Health Highlights: Feb. 14, 2011

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

Giffords Mouthing Words to Songs, Speaks on Phone

Showing ongoing progress in her efforts to relearn how to speak, Representative Gabrielle Giffords is mouthing words and lip-synching to songs. She also talked briefly Sunday by telephone to her brother-in-law in space.

The 40-year-old Arizona congresswomen was shot in the head in an assassination attempt Jan. 8 while she hosted a constituent event in Tucson.

With help from friends and family, Giffords has been mouthing the lyrics to the songs "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby," The New York Times reported.

She was also videotaped mouthing the words to "Happy Birthday to You," as a surprise for husband and astronaut Mark Kelly, who is celebrating his birthday this month.

"It's not like shes speaking the way she spoke, but she is vocalizing and making progress every day," Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, told The Times. "She's working very hard. She's determined. It's a tight schedule. A copy of it is hanging on her door."

On Sunday afternoon, Mark Kelly put his wife on the phone to talk to his twin brother and fellow astronaut Scott aboard the International Space Station.

"She said, 'Hi, I'm good,' " Carusone told The Times.

Giffords' aides conduct bedside briefings to update her about events such as the revolution in Egypt.

"We tell her everything that's going on," said Carusone, who added: "Don't get the idea she's speaking in paragraphs, but she definitely understands what we're saying and she's verbalizing."

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Elizabeth Taylor Likely to Spend a Few More Days in Hospital

Elizabeth Taylor will likely have to spend another few days in hospital for treatment of congestive heart failure, according to her spokeswoman.

Over the weekend, the 78-year-old Oscar-winning actress was resting comfortably and received family and friends in her room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, said Sally Morrison, the Associated Press reported.

Tayler, who revealed in 2004 that she had congestive heart failure, was admitted to the hospital late last week.

"At this state, with her history, they're going to want to keep her in for a while just to make sure they've fixed what they needed to fix," said Morrison, the AP reported.

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Almost 2 Million Summer Infant Baby Monitors Recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission on Friday announced the recall of nearly 2 million Summer Infant video baby monitors after the devices were linked to the strangulation deaths of two babies.

According to the Associated Press, the CPSC said the electrical cords on the monitors can pose a danger to babies if placed near the crib. One 6-month-old boy from Conway, S.C. died in November after being caught in the electrical cord of the monitor, which had been left on the crib's changing table, the CPSC said. A baby girl in Washington, D.C., also died in a similar fashion in December.

"I urge all parents and caregivers to put at least 3 feet between any video or audio baby monitor cords and a child in a crib," CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum told the AP. "This simple step can save your child's life."

Woonsocket, R.I.-based Summer Infant is recalling 1.7 million monitors, sold at major retailers across the United States between 2003 and 2011.

The company is also recalling rechargeable batteries from 58,000 Slim and Secure Video Monitors sold exclusively at Babies R Us in 2009 and 2010, due to a burn hazard.

For more information on the model numbers of the recalled devices, consumers should contact Summer Infant at 800-426-8627.

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Posted: February 2011


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