Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Prognosis Good for Man with First Double Leg Transplant
A surgeon who oversaw the world's first double leg transplant
this week in Valencia, Spain, said if all goes well, the patient
might be able to walk with crutches in as little as six months.
Recovery for the patient, who is in his 20s, will require
extensive physical rehabilitation, said Dr. Pedro Cavadas, "If
everything goes as we hope it does, it would be realistic to think
that in six or seven months he could be walking" with crutches,
Cavadas said at a news conference, the
Associated Press reported.
The next few days will be critical in establishing strong blood
flow in the new legs, experts said. "If the blood supply stops, the
limbs are gone," Dr. Nadey Hakim, surgical director of the West
London Transplant Unit at Hammersmith Hospital in England, told the
AP. Hakim was not involved in the 10-hour operation that began Sunday night.
According to Cavadas, the patient lost his legs well above the
knees in an accident. He provided no details about the donor.
Previously, arms, hands and even faces have been
U.S. Issues Guidance on Insurance Exchanges
The White House issued regulations Monday outlining how states
should operate the insurance exchanges that are central to the new
U.S. health care law, enabling individuals and small businesses to
obtain more affordable health care coverage.
The insurance exchanges "will offer Americans competition,
choice and clout," Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and
human services, told the
New York Times. By pooling insurance risks and premiums, the exchange will give individuals and small businesses "the same purchasing power as big businesses," she said.
Also, subsidies will be available to make insurance premiums
The new standards provide guidance to states unsure of how to
set up the exchanges. However, more than 24 states are fighting the
health law's requirement that most Americans carry insurance,
claiming the rule is unconstitutional.
Later this year, the government said it will detail the
"essential health benefits" that every health plan must offer, the
By Jan. 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act says all states must
have an exchange in place. If some states can't or won't run an
exchange, federal officials have said they will operate the
Texas Woman Delivers 16-Pound Baby
An American woman has given birth to a baby boy weighing more
than 16 pounds, a record at the Longview, Texas hospital where the
cesarean delivery occurred,
Agence-France Presse reported.
"We're just amazed," mother Janet Johnson told the
Longview News-Journal, according to the
AFP. "I can't believe he's that big. A lot of the baby clothes we bought for him will have to be returned. They're already too small for him to wear."
According to local news reports, baby JaMichael's weight may be
linked to the gestational diabetes Johnson had experienced. This
condition triggers pregnant women to become resistant to their
body's insulin and thereby pass along abnormally high amounts of
sugar to the developing fetus, which stores the calories as
The baby topped even doctors' expectations by about four pounds.
According to the
AFP, the hospital nursery did not have diapers big enough for the baby.