Monthly Archives: February 2017

Autistic sons drowning death at amusement park

A Pennsylvania family whose autistic son drowned at a popular amusement park last summer is suing, claiming that the staff was unprepared and slow to respond to the emergency.

In their wrongful death lawsuit, Mohamad and Fadma Boudriss, whose son Yassin was found floating in three feet of water at Knoebels Amusement Resort, claim an individual was performing CPR and requested an automated external defibrillator (AED) three times, but none was provided, WITF reported.


Yassin was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, with a county coroner ruling the cause of death to be drowning with autism a contributing factor, WITF reported. Montour County Coroner Scott Lynn said the boy showed no signs of distress, but that he should have been able to stand in the three feet of water.

At the time, Knoebels released a statement on its Facebook page indicating that a lifeguard had discovered Yassin unresponsive and administered CPR.


“A young boy was found unresponsive by a lifeguard who immediately initiated emergency care,” the statement read, in part, according to PEOPLE. “The Knoebel family and team members had been hoping and praying for the best possible outcome, but are saddened to have learned from local authorities that the young boy has passed away. Please join us in keeping the boy’s family in your prayers.”

However, the lawsuit claims lifeguards were not properly trained or supervised and failed to observe patrons in the pool. It also claims no lifeguards assisted in resuscitation efforts. The family is seeking over $50,000 in damages, WITF reported.

Baby lose fight to keep him on life support

The mother and father of a brain-damaged 11-month-old baby on Friday were sitting bedside with the boy after losing a legal battle that would have kept the boy on life support.

The Wall Street Journal reported that doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, who are caring for Charlie Gard received permission from a court to discontinue life support.

The boy’s parents objected to the decision and wanted to take him to the U.S. for an unproven, experimental therapy.

Charlie suffers from a rare genetic condition and brain damage. He is unable to breathe unaided. Earlier in the day, parents Chris Gard and Connie Yates said they had expected the hospital to end life support for Charlie on Friday.

But hours later, the hospital said in a statement that “together with Charlie’s parents we are putting plans in place for his care and to give them more time together as a family.”

Hospital officials also asked that the family and hospital staff be given “space and privacy at this distressing time.”

It’s not clear how long life support will be continued for Charlie.

On Tuesday, the parents lost a bid to take Charlie to the U.S. for trial therapy when the European Court of Human Rights sided with earlier rulings that continued treatment would cause “significant harm” and that life support should end. Specialists have said the proposed therapy wouldn’t help Charlie.

Charlie was born in August. The Journal reported that he was diagnosed with infantile-onset encephalomyopathic mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome.

“His brain, muscle and ability to breathe are all severely affected. In addition, he has congenital deafness and a severe epilepsy disorder,” a professor who specializes in mitochondrial diseases told the U.K. High Court that heard the case.

The appeal was the last legal option in the couple’s four-month battle. After the final ruling, the hospital said there would be “no rush” to make any changes in Charlie’s medical care.

His parents had complained that the hospital wouldn’t allow Charlie to be brought home to die. The boy’s parents have released a video saying “we’re not allowed to choose if our son lives and we’re not allowed to choose when or where Charlie dies.”

Memory in people with cognitive decline

A brain training computer game developed by British neuroscientists has been shown to improve the memory of patients in the very earliest stages of dementia and could help such patients avert some symptoms of cognitive decline.

Researchers who developed the “game show”-like app and tested its effects on cognition and motivation in a small trial found that patients who played the game over a period of a month had around a 40 percent improvement in their memory scores.

“We hope to extend these findings in future studies of healthy ageing and mild Alzheimer’s disease,” said George Savulich, who led the study at Cambridge University.


Dementia is a huge global health problem. The World Health Organization says some 47.5 million people had dementia in 2015, and that number is rising rapidly as life expectancy increases and societies age.

The condition is incurable and there are few drugs that can alleviate the symptoms – which include declining memory, thinking, behavior, navigational and spatial skills and the gradual loss of ability to perform everyday tasks.

Publishing his results in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Savulich said that as well as improving their memory scores in the game, patients who played it retained more complex visual information than those who didn’t.


Independent experts said the study’s findings were encouraging, but that the app needed be tested against other forms of brain training in trials involving more people.

“While this type of brain training will not ultimately be able to prevent or cure memory diseases like dementia, (it is) a promising way to improve early memory symptoms of the disease,” said Tara Spires-Jones of the University of Edinburgh.

Breast feeding ups risk of severe dental cavities

Breast-feeding at age 2 or older increases a child’s risk of severe dental caries by the time they’re 5, independently of how much sugar they get from foods, researchers say.

To investigate the effect of prolonged breastfeeding on children’s teeth, Karen Glazer Peres of the University of Adelaide in Australia and colleagues analyzed data on 1,129 children born in 2004 in Pelotas, Brazil, a community with a public fluoridated water supply.

Breas-tfeeding information was collected at birth and when children were 3 months, 1 year and 2 years old. Sugar consumption data was collected at ages 2, 4 and 5.


By age 5, nearly 24 percent of children had severe early childhood caries, which researchers defined as six or more decayed, missing or filled tooth surfaces, according to the report in the journal Pediatrics. Close to half of children had at least one tooth surface affected.

Children who had breast-fed for at least two years, which was close to one-quarter of the group, had a higher number of teeth that were decayed, missing or had a filling. Their risk of having severe early childhood caries was also 2.4 times higher compared with those who were only breastfed up to 1 year of age. Breast-feeding for 13 months to 23 months had no effect on dental caries.

To collect data on sugar consumption, the team used a list of food items or food groups consumed the day prior to a clinic visit. At age 2, groups were categorized as “low sugar consumption,” meaning zero or less than twice daily, and “high sugar consumption,” meaning two or more times daily.

But sugar consumption was only associated with a greater risk of having severe early childhood dental caries when children who consumed the highest amount were compared with children who consumed the least.

Subsequent analyses of prolonged breast-feeding, taking into account the pattern of sugar consumption throughout the child’s life course, showed that prolonged breastfeeding was an independent risk for severe caries and decayed, missing or filled teeth, the authors note.

“Breast-feeding is the unquestioned optimal source of infant nutrition. Dental care providers should encourage mothers to breastfeed and, likewise, advise them on the risk,” Glazer Peres told Reuters Health by email.

“General recommendations such as drinking fluoridated water as well as cleaning a child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste before going to bed may help to prevent dental caries,” she said. “These approaches are in line with most of the guidelines for practice and policy recommendations worldwide.”

“There is no question that babies who breast-feed for a longer time than recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry or the American Academy of Pediatrics have an increased cavity rate,” noted Dr. Robert Morgan, chief of dentistry at Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas, who was not involved in the study.


“The issue is not entirely related to breast feeding. Babies who sleep with a bottle of milk or take a sippy cup of milk throughout the day or night also have an increased incidence of caries,” he said by email.

“The real correlation of breast-feeding is perhaps the number of exposures to food and drink that a child has during the day and night due to the ease of access to mom,” he explained.

“We know that after a baby eats or drinks there is a rise in bacteria and a rise in decay potential for approximately 20 minutes, (after which) bacterial growth and concurrent acid production decreases, as does the decay potential. Therefore, we recommend toddlers eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with perhaps a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack. If a parent brushes (the child’s teeth) after breakfast and dinner there are only three exposures to increased decay rate times,” Morgan said.