Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • US surgeon general says opioid crisis is top priority

    CHICAGO — There are 50,000 people who will die in the opioid crisis this year alone. It’s a public health epidemic that has consumed the country, making it a top priority for the U.S. surgeon general, who came to Chicago Thursday to educate and stop the stigma. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and U.S. Representative Peter Roskam, whose 6th District includes parts of DuPage County—an area at the center of the opioid addiction epidemic, sat shoulder to shoulder talking strategy […]

  • Treatment offers new option to patients with blood clots in their lungs

    CHICAGO — A new treatment used to clear clots from the lungs is providing a breath of fresh air for many patients. After handling the “very demanding” work of a pipefitter for years, Mike Barr says he found himself struggling to climb even a few steps last year. “It got extremely bad where I could climb maybe five steps and I would be out of breath gasping for air. When you get that way you start wondering, ‘Is this it?’” Barr […]

  • 9 confirmed cases of polio-like illness in Illinois, but cases remain rare

    CHICAGO — We’ve been reporting about the polio-like illness affecting two children here in Chicago, nine in northern Illinois and others across the country, but how concerned should parents be about the spread to their children? Acute Flacid Myelitis or paralysis (AFM) is a rare disorder that is increasing in prevalence. The condition was first described in 2014 and doctors assumed a virus was to blame, but they didn’t know which one. Without a known culprit, there is no vaccine, […]

  • Topical version of breast cancer drug could reduce side effects, risk factor

    Local researchers hope to make an effective and widely-used breast cancer drug even better for patients with a topical version that not only stops the spread of disease, but also may help reduce a major risk factor. It goes on just like hand sanitizer or body lotion, but the gel’s purpose goes far deeper than skin. It’s an alternative form of tamoxifen, an oral drug known to help stop the spread of cancer cells. Commonly prescribed for patients with ductal carcinoma […]

  • From the science lab to careers in health care, teacher prepares students for future

    CHICAGO — The first Teacher of the Month for the 2018-2019 school year helps prepare her students for careers in healthcare. Kristian Coerper’s classes are rigorous. The curriculum she teaches at Kenwood Academy on the Chicago’s South Side stems from Project: Lead the Way, a national program focused on biomedical sciences. “That very cliché saying, ‘This is our future,’ but this is our future in science,” Coerper said. “You want them to be able to actually save the world. If […]

  • Cyclists vs. car doors: How the ‘Dutch reach’ could help

    Cyclist vs. car door. In the bike-friendly city of Chicago, the number of wheels on the road are up but that means the injuries are rolling in. There are 248 miles of bike lanes painted on the pavement of Chicago streets, thanks to Mayor Richard Daley and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Some are quiet, others are crowded with trucks and cars. The lanes are designed to offer those navigating the city on two wheels safe passage. Unless a door suddenly opens […]

  • 11-year-old transplant recipient’s wish after Drake visit: a heart for her friend

    CHICAGO — Sofia and Jessica’s friendship is one few would understand, born of fear but fueled by positivity. At 11 years old, Sofia Sanchez came to Lurie Children’s with cardiomyopathy, her heart too weak to pump blood through her tiny body. It’s a condition that often leads to heart failure. While receiving treatment, she made a new friend in Jessica Venditto, who was also in the hospital with a heart condition. “My favorite part of the day was when Sophia […]

  • These words are critical for helping someone at risk for suicide

    When someone is considering suicide, a conversation can sometimes mean the difference between life and death. For those reaching out to a friend or family member at risk for suicide, a few key phrases and ideas are vital, according to Lurie Children’s Hospital psychiatrist Dr. Alba Pergjika. First, Dr. Pergjika says, it’s important to realize that by reaching out, people are usually signaling that they need and want help. So in responding, the key is making the message “very clear,” […]

  • Discarded organs now saving lives thanks to new curative drugs

    We’ve entered a new era in organ donation. One in which giving a diseased organ can save a life thanks to new medications which can cure hepatitis C, a blood-borne infection passed on through IV drug use and unprotected sex. Not everyone would be willing to take a liver with hepatitis C. But for the groundbreaking surgeons and their patients, it’s a leap of faith that’s paving the way for a longer life. Brad Goodman knows what it’s like to […]

  • Beer vendor sidelined by massive heart attack returns to Wrigley Field

    CHICAGO —  Their call is familiar from the stands at Wrigley Field, but one beer man’s cry recently was a plea for help after he had a massive heart attack. After nearly losing his life, a former comrade-in-cans helped him get back to work. For 15 years, Eddie Rajczyk has been keeping the fans at Wrigley in good spirits, although the ballpark has been a second home for a lot longer. “Me and my two brothers, we used to live […]