Barbers are giving AIDS education in India. "Vishwa Deepak, who is supervising the project, says FXB has trained the barbers in communication skills to raise the topic of sex, which is still a taboo subject in India.

He says the barbers are told to encourage their customers to use condoms and also try to convince them to go in for HIV tests and refer clients to appropriate centres ...

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Something different for malpractice reform - how about a "tort formulary"? "Create a 'tort formulary' that specifically lists actionable negligence by the doctor, such as intoxication, removing the wrong organ, etc. These would be subject to unlimited damage claims. The flip side is practice guidelines, like those implemented in Maine in 1992. It would be a defense for the doctor that he went by the guidelines, or had a clear ...

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From your friendly malpractice lawyer - 5 Holiday Tips To Keep You From Being an Emergency Room Malpractice Victim. Here's one:

If you have x-rays, an MRI scan or a CAT scan, ask whether the attending radiologist has read the films. Do not rely on the radiology resident in the emergency room to read the films. "Oh, but the attending isn't in now, he reads it the next ...

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WSJ: Ghost-writing and medical journals. "It's an example of an open secret in medicine: Many of the articles that appear in scientific journals under the bylines of prominent academics are actually written by ghostwriters in the pay of drug companies. These seemingly objective articles, which doctors around the world use to guide their care of patients, are often part of a marketing campaign by companies to promote a product ...

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A boy with a 4.4-pound thyroid tumor.



"Singapore doctors have successfully removed a two-kilogram (4.4-pound) tumour from an Indonesian boy's neck and chest, a member of the surgical team said.

Lukas Wahangara, who turned 13 on Wednesday, is recuperating well after the rare operation to remove the thyroid tumour measuring 20 centimetres (eight inches) in diameter, almost as big as an adult human's head."

Instapundit on Vioxx: "Risk / reward here is asymmetrical: If excessive litigation causes people to die because treatments are taken off the market, there's nobody to sue. Something's broken." (via PointofLaw.com)

Derek Lowe speculates that the NEJM's Expression of Concern is legally motivated:

Could it be that the plaintiff's attorneys, while questioning Gregory Curfman, mentioned that there could be more targets for litigation than just Merck? You run a prestigious journal there. . .probably influenced a lot of physicians to prescribe Vioxx, eh? Didn't see anything odd in the cardiovascular data, you say? Why, that's nearly a tort right there. . ...

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A hospital is liable after transplanting a diseased heart. "The surgeon was set, a donated heart waited in a cooler and the patient was brought in. Carl Longnecker's chest was opened and his heart removed. When the surgeon lifted the lid on the cooler, he immediately saw what he would later describe as signs the donor heart was diseased.

But the surgeon had no alternative but to place ...

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A story of a rehabbed doc now treating other substance abusers. "When patients tell him, 'Doctor, you have no idea how bad this is,' Dr. Hopkins answers: 'Actually, yes, I do.'"

An ER pioneer is under fire for shoddy records. "In addition, the doctor simultaneously prescribed one patient with OxyContin, an opiate, and Subutex, a substance used to fight opiate addiction , according to records. The state also calls some of Schwartz's records 'misleading and deceptive' because they say Schwartz was trying to help a patient get off narcotics while simultaneously prescribing the patient large quantities of OxyContin."

A doctor addicted to her own medicine was found dead on the floor of a Japanese hospital with an anesthetic needle sticking out of her arm.

Pfizer rolls the dice. It's funding a $100 million study to definitively prove the safety of Celebrex.

Common sense: Fee-for-service increases the rate of cataract surgery. "Both commercial and Medicare beneficiaries were approximately one half as likely to have cataract extraction under contact capitation as compared with fee-for-service. Professional reimbursement increased by 8 percent whereas facility fees for cataract procedures decreased by approximately 45 percent."

How lethal injection works. In light of the recent news, someone asked me what was injected. According to Howstuffworks, here goes:

The drugs are administered, in this order:

* Anesthetic - Sodium thiopental, which has the trademark name Pentothal, puts the inmate into a deep sleep. This drug is a barbiturate that induces general anesthesia when administered intravenously. It can reach effective clinical concentrations in ...

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"I practiced defensive medicine today." An ER attending gives just one example of what happens thousands of times per day in every ER around the country (emphasis mine):

An hour later, I asked that my senior resident check in with me regarding the young man with the broken jaw. He explained that they had obtained a CAT scan of the jaw at the request of the oral surgeon, and "since ...

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PointofLaw.com has Vioxx mistrial coverage. "The jury was almost unanimous -- all save one were prepared to find for the defendant Merck, on the grounds that Vioxx was not the cause of the defendant's attack.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the one holdout juror didn't seem to care about the law at all:

According to one juror, the holdout wasn't swayed by the majority's argument.

"Basically the ...

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A doctor changes his name in the wake of numerous malpractice lawsuits.

Required reading: Our malpractice system punishes bad luck and negligence the same way. ". . . The plaintiff's attorney tried to make him look incompetent. Witnesses were called to the stand - other doctors with fancy titles, some of whom make a business of criticizing other physicians. They said some damaging things that were not accurate. I felt the very real urge to stand up and shout a warning to ...

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Beating the odds: Sounds like this patient survived an extended cardiac code. "He quickly suffered two cardiac arrests but was stabilised after doctors used a defibrillator, a device that produces an electric shock to start the heart beating again.

He was then given an anti-clotting drug to thin the blood but suffered a series of cardiac arrests over the next 20 minutes as the medical team fought to ...

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An interesting study showing redheads can withstand up to 25% more pain than their blond and brunette peers do.