WRTV(GREENFIELD, Ind.) -- An Indiana couple is celebrating an extra-special arrival with the birth of their identical triplet daughters.
Ashley and Matt Alexander of Greenfield, Indiana, were surprised weeks ago when they learned they were expecting three new additions to their family during a routine sonogram, according to ABC affiliate WRTV-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana.
"She was checking [Ashley] and right away there were twins, and she goes, 'Let me check for a third,'" Matt Alexander told WRTV-TV in an earlier interview. "I'm like, she's just joking. I said, 'You're joking,' and she said, 'No, we don't joke about this stuff.' So [Ashley] about came off the table."
The couple, who already have a son, had conceived the triplets naturally, so they were not expecting to see three heartbeats on the sonogram.
Ashley Alexander told WRTV-TV she has a plan to tell the girls apart.
"I'm painting their nails," she said. "One's going to be pink, one purple, and the other probably pale blue."
Dr. William Gilbert, the director of women's services for Sutter Health in Sacramento, California, said in an earlier interview with ABC News there was no definite rate for the number of identical triplets born every year.
"It's hard to calculate a conservative estimate," Gilbert said about the rate of naturally conceived identical triplets. "One in 70,000 - that would be on the low end. The high end is one in a million."
ABC News / Flight Aware(NEW YORK) -- Although authorities said the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed earlier this week in France intended to “destroy the plane” with 150 people on board, so-called “aircraft-assisted suicides” are rare, according to researchers who reviewed decades of crash data. Still, they’ve occurred in the past, and sometimes, the pilots expressed their intentions beforehand, according to their study.
Of the 7,244 fatal airplane crashes in the United States from 1993 through 2012, 24 were the result of aircraft-assisted suicide, the authors concluded in the 2014 study published in the journal Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.
That's 0.33 percent, and they noted that most of these flights were private, not commercial.
But the study's lead author, Dr. Alpo Vuorio of the Mehilainen Airport Health Centre in Finland, said their findings show a need for greater transparency by the pilots’ when it comes to self-reporting their psychological conditions. He said five of the eight pilots involved in aircraft-assisted suicides in the United States from 2003 through 2012 somehow voiced their suicidal thoughts beforehand, investigators uncovered after the crashes. Yet those suicidal thoughts were not disclosed to aviation doctors or the airlines by the pilots or those who knew of their suicidal thoughts.
"Somebody knew," Vuorio said. "They’re [crash investigators] not saying the aviation doctor knew. That information was there, but it wasn't spoken about and that's sad.”
The Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots to undergo medical evaluations at least once a year, but Seattle-based aviation analyst Todd Curtis, said psychological conditions are mostly self-reported.
"If you self-identify that you have certain things wrong with you, you can be denied license," he said. "If you can pass a medical exam where there's very little vetting of information outside the exam, sure, you can fly."
Until five years ago, U.S. pilots weren't allowed to take most antidepressants. Today, most psychological conditions require an FAA decision before pilots can be allowed to fly, according to the administration's guide for aviation medical examiners. Conditions including psychosis, bipolar disorder and a prior suicide attempt are grounds for denying or deferring a pilot’s license. It’s up to the FAA to make a final decision.
The FAA was not immediately available for comment.
In Europe, pilots "may" be required to undergo psych evaluations and those with "schizotypal or delusional" disorders will not be allowed to fly, according to published guidelines.
Notable suspected aircraft-assisted suicides involved commercial flights such as Silk Air Flight MI 185 in 1997 and LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 in 2013. And according to Curtis, who founded AirSafe.com in the mid-1990s in order to track airplane accidents, there are others that officials determined to have been sabotaged by pilots or are suspected of having been downed by their pilots. Japan Air Lines in 1982
In 1982, a Japan Air Lines pilot reportedly "lost his senses" and crashed a plane carrying 150 people into Tokyo Bay, killing 24 of them but not the pilot, according to the New York Times. There was reportedly a fight in the cockpit before the plane went down.
Silk Air in 1997
In 1997, all 104 people aboard Silk Air flight MI 185 died when the flight went down in Indonesia. Contradicting findings by Indonesian authorities, which ruled out a suicide, U.S. investigators determined that the crash was intentional.
"The accident can be explained by intentional pilot action," they said in a letter to Indonesian investigators in 2000. "The evidence suggests that the cockpit voice recorder was intentionally disconnected."
