Latest Information:

Richard Knox

Since he joined NPR in 2000, Knox has covered a broad range of issues and events in public health, medicine, and science. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, and newscasts.

Among other things, Knox's NPR reports have examined the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa, North America, and the Caribbean; anthrax terrorism; smallpox and other bioterrorism preparedness issues; the rising cost of medical care; early detection of lung cancer; community caregiving; music and the brain; and the SARS epidemic.

Before joining NPR, Knox covered medicine and health for The Boston Globe. His award-winning 1995 articles on medical errors are considered landmarks in the national movement to prevent medical mistakes. Knox is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Columbia University. He has held yearlong fellowships at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and is the author of a 1993 book on Germany's health care system.

He and his wife Jean, an editor, live in Boston. They have two daughters.

Pages

Shots - Health News
11:04 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Cardiac Arrest Survivors Have Better Outlook Than Doctors Think

Students at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Fla., perform CPR on a mock patient.
Bruce Ackerman Ocala Star-Banner /Landov

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 8:48 am

Every day something like 550 hospitalized Americans suffer cardiac arrest. That's bad news. Only about one in five will live to leave the hospital.

But for the lucky 44,000 a year who are resuscitated and survive, the outlook is much better than expected, authors of a new study say.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:32 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Why Relatives Should Be Allowed To Watch CPR On Loved Ones

A recent study finds that relatives present during resuscitation attempts suffer fewer psychological effects later.
istockphoto.com

Picture this: Your spouse or child has collapsed and isn't breathing. You call 911, and the paramedics rush in and take charge. But you are banished to another room while the medical people try to bring your loved one back to life.

It's about the most stressful scene imaginable. And it's what usually happens.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:10 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Aspirin Vs. Melanoma: Study Suggests Headache Pill Prevents Deadly Skin Cancer

A doctor checks for signs of skin cancer at a free cancer screening day in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 9:22 am

It's not the first study that finds the lowly aspirin may protect against the deadliest kind of skin cancer, but it is one of the largest.

And it adds to a mounting pile of studies suggesting that cheap, common aspirin lowers the risk of many cancers — of the colon, breast, esophagus, stomach, prostate, bladder and ovary.

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:15 am
Fri March 8, 2013

A Man's Journey From Nepal To Texas Triggers Global TB Scramble

Although tuberculosis is declining around the world, drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are on the rise.
NIAID/Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:47 am

We don't know too much about a Nepalese man who's in medical isolation in Texas while being treated for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, or XDR-TB, the most difficult-to-treat kind. Health authorities are keen to protect his privacy.

But we do know that he traveled through 13 countries — from South Asia to somewhere in the Persian Gulf to Latin America — before he entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico in late November. He traveled by plane, bus, boat, car and on foot.

Read more
Shots - Health News
3:41 pm
Sun March 3, 2013

Scientists Report First Cure Of HIV In A Child, Say It's A Game-Changer

HIV particles, yellow, infect an immune cell, blue.
NIAID_Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 3:35 pm

Scientists believe a little girl born with HIV has been cured of the infection.

She's the first child and only the second person in the world known to have been cured since the virus touched off a global pandemic nearly 32 years ago.

Doctors aren't releasing the child's name, but we know she was born in Mississippi and is now 2 1/2 years old — and healthy. Scientists presented details of the case Sunday at a scientific conference in Atlanta.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Strategy To Prevent HIV In Newborns Sparks Enthusiasm And Skepticism

By taking antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy, this Tanzanian mother lowered the risk of passing HIV to her daughter.
Siegfried Modola AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:52 pm

There's great enthusiasm among some global health leaders about a bold – some say radical — strategy to prevent pregnant women from transmitting HIV to their newborns.

But skeptics worry that the approach, dubbed Option B+, will pit pregnant women with HIV against others infected with the virus, diverting resources from the broader struggle against the pandemic.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Younger Women Have Rising Rate Of Advanced Breast Cancer, Study Says

Blend Images/Jon Feingersh Getty Images/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 7:19 am

Researchers say more young American women are being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.

It's a newly recognized trend. The numbers are small, but it's been going on for a generation. And the trend has accelerated in recent years.

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:23 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Medical Waste: 90 More Don'ts For Your Doctor

Scans shouldn't be ordered routinely for kids with minor head injuries, new advice to doctors says.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 3:54 pm

Doctors do stuff — tests, procedures, drug regimens and operations. It's what they're trained to do, what they're paid to do and often what they fear not doing.

So it's pretty significant that a broad array of medical specialty groups is issuing an expanding list of don'ts for physicians.

Read more
Shots - Health News
2:34 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Targeted Cancer Drugs Keep Myeloma Patients Up And Running

Don Wright runs at an indoor track at the Maplewood Community Center in North Saint Paul, Minn.
Ariana Lindquist for NPR

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 2:13 pm

Don Wright got diagnosed with multiple myeloma at what turned out to be the right time. It was 10 years ago, when he was 62.

That was at the beginning of a revolution in treating this once-fearsome blood cell cancer, which strikes around 20,000 Americans every year. The malignancy can literally eat holes in victims' bones, which can snap from the simple act of bending over to pick up a package.

Read more
Shots - Health News
5:11 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Report: Action Needed To Wipe Out Fake And Substandard Drugs

Shoppers buy smuggled counterfeit drugs at the Adjame market in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in 2007.
Issouf Sanogo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:20 pm

A blue-ribbon panel is urging stronger regulation of pharmaceuticals around the world to combat the growing problem of fake and poor-quality medicines.

The quality problems and fake medicines have affected Americans. Fungal contamination of steroids made by a Massachusetts pharmacy, which sickened more than 700 people and killed 46, is one recent example. Other U.S. patients have received fake cancer drugs and medicines obtained over the Internet with little or no active ingredients.

Read more

Pages