Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Immunotherapy giving hope to those with aggressive breast cancer

    In the quest for a cure or even an option for therapy to conquer cancer, there are researchers working tirelessly and patients willing to try anything to survive. Meet Melanie Moreno. A single mother, who on her birthday five years ago, got quite a surprise — a cancer diagnosis. She got the diagnosis on January 26–her 36th birthday. “Obviously fear, nervous. I was very numb to it all. Just kind of keep going, keep going, keep going,” Moreno said. She […]

  • World’s smallest mechanical heart valve approved for use in infants

    It’s a game of millimeters. Working inside an infant’s tiny heart is complex. Now, access to a newly FDA-approved device is changing the outcome for some of the tiniest patients with abnormal heart valves. Before Avery Molina was born in December 2016, she was diagnosed with several heart defects – one was a malformed mitral valve. Dr Carl Backer, Lurie Children’s heart surgeon: “She was born with insufficient valve tissue.” With each squeeze of the heart muscle, the mitral valve […]

  • Officers learning new ways to respond to emotional crisis

    They are the foot soldiers on the front lines of the mental health crisis — police officers and sheriff’s deputies interact with community members every day. But consider this — one in five of those citizens has some sort of mental health illness. How does that change the interaction? At times, we’ve seen it end in unnecessary force. But in DuPage County, members of the sheriff’s office are working to change the way they respond to those in emotional crisis. […]

  • These tiny sensors could revolutionize stroke recovery

    CHICAGO — New sensors developed by a Northwestern University researcher could revolutionize stroke recovery. The streamlined devices eliminate the need for wires, electrodes and bulky equipment. Flexible sensors go on a patient’s arms, legs and chest to measure muscle movement and function. WGN News visited the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab to see how they work. “These are all flexible, wireless sensors that can be worn all day,” Megan O’Brien, Ph.D., a research scientist at the lab, said. “The therapy that’s going on […]

  • This new heart stent is the size of a strand of hair

    HINSDALE, Ill. — Smaller, sleeker, faster. Not sports cars — stents. They’ve been in use for 25 years – at first looking like a pen coil. The new stent is the size of a strand of hair. It’s tough to tell them apart side by side. But in the hands of Dr. Edgar Carell, an interventional cardiologist at Amita Health Hinsdale, it’s how the new stent maneuvers that makes a difference. “This is a stent with about a 40 percent lower […]

  • Busy Chicago ER decreasing wait times, increasing quality of care

    CHICAGO — An emergency room in the city is changing the way patients are cared for. The ER is making simple changes that will make a big impact. It’s intense in the trauma center; patients with gunshot and stab wounds and victims of serious car accidents are often brought to Mount Sinai Hospital for care. But in the emergency room, it’s a different kind of medicine. “Every day we see what we call bread and butter community medicine,” Dr. Jaime Moreno, […]

  • Some breast cancer treatments may impact heart function

    Obesity.  Smoking.  High cholesterol. You’re probably thinking heart disease. But the same risk factors can lead to breast cancer. And to make things even trickier, some breast cancer treatments can impact how the heart functions and lead to cardiovascular disease. For patients – even some cardiologists – there’s a lack of awareness about the critical combination. Dr Tochi Okwuosa is an onco-cardiologist at Rush University Medical Center. As patients undergo cancer treatments – she monitors their heart health. Dr Tochi […]

  • Barbering teacher’s personal touch makes her a cut above the rest

    CHICAGO — At Simeon Career Academy on the South Side, the art of the haircut is Marla Jackson’s specialty, but her priority is her students’ welfare. The combination of the two has earned her a huge fan base, and recognition from WGN as our latest Teacher of the Month. “In this school I am theirs! In this school they are mine, and I listen to them and I think that is the number one thing to listen, and two, just encourage […]

  • NASA tech gives chiropractors a new tool for treating back pain

    Spine specialists are using technology developed by NASA in space to help people with back and neck pain here on Earth. When most patients think of visiting a chiropractor they think of manual manipulation, a quick crack of the neck or back, an adjustment of the spine that can open up tight spaces and relieve discomfort and pain. “Traumatic events, text neck, computer work, sleeping wrong, all that adds up and the spine can get out of alignment. All these little […]

  • Ketamine treatment could offer new hope to patients with severe depression

    CHICAGO — Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults, and is the leading cause of disability and loss of productivity in the world. It’s absolutely debilitating for some. But when conventional treatments fail, what’s next? Ketamine, a drug usually found in the operating room (and sometimes on the street) may revolutionize the way depression is treated. Ketamine has been in use in humans since the 1970s. You also may find it on the street. It’s a known club drug […]