CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2012 |
In the weeks after former Commerce Secretary John Bryson's bizarre series of hit-and-run collisions in the San Gabriel Valley, authorities said his blood tests would be pivotal in deciding whether to file criminal charges. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County prosecutors revealed that Bryson tested positive for a small amount of Ambien, a popular sleep aid, after he was found alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his Lexus last month. But authorities concluded the accidents were caused by a seizure Bryson suffered and said he should not face criminal charges in connection with them.
May 27, 2012 |
A Long Beach hospital charged Jo Ann Snyder $6,707 for a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis after colon surgery. But because she had health insurance with Blue Shield of California, her share was much less: $2,336. Then Snyder tripped across one of the little-known secrets of healthcare: If she hadn't used her insurance, her bill would have been even lower, just $1,054. "I couldn't believe it," said Snyder, a 57-year-old hair salon manager. "I was really upset that I got charged so much and Blue Shield allowed that.
May 6, 2012
Re "The testing glut," Opinion, May 2 Kudos to the medical specialty boards for recommending limits to unnecessary testing. A patient without symptoms who undergoes a routine exam will have at least 15 different blood tests done in addition to a number of radiological studies. These tests are usually negative, or they may be borderline and provoke further testing. Medical specialty boards are informing, but physicians must be receptive. Furthermore, patients should know that excessive testing is not good medicine.
April 17, 2012 |
Even among psychiatric disorders, depression is a difficult disease to diagnose. Its causes remain a mystery, its symptoms can't be defined with precision, and treatments are spotty at best. But that may soon change. Scientists are looking for ways to identify patients with depression as reliably as they diagnose cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. A new study takes a significant, though preliminary, step in that direction by demonstrating that a simple blood test can distinguish between people who are depressed and those who are not. The test examined a panel of 28 biological markers that circulate in the bloodstream and found that 11 of them could predict the presence of depression at accuracy levels that ranged from medium to large.
October 19, 2011 |
A prenatal blood test that can detect Down syndrome in a fetus in early pregnancy is now available to doctors in 20 U.S. cities, says the developer of the test, Sequenom Inc . The test is a milestone in prenatal testing because it's the first non-invasive way to detect trisomy 21, the most common cause of Down syndrome. Until now, women have had to undergo amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, both invasive tests, to detect Down syndrome. A more recent strategy was to combine ultrasound testing with blood tests, but that test required confirmation with amniocentesis or CVS. The blood test measures fetal DNA in the mother's bloodstream.
August 17, 2011 |
The most problematic issue preventing a Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao super-fight has been Mayweather's insistence that both submit to random, Olympic-style blood tests for performance-enhancing drugs. Mayweather doesn't want to budge from this position because, from his perspective, it's just an extension of the principles he's based his boxing career on: Stay out of harm's way, make a lot of money. The 34-year-old Mayweather (41-0, 25 knockouts) has long said there's no glory in taking punishment to the head in the boxing ring, and he's established a legacy as one of the greatest defensive fighters in the sport's history.
August 9, 2011 |
A boy is a boy is probably a boy. That's according to a new study that finds that those noninvasive genetic tests used to determine whether a fetus is male or female are surprisingly accurate, as early as seven weeks of pregnancy. The paper, released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., described a meta-analysis of 57 studies representing 3,524 male births and 3,017 female births. The researchers found that tests that look for fragments of the baby's DNA in a sample of the mother's blood are about 95% to 99% accurate, depending on several factors. They can be used well before ultrasound (at 11 weeks)
August 8, 2011 |
Reporting from Latrobe, Pa. — Ryan Clark has some pointed words for the needle. The Pittsburgh Steelers safety and player representative to the union is disappointed the players decided to allow the NFL to test blood for human growth hormone, something they had resisted for years. "I think people wanted to get a deal done so badly that it was overlooked," Clark said. "In that sense, players kind of got screwed, for lack of a better word. " Like many players, Clark said he's all for the idea of catching cheaters and wants a level playing field.
August 3, 2011 |
Prostate cancer screening may become significantly better with the use of a urine test, according to a new study. Prostate cancer screening is currently based on a blood test to detect PSA -- prostate-specific antigen. But that test often produces false positives and leads to unnecessary biopsies. More than a million men in the U.S. undergo a prostate biopsy each year, and fewer than half of the patients actually have prostate cancer. The test is also thought to lead to over-treatment of prostate cancer.
July 20, 2011 |
Blood testing kits used to detect active tuberculosis are unreliable and should be banned, the World Health Organization warned Wednesday. The tuberculosis tests, widely used in developing countries, are dangerous because they both over-diagnose and miss true cases of the bacterial disease, the international group said in a news release. The WHO's position is based on a review of nearly 100 studies of the diagnostic tests for both tuberculosis of the lungs and of other organs.