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March 22, 2010 | By Marc Siegel, Special to the Los Angeles Times
"Mercy" NBC 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 10 Episode: "I'm Fine" The premise: Nurse Chloe Payne ( Michelle Trachtenberg) is taking care of Molly, an 11-year-old who has been admitted to Mercy Hospital with right upper-quadrant abdominal pain and intractable vomiting. When Molly suddenly develops a heart arrhythmia (ventricular tachycardia), Dr. Joe Briggs ( James Van Der Beek), the hospital's ICU chief, shocks Molly back into a normal rhythm with a defibrillator.
May 10, 2001 | From Associated Press
The Food and Drug Administration issued a health warning Wednesday about potential problems associated with two drugs widely used to treat fungal infections of the nails and skin. The FDA is requiring that labels for the prescription drugs Sporanox and Lamisil carry stronger warnings about potential liver damage, and labels for Sporanox also cite potential heart damage.
March 27, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
In findings that may represent a breakthrough in the treatment of hepatitis C infection, researchers have reported that weekly injections of an experimental medication that denies the virus a foothold in the liver substantially drove down subjects' viral loads after five weeks of treatment. Fourteen weeks after the injections ended, researchers found that five of 18 infected subjects getting the medication's higher doses showed no detectable trace of infection. The new study describes a treatment approach that could outsmart the hepatitis C virus's penchant for developing resistance to existing drugs and "provide curative therapy to a large proportion" of the 170 million people in the world who are infected with the virus, wrote Harvard University physician Dr. Judy Lieberman and Dr. Peter Sarnow of Stanford University.
August 30, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of liver damage in patients taking alli, the only nonprescription weight-loss drug approved by the agency. Regulators say they have received more than 30 reports of liver damage in patients taking alli and Xenical, the prescription version of the drug. The reports, between 1999 and October 2008, included 27 hospitalized patients and six who suffered liver failure. Alli and Xenical are marketed by British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, although Xenical is manufactured by the Swiss firm Roche.
August 15, 1999
Hats off to Scott Harris for a well-informed article about Dr. Ronald Busuttil, a man to be praised and admired for his work in a medical field dear to my heart--and liver ("God's Right Hand," July 11). As a grateful recipient of a donor liver at UCLA Medical Center last April, I'm feeling good and have a new lease on life. (I also have a soul mate, an infant, with whom I share my donor liver. While Dr. Busuttil operated on the baby, Dr. Mark Ghobrial "installed" my liver.) The economics of organ supply and demand are cruel, giving life to some and denying it to others.
January 6, 2007
Re "Transplant deaths at USC a puzzle," Dec. 29 Why haven't we read that liver transplantation is one of the great achievements of modern medicine and the only curative option for patients with end-stage liver disease? That these are the sickest patients ever to undergo surgery, and that most donor organs are nowhere near perfect? That more patients' lives are saved by liver transplantation in Southern California than in any other region in the country? Although all healthcare institutions should be held to the highest standards, we must recognize that liver transplantation is the last and only resort to save dying patients with liver disease.
March 8, 2010
"Crazy Heart" Butcher's Run Films Currently in theaters The premise: Otis "Bad" Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a 57-year-old country singer and songwriter who has fallen on hard times. He's an alcoholic and chain smoker. He's experiencing frequent blackouts and episodes of vomiting from the alcohol, and he has jitters when he goes more than a few hours without a glass of whiskey. While playing in a small nightclub in Santa Fe, N.M., he becomes romantically involved with a newspaper reporter played by Maggie Gyllenhaal and befriends her 4-year-old son, Buddy (Jack Nation)
November 1, 1987
The headline in the newspaper article ("Bruce Wayne Alcohol Level Above Limit, Report Shows," Oct. 24) gave the impression to the casual reader that Bruce Wayne was guilty of drinking and then flying his airplane. Orange County Crime Laboratory criminalist Marty Breen's analysis and conclusions of Wayne's blood alcohol content left out a very important factor: Wayne suffered from a "deteriorating liver." This fact was determined at autopsy and mentioned in the same article. Now, since the liver is the organ for alcohol breakdown, can standard tables, based upon a normal healthy adult with a functioning liver, be fairly and accurately used for comparison in Bruce Wayne's case?
May 6, 2012
Re "Hepatitis a new worry for baby boomers," May 2 In the late 1960s I was a Peace Corps volunteer teaching school in Uganda. I became ill and required blood transfusions. Fast forward 30 years and I'm donating my own blood for surgery. Imagine my surprise when the Red Cross informed me that I had hepatitis C, something I had never heard of. I had contracted it from those long-ago transfusions. Once my initial panic subsided, I was fortunate to find an excellent heptologist who eventually persuaded me to undergo treatment.
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