November 20, 2008

Living Without A Heart

US teen lives 118 days without heart

An American teen-ager survived for nearly four months without a heart, kept alive by a custom-built artificial blood-pumping device, until she was able to have a heart transplant, doctors in Miami said on Wednesday.

The doctors said they knew of another case in which an adult had been kept alive in Germany for nine months without a heart but said they believed this was the first time a child had survived in this manner for so long.

Full story

– Ravi Jayagopal
RavisRants.com

Parenting and the Economy

..reviving an economy is more like parenting. There’s no manual. If there were a parenting manual, every hospital would hand one out with every newborn. But there isn’t a manual because each kid is different. And parents come to learn that they aren’t really in charge. There’s too much of the process they can’t control. So great parenting isn’t about doing whatever it takes. It’s an art. It’s about a set of principles and knowing which principle to apply in which situation. When to be tough. When to be soft. When to give a kid a do-over.

Even the most skilled parents make mistakes. Not because they don’t understand what it takes to be a good parent. Not because they aren’t committed to doing the job as well as it can humanly be done. But simply because there’s no way of knowing what to do next.

Full story: How To Move The Economy Forward

– Ravi Jayagopal

November 6, 2008

Vaccines: Separating fact from fiction

When Katie Shutters’s 13-month-old daughter, Averie, was born, she followed the recommended vaccine schedule for two months. Then she did some research and decided to hold off on additional shots until Averie turned 9 months old. “I liked the idea of my breast milk giving her the immunities she needs and allowing her body to work for her instead of some medicine,” says the stay-at-home mom from Indianapolis, Indiana. “She isn’t in daycare, and we don’t travel overseas. I had concerns about injecting her for no reason.”

Eventually Shutters found a doctor who would immunize according to her schedule: “We broke up the MMR [which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella] into three separate shots spread out over a year, and we’re skipping the chicken pox shot,” she says. “Instead, I’d love to find a kid who has chicken pox so we could expose Averie naturally.”

Full story