EgyptAir in 1999
Egypt Air Flight 990 went down near Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 1999, killing all 217 people on board, ABC News reported at the time. Investigators concluded that there was nothing wrong with the plane itself -- as EgyptAir suggested -- and wondered whether the crash was intentional.
The NTSB led this investigation and wrote in its final report, "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the EgyptAir flight 990 accident is the airplane's departure from normal cruise flight and subsequent impact with the Atlantic Ocean as a result of the relief first officer's flight control inputs. The reason for the relief first officer's actions was not determined.
LAM Mozambique Airlines in 2013
All 33 people aboard LAM Mozambique Airlines flight 470 died in 2013 after the pilot put the plane into a "dangerously steep dive, seemingly on purpose" in Namibia, according to Vuorio's study.
The accident remains under investigation. Malasia Air in 2014
Malaysia Air flight 370 disappeared last March carrying 277 passengers and 12 crew members. About an hour into the flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, air traffic controllers lost contact with it, and investigators believe it flew thousands of miles off-course.
Despite more than a year of searching, the plane has not been found.
Hemera/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- A Missouri mother is livid after her daughter came home from elementary school with a note saying that her body mass index was too high despite her lean frame.
"She goes, 'Does this mean I'm fat?' and I said, 'No, this does not mean you are fat,'" Amanda Moss, of Belton, Missouri, told KMBC, ABC's Kansas City affiliate.
Moss's daughter Kylee is 7 years old, 54 pounds, 3-foot-10, Moss told the station.
According to the BMI calculator on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, her BMI is 17.9, making her overweight. But Moss says Kylee is an active, thin second grader.
"She is tiny," Moss told KMBC. "She has no body fat at all."
The school calculated students body mass indexes, which are a measurement of height, weight and age, as part of a grant program, Belton School District Superintendent Andrew Underwood told ABC News. In the future, he said parents will be allowed to opt out.
"We do the body mass index on our students for positive reasons to try to promote healthy habits as far as what the kids eat and their activity," Underwood said. "There was no malicious intent by this."
BMI is a controversial measurement because it does not distinguish muscle mass from fat mass, said Dr. Naveen Uli, a pediatric endocrinology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Uli has not treated Kylee.
Knowing the average BMI for a student population can be helpful in making administrative changes such as increasing physical activity time or adding healthier options to the cafeteria menu, but it may not be as helpful on an individual scale, Uli said.
"[I]t may in fact be psychological[ly punishing, since school personnel may not be familiar with details regarding that child's health," he said in an email to ABC News. "This is best addressed by that child's healthcare provider. That being said, if the school is in a neighborhood with limited access to healthcare, the child might not be seeing a pediatrician regularly. In that scenario, the school report to the child's parents on BMI might be a much needed wake-up call."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The case of a man who mistook a reaction to marijuana-laced brownies for a stroke has again highlighted concern about what can happen when people confuse marijuana edibles with regular food.
A Michigan man called police earlier this week thinking he was in the middle of a deadly stroke, but he actually was having a reaction to marijuana–laced brownies his daughter had baked, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
The 58-year-old man was transported to the hospital and his daughter quickly alerted law enforcement his symptoms were likely related to brownies she had baked, the sheriff’s office said. Marijuana both for recreational and medical use remains illegal in Michigan and the incident is under investigation.
But the incident also shows the kind of complications that have occurred elsewhere as marijuana edibles have become more common and more states consider legalizing medical or recreational marijuana.
In Colorado, where recreational marijuana was legalized last year, doctors say they’ve seen a number of cases, mainly young children, who come to the ER after mistakenly ingesting edibles.
Dr. Sam Wong, emergency room doctor at Children's Hospital Colorado, said they’ve had many children arrive in the ER in such circumstances, with parents having had no idea their child ingested edibles.
“With kids, when they come to ER, at least half the time we don’t know they got into marijuana,” he said.
Only adults over the age of 21 can possess and consume marijuana products in Colorado under state law.
Wong cited a range of symptoms that children can present with if they ingest marijuana including laughing or giggling, lethargy, muscle seizures or, in severe cases, unconsciousness and breathing issues.
"We don’t see panic or anxiety. It’s mostly sleepiness," said Wong. "They’ll say, 'He’s just wanted to take more naps today,' or, 'I couldn’t wake him up. ... When he got up he couldn’t walk.’"
Wong said the edibles look similar to candy or other foods, which can make it hard for children to tell the difference. Parents also don't realize their children were able to get to the marijuana-infused products until a doctor asks them about it.
