• iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Between the sizzling barbecues, flowing beers, and cacophony of fireworks exploding, it's not hard to understand why the July Fourth holiday can be a wild ride for emergency room doctors and nurses.With patients rushed in due to boating accidents, fireworks gone awry, and a litany of other injuries that you almost have to see to believe, the holiday has earned a reputation as the most dangerous holiday in the U.S.Fireworks cause more than 8,500 injuries every year, with more than 40 percent occurring in children under age 15, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The injuries skyrocket around this time of year -– CPSC estimates about 230 people per day go to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries in the month around July Fourth.Dr. Jennifer Stankus, an emergency medicine physician at Madigan Army Medical Center, used to be an ER doc in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She remembers an episode where a man strolled into the emergency room through the ambulance door, walking in calmly with his bike. The emergency room at that hospital was always packed, and the doctors told the man he had to go back to the front door and sign in with everyone else -– but then the man said he had been shot."He said that he was riding his bike on the sidewalk, immediately across from the [emergency department] when he felt something strike him in the back, and he figured he was shot," Stankus said. "Well, we looked, and sure enough, he was."Apparently in Albuquerque, it is a tradition to shoot off real guns into the air, along with fireworks, as part of the celebratory noisemaking."Well, what goes up must come down," Stankus said. "And a stray bullet just happened to come down and hit this guy in the back, right across from the ED ... crazy."The man on the bike recovered just fine from his injuries, but if it wasn't clear from this story, Stankus firmly advises against firing real bullets into the sky to make festive fireworks noises, as the bullets do ultimately come back to Earth and can endanger innocent bystanders.Dr. Lorrie Metzler, who has practiced emergency medicine in both Louisiana and Mississippi, says she sees a lot of water sports injuries around July Fourth."There are so many bayous here, bordering the Gulf of Mexico," she said. "The population can be very fun-loving and sometimes throw care to the wind and get reckless with jet skis and boats and things like that."She has really seen it all –- from a man on a jet ski who hit a pier and became a human projectile, to motor blade injuries and boat collisions.She urges everyone to keep their wits about them this July 4 –- follow boating safety rules, never drink alcohol and drive a boat, and abide by safety lanes marked in different areas."Always wear life preservers, keep a safe distance from other boats, don't get caught up in the wake of very large ships," she said. "It's a real problem getting people to wear life vests -– they save lives," especially if someone gets knocked unconscious and falls into the water, she added.In terms of fireworks hazards, ER doctors have seen it all: Burns, lacerations, and eye injuries are extremely common, they say. Fireworks can also be deadly.Dr. Brad Uren, an emergency medicine physician at the University of Michigan, says he understands that people putting on fireworks shows feel pressure to "act like they're a star" and impress crowds. But he says he has seen so many injuries from people trying to handle large, commercial-grade fireworks that he advises people to play it safe -- especially if a firework seems to be a dud."I understand the temptation is to creep up and take a look down that tube -– the show must go on," he said. "But there's not a backyard fireworks show that's worth your eye, your vision, or your life."Even with seemingly harmless sparklers, parents should use great caution and think twice before handing them to children –- they can
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(HYANNIS, Mass.) -- A 2-year-old is being treated for burns after stepping on hot coals at a Cape Cod beach this holiday weekend.
