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    Housecall: The lifesaving need for blood donation

a graphic illustration of a bag of donated blood, with the tubing forming a valentine heartTHIS WEEK'S TOP STORIES
Save a life: Donate blood
Each year, millions of people need a blood transfusion, and the need knows no season. Some may need blood during surgery. Others depend on it after an accident or because they have a disease that requires blood components. Blood donation makes all of this possible. There is no substitute for human blood. All transfusions use blood from a donor. Help save a life today by donating blood.

Prescription weight-loss drugs
Are you overweight or obese and have serious health problems because of those extra pounds? Have you tried dieting and exercise but haven't been able to achieve significant weight loss? If you answered yes to these questions, then a prescription weight-loss drug might be an option for you. Here's what you need to know.

What is Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus?
Middle East respiratory syndrome is a viral respiratory illness that's caused by a coronavirus, the same family of viruses that can cause the common cold. The illness sometimes is referred to as MERS-CoV, combining the names of the illness and the virus. Some people with Middle East respiratory syndrome experience no symptoms or symptoms similar to those of a mild upper respiratory infection. But many people have fever and cough that progress to pneumonia. Other symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Middle East respiratory syndrome can lead to respiratory or kidney failure, and is sometimes fatal. Learn more from Dr. James Steckelberg, a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.

Does brown fat affect weight loss?
Brown fat, also called brown adipose tissue, is a special type of body fat that is turned on, or activated, when you get cold. Brown fat produces heat to help maintain your body temperature in cold conditions. Researchers are looking at whether brown fat's calorie-burning properties can be harnessed for weight loss. Learn more from Dr. Donald Hensrud, a Mayo Clinic preventive medicine specialist.

Checking pulse over the carotid artery
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Hand transplant
Slideshow: Caring for your skin when you have psoriasis

Pumpkin cream cheese dip or spread
Tuna pita pockets
Sloppy Joes
Apricot and almond crisp

Want whiter teeth?
If your pearly whites are dulled by surface stains, whitening toothpaste can appear to whiten teeth slightly. Whitening toothpaste can't change the natural color of your teeth, however. For more noticeable results, ask your dentist about tooth-whitening bleaches.

Need practical advice on diet and exercise? Want creative solutions for stress and other lifestyle issues? Discover more healthy lifestyle topics at mayoclinic.org.

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