Health

Should I Trust Wikipedia With My Health?

Nov 8, 2016

Dr. James Heilman isn't an easy man to get hold of — he kept offering us odd, off-hour windows of availability to do a phone interview. When we finally connected, he explained: He works the night shift as an emergency room physician in British Columbia. He also puts in time as a clinical assistant professor in emergency medicine.

And then there's the 60 — count 'em, 60! — hours a week he toils away editing Wikipedia, the massive online encyclopedia written and edited by, well, anyone who wants to give it a whirl.

Ask a bunch of people why they don't get enough physical activity and you're likely to hear: "I have no time."

Federal scientists have launched another test in human volunteers of a Zika vaccine. This one uses a more traditional approach than an experiment that started in August.

Since the mid-1800s, laughing gas been used for pain relief, but these days it's usually associated with a visit to the dentist.

In the early 20th century, women used laughing gas to ease the pain of labor, but its use declined in favor of more potent analgesia. Now a small band of midwives is helping to revive its use in the U.S.

One hospital in Rhode Island, South County Hospital in South Kingstown, has just added nitrous oxide, the formal name for laughing gas, to its menu of pain relief options for labor.

In Greensboro, N.C., Eyeisha Holt spends her days as a full-time child care worker at Head Start. But after a decade's work in early education she still earns only $11.50 an hour — barely enough, she says, to cover the basics as a single mom of two. So every weekday evening she heads to her second job, as a babysitter.

"Are you ready to go to bed?" she asks, as she oversees bath time for her 3-year-old daughter and another of her charges. For 25 hours a week, Holt cares for toddler twins, in addition to her daughter and teenage son.

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