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  • KABC-TV(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- A 32-year-old man is in a medically-induced coma after recently suffering medical distress during an altercation with police in Anaheim, California, according to his family and lawyer, who said the incident was a case of police brutality.The altercation happened Saturday morning after the Anaheim Police Department received a call of a suspicious male who had followed a woman to her home, according to a news release from the Anaheim Police Department.Officers responded to the suspect, Vincent Valenzuela, outside of a 7-Eleven in Anaheim, said Sgt. Daron Wyatt, public information officer for the APD.Valenzuela allegedly engaged the officers in a physical confrontation. While the officers attempted to take him into custody, he suffered respiratory and cardiac distress, Wyatt told ABC News Monday.Officers immediately rendered first aid on Valenzuela before calling for paramedics, who responded and transported him to a local hospital, Wyatt said.Valenzuela's family said that witnesses told them Valenzuela was stunned by a laser gun by the officers before going into cardiac distress.Wyatt said he could not confirm if stun guns were used by officers during the incident.The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is leading an investigation into the incident, and the APD's Major Incident Review Team and the Office of Independent Review are also conducting concurrent investigations, Wyatt said. He added that the officers involved in the incident were wearing body cameras, which were activated at the time.The body camera footage has been provided to the district attorney’s office and will likely not be publicly released until the end of the investigation, Wyatt said.Valenzuela's wife, Patricia Gonzalez, said at a news conference she hoped "somebody can come forward with a video so we can see what really happened." She added that surveillance footage from the 7-Eleven may have captured the incident but that the convenience store's "manager was not very cooperative with us."The family's attorney, James Segall-Gutierrez, added that police are "always going to do this spin" and "[are] always going to give this sensational story of how it went down." He said he just wanted to "see evidence."Sgt. Wyatt told ABC News Monday the family was originally not allowed visitation at the hospital since Valenzuela was technically in custody for possession of narcotics paraphernalia, resisting arrest and resisting arrest using force. However, the chief of police recently "made an exception out of compassion for the family."Segall-Gutierrez did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for additional comment. ABC News was not immediately successful in reaching Gonzalez, Valenzuela's wife, for additional comment.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(OXFORD, England) — Embryo energy supply tests could hold the key to increased IVF success, according to researchers at the University of Oxford.Scientists studied the activity of mitochondria in 111 embryos, BBC News reported. They found a zero percent pregnancy rate if mitochondrial activity was high.Though better testing of the mitochondria could improve one’s odds for conceiving through IVF, the test — which is already offered in the U.S. — would also increase the current cost of test by about $265, according to BBC News.But, Professor Nick Macklon, from the University of Southampton, told BBC News: "It may help us select the best embryo with the best chance, but these are early days and I think it is something that may or may not be added to our tools for assessing embryo quality."Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Blend Images/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND, Tenn.) -- A new warning is out from a mom who wants parents to know about a summer danger you can't even see.
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  • Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Philymack(NEW YORK) -- At one time, pop star Demi Lovato doubted whether she would make it to age 21. Now, the former Disney star, 23, is not only topping the charts, but speaking out on the mental health, addiction and body image issues.In an interview with American Way magazine, Lovato opened up about the struggles she has faced and how they continue to shape her career to this day.“I lived fast and I was going to die young,” she explained in the interview, pointing to her troubled childhood as a source of her past problems.Lovato grew up in Texas with two parents battling their own demons, she said. Her father, Patrick Lovato, struggled with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcoholism while her mother, Dianna Lee Hart, battled bulimia.At the age of 7, Lovato began her career in pageantry. Though her issues with body image began before that, she still “attributes a little of [her] insecurities to being onstage and judged for [her] beauty.”Only a couple of years later, at age 9, Lovato began to binge eat and purge.In the years following, Lovato would continue performing, eventually landing a role alongside the Jonas Brothers in the hit Disney movie "Camp Rock." Her stardom would skyrocket from there, bringing with it behavioral problems for the young star.It was at this time that Lovato began to lose control, indulging in drugs, such as cocaine and OxyContin, and alcohol. She dismissed any attempts her mother and stepfather made at disciplining her.It wasn’t until she punched a backup dancer in the face that Lovato came to terms with her situation and decided to seek help. She abruptly left her tour with the Jonas Brothers and admitted herself into rehab, where she addressed her bulimia and bipolar disorder. Lovato recalled feeling as though she was “just another stereotype” upon entering rehab.Once her mental illness was addressed and under control, Lovato tackled her drug and alcohol problem. She checked herself into a sober living facility, a decision that was largely kept under wraps until 2013. She said she hasn’t had a drink since 2012.In the years since, Lovato has become an advocate for mental illness, inspiring fans with her song lyrics and her openness.“As a pop star, I can say, ‘Hey, I’ve got bipolar disorder — it’s nothing that anyone can be ashamed of,’” she said in the interview.Though she never expected to be an inspiration, Lovato has become a role model for many young women facing the same difficulties she once did. Lovato told American Way about the countless girls she has met at meet-and-greets who thanked her for aiding in their recovery from depression and addiction. She added, “Hearing those things gave my life new meaning.”Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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