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Health Highlights: July 22, 2013

Health Highlights: July 22, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Kate Middleton Goes Into Labor

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, is in labor, according to Kensington Palace.

She was accompanied by her husband Prince William and travelled by car from the palace to St. Mary's hospital in west London. The couple do not know the sex of their child, who will be third in line to the throne, BBC News reported.

Royal vehicles were parked at the back entrance of the hospital at about 0:600 British Standard Time and the announcement that the Duchess was in labor was made by Kensington Palace about an hour-an-a-half later.

"Things are progressing as normal", a spokesman said. It's expected that the next official announcement will be that of the birth, BBC News reported.


Persistent Erections Send 10,000 Men to ERs Each Year: Study

Unusually long-lasting and painful erections send about 10,000 men to U.S. emergency departments each year, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed national data for the years 2006-2009 and found that this problem, called priapism, accounted for 8.5 out of every 100,000 ER visits during that time or a total of about 40,000 visits, NBC News reported.

Erectile dysfunction drugs carry warnings about the risk of priapism, but the data did not specify whether the drugs or other causes triggered the cases of priapism seen in the ERs, said study author Daniel Stein, a urology resident at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

The study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Treatments for priapism include injecting a drug such as epinephrine to constrict blood vessels, or sticking a needle into the side of the penis and injecting and withdrawing saline solution, NBC News reported.


Study Examines Whether Cold Cap Prevents Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

A new U.S. study will examine whether having cancer patients wear cold caps during chemotherapy prevents hair loss.

A cold cap keeps the scalp numb during chemotherapy. The goal is to reduce blood flow in the scalp, making it harder for chemotherapy drugs to reach and harm hair follicles, the Associated Press reported.

Cold caps are used in Europe and Canada but are not approved for use in the United States. One concern is that the caps might prevent chemotherapy drugs from reaching stray cancer cells that may be in the scalp.

This study of 110 early-stage breast cancer patients will assess the effectiveness of a product called DigniCap. The insulated cap is attached to a cooling machine and keeps a patient's scalp at 41 degrees F during chemotherapy, the AP reported.

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