death

dentist

Pembroke dentist convicted in drunk driving death can’t practice for six months

PEMBROKE —
Pembroke dentist Christy Natsis has lost her license to practice for six months in connection to her past conviction of drunk driving causing death. 

Natis was sentenced to five years in prison in 2012 after being found guilty of drunk driving causing death in a 2011 crash that killed Bryan Casey on Highway 17 near Arnprior. She was granted parole in June of 2019 after serving just 13 months and resumed her practice a short time later. 

A hearing before the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario on Thursday found Natsis guilty of two allegations against her, one of breaking the law and a second of disgraceful, dishonourable, unprofessional or unethical conduct.

The decision means Natsis has been formally reprimanded by the College, will have her license suspended for six months and have her practice monitored with regular visits until April 18, 2023. The suspension will take effect on Dec. 26. She must also pay $7,500 in costs. 

Natsis’ trial was one of the long in Canadian history, dragging on for three years before she was convicted and another two years for appeals to be exhausted. 

Casey, a father of three, was killed in the crash with Natsis on the night of March 31, 2011.

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medicine

How the Privatization of Medicine in India Is Accelerating Its COVID-19 Death Toll

Spiraling health care expenses in India have been pushing more than 55 million Indians into a state of abject poverty every year. COVID-19 has only worsened the trend for even more families—like Aghan Singh’s.

To ensure that his sick mother received the best treatment, Singh, a self-employed motor mechanic in the small town of Bilaspur, in Chhattisgarh, India, decided to take her to a popular private hospital nearby. She had been running a fever since July 7 and had also developed breathlessness by July 9. Singh rushed her to the hospital, and when they reached the emergency department around 8 p.m., her oxygen levels were dangerously low. The hospital ordered a battery of tests for COVID-19 and quickly admitted her to an intensive care unit to give her oxygen and medicine. In the first eight hours of his mother being admitted to the hospital, Singh deposited Rs 34,000 ($455) and then paid another Rs 1,96,000 ($2,627) over the next four days. To arrange money for his mother’s treatment, Singh had to sell off two and a half acres of land that he owned in his native village. Despite all his efforts, his mother’s condition worsened progressively, and she died on July 16. While still grieving the loss of his beloved mother, he was further stressed about how his family would survive the next month with most of his resources having been exhausted during his mother’s treatment.

Also in the state of Chhattisgarh, when 60-year-old Savani Bai from the village of Dhanokhar developed mild symptoms of COVID-19, she spoke to a doctor on the state helpline and was advised to go to the hospital. Since all the government hospital beds were occupied, she had to be admitted to the same private hospital in Bilaspur as Singh’s mother, where she was admitted to a general COVID ward. During her 10-day hospitalization, she was given acetaminophen and was kept under daily observation to ensure her condition was not worsening. For this basic treatment, she ended up spending Rs 85,000 ($1,137) and had to mortgage her one-acre farm to meet her hospital expenses.

“I took my mother to a private hospital near my home because it is cleaner and they admit patients swiftly throughout the day,” Singh said. Due to inadequate funding and monitoring of quality control in public hospitals, a large number of people in India are being forced to go to private hospitals for both outpatient, and to a lesser extent, inpatient care. It is a cruel joke that such a move to seek treatment in private hospitals by people is seen as a ‘choice’ rather than a compulsion.

India, which is the “second worst-hit country behind the United States,” has been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with a fragile health system. The country saw one of the most draconian lockdowns anywhere in March, leading to a sense of panic and causing many private hospitals to simply shut up shop or turn away patients during the lockdown period. “I am 59 years old

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dentist

Kendra Hatcher’s Death: How the Dentist Died

Ricky Paniagua Kendra Hatcher


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Brenda Delgado (left) and Ricky Paniagua with Kendra Hatcher (right)

Kendra Hatcher was a pediatric dentist who was killed in a murder-for-her plot devised by her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend, Brenda Delgado, in Dallas in 2015.

Delgado, 31, recruited two acquaintances, Kristopher Love and Crystal Cortes, to carry out the killing after her ex-boyfriend, Dr. Ricardo “Ricky” Paniagua, told her in an email he was in a new relationship, and it was going well. Hatcher was 35.

