Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
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    English teacher ‘inspires everyone’ at Chicago middle school

    In the words of one of her students … our teacher of the month is bubbly and entertaining, committed and caring, challenging and worthy of recognition. Her name is Elizabeth Stefanec. She teaches 6th, 7th and 8th grade English at St Helen School on Chicago’s northwest side, and she is making a difference. Giavanna Javan, nominating student: “She makes a difference because she inspires everyone and she always uses different ways to teach the class. We need to look outside […]

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    Innovative test uses sound to detect concussions

    On the Medical Watch, using sound to detect concussion. A novel diagnostic tool is helping scientists reliably see and hear the effects of a hit to the head. The tool uses simple and familiar sounds, but processing them is no easy task. Dr Nina Kraus, Northwestern Medicine Neuroscientist: “Processing sound is one of the most complex jobs that your brain has to perform. And so it really makes sense that if we get hit in the head that is going […]

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    5-month-old’s remarkable wait for organ transplant

    For adult patients the average wait for a donor liver is about 149 days.  For children it’s 86. But for 5-month-old Daniel McCabe and his family – it was a record breaker. Shortly after his birth in July, Daniel was diagnosed with biliary atresia – a rare disorder that causes scarring in the liver and blocks the bile ducts. The infant came to Lurie Children’s Hospital in early December for an evaluation.  But soon after his arrival, his condition quickly […]

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    New genetic test for prostate cancer may lead to better treatment

    A local effort may save lives across the world with a better way to screen for prostate cancer and know who will respond to treatment. A genetic mutation leads to cancer formation and predicts how aggressively the cancer will grow. Researchers at NorthShore University Health System examined the three known critical prostate cancer genes: BRCA1 and 2 and ATM. Men who carry these genes are more likely to develop prostate cancer earlier, progress faster and are five times more likely to die as […]

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    The way you breathe may help your brain work better

    Do you breathe through your mouth or your nose? One route activates a critical area in the brain. The other doesn’t. It’s a striking difference scientists say could be the body’s built-in way of more quickly responding to a dangerous situation. The experiment starts by simply tracking a person’s natural breathing pattern. Christina Zelano, PhD, Northwestern medicine neuroscience researcher: “So this is showing the activity in the brain while the person is breathing through the nose.” The black line represents […]

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    Supplements a simple fix for improved hospital patient care, costs

    A simple fix for improved health, and it carries a bonus of saving healthcare costs. It’s all part of a local study – linking malnutrition and hospitalization. A healthy person’s muscle is thick and lean. Gretchen Van Der Bosch, Advocate Health Care senior clinical dietician: “But if you take that 20 year old and put them in bed for a month, their muscle goes from looking like this to looking like this.” It shrinks and fills with fat at a rapid […]

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    ‘I think about him every day.’ Bears running back playing with purpose during ‘cleat week’

    It’s cleat week … and that means NFL players get to sport shoes with a purpose. For Chicago Bear Jordan Howard, it’s an opportunity to share a personal yet painful story … but one he hopes will change the playing field for patients battling a horrific disease. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears running back: “I think about him every day. I know he’s always with me even though he’s not here in body, but I know he’s here in spirit. He […]

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    Help your pet prepare for the dog-gone winter ahead

    As the snow approaches and you add layers to stay warm and protect your skin don’t forget to winterize your pets! It’s only a matter of time! We bundle up to brave the elements – but our pets need extra protection, as well. When temps dip below freezing, don’t leave animals outside for longer than a quick trip to go to the bathroom. Dr Ashley Rossman, Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital: “Dogs can easily get frostbite very quickly.” Veterinarian […]

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    Teacher takes his students into space – without leaving their desks

    CHICAGO — Our Teacher of the Month is an outer space enthusiast who takes his students to the moon without them ever leaving their seats. They gaze among the stars with stops by, among other places, Jupiter and Mars. “My favorite thing is being excited and seeing their eyes light up over some fact they didn’t know about the solar system. They say ‘Really?’ and I feed off of that,” said Tyler Michie, who teaches Astronomy and Earth Science at […]

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    Firefighters’ fight against PTSD: Before death, firefighter makes plea to others

    In tonight’s cover story we delve deeper into the firefighter-PTSD connection. Statistically, the numbers are shocking, more than double the number of suicides compared to in-the-line-of-duty deaths. But for most, the realization of the need for help comes too late. We have exclusive details on one firefighter who gave a final call to action before he died — begging the world not to let another firefighter fall. Leslie Dangerfield, David’s wife: “This is Station 2 coming up. This was his […]