Wong said not knowing if a child was exposed to marijuana can create complications during treatment and lead to extra procedures.
“A lot of these kids get blood draws and lumbar punctures and CT scans of the head,” said Wong, procedures that can have a small risk of complications. “[In] an ideal case, we know the exposure and know the amount [of marijuana], and don’t have to do further tests.”
A 2014-published study in the Journal of American Medicine by the University of Colorado found a rise in children showing up in the ER with severe reactions to marijuana exposure. The study found that 14 children were admitted to the University of Colorado hospital during 2014, with seven children ending up in the intensive care unit.
The vast majority of children admitted to the hospital for marijuana-related reasons were because of ingesting edible THC products, according to the study.
Wong said he tells parents to keep edibles in a childproof case and store them somewhere apart from food and out of reach of small children.
“I think in Colorado we’re trying to do the best we can to deal with regulations and packaging and warning labels ... to curb these unintended exposures,” he said.
Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Happy Meal. Pepperoni. Little Tuna.
They're all words that might easily be taken for foods a woman craves while she is pregnant. But in fact, they are among the nicknames given to unborn children across the country.
The app Ovia Pregnancy, a fertility tracking product by Ovuline that has more than two million users in the U.S., recently released data revealing some of the most unusual terms of affection for unborn babies in all 50 states.
“Baby nicknames are one of the first emotional connections a mother has with her unborn baby,” said Ovuline’s chief product and marketing officer, Gina Moro Nebesar. “By giving her baby a cute nickname, [moms] can laugh with their partners over questions like, 'How's little Peanut doing today?' Or in the case of Minnesota users, 'How's Fish Stick doing today?' Creating pet names is a very human thing to do.”
Upon registering with the app, users are asked to give their baby a nickname, which is how Ovuline came to learn what might otherwise be a private moniker.
While the top three nicknames were Bean (8,024), Peanut (34,516) and Baby (37,862 entries) -- the default option -- Ovuline was curious whether any nicknames were unique to states or popular in certain regions. So a data team comprised of Nebesar, senior data scientist Isabella Patton, and software developer Christina Kelley culled through 630,000 data points related to baby nicknames, then used a filtering process to isolate 56,093 unique, rare nicknames entered by users in each of the 50 states.
The results were not strictly related to snacks. Sweet Thang was called out as North Carolina's most unusual nickname, while South Dakota parents chose the more humorous Buttkiss.
“The most surprising things about the results were the specific regional differences in Ovia Pregnancy users' baby nicknames,” Nebesar told ABC News. “Some were expected, like ‘Baby Pineapple’ in Hawaii or ‘The Lone Ranger’ in Texas. But we also found broader regional trends beyond the state. For example, entire regions tend to enjoy creating unique names with similar base words, like ‘sugar’ in the South, ‘bean’ in the Northeast, and ‘bug’ in the Northwest."
So is there any chance that labels such as “Tiny Beep” and “Sugalump” will stick with the child through to adulthood? Possibly.
“These children will all likely get more official names once they’re born,” said Nebesar. “But their mothers will probably always call them by this very first one.”
Apparently, spin class is the key to dropping all the weight.
“Jeanette Jenkins is the secret, SoulCycle is the secret," she told the show. "When I go in there and it’s the wee hours of the morning, she is a great secret -- so motivational. Jeanette comes in with so much energy and this huge smile on her face, and you can’t help but to get excited about working out.”
Rowland also went back to the basics -- eating healthy.
“The 80/20 rule is all the way real, 80 percent of the time you eat those foods giving you nourishment, you’re eating clean, and 20 percent of the time, have guacamole, a ton of it like I do, and a margarita and maybe queso too!” she said.
Courtesy Leanne Lane(NEW YORK) -- Five-year-old Seth Lane is taking the Internet by storm on Friday with his family's viral campaign #WearYellowForSeth.
On March 11, Seth's mom, Leanne, posted a video of her son on YouTube asking the world to don his favorite color on March 27 to raise awareness of severe combined immunodeficiency disorder (SCID), which he was diagnosed with at 5 months old.
"Basically, he was born with no immune system and has no way of fighting any form of infection," she said. "The only ways those children can survive is having a bone marrow transplant. He had his first one when he was 7 months old, but it tried to fight his body and treat it like it was a virus or infection."
Leanne Lane of Northamptonshire, England, told ABC News Seth must be kept in a sterile room to protect him from germs and bacteria.
In other words, he spends most of his time in a “bubble.”
