Entries in England (3)


Hair Dye Allergy Suspected in Teen Death

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- The death of a British teen who screamed in agony and collapsed moments after coloring her hair has put the spotlight on do-it-yourself dye.

Seventeen-year-old Tabatha McCourt from Lanarkshire, England, died in hospital after what medics suspect was a severe allergic reaction to p-phenylenediamine, or PPD, a chemical found in permanent hair dye, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported.

McCourt, a veteran dyer, began pulling her hair and vomiting 20 minutes after applying the color at a friend’s house, according to the story.

PPD allergies usually cause itchy, red and swollen skin on and around the scalp. But in very rare cases, even a small exposure can cause anaphylaxis, or death.

“Severe acute allergic reactions like this are very rare but not impossible” said Dr. Darrell Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center. “If it happens, the first thing to do is take an antihistamine. And then get to an emergency room right away.”

Anaphylaxis is caused by a massive release of histamine – the same chemical that brings on hives. An overload of histamine causes blood vessels to dilate causing a dangerous drop in blood pressure. Anaphylaxis is also marked by confusion, difficulty breathing and swelling of the eyes and face.

Although dye boxes come with allergy warnings urging users to test the product on a small patch of skin first, many dye-hards skimp to save time. And for people with severe PPD allergies, the skin test alone could trigger a deadly reaction.

Even for routine dyers who have taken and passed the patch test, small changes in ingredients could trigger allergies to once-benign products. Rigel said cosmetic users should take note of minor reactions and go for an allergy test to avoid a more serious episode later on.

“Usually, the first exposure sensitizes you but doesn’t cause the severe reaction,” he said. “If you know you’re allergic to something, you can avoid it.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Eleven Years Later, Triplet No. 3 Arrives

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WALSALL, England) -- Ryleigh Shepherd was conceived in 1998, the same year as her 11-year-old twin sisters, but she wasn't born until 2010.

The three girls from Walsall, in Great Britain, who were born more than a decade apart in two different centuries, are actually triplets. All were the product of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and came from the same batch of frozen embryos. Ryleigh came from the same group of embryos that had allowed her parents -- Lisa and Adrian Shepherd -- to give birth to twins Megan and Bethany.

British experts say they know of no other case in which three siblings from the same round of fertility treatment have been born with such an age gap.

How long embryos can be frozen and still viable is still not known, but American fertility experts say they have great confidence in the success of new reproductive techniques.

"It's incredibly common for people to go back a second and third time," said Barbara Collura, executive director of RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association. "There have been recorded cases of kids born far longer apart. This doesn't tip the scales."

Fertility experts estimate that about 400,000 embryos are currently in frozen storage in the U.S., and a more comprehensive survey will be underway in the spring.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Researchers: Heavy People More Sensitive to Food Smells

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONDON) -- British researchers have discovered that the heavier a person, the more sensitive they are to the smell of food.

Scientists at the University of Portsmouth say the relationship between weight and food smelling sensitivity might help explain why some are encouraged to eat more.

“It could be that for those people with a propensity to sort of gain weight, it's actually helping them to sustain food intake perhaps a little bit like an appetizer effect,” said team leader Dr. Lorenzo Stafford.

Stafford hopes his research may lead to new ways of thinking about and treating people with weight problems, and it may help to explain why some struggle to stay slim.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio