Category Archives: Health

The Heroes of the Thai Cave Rescue

Maclean’s: Into the dark – The inside story of an improbable team of divers, a near-impossible plan and the rescue of 12 boys from a Thai cave.

“We were foreigners and we weren’t going somewhere foreigners often go, so when I saw the blond man across the Bangkok airport shuttle bus on our way to the remote mountains of Chiang Rai, a one-hour flight away, I asked whether he was about to do the one thing or the other: “Are you rescuing the boys or covering the rescue?”

“Well, we’re hoping we can help rescue them,” he said. He didn’t seem hopeful. He seemed grim. We stepped off the bus onto the hot tarmac and walked toward the plane.

“You never know,” I said. “It could happen.” Save 12 children and their soccer coach who got stranded three kilometres inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand at the start of the rainy season with no known food, water or swimming skills: It could never happen.

He nodded. “You never know.””

Link via MetaFilter.


BBC News: Parents’ vaccine side effects fear ‘fuelled by social media’.

“Fear of a vaccine’s side effects is the top reason for people refusing them, a report from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) suggests.
Among parents, this was fuelled by social media, with up to half exposed to negative messages about vaccines.
The Society’s report called for social media platforms and the press to do more to combat “fake news”.
Millions of lives have been saved through vaccination, and side effects are rare, it said.
“The spread of misinformation – if it impacts uptake of vaccines – could severely damage the public’s health,” said Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the RSPH.
England’s chief medical officer Prof Dame Sally Davies recently said parents should ignore myths spread by anti-vaccine campaigners and get their children vaccinated.”

Sehe gerade, dass der Kinderdok mir zustimmt: Impfgegner sind eine Bedrohung für die Globale Gesundheit.


Deutsche Welle: WHO warnt vor Impfmüdigkeit. “Mangelnde Impfbereitschaft zählt laut der Weltgesundheitsorganisation zu den zehn größten Bedrohungen der Weltgesundheit. Die Folgen lassen sich schon heute beobachten.”

“Welchen Folgen das haben könne, zeige das Beispiel Masern: Weltweit sei die Zahl der Fälle im Jahr 2017 um 30 Prozent im Vergleich zum Vorjahr angestiegen. Auch in einigen Ländern, die bereits kurz vor der Ausrottung der Krankheit gestanden hätten, gebe es wieder mehr Fälle. Zu einem Anstieg der Masern-Fälle kam es zuletzt auch in der WHO-Region Europa: Dort seien im gesamten Jahr 2017 knapp 24.000 Menschen erkrankt – 2016 waren es nur 5273, also weniger als ein Viertel. In Deutschland gab es 2017 rund 1000 Masernfälle. Ein Mensch starb, rund 40 Prozent der Erkrankten mussten stationär behandelt werden. Eigentlich sollten die Masern in der Bundesrepublik bis 2020 komplett ausgerottet werden.”

Jede(r) sollte bedenken, dass man sich nicht nur für sich selbst impfen lässt (bzw. die Kinder für sich), sondern dass man auch durch jede Impfung diejenigen in der Bevölkerung mit schützt, die nicht geimpft werden können, z. B. Neugeborene, Menschen mit geschwächtem Immunsystem und alte Menschen.

“[D]eeply troubling” indeed

The Washington Post: A woman in a vegetative state for years gave birth. Police are investigating..

“A near-drowning had left the woman in a persistent vegetative state for nearly a decade. […] None of the staff were aware that she was pregnant until she was pretty much giving birth. […] The birth — and the sexual assault of a vulnerable individual that must have preceded it — has cast a harsh glare on conditions at a nonprofit organization that bills itself as a leading provider of health care for Phoenix’s medically fragile.”

I had a friend who was in a persistent vegetative state after a car accident – for fifteen years. She passed away almost two years ago. I hope that the case above is investigated thoroughly so that mistreatment like this cannot happen again. This must be horrible for her family and friends – and for the new baby, once it grows up and learns about its origin.

“[H]aving to make a choice, when no good options exist”

NPR: To Get Mental Health Help For A Child, Desperate Parents Relinquish Custody.

“The family had private insurance through Jim’s job, and Daniel also had Medicaid coverage because he was adopted. But neither insurance would pay for that treatment. Exhausted and desperate, the Hoys decided to relinquish custody to the state. If they sent Daniel back into the foster care system, the child welfare agency would be obligated to pay for the services he needed.

“To this day, it’s the most gut-wrenching thing I’ve ever had to do in my life,” Jim says.”

This reminded me of an episode of This American Life that aired in the spring of 2018:

This American Life: 643: Damned If You Do…

“And then she heard about another option, a radical one, a last resort. Eileen talked to a mom who had been in a similar situation to hers, Toni Hoy.

And what Toni had done to get her kid treatment was give up custody of him, hand him over to the state. Once the state takes custody of a child, they have to provide mental health care. It’s a perverse legal loophole that exists in a bunch of states. It’s called a psychiatric lockout. It’s meant to ensure that kids who are abandoned by their parents end up with the care that they need.

But instead, desperate parents like Eileen are using it as a last-ditch effort of making sure their kids get treatment. It’s called a lockout because it’s as if the kid has been locked out of their house. Some child welfare workers even tell parents to do it. It’s called lockout coaching.

The way it would work is the next time Noah was hospitalized, Eileen would refuse to pick him up and bring him home. Eventually, the state would take custody of him and pay for him to live in a residential facility. And that was it. Technically, it was easy. Emotionally, of course, it was much harder.”

Turns out Eileen spoke to the family from the NPR article above about how to get help for her son.