Dateline NBC is diving into the case on a new episode, which airs Friday, November 13, 2020 at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Here’s what you need to know:


Delgado Hired a Small-Time Marijuana Dealer & a Single Mom to Help Her Carry Out Her Murder Plot

Love, who was convicted of pulling the trigger on Hatcher, and Cortes, who was recruited as the getaway driver, were people Delgado “barely knew” when she asked them to help her kill Hatcher, according to a profile by Texas Monthly. Love was a small-time marijuana dealer and Cortes was “a down-on-her-luck single mother.”

Cortes was offered $500 to serve as the getaway driver. When asked why she was willing to take $500 to be involved in a murder, she gave the Texas Monthly reporter “a blank look.”

“I was broke,” she said. “And I had a son to support.”

Love, on the other hand, wanted start-up money for a prostitution ring, Texas Monthly reported. Delgado concocted a story that she had connections to a drug cartel, and she said he would pay him $3,000 in a combination of drugs and cash.

The night of Hatcher’s murder, Paniagua texted Delgado to tell her his devastating news. She texted him back the next morning, offering to bring him groceries or help with anything he needed.

A juror who served on the case puzzled over the murder in a piece written for the Dallas Observer.

“I still don’t understand what makes people do such stupid, cruel things,” wrote Casey Miller. “How does a 23-year-old Dallas woman get talked into planning and completing a murder with someone she has known for one month? When does a dental hygienist student in her 30s become so self-absorbed that she must have the new girlfriend of her ex “eliminated” so they can be reunited and live happily ever after? Why does a train-wreck stoner with three kids of his own think cash, a bag of weed and some cocaine is an even trade for shooting a stranger in the back of the head, execution style?”


Hatcher Was Shot in the Back of the Head & Her Purse Was Stolen to Make

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medicine

Penn Medicine researchers find link between food insecurity and cardiovascular death risk

PHILADELPHIA–Food insecurity is one of the nation’s leading health and nutrition issues–about 13.7 million (10.5 percent) of households in the United States were food insecure at some time during 2019, a trend likely to increase in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to preliminary research conducted by researchers at Penn Medicine, increasing rates of food insecurity in counties across the United States are independently associated with an increase in cardiovascular death rates among adults between the ages of 20 and 64.

The large-scale, national study, which will be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020, provides evidence of the link between food insecurity and increased risk of cardiovascular death. This is one of the first national analyses to evaluate changes in both food security and cardiovascular mortality over time, and to see if changes in food insecurity impact cardiovascular health. The findings were also published today in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

“This research gives us a better understanding of the connection between economic distress and cardiovascular disease,” said Sameed Khatana, MD, MPH, senior author of the study and instructor of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “What’s going on outside the clinic has significant impact on patients’ health. There are many factors beyond the medications we may be prescribing that can influence their wellbeing, food insecurity being one of them.”

Researchers analyzed data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the Map the Meal Gap study, to examine county-level cardiovascular death rates and food insecurity rates from 2011 to 2017, among adults age 20 to 64, and those 65 years and older.

The researchers found that while the overall food insecurity rates for the entire country declined between 2011 and 2017, the counties that had the most increase in food insecurity levels had cardiovascular death rates that increased from 82 to 87 per 100,000 individuals. Additionally, for every 1 percent increase in food insecurity, there was a similar increase in cardiovascular mortality among non-elderly adults (0.83 percent).

“There has been a growing disparity when it comes to food insecurity, and this data demonstrates that parts of the country are being left behind. Unfortunately, this may only get worse as the country grapples with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Khatana said. “However, interventions that improve a community’s economic wellbeing could potentially lead to improved community cardiovascular health.”

The authors intend to study whether interventions that improve food insecurity can lead to better cardiovascular health.

###

The abstract will be presented in Session QU.AOS.765 Social Determinants of Cardiovascular Health on November 13, 2020, at 9:00 am CST/10:00 am EST.

Penn co-authors include, Atheendar S. Venkataramani, Christina A. Roberto, Lauren A. Eberly, and Peter W. Groeneveld, along with Yale’s Stephen Y. Wang.

Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at

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health

Pregnant women with coronavirus at higher risk of severe illness, death, CDC finds

Pregnant women who contract the coronavirus are more at risk for severe illness and death than non-pregnant women, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis found. The agency has previously warned that pregnant people might be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, but research is ongoing.

The new report, issued Monday, analyzed data collected from over 400,000 women ages 15-44 with symptomatic COVID-19.

Of the 409,462 women with symptomatic coronavirus, 23,434 were pregnant.

CORONAVIRUS FACE MASKS AT POLLS ENCOURAGED, BUT NOT REQUIRED IN SOME STATES

“After adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and underlying medical conditions, pregnant women were significantly more likely than were non-pregnant women to be admitted to an intensive care unit, receive ventilation, receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and die,” the report said.

The CDC said the findings may be due to the physiologic changes associated with pregnancy.

The CDC said the findings may be due to the physiologic changes associated with pregnancy.
(iStock)

The CDC said the findings may be due to the physiologic changes associated with pregnancy, including increased heart rate and oxygen consumption, decreased lung capacity, immunity changes and increased risk for thromboembolic disease.

POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION MAY LAST 3 YEARS AFTER CHILDBIRTH, STUDY FINDS

Separately, the analysis also found racial and ethnic disparities in both risks for infection and disease severity among pregnant women, “indicating a need to address potential drivers of risk in these populations,” the report said.

The health agency said pregnant women should be counseled about the importance of seeking prompt medical care if they develop symptoms of coronavirus, and that there should be a strong emphasis on coronavirus prevention for pregnant women at each medical appointment.

OVER HALF OF CORONAVIRUS-INFECTED PREGNANT WOMEN SHOWED NO SYMPTOMS, CDC FINDS

“To minimize the risk for acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection, pregnant women should limit unnecessary interactions with persons who might have been exposed to or are infected with SARS-CoV-2, including those within their household, as much as possible,” the CDC said. “When going out or interacting with others, pregnant women should wear a mask, social distance, avoid persons who are not wearing a mask, and frequently wash their hands.”

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE 

The CDC also advised pregnant women stay up to date with flu shots and prenatal care.

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health

Viral load may predict ventilator need, death risk; coronavirus damages red blood cells

By Nancy Lapid

(Reuters) – The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

Viral load predicts need for ventilator, death risk

When COVID-19 patients are admitted to the hospital because of pneumonia, doctors can estimate their risk of needing mechanical breathing support or dying based on their “viral load” – the amount of virus genetic material obtained by swabbing the back of the nose and throat, a new study suggests.

“This risk can be predicted regardless of how sick they are when they are admitted, what other comorbidities they may have, their age or how many days they had symptoms,” coauthor Dr. Ioannis Zacharioudakis of NYU School of Medicine told Reuters. His team studied 314 patients, dividing them into three groups according to viral load upon hospital admission.

The group with highest viral levels had 59% higher odds of becoming critically ill or dying than the lowest viral load group. The data, published on Friday in Annals of the American Thoracic Society, “will have practical implications in our ability to judge which patients will benefit the most from early escalation of care, treatment with antivirals and/or inclusion in trials of new therapeutics,” Zacharioudakis said. (https://bit.ly/3oJijtQ)

Coronavirus damages red blood cell membranes

The new coronavirus damages the membranes of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, contributing to the hypoxemia, or low blood concentrations of oxygen, common in COVID-19, researchers have found. Signs of hypoxemia can range from shortness of breath to organ and tissue damage. Studying blood samples from COVID-19 patients and healthy individuals, researchers found the virus did not appear to affect red cells’ ability to pick up oxygen and deliver it throughout the body.

But patients had “clear damage” to red cell membranes, in particular to a membrane protein responsible for helping the cell survive injuries. As a result, patients’ red cells might be more vulnerable to so-called oxidative stress and other injury, coauthor Angelo D’Alessandro of the University of Colorado Denver said in an email.

Red cells circulate for up to 120 days before the body replaces them with new ones, and they cannot synthesize new components to replace the damaged parts. This might help explain why some COVID-19 symptoms can last for months, D’Alessandro said. (https://bit.ly/3mMBq4A)

Pandemic exacts toll on ER doctors’ mental health

COVID-19 is taking a toll on emergency physicians’ mental health and many are reluctant to seek help, according to poll results reported at the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) annual meeting. Among a nationally representative group of 862 U.S. emergency physicians, 87% reported feeling more stressed since the pandemic began and 72% reported more burnout.

More than 80% cited concern for their own health and safety, and the safety of their family and friends, around contracting COVID-19. Nearly half said they are uncomfortable seeking mental health services, 73% said there was at least some stigma to seeking these services

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health

Pregnant women with Covid-19 face higher risk of severe illness and death, study says

Pregnant women infected with the coronavirus are more likely to become severely ill and die from Covid-19, and they’re at increased risk for premature delivery, according to a pair of reports released Monday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.





