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Daily Rounds; IVF Hormone Backlash; MGH Tops Ranking; Preventing HIV, Tuned Out Whales

This article is more than 8 years old.

High Doses Of Hormones Faulted In Fertility Care (The New York Times) — "Doctors diagnosed severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a complication seen in some women who undergo fertility treatment. It landed Ms. Demidon in the hospital for five days; doctors ultimately drained 6.5 liters of fluid from her body. She missed three weeks of work, and by the time it was over, she and her husband had spent all of their savings. “It was my first time doing IVF, and I’ll never do it again,” said Ms. Demidon, 28, a quality assurance specialist in Cayuga, N.Y. “It was awful. When you have that much fluid in you, it puts pressure on everything.” OHSS is a little-known complication of fertility treatments that rely on high doses of hormones, which are standard in the United States and the United Kingdom; the syndrome is not the only health problem to be linked to in vitro fertilization. Fertility clinics in Europe and Japan have turned to a safer, low-dose form of IVF, but clinics here have largely resisted on the grounds that the success rates for low-dose IVF are not as high."

Massachusetts General Hospital Earns Top Spot In U.S. News Rankings For First Time ( — "Mass. General has purchased the rights to use the US News logo in its print advertising and on its website to tout its number one status, according to Slavin, but he added that any sort of ranking needs to “be taken with a grain of salt since it’s an imperfect science.” Comarow agreed, adding that US News “never set out to try to identify hospitals that are best for the kind of care most patients need from hospitals,” meaning routine care. Rather, the rankings are aimed at a small percentage of patients with complex cases who really need the best of the best. Those who go in for a knee replacement or angioplasty don’t need the top-ranked institution in orthopedics or heart surgery but rather should look for a surgeon with vast experience and a low complication rate, said Comarow. “Good doctors won’t resent patients for asking for these statistics. They should have that data.”

FDA Approves First Drug To Prevent HIV (NPR) — "The daily pill Truvada, made by Gilead Sciences, combines two medicines that inhibit the reproduction of HIV. It's been a mainstay in the treatment of HIV/AIDS for years, and as of today is an approved option for reducing the risk of HIV infection for people at high risk. The drug was approved for people who test negative for HIV infection. It's supposed to be used in combination with safe-sex practices, such as using a condom, to reduce infection risk. "Truvada alone shouldn't be used to prevent HIV infection," FDA's Dr. Debra Birnkrant, said in a media briefing. People taking Truvada should be tested for HIV infection every three months, so treatment can begin promptly if an infection has occurred. An outside panel of experts had recommend the agency take the action after concluding that the benefits to healthy people vulnerable to HIV infection outweigh the risks, including such side effects as kidney damage and a dangerous increase in acid in the blood."Whales, Somehow, Are Coping WIth Humans' Din (The New York Times) — "Now, scientists have discovered that whales can decrease the sensitivity of their hearing to protect their ears from loud noise. Humans tend to do this with index fingers; scientists haven’t pinpointed how whales do it, but they have seen the first evidence of the behavior. “It’s equivalent to plugging your ears when a jet flies over,” said Paul E. Nachtigall, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii who led the discovery team. “It’s like a volume control.”

This program aired on July 17, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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