Health

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    THE PULSE: Sickle cell patients, advocates hope to raise quality of local treatment

    By COURTENAY EDELHART, Californian staff writer
    Tuesday, Apr 22 2014 05:00 PM

    TRAINING FOR SICKLE CELL: Full disclosure. Like one out of 12 African Americans, I am a carrier of the genetic trait for sickle cell anemia. So are my sister, two of my nieces and my daughter.

    Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder characterized by sickle-shaped red blood cells. Healthy, disc-shaped red blood cells are flexible and pass through blood vessels freely, but sickle cells often clump together and create blockages.

    Carriers of the trait typically go their whole lives without symptoms, but if two parents have sickle cell trait or another change in hemoglobin (a component of the red blood cell that transports oxygen), there is a one in four chance they will have a child with the disease, one chance in four of a...

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    ASK EMILY: As enforcer of Obamacare, the IRS faces limits

    Americans love their tax refunds. I know I do. So why is conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh advising his listeners to avoid them? In a word, Obamacare. "If you structure your taxes so that you do not get a refund, you do not...

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    Bakersfield area rates low for access to produce

    Gema Perez says her southeast Bakersfield neighborhood doesn't have a lot of supermarkets, and the few there are either too expensive or have an extremely limited selection. "When I want fruits and vegetables, I have to drive far away, or I...

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    THE PULSE: Local racer drives home diabetes message

    A race car driver from Bakersfield has teamed up with the American Diabetes Association and Lilly Diabetes as spokesman for their Drive to Stop Diabetes awareness campaign. Ryan Reed, 20, of Charlotte, is a NASCAR driver with the Roush...

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    Ballot initiative seeks drug testing for doctors

    As California voters mull a proposed ballot initiative aimed at sniffing out malpractice and abuse, a Bakersfield OB-GYN has lost his license for allegedly writing prescriptions for "illegitimate uses." Dr. Richard Wallrath was already on...

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    The pulse: Keeping tabs on health & wellness issues

    NEW HOPE FOR CANCER FIGHT: An experimental drug being investigated for the treatment of advanced breast cancer has earned a "breakthrough therapy" designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and a paper on it will be presented...

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    ASK EMILY: More time to avoid the Obamacare tax penalty

    In my last column, I warned you that March 31 was your last chance to sign up for a health plan from Covered California or the private market if you wanted to get health coverage this year. So much for that. You now have until 11:59 p.m....

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    Wal-Mart shoppers: The doctor will see you now

    Shortly after the Kaiser Permanente Care Corner clinic opened for the day in a southwest Bakersfield Wal-Mart one recent Friday, licensed vocational nurse Irene Ethridge decided to drum up some business. "Hi there. Are you a Kaiser...

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    Cancer fund's new campout fundraiser opens Friday

    It's too late to organize a competitive team for Campout Against Cancer, the debut fundraiser for a new initiative to raise money for local families battling the disease, but it's not too late for individuals to enjoy the two days of...

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    Hall buys Wasco-based ambulance company

    Hall Ambulance has bought another ambulance company, increasing the share of territory claimed by Kern County's largest ambulance company. Reports to the Kern County Board of Supervisors indicate Hall Ambulance -- owned by Bakersfield...

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    THE PULSE: Hoffman to break ground on new hospice facility

    INPATIENT HOSPICE CARE: Hoffmann Hospice will break ground April 9 on an 18-bed residential facility in the Seven Oaks Business Park near Buena Vista and Bolthouse drives in Bakersfield. The 25,000-square-foot residential, three-wing...

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    Obamacare procrastinators endure long waits, crashing website

    The state jumped through all sorts of hoops to make sure it was ready for a deluge of applications on the last day of open enrollment for Covered California Monday. Didn't work. The Covered California health insurance exchange portal...

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    ASK EMILY: Last chance: The Obamacare deadline is here

    Here it comes, folks, the deadline that I have been harping on for months: March 31 marks the end of Obamacare's inaugural open-enrollment period and your last chance to sign up for a health plan through the state's health insurance...

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