Medical News You Can Use

Flu Facts

Learn everything you need to know about the H1N1 and seasonal flu. 

Comprehensive Newborn Screening
Amy wrote asking us to produce a segment on metabolic disorders and comprehensive newborn screenings. She told us that her newborn son, Mitchell, was diagnosed with a serious medical condition that could have been fatal. Thanks to a special screening test, Mitchell's life was saved, and Amy hoped her experience would help other parents.

One in 750 babies will be diagnosed with a life-threatening metabolic disease, detectable only through comprehensive newborn screening. Early detection is essential, and if left untreated, these diseases can lead to seizures, developmental delay and death.

Comprehensive Screenings Explained
Doctors perform a heel-stick test by pricking a newborn's foot to draw blood, which is then tested for a bevy of metabolic disorders.

"The reason we do it is because all these disorders are pretty much impossible to diagnose until the symptoms are too severe to really do something about them, until it's too late, essentially," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains.

Comprehensive newborn screening programs recommend that babies be tested for 54 disorders, but the amount of tests offered varies from state to state. Talk to your doctor about which tests are available in your area. 

"The good thing about these kinds of disorders is that if you diagnose them early, the treatment is often very easy -- simply just diet changes," Dr. Jim says.

Newborn Screening

 Find out which comprehensive newborn screenings are offered in your state.

Scott and Renee's Story
Actor Scott Baio and his wife, Renee, received news that their daughter, Bailey, who underwent a comprehensive newborn screening, tested positive for glutaric acidemia type I, a serious metabolic disorder.

"It is, by far, the worst metabolic disorder a child could have," Renee says.

Luckily, the test was a false positive, meaning Bailey actually tested negative for the disease.

Scott and Renee recall their medical nightmare, explaining that the harrowing experience prompted them to found the Bailey Baio Angel Foundation.The organization is dedicate to raising awareness of the importance of newborn screenings and helping families.

"The quality of life changes dramatically if you catch it early," Scott explains. "And that's a big, big thing."

Scott and Renee go inside a hospital to see how comprehensive newborn screenings are performed.

Map Your Skin Type
Dermalogica Skin Bar utilizes a signature form of skin analysis that divides the face into 14 zones, creating a unique skin type map. Dermalogica's technique is based on Mien Shiang, an ancient Chinese practice that purports different areas of the face correspond to the health of an organ in the body.

"How you're doing on the inside will reflect on your skin," plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says.

Most people have a combination of dry and oily skin, and Dermalogica recommends treating each zone accordingly.

Strain, Sprain or Tear?
A sprain is an injury to a ligament, a fibrous band of tissue connecting articular extremities of bones or supporting an organ in place. A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon. A tendon is comprised of dense, white, fibrous connective tissue, and unites a muscle with a bone. A tear is essentially an extreme sprain, where the ligament is torn completely and requires surgical intervention.

Treatment for a sprain and strain:
R = Rest
I = Ice
C = Compression
E = Elevate

Prevention Health Hearsay
Are certain tampons dangerous to your health? Editor-in-chief of Prevention, Liz Vaccariello, joins The Doctors to answer the question of whether tampons contain asbestos or dioxin, two highly toxic compounds. Liz explains the Food and Drug Administration regulates tampons as they would a medical device.

"The [FDA] have found absolutely no asbestos in tampons, and only a trace amount of dioxin, but less than negligible," Liz says.

Learn more about tampon safety.