Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Mom develops app to help navigate food allergies, connect families

    Imagine every decision you make could have life or death consequences? That’s what it’s like for many people with food allergies. The potential for danger is everywhere. Inspired by her own daughter — a local mom created a tool to ease the burden. Nuts, eggs, milk, wheat and soy – they’re the most common allergens. Consider the numbers – one out of every 13 children has a food allergy. That comes out to about two kids in every classroom. Dr […]

  • It’s not too late to get a flu shot, experts say

    CHICAGO — With an earlier than expected peak in cases, is it too late to get a flu shot? The numbers are spiking but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to protect yourself from the flu. The emergency room at Lurie Children’s Hospital was filled with flu patients on Monday. It was no surprise considering the multiple outbreaks across the state in recent weeks. But the message from infectious disease expert Dr. Tina Tan is clear – get your flu […]

  • Number of frost bite cases on the rise: How to spot it, treat it and avoid it

    It’s on the rise – not the frigid temps, but the number of cases of frostbite. And that means more patients are trickling in to local emergency rooms. It’s not just the arctic air that’s the concern – it’s the long string of cold days we’re weathering. That’s when the damage is done, and doctors say it’s critical to protect your skin. It doesn’t look good … we’re at day 5 with several more rough ones to come. Dr Michael […]

  • Suburban English teacher instills spirit of giving in students

    ROSELLE, Ill. — In the season of giving, WGN is honoring a teacher who instills that same spirit in her students all year long. It’s not a lesson that’s part of Darcie Murray’s official curriculum, but it’s one she’s spreading among her students. “Sometimes people just need a little help,” Ian Bostelman, a Lake Park High School student, said. And sometimes, it’s a fellow student. “I never really knew how many homeless families there were in our school, and once she […]

  • Electric cap helps patients with aggressive brain cancer live longer

    A cap with the power to help cancer patients live longer sounds like something out of science fiction, but this very real scientific discovery is doubling the life expectancy of people with an aggressive and incurable brain cancer, a new study finds. WGN first covered the caps years ago when patients began to try them. Now a worldwide study shows they work. Many men this time of year wear skull caps to keep them warm — Mike Cardinale wears an […]

  • Insurance companies, Medicare slow to pick up tab for pricey but potentially life-saving treatment

    WGN News first told you about CAR-T, a new and potentially life-saving cancer treatment, back in October. The cell therapy uses a patient’s own immune cells, and its potential had doctors in awe and patients scrambling for a chance to try it. Now, as we meet one of the first patients here in Chicago, we are learning about a new wrinkle that is keeping the therapy out of reach for many. Mary Zajas is the first patient at University of Chicago- […]

  • Breakthrough drug offers hope for patients with debilitating muscular disease

    All too often we hear the phrases ‘medical breakthrough’ or ‘miracle drug.’ And all too often what follows is disappointment. So far that has not been the case with a drug used to treat one of the most debilitating – and often fatal — diseases in children. Ella Casten was 14 months old when she was officially diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease that robs patients of the ability to walk, eat and swallow. At the time, her […]

  • Bears take time out to cheer on and cheer up patients at children’s hospital

    CHICAGO — Chicago Bears players may have been disappointing fans on the field lately, but in the hospital halls and by the bedside, they are scoring big. Lurie Childrens patients got up close and personal with teammates who say, in the game of life – you have to support those who mean the most. And that’s what they did today. Members of the team came to cheer on young patients, who come for chemotherapy, infusions and other regular treatments. They’ve […]

  • New guidelines for high blood pressure means you could be more at risk

    As of today you may have high blood pressure. The guidelines have changed opening the door for more people to be diagnosed with the condition. Currently one-third of Americans are considered to have high blood pressure. By lowering the number that is considered too high, doctors are expanding the characterization so now nearly half of U.S. adults have hypertension. For the first time in more than a decade the American Heart association is getting tougher on high blood pressure issuing […]

  • How a history of domestic violence can predict a mass shooting

    The term IPV – or  intimate partner violence – offers a way to predict mass shootings based on a history of domestic violence. Experts say the perpetrators of mass killings are not always mentally ill. In some cases, it may actually have been collateral domestic violence in which the suspect is trying to hurt a loved one by wounding others. The Texas church shooter, Devin Kelly, had been convicted of domestic violence against his wife and young child. Records show […]