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William Heisel

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Whether it is wearing scrubs outside of the health care setting, hand washing or the regular use of gloves in patient interactions, hospital hygiene has changed in the last few decades -- and not always for the better.

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Reporting on Health Contributing Editor William Heisel set off a spirited discussion this week on Twitter on the risk of addiction to opioid pain medicine. What are the implications for chronic pain management and treatment?

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Duane Middleton died at the age of 54, from complications following a colonoscopy. Such complications are exceedingly rare. Where then does that leave his family?

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Prompted by her experience as the mother of a son conceived with the help of a sperm donor, Wendy Kramer created an online, voluntary registry system for children of egg and sperm donors. What's she learned a decade later?

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The sustained fire power and reach of seven news outlets – combined with community outreach efforts – have yielded results as we approach the one-year anniversary of the new Reporting on Health Collaborative and its series on the toll of valley fever.

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Certainty is often unattainable in medical care. It’s something my friends who are physicians and scientists live and breathe every day, but patients expect certainty from science.

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If the doctor wasn't careful, she explained, she could tear up the inside of my nose with the swab designed used to test for one of the diseases that might be causing my violent coughs. Almost a month later, I still don't know the source of the cough.

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While away on a business trip, I woke up at least every 15 minutes in the hotel room coughing so forcefully that I was having convulsions. My body was drenched in sweat, and my mind started racing toward all the possibilities. Tuberculosis? Hantavirus? Valley fever?

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According to Medical Board of California records, a doctor under investigation for other professional infractions, ultimately got in trouble for prescribing his wife with addictive drugs. Still they seemed to give him a partial pass.

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Parents whose children regularly play at Magnuson Park in Seattle are concerned about cumulative radiation exposure. Free floating radium could quickly expose a child who frequents the park to the maximum yearly limit of 500 millirems above background levels.

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Got a great idea for a reporting project on the health of underserved communities in California or on the performance of the state's health and social safety nets?  We're offering reporting grants of $2,000 to $10,000, plus six months of mentoring, to up to eight individual journalists, newsrooms or cross-newsroom collaboratives.  Deadline to apply:  September 20.

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