Monthly Archives: September 2016
Daniel McCabe is just 5 months old, but he’s been fighting a rare liver disorder since he was born. On Dec. 13, things had become so dire that doctors placed him on the waiting list for a new liver and prepared to wait weeks, if not months, with his life in the balance.
As it turns out, they waited less than an hour, reports NBC Chicago. Daniel went on the list at 10:15am, and at 10:55am, a doctor received the good news and walked into his room at Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital to inform his mom.
“I was just speechless,” recounted Melody McCabe, per Fox 6 News. With good reason: The average wait for a liver is 149 days for adults and 86 days for kids.
The infant from Waukesha, Wisconsin, had successful surgery the following evening is now recuperating. “It’s one in a million, you know,” surgeon Riccardo Superina tells the Chicago Sun-Times. “I can’t ever remember having something like this happen.
We were prepared to wait a few months—in fact at one point I think the plan was to evaluate one of the parents for donations.” Only about 40 people have gotten a match in 40 minutes or less over the last five years.
Not much is known about the donor in this case, other than he was a male in his 30s. One footnote: His liver was split in two and thus saved the lives of two patients.
Daniel’s parents expressed sorrow for the donor’s family as well as profound thanks. “This is a Christmas we’ll never forget,” says dad Daniel McCabe. (Apple’s Tim Cook offered Steve Jobs part of his liver.)
Two patients, who each lost all of their hair 10 years ago due to a medical condition, recently regrew some of their hair after taking an arthritis drug, according to a new report of the cases.
The patients, one man and one woman, suffered from alopecia universalis, a condition in which people lose all of the hair on their entire body because their immune system attacks hair follicles. There is currently no effective treatment for the condition. The patients’ doctors tried treating them with multiple other drugs, but nothing worked.
However, after the patients took the arthritis drug, called tofacitinib, every day for two months, some hair regrew on their scalp, eyebrows and under the arms, according to the report. The patients were followed for nine months while they took the drug, and they did not experience any serious side effects, the researchers said.
The researchers said in their study that they hope that these cases will prompt a study to determine whether tofacitinib is a safe and effective treatment for alopecia universalis. “Successful treatment can improve patients’ lives dramatically, as it did for our patients,” the researchers, from Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil, wrote in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
Although the hair-loss condition is not life-threatening, it is important to develop effective treatments because the condition can have a negative effect on a patient’s mental health. “Hair loss really affects your self-esteem,” said Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York, who was not involved with the study. “I have patients who are near suicidal because of hair loss,” Day said.
Day also recently used tofacitinib to treat a patient with alopecia universalis, and saw similar results, she said.
A woman who said she was complying with a court order to take a hair follicle drug test claims the experience has left her with a bald spot after she went to the only lab the court would pay for. Jenn Christiansen, of Denver, Colorado, is an admitted marijuana user who is trying to regain custody of her kids, KMGH-TV said.
“There’s no reason they needed that much,” she told KMGH-TV. “Anbody who’s had their hair pulled knows you can feel how much is being pulled. I could tell that they had too much and that there was going to be a bald spot on my head.”
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not respond to the news station’s request for a comment about hair follicle drug testing, a BI spokeswoman said she would look into it.
“I’m very proud of my hair,” Christiansen told KMGH-TV. “I’m a very vain person, and they destroyed my confidence.”
Christiansen is calling for more oversight of lab technicians so others avoid the same fate.
“I have to wear my hair up now, to cover the spot,” she told the news station.