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Although the overall risk of severe illness or death remains low, CDC researchers found that pregnant women with coronavirus are more likely to need intensive care, ventilation and heart and lung support than non-pregnant women with the virus.

A separate report found that the rate of preterm birth, when a baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is 12.9% among women with coronavirus, compared to 10.2% among the general population.

The new research adds to a growing body of evidence that pregnant women are at increased risk when it comes to coronavirus, said Dr. Denise Jamieson, chair of the gynecology and obstetrics department at Emory University School of Medicine.

“It also demonstrates that their infants are at risk, even if their infants are not infected, they may be affected,” Jamieson noted on a call with reporters Monday.

Increased risk for severe illness and death

For one of the reports, researchers reviewed data on 461,825 women between the ages of 15 and 44 who tested positive for Covid-19 between January 22 and October 3. They focused only on those who experienced coronavirus symptoms.

The team adjusted for outside factors and found that pregnant women were more likely to need intensive care, with 10.5 per 1,000 pregnant women admitted to the ICU, compared to 3.9 per 1,000 women who aren’t pregnant.

Pregnant women were 3 times more likely to need help breathing with invasive ventilation than women who aren’t pregnant. Similarly, they were at greater risk of requiring lung and heart support with oxygenation.

They were also more likely to die, with 1.5 deaths per 1,000 pregnant women, compared to 1.2 per 1,000 women who aren’t pregnant.

In keeping with trends seen across the general population, researchers found some racial and ethnic minorities had an even greater potential for infection or severe disease. Among pregnant women, Hispanic women were 2.4 times more likely to die and Asian and Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander women had a more pronounced risk for ICU admission, they found.

The team noted that regardless of whether they were pregnant, women over 35 were more likely to experience severe illness.

The researchers said that the greater probability for severe illness among pregnant women might be due to physiological changes in pregnancy, including increased heart rate and decreased lung capacity.

“To reduce the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19, pregnant women should be counseled about the importance of seeking prompt medical care if they have symptoms and measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection should be strongly emphasized for pregnant women and their families during all medical encounters, including prenatal care visits,” the team wrote.

Risk of preterm delivery and infant infection

Pregnant women with coronavirus infection were also more likely to deliver babies

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health

130+ Days Hospitalized And Often Near Death

EAST HAVEN, CT — “Just let me go,” John Ormond told his daughter on the phone.

“When he said, ‘Just let me go,’ I knew it was out of desperation,” said Savonna Ormond, the assistant director of nursing for Whispering Pines Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. “I knew it was him suffering at the moment. I knew it wasn’t about anything else. You know when you’re in those situations, it’s easy to give up. But I wasn’t giving up on him.”

And, it turns out, he was not ready to either. He had a lot to live for. And so, for more than four months, he fought to stay alive, with help from doctors and nurses at Yale New Haven Hospital’s St. Raphael campus.

And when Ormond finally awakened fully, he didn’t know what had happened. He told Patch he has virtually no memory of those many months on a ventilator. If he knew he was close to death, he has no memory of that. In fact, he said, “When I came out of it, I didn’t know where I was. I asked what happened. What day it was. It was August. All I knew I went in into the hospital in April.”

But one thing he does remember vividly is seeing a quote from the Bible on a wall. Whether it was there or not, he doesn’t know, but it was John, 3:16, he said: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

So he prayed. And he survived COVID-19 after being in the hospital for 132 days.

On April 6, it was confirmed that six people had died at Whispering Pines. East Haven’s mayor said at the time there were a number of positive cases, including staff members.

One of those nursing home workers was then-66-year-old John Ormond. Working at the nursing home part time after retiring from a long career as a master machinist by trade, Ormond, father of five and grandfather of seven, contracted the virus that causes COVID-19.

When Ormond arrived at St. Raphael’s on April 4 with a fever, stomach pain, body aches and hypoxia — a condition that happens when your body doesn’t get enough oxygen — he’d already had the COVID-19 test, but it wasn’t until he went to the emergency room that he found out his test was positive. Within hours, he was admitted to the intensive care unit.

Ormond would remain hospitalized — almost continuously on a ventilator, and then, in an induced coma — for many months.

