Vital Signs: 2 Killed by Neti Pots; Accidental Overdose Deaths


The latest facts and figures from the all of the most influential medical journals; newspapers; and health, fitness, and wellness websites

  • 300,000 -- The amount, in dollars, that the average individual patient with hemophilia spends every year to receive regular intravenous transfusions. Source: "Hope for Hemophiliacs: Gene Therapy Stops the Bleeding," medGadget.
  • 3 -- The percent risk of dying from breast cancer that women over the age of 40 have if they have not been screened, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's reading of new research. Source: "U.S. Health Panel Takes Heat on Cancer Screening Advice," Reuters.
  • 750,000 -- The approximate number of girls aged 15-19 in the United States that get pregnant every year. Source: "A Look at the Plan B Pill Controversy," the Los Angeles Times.
  • 119 -- The median waiting time (in days) for a donor heart in infants. More than one in five infants on the waiting list die before a donor can be found. Source: "FDA Approves Pump for Young Heart-Failure Patients," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 60 -- The percentage of Americans who believe that standard cancer screenings, including prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and mammograms, are performed often enough. Source: "U.S. Health Panel Takes Heat on Cancer Screening Advice," Reuters.
  • 2 -- The number of people who have died in Louisiana after using non-sterilized tap water in neti pots and exposing their brains to a deadly amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, which is often found in ponds and lakes. The amoeba doesn't cause any harm if swallowed, but can cause an infection if introduced to the brain. Source: "Two Dead in Louisiana After Unclean Water Used in Neti Pots," CNN.
  • 4,000 -- The number of kids in the United States who suffer heart failure annually, often as a result of a congenital heart defect or virus. Source: "FDA Approves Pump for Young Heart-Failure Patients," the Wall Street Journal.
  • 36,450 -- The number of accidental overdose deaths in the United States last year, making this the second leading cause of accidental death in the country. Source: "U.S. Drug Overdose Deaths Are Increasing," Psychology Today.
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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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