"It's before bone marrow transplants happen -- that’s where the term 'bubble boy' comes from," she said. "They need to stay in a bubble to have any chance of surviving until the bone marrow transplant. Even the common cold could lead to death because his body cannot deal with it, but if the transplant is successful, then he can be cured."
Seth has spent most of his life in and out of hospitals. Although he started school at a normal age, most of his learning has also been inside of a ward.
But despite his health issues, Lane said Seth has been smiling throughout.
"He is the most loving, happy child," she said. "It sounds ironic after what we've been talking about, that I'd just say that. He deals with everything extremely well."
"When we went to the hospital, he said to me, 'I'm not going home for a long time Mummy, am I?' I said, 'No, you’ve got a lot to do here' and he comes to the conclusion that he's just accepted it," Lane continued.
In a bid to shed awareness on Seth's condition, the Lanes have enlisted folks around the globe to join in wearing the happy hue and share it on the Web using the hashtag #WearYellowForSeth.
"Yellow is Seth's absolute favorite color," Lane said. "He loves anything yellow. If I put a yellow shirt on, he says, 'Look, yellow!'"
"It perks him up when he's feeling rubbish, really," she said. "We said we're going to hang them [photos] all up, but I think there's going to be a lot more pictures than we thought. I think we’ll need a football stadium.”
Lane said that in addition to raising Seth's spirits, she hopes the social campaign will bring attention to SCID.
"It's about raising awareness about how a bone marrow transplant can literally save a life,” she said. “It's not something a lot of people know about it. I didn’t know about it until Seth was diagnosed. If more children can get more matches because of this, even if one child can get a match, then that’s fantastic."
Because of taking antibiotics for years, Seth must have his gallbladder removed sometime next week, his mother said. If all goes well, Seth is scheduled to start chemotherapy in five weeks, then have his second bone marrow transplant eight days later. His father will be his donor.
The Lane family added that they are not looking for any donations. They just want people to share photos of their wearing yellow for Seth on Friday.
iStock/Thinkstock(BELFAST, Northern Ireland) — One doesn’t normally think of Ireland as the sun and fun capital of Europe but like anywhere else, people do get sunburned there.
That’s what might have spurred a Queen's University Belfast chemical engineering professor to come up with technology that gives sunbathers an important signal about when to get out of the sun.
Dr. David Hazafy’s sunburn indicator is a strip of plastic that can be worn as a bracelet and adapts to one’s skin type.
The strip has what Hazafy calls “smart” ink, which starts off as a blue color but then gradually becomes clear, a sign that the sunbather has reached a point where ultraviolet light will start to burn the skin.
Hazafy says the key to his invention is a metal oxide photocatalyst that harvests ambient sunlight, which in turn, “should warn people when they are receiving too much of the UV component of sunlight, and prompt them to seek shade.”
iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — The war on drugs is becoming less punitive and more supportive, at least at some schools in Washington state and Victoria, Australia.
Richard Catalano, a professor of social work at the University of Washington, says a study of 3,200 adolescents has shown that handing out suspensions to seventh and ninth graders who got caught smoking marijuana didn’t do much to deter future use.
In fact, these kids were twice as likely to smoke pot during the following year in contrast to schools where no suspensions were meted out.
Meanwhile, schools that adopted policies whereby students who used marijuana were referred to counselors saw that these same youngsters were 50 percent less likely to smoke grass in the next year.
Catalano, who co-authored the study, says “We need to ensure that schools are using drug policies that respond to policy violations by educating or counseling students, not just penalizing them.”
The study also found that other methods of deterring drug use, such as reporting the students to police or expelling them, has no discernible effect on their marijuana smoking.
Monkey Business/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The waiting is often the hardest part at the doctor’s office as anyone who’s had an appointment can attest.
The physician review website Vitalis.com says the average wait time to see a physician last year was an interminable 19 minutes and 16 seconds.
But take heart, America, that's actually one minute faster than 2013.
And why is that? Vitalis CEO Heywood Donigan credits the Affordable Care Act boosting the number of walk-in clinics from 1,200 in 2011 to the current level of 1,600.
Chances are wait times will drop even further, provided the ACA remains in place, since Accenture puts the number of these facilities at 3,000 within two years.
Of course, doctor's office wait times usually depend on the kind of care one is seeking. The longest average wait is for pain specialists at 23 minutes and 15 seconds while it only takes 11 minutes and 33 seconds on average to see your friendly neighborhood psychologist.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For much of the world, rice is the staff of life. Here in the U.S., it’s more of a side dish with white rice the preferred variety by most people.
