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On ‘Sound Medicine’: Cord blood donations, laser surgery lawsuits, and new FDA drug regulations


INDIANAPOLIS — “Sound Medicine” announces a special program for Jan. 12, including segments about the potentially life-saving impact of cord blood donation, ineffective emergency contraception, and the effects of ostracism.

Can donating cord blood save lives? A baby’s birth provides an opportunity to harvest potentially life-saving stem cells from the umbilical cord blood. Cord blood is collected from the placenta or umbilical cord after a child is born, but many hospitals are not prepared to help mothers make this donation. Cord blood that is not donated or saved for autologous use is thrown away as medical waste. One donor, Shia Levitt, explores cord blood donation, the lack of donations, and why more women, especially women of color, should donate their baby’s cord blood.

Is Plan B ineffective for overweight women? A French study recently showed that a medication identical to Plan B, marketed as the morning-after pill, is less effective in women who are overweight. The study showed the medication begins to lose effectiveness in women over 165 pounds and is completely ineffective in women over 176 pounds. Alison Edelman, M.D., MPH, joins “Sound Medicine” to discuss the “morning after pill,” the effectiveness of Plan B, and what types of contraceptives are best for heavier women. Dr. Edelman is an associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Oregon Health & Science University.

Are laser lawsuits on the rise? H. Ray Jalian, M.D., a clinical fellow of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, conducted a study that involved patients filing claims after being injured during laser surgery performed by non-doctors. Dr. Jalian’s study found that 75 out of 175 legal cases related to laser hair or scar removal involved a non-physician. Dr. Jalian discusses how laser surgery works, the risks of laser surgery, and why non-medical staff often perform these procedures.

What is the FDA doing to prevent drug shortages? Erin Fox, an adjunct associate professor of pharmacotherapy at the University of Utah, visits “Sound Medicine” to explore the new FDA regulations that will help prevent drug shortages. Fox discusses the new FDA regulations and how they’re working with the drug industry to keep medications safe and available.

What are the effects of ostracism? Ostracism is the act of ignoring and/or excluding others, and Kip Williams, Ph.D., a professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University, has been studying the science of ostracism since the 1970s. Dr. Williams discusses the role of ostracism in bullying, how ostracism is studied, and the negative mental and physical health effects of ostracism.

Did You Know? This week, Jeremy Shere talks about the more than 9,500 toddlers and infants who are taken to the emergency room each year because of injuries when left in high chairs. High chair safety should be high on the list of every child’s caregiver.

 “Sound Medicine” covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It’s also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, “Sound Medicine ” airs on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

 “Sound Medicine” is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).

 Please check local listings for broadcast dates and times.