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Feeding Baby
It's World Breastfeeding Week through Thursday, and for expecting parents, there's no better time to learn the benefits of breastfeeding.

— Breast milk contains antibodies, which protect infants from bacteria and viruses.

— Breastfed children are less prone to infectious disease.

— Infants who do not breastfeed have a 21 percent post-neonatal infant mortality rate in the United States.

— Infants who are not breastfed have higher rates of lymphoma, leukemia, overweight, obesity, high cholesterol and asthma.

There are benefits for mom as well: nursing burns up calories, lowers the risk of certain cancers and helps establish a close bond between mother and child.

Unfortunately, Louisiana ranks low on the 2007 Centers for Disease Control's breastfeeding report card. Only 50 percent of Louisiana babies are ever breastfed, and only 2.8 percent of infants exclusively breastfeed through the first six months of life, which is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. — Winkler-Schmit

Life After Death
Researchers at LSU Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans may have discovered a way to revive heart-attack victims long past the traditional threshold for survival. By using high-dose hyperbaric oxygen, researchers were able to resuscitate laboratory swine that had been dead for 25 minutes after suffering sudden cardiac arrest. Dr. Keith Van Meter, who led the study and is a clinical professor of medicine at LSUHSC, says the research is groundbreaking.

"To resuscitate any living organism after 25 minutes of heart stoppage at room temperature has never been reported and suggests that the time to successful resuscitation in humans may be extended beyond the stubborn figure of 16 minutes that has stood for 50 years," Van Meter says.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States.

The researchers used three groups of laboratory swine for the study. All of the groups suffered cardiac arrest, and after 25 minutes, one group received advanced cardiac life support (ACLS). The second group was given ACLS but also received standard-dose hyperbaric oxygen. The third group was provided ACLS and a high-dose of hyperbaric oxygen, which was nearly 33 percent more than the highest dose currently given to humans. Four of the six animals in the high-dose hyperbaric oxygen group were resuscitated. Researchers could not revive any of the subjects in the other groups.

The results of the study will be published in the August 2008 issue of the journal Resuscitation. — Winkler-Schmit

Just For Women
St. Charles Surgical Hospital, scheduled to open early next year, advertises that it will be the first and only hospital in the world dedicated to breast reconstruction surgery. The 60,000-square-foot, 17-bed facility will be equipped to address numerous stages before, during and after breast restoration.

"It is our mission to restore the lives of our patients, both physically and emotionally, as quickly and gently as we can," says Dr. Scott K. Sullivan, a co-founder of the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery. "Immediate reconstruction after mastectomy helps a woman regain a semblance of her body and uplift her psychological peace of mind."

Aside from a wide spectrum of reconstructive procedures, patients also will have options like support groups and a center for spalike treatments. For more information, call (888) 899-2288. — Cook

Learn More
LSU Health Sciences Center's (LSUHSC) Epilepsy Center of Excellence is partnering with two national foundations to present Epilepsy Awareness Day Thursday, Aug. 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Armstrong Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel (500 Canal St.). Experts from LSUHSC, the Epilepsy Foundation and the American Society of Electroneurodiagnostics will answer questions about diagnosis, treatment, symptoms, safety precautions and other topics relating to adult and underage epilepsy patients.

Epilepsy affects approximately 3 million Americans and is a disorder marked by recurring and unprovoked seizures. Without diagnosis and treatment, the risk rises for additional seizures, brain injury, disability, decreased quality of life, and death.

The awareness day outreach effort is part of the public education component of the LSUHSC Epilepsy Center of Excellence. The center, which had been closed since Hurricane Katrina, recently reopened in the West Jefferson Medical Center. It houses two epilepsy-monitoring beds, provides a full range of services and is staffed with LSUHSC personnel.

Epilepsy Awareness Day activities are free and open to the public. For more information, call (800) 960-0587. — Cook

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