October 9th, 2012
11:11 PM ET

KTH: Pharmaceutical compounding center next to waste site

No one at the pharmacy linked to the meningitis outbreak would even talk to Dr. Sanjy Gupta, but what he saw behind that Massachusetts facility is raising new questions. Elizabeth Cohen reports on the lack of federal guidelines and regulations for compounding companies. We're Keeping Them Honest.

July 25th, 2012
10:10 PM ET

Dirty needles give patients Hepatitis C

Hospitals in at least eight states want to know how many hundreds or thousands of their patients have come in contact with a lab technician accused of spreading hepatitis C.

The man, David Kwiatkowski, has the disease, which can pass through contact with contaminated blood, most often via shared needles. Authorities say the Michigan native injected himself with painkillers meant for patients when he worked at Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire and left the syringes for reuse.

He was arrested this month in connection with spreading the disease at Exeter and has been charged with obtaining controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. He is suspected of stealing fentanyl, a powerful analgesic that is substantially more potent than morphine, the affidavit said.

Thirty Exeter patients have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C that Kwiatkowski has. Now, officials want to be sure that outbreak has not spread past New England.


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July 17th, 2012
12:28 AM ET

Flesh-Eating bacteria survivor

Days after giving birth to twins, Lana Kuykendall was diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria. She is now preparing to return home after more than 2 months of aggressive therapy. CNN's Elizabeth Cohen interviewed her and tells Anderson about Lana's incredible story of survival.

June 25th, 2012
10:01 PM ET

Forced sterilization compensation denied

Victims of a eugenics program in North Carolina from 1929 to 1974 were potentially going to receive compensation, up to $50,000 each, but state senators recently rejected the plan. Some claim the budget simply can't afford the estimated cost of $10 million in a challenging economy.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen looked into what is included in the $20 billion budget bill. She found there's more than $1 million going to organizations like a private culinary school, an Oyster Sanctuary, the Grape Growers Council and the Transportation museum. There was more than $400,000 set aside to fund an upcoming gubernatorial inauguration and $5 million was budgeted for undisclosed purposes that can only be described as "economic development" projects.

Cohen says some lawmakers in N.C. are wary of offering compensation to sterilization survivors because it could set an expensive precedent for others who feel they've been treated unjustly by the state. Opponents draw parallels between the compensation of sterilization victims and that of the descendents of slaves.

Legislators who support payment to eugenics victims pledged to continue to work toward justice for them.

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June 20th, 2012
09:55 PM ET

Kidney donor deaths tied to surgical clip

When Manuel Reyna developed a deadly kidney disease, his sister, Florinda Gotcher, didn't hesitate to give him one of her kidneys. When she found out they were a match, she cried.

"She was so happy," remembers Gotcher's daughter, Melinda Williams. "She was overwhelmed that she was able to save her brother's life."

Williams said her mother didn't worry about the risks of surgery. Statistically, kidney donor surgery is considered to be very safe: in 2010, the year before Gotcher's surgery, 6,276 people donated a kidney, and none of them died within 30 days of the surgery.

Her laparoscopic surgery went well, but about 30 minutes afterwards in the recovery room, she took a mysterious turn for the worse.

"She just took a deep breath and her eyes got real huge and then she fell back down and started breathing really, really bad," Williams says.


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Filed under: Keeping Them Honest • Medical News
December 27th, 2011
11:40 PM ET

Video: Forced sterilization in America

Decades ago many states had eugenics laws enforcing sterilization policies. The victims are still awaiting justice. Elizabeth Cohen reports.

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December 19th, 2011
10:22 PM ET

Video: The fight to save baby Pierce

The mother of a child with a rare medical condition was battling Medicaid to get her child to Boston for surgery. Mothers of other children with heart problems joined together through Facebook to donate enough money to help Pierce with the trip. After the CNN interview and the efforts of the moms, the hospital in Indiana decided to pay for the transport, but Medicaid did not contribute.

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