His daughter the nurse said, “I knew that if he got this sickness — you know we saw on the news all the time — but I knew that if he got this, it would be a long road. I never thought I would lose him, but I knew it would be a long road.”

On April 9, he was intubated and placed

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health

Brittany Maynard’s husband reflects on her ‘death with dignity’ legacy

It’s been six years since Brittany Maynard, a right-to-die advocate with terminal cancer, made the decision to end her life. But Maynard’s profound legacy lives on.

On Sunday evening, Maynard’s widow, Dan Diaz, took to Facebook to reflect on how his late wife changed the conversation about aid in dying.

“Six years ago today, (November 1st) I held Brittany in my arms as she died, gently. Her dying process was peaceful only because she took that control back from the brain tumor,” Diaz wrote. “(Brittany would not allow the cancer’s worsening symptoms to torture her to death. She insisted on remaining her whole self, not a paralyzed suffering victim that would languish and wither away.)”

Diaz went on to praise Maynard, who fought for medical aid in dying legislation as she suffered from debilitating seizures and headaches.

“(Brittany’s) advocacy for terminally ill individuals to have the option of medical aid in dying forever changed the way society views end of life care and end of life options,” Diaz wrote. “Thank you Brittany, for your determination to make a difference for the rest of us and raising your voice to demand change.”

Compassion & Choices, a nonprofit working to improve patient rights and individual choice at the end of life, wrote in a news release on Monday that Maynard inspired the passage of medical aid dying laws in Washington, D.C, California, Colorado, Hawaii and New Jersey.

Remembering Brittany

Maynard first captured the nation’s attention in 2014 after she moved to Oregon to take advantage of the state’s death with dignity law that would allow her to end her life with the help of a physician.

At the time, she was battling stage 4 glioblastoma, the same fatal cancer that Senator John McCain died of in 2018. Last month, British singer Tom Parker, best known as a member of the boy band The Wanted, announced he was diagnosed with the inoperable brain tumor.

“I’m not killing myself. Cancer is killing me. I am choosing to go in a way that is less suffering and less pain,” Maynard told NBC News in October 2014. “Not everybody has to agree that it’s the right thing, because they don’t have to do it. And it’s an option that for me, has provided a lot of relief, because the way that my brain cancer would take me organically is very terrible. It’s a horrible way to die. The thought that I can spare myself the physical and emotional lengthy pain of that, as well as my family, is a huge relief.”

When her selected, final day arrived, Maynard took a farewell walk with her family. Then, she returned home to die.

“The suffering and the torment and everything she had gone through, well, that was finally lifted,” Diaz told TODAY in 2015.

One month before her passing, Maynard penned an essay for TODAY.com, in which she shared parting words of advice.

“Pay attention to the relationships you cultivate in life, and do not miss

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health

Montgomery County testing mosquitoes for West Nile virus after death

Following the confirmation of a West Nile virus related death and Montgomery County’s second possible case, the Precinct 3 Mosquito Abatement Team is on high alert as they continue to test mosquito samples.

On Friday, the Montgomery County Public Health District announced the death of a man in his 70s who lived in the 77381 ZIP code. While the man did have other medical conditions but the death was classified as a probable West Nile virus case. A woman in her 60s who lives in the 77382 ZIP code has been confirmed as the second case.

At this time in 2019, the county had no cases of West Nile virus, health officials said.


Cody Grimes, manager of projects and logistics for the Precinct 3 office, said the announcement of the death and second case did not prompt spraying in those ZIP codes. Grimes explained that due to the time to get the confirmation on the cases, crews had already responded to those ZIP codes when the mosquito sample returned positive.

He noted currently there are no West Nile positive samples in South County.

“We do spray when we get positive mosquito samples,” Grimes said, adding mosquito season is winding down. “There hasn’t been anything abnormal this year.”

West Nile virus can cause serious disease and is commonly spread by infected mosquitoes, according to MCPHD. People typically develop symptoms between three and 14 days after they are bitten. According to the CDC, approximately 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms at all.

Milder symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. These symptoms can last up to several weeks. Serious symptoms that account for less than 1 percent of those infected can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis. These symptoms can last for several weeks and neurological effects may be permanent.

Anyone who develops symptoms of severe West Nile virus illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, should seek medical attention immediately. However, the majority of milder illnesses improve on their own.

According to the CDC, the most effective way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. Avoid bites by using insect repellants, wearing protective clothing when outdoors and emptying standing water outside of your home.

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