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SCIENCE
April 8, 2014 | Melissa Healy
With the help of electrodes placed near the spine, patients who had been paralyzed for more than two years were able to regain some voluntary control over their legs, according to a study released Tuesday. The electrodes stimulated the spinal cords of the patients while they engaged in specific motor tasks involving their paralyzed limbs. Before the patients were injured and their spinal cords were damaged, their brains would have sent those key electrical signals to their legs. The new study upends the assumption that two years post-accident is a point of no return for people paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2014 | By Jack Leonard and Ani Ucar
A former patient at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center accused the hospital of negligence in a lawsuit filed Monday in which she said she was sexually assaulted last year by a certified nursing assistant after she underwent surgery. The woman alleged in the suit that the hospital failed to adequately respond to complaints of sexual assaults involving the same employee dating back more than a decade. In addition, the patient said Cedars-Sinai never interviewed her or made any effort to investigate after she reported the assault to the hospital June 13. Her lawsuit said she made several attempts to speak to someone at Cedars-Sinai before being told that the employee had been fired and that she could report the matter to police if she wanted further action taken.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
Reginald Clarke is someone Obamacare was designed to help. The 55-year-old, who was homeless for a time, now has an apartment in Gardena and a street-cleaning job that pays him $14,000 a year. He hadn't visited a doctor in four or five years. Then, last fall, his girlfriend told him he would be eligible for Medi-Cal starting Jan. 1. "I was excited. I could go get a physical," he said. "There are a few things I need. " But joy turned to exasperation when Clarke's application, filed in December, was mistakenly rejected - and then seemed to disappear from county and state computer systems.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2014 | By Victoria Kim
After Maria de Jesus Arroyo was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest in the summer of 2010, her husband and children said their goodbyes and left her in the hands of hospital staff. When they saw her next at the funeral, her nose was broken and she had gashes and bruises on her face - injuries too severe to be covered up, despite the morticians' best efforts. The outraged family sued the hospital, White Memorial Medical Center in Boyle Heights, believing the hospital had mishandled the 80-year-old woman's body.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2014 | By A Times Staff Writer
A patient who claims she was sexually assaulted by a nursing assistant at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center while she was heavily medicated described a feeling of helplessness when the alleged crime occurred. "It's devastating," she said, to be victimized "when you're incapacitated and not yourself and weak and scared. " The Times generally does not name alleged victims in sex crime cases. Authorities are now investigating allegations the nursing assistant, who has since been fired, sexually assaulted two patients while they were heavily medicated and too weak to resist, according to court records and interviews.
SCIENCE
March 31, 2014 | By Melissa Healy
Bariatric surgery did more to improve symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol after three years than intensive treatment with drugs alone, according to new results from a closely watched clinical trial involving patients who were overweight or obese. Study participants who had gastric bypass surgery or sleeve gastrectomy also lost more weight, had better kidney function and saw greater improvements in their quality of life than their counterparts who did not go under the knife, researchers reported Monday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 | By Ani Ucar and Jack Leonard
A nursing assistant who worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting two patients while they were heavily medicated and too weak to resist, according to court records and interviews. The women came forward separately last year and gave Los Angeles police similar accounts about how a male employee assaulted them while they were being treated at the hospital. Detectives served a search warrant at Cedars-Sinai earlier this year to obtain disciplinary records for Guillermo Fernando Diaz, a nursing assistant who had been assigned to a heart patient area.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Lisa Zamosky
Monday is the last day to begin the process of signing up for insurance under the Covered California statewide health exchange. But even for many of those already enrolled, the challenges are just beginning. Consider, for instance, the work to be done in figuring out your new health plan's coverage for prescription drugs. For people who take medications on an ongoing basis, it's especially important to closely evaluate details of a health plan's drug coverage. For Tina Petrakis, selecting a new health plan through Covered California meant paying close attention to the medications each policy covered.
SCIENCE
March 24, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
You need a biopsy, or some other kind of minimally invasive treatment, and you are feeling anxious. Nothing is likely to go wrong, but you're still worried.  Would pre-procedure hypnosis help? Maybe. Soft music? Possibly. But a small study presented Monday at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 39th annual meeting, suggests that donning a pair of video glasses that displays a movie or television show only you can see is likely to help you the most.  "Whether they were watching a children's movie or nature show, patients wearing video glasses were successful at tuning out their surroundings," said David L. Waldman, chairman of the department of imaging sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., and lead author of the study.
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