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Same-day delivery: Patients get a new hip, go home in less than 24 hours


PITTSBURGH — Imagine going to sleep with chronic joint pain, waking up without pain and walking out of the hospital the same day.

For Daniel Currie, 57, of Franklin Park, Pa., this was no dream.

After suffering with osteoarthritis for more than a decade, Currie had a three-hour hip replacement surgery and was discharged from West Penn Hospital hours later.

How much is that procedure? Patients advised to ask questions, shop around


When you walk into a coffee shop, you can see exactly how much a large coffee costs, and that’s for a purchase of less than five bucks. But when you walk into a hospital, there are no signs to explain the prices — and those are for purchases that often run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

“You would never go to the car dealer and say, ‘I’ll take the black one,’ while having no idea how much the car costs, and then three months later you get a bunch of illegible bills in the mail and that’s when you find out the leather seats cost you a thousand extra bucks,” said Rick Anderson, CEO of Smart Choice MRI.

Prescription for trouble: Some medications make seniors more vulnerable to heat


So far, 2015 hasn’t been a bad year for heat advisories, but the National Weather service has issued 18 heat advisories for Kenosha County since 2009, and this summer is long from over.

When we get hit with a heat wave, senior citizens are always at a greater risk for heat-related illnesses.

Study finds alcohol abuse on the rise


Across the nation, the number of people who have a problem with alcohol is going up. And despite explosive growth in the field of treatment options and recovery therapies, the proportion of those who seek to remedy the problem remains very low.

Earlier this month, the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry reported on a study revealing that 14 percent of Americans have what is now being termed as an “alcohol use disorder,” a 5-plus percent increase since the last survey was conducted in 2001.

Swimmer’s ear is a common summer malady


It starts with an itch in your ear that makes you crazy. But don’t give in to the urge to scratch it with a cotton swab.

It’s most likely acute otitis externa, an infection of the skin of the ear canal commonly known as swimmer’s ear.

Things that bite (and what you can do about them)


Summer is finally here and ’tis the season to start complaining about what we don’t like about it: mosquitoes, ticks and other itsy bitsy biters.

By Memorial Day weekend, the official start to outdoor summer fun, the ticks were already hopping. On a trip by this reporter to a campsite at the Richard Bong State Recreation Area in Brighton, these pests were definitely on the uptick. Within minutes, several in our party were plucking the sesame-seed-size arachnids off of their clothing.

Hydration is crucial when you’re exercising in the heat


Trainer Lori Patterson holds all her boot camp classes outdoors. In the summer, the days are hot, the workouts intense and her advice simple.

Drink plenty of water.

Asthma, allergies and the new hope of immunotherapy


CHICAGO — When Lori Feeney’s 7-year-old daughter, Allison, suffered a minor asthma attack while playing soccer, the mother knew her attempts at managing her daughter’s seasonal allergies weren’t working. In fact, she didn’t even know her daughter had asthma.

Since the girl was 2, Feeney had been trying to manage her daughter’s seemingly innocuous symptoms — simple runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, constant clearing of her throat, congestion and fatigue — with over-the-counter medications and nasal sprays. She even tried a neti pot, humidifier and steam treatments, spending $30 to $50 a month trying to alleviate symptoms.

Short workouts: Don’t let time crunches stop you from exercising


Were all but the tiniest sliver of your favorite pie left, would you eat it or gripe that you wanted the whole pie? Would you stay indoors on the one sunny day of your weeklong beach vacation, lamenting that the other six were rained out?

Of course not. Snippets matter, be they of pie or of days or, when it comes to working out, of minutes. In other words, the “not enough time” excuse doesn’t cut it. Try a minute every hour of push-ups off the countertop, or squats while your coffee reheats, and just see how that energizes you.

Where there’s vapor ... Electronic cigarette use causes concern among doctors


It’s official. Cigarette smoking isn’t as cool as it used to be and kids aren’t taking up that habit as they once did.

That would be good news, except for what has replaced traditional cigarettes: a combination of new technology and the old addictive substance of nicotine.

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