetic shock, a dangerous state that occurs when there is too much insulin in the body and extremely low blood sugar. The condition can quickly progress into a diabetic coma or even death if left untreated. Paramedics returned Elisabeth’s blood glucose levels back to normal, and she was taken to the hospital to treat the head injury she sustained. Elisabeth has since fully recovered from the incident, but had her daughter not called 911 when she did, Elisabeth could have died or been in cardiac arrest by the time she was found.
Tips for Healthy Joints
Are you experiencing joint pain and discomfort? More than 50 million Americans suffer from various forms of arthritis and related connective tissue disorders, which can often make the simplest of tasks difficult to perform.
When healthy, your joints are lined with cartilage, which stabilizes the bones and creates proper spacing and cushioning. With injury, wear and tear and age, however, cartilage can be damaged, causing inflammation and pain.
Dr. David Katz, chief medical advisor for Direct Digital, LLC, shares natural solutions that can help alleviate joint pain and prevent joint degeneration, including a new dietary supplement called Beneflex. Beneflex has been shown to effectively relieve discomfort, improve flexibility and increase mobility for people suffering from painful joints, often in as little as one week.
“The benefits of foods can be concentrated in capsules, and I like Beneflex,” Dr. Katz explains. “It’s a product where you use different natural ingredients to reduce inflammation, to treat the pain and to support the cartilage that's so crucial. I also like the fact that this was formulated in a way to reduce allergens, so people who are sensitive to shellfish can take it; people with gluten sensitivity can take it." Dr. Katz adds that, "The effects continue over time, because unlike [medication] that you would take just to treat pain, this is actually supporting the structures in the joint, so the benefits actually accumulate over time.”