However, even a single cup packs 200 calories, which in of itself isn’t terrible, but combined with other food items on your plate can help you to put on unwanted weight.
Yet, a simple method of making rice less caloric was discovered by researchers from the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka who managed to convert some digestible starch into non-digestible starch.
Their method? Put a teaspoon of coconut oil in boiling water, add a half-cup of non-fortified rice, cook for 40 minutes and then refrigerate for 12 hours.
What you don’t really need to know is that this cooling process rearranges the molecular structure of the rice, making it harder to digest.
What you need to know is that this process reduces the calorie content by 50 to 60 percent even if you reheat it. So, enjoy.
ChrisPole/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Olympus America, the company that manufactures the duodenoscopes that were cited in the spread of a superbug at a Los Angeles hospital in February, released an urgent safety notification regarding updated cleaning processes to ensure high levels of disinfection in between uses.
The new process, which consists of "revised manual cleaning and high level disinfection procedures," should be implemented "as soon as possible," the company says. Olympus recommends using a small bristle cleaning brush to clean the scopes. The company anticipates shipping these brushes to facilities by May 8. "Until your facility has received the brushes, you should continue to clean the...duodenoscope in accordance with the original cleaning instructions."
The new process also includes "additional recess flushing" and "forceps elevator raising/lowering steps" during precleaning and manual cleaning. Facilities are additionally advised to flush the scopes with alcohol.
The company says that the updated procedures were reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Photo by Andrew Councill/MCT/MCT via Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) -- A patient being treated for the Ebola virus at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda was upgraded from critical to serious condition, the NIH said Thursday.
The NIH still did not share any additional details about the patient, who was admitted on March 12. The patient was volunteering at an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone when they tested positive for the disease.
The patient is the second to receive treatment at the NIH Clinical Center. The first, Dallas nurse Nina Pham, contracted the disease while treating Thomas Eric Duncan. Pham was the first person to catch Ebola on U.S. soil in connection with the outbreak in West Africa. She was admitted to the NIH facility in October and later released Ebola-free.
Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a new set of anti-smoking ads featuring real smokers who are living with the long-term health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.
The "Tips From Former Smokers" campaign was first launched in 2012. "Since its launch," the CDC says, "the Tips campaign has featured compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities and the toll that smoking-related illnesses have taken on them."
In September 2013, the Lancet medical journal published an article saying that the Tips campaign has motivated about 1.6 million smokers to attempt to quit smoking, with at least 100,000 U.S. smokers expected to quit permanently as a result of the campaign.
The CDC posted videos featuring 27 real people on their website. "I smoked and got macular degeneration," a woman named Marlene says in one of the videos. "So I don't see very well."
After describing the first time she received one of the medical procedures she goes through as a result of her disease, Marlene says she "went home and I felt miserable, and I said to myself, 'Why the hell did I ever smoke?'"
"I would never have smoked if I knew that I was gonna be going through this," she says.
Fuse/Thinkstock(HONOLULU) -- A Honolulu woman who went blind two years ago will soon be able to see again thanks to her new bionic eye.
Surgeons at the Eye Surgery Center of Hawaii implanted the device on Tuesday into a 72-year-old Japanese-American woman who had gone blind two years ago due to an incurable hereditary disease called retinitis pigmentosa, said Dr. Gregg Kokame, who performed the operation. He told ABC News the hospital was not identifying the woman by name, but that she was the first person to receive the implant in the Asia Pacific region.
"She'll actually start to see motion, actually start to see somebody walk into the room and be able to see different shades of grey," Kokame said, explaining that she was totally blind and could perceive only some light before the four-hour surgery.
Kokame and his team implanted a microelectrode array on the surface of the woman's retina that connects wirelessly to a pair of glasses with a camera, he said. The glasses process images and transmit them to the implant, which then sends that information to the woman's optic nerve and onto her brain.
The device will not help the woman to see color or fine detail, but as the software advances, he said the implant will still be able to communicate with it.
The woman will heal for two weeks before Kokame and his team can turn the device on for the first time. He said she'll be able to see her loved ones first because he's sure they'll want to be right there with her.
"She was in very good spirits," he said. "She's a very pleasant, very strong lady. She's looking forward to having the implant turned on."
The device, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, costs $144,000, but it was covered by Medicare for this patient, Kokame said.