Stories We're Following This Week

News + Insights from around the Web + The Patient's Playbook Bottom Line. 


Parents: Get Ready for HIV tests at the Pediatrician's Office 

TODAY Show

TODAY Show

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending HIV screening at least once, between the ages of 16 and 18. They say that 1 out of 4 cases of new HIV infection occurs in youth between the ages of 13 and 24."

— According to the AAP's new guidelines, released Monday, about 60% of
all youth with HIV do not know they are infected. (Today)

Bottom line:  Increased screening for HIV, depression, and drug and alcohol use among teens; fluoride varnish treatments for children 6 months to 5 years; and cholesterol testing for 9 to 11-year-olds are among the Academy's new recommendations. Screening tools can absolutely help to catch serious problems early, but it's also important that you have trusting and open communication about your family's health goals with your child's pediatrician.


What to Do When Your Nurse Has Tuberculosis

THINK STOCK

THINK STOCK

"All of the babies will be treated with antibiotics for six to nine months."

—A California nurse who was found to have active tuberculosis, but no symptoms, may have exposed 1,000 people, including 350 infants, all of whom will be screened and given antibiotics if needed (KRON4)

Bottom line: If you think you have been exposed to tuberculosis, or TB, contact your internist immediately, explain your situation, and ask if you should be tested. According to the Centers for Disease Control, TB is an airborne disease, spread when an affected person coughs or sneezes bacteria into the air and someone close breathes it in. Sharing food, utensils, a handshake, or a kiss does not usually put you at risk. Learn more about TB risk factors and treatment at the CDC website.


When DoctorS Won't Make Eye Contact

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

"He raced through the medical record, assigned a half-dozen tests and told me to come back. He shook my hand when he left and that was the only real eye contact we had.”

—Patients believe they are receiving lower-quality care when their doctors stare at
computer screens during consults, according to a new JAMA study (Wall Street Journal)

Bottom line: Moving from paper to electronic medical records is a necessary step forward in health care, but it's also caused an unintended health consequence: doctors are often tethered to their computers—hands on keyboards, eyes on tablets—instead of on their patients’ bodies and eyes. Your physicians really want to help you, but the pressures of the system can make it harder for them to do their job as thoughtfully as they want to. If you think your physician isn't listening because he or she is focused on the screen, don't hesitate to say so. Give them the opportunity to address your concerns and direct their focus back to you.


6 Thoughtful Ways to Accommodate Picky Eaters During the Holidays

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

One tip: "Take care not to make them feel as if they need to defend their diets.... In some cases, people have
medical conditions that preclude them from eating certain foods.
"
 (Westchester Magazine)

Bottom line: Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, no-carb—the myriad dietary restrictions of family and friends can make planning a holiday get-together seem like a major culinary production. But, with these tips and a little planning, your stress will be less. 


Got a great story we should be following? Let us know in the comments below.