Is Mardi Gras going to overwhelm the New Orleans health care system?

Raucous Mardi Gras crowds pose a challenge to emergency medical services every year. But the city this year is bracing itself because emergency rooms are already filled near capacity trying to provide everyday health care for city residents while several hospitals remain closed.

Welcome to Canada II: "This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years."

Montana is using shock ads to battle meth.

Apparently, what they teach you in medical school is falling by the wayside. First, you can't ask about guns. Now you can't take a proper sexual history:

A few years ago, when our daughters were 13-ish, I was sitting in the field hockey bleachers with a friend. She confessed that she'd just had an unsettling experience at the pediatrician's office.

Seems that in the course ...

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A pediatrician is assaulted outside her clinic by a man demanding drugs.

A bill is introduced that would bar physicians from asking about gun ownership:

A pediatrician who asks a child's parent about firearms in their home could lose his or her license or be disciplined under legislation being considered by a Senate committee today.

The bill would prohibit health care professionals from asking a patient about gun possession, ownership or storage unless the patient is being treated for an injury ...

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Welcome to Canada. A hospital is penalized for being too efficient:

The Health Department has ordered the hospital to stop doing hip and knee surgeries until the next fiscal year, which begins in April, according to Dr. Ethan Lichtblau.

The hospital in the Rosemont district has hit a government-set target number, and depleted its prosthesis budget for this year.

"The government has actually stopped our hospital for ...

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Derek Lowe looks further at the NEJM vs VIGOR authors war. "Y'know, it occurs to me that there are a few people who aren't as upset about all this editorial wrangling: the editors of JAMA and the other top-ranked medical journals. They'll be getting some manuscripts that otherwise would have gone to NEJM."

Lawyers will be on the clock at the next Vioxx trial. "It's the legal equivalent of a hurry-up offense."

By being transferred to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, did NY governor George Pataki get preferential treatment?

The easy way for Medicare to save money. Put more effort getting generics onto the market faster:

The Bush administration has proposed no increase in the office's budget of $28 million for 2007, even though the number of generic drug applications more than doubled in the past five years, to 777 last year from 320 in 2001.

The agency now has a backlog of 850 applications for generic ...

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How those selling body parts tried to hide their tracks.



"Assistant District Attorney Josh Hanshaft holds a photograph of an X-ray showing the pelvic area of a deceased person with PVC plumbing pipe inserted where bones should have been. On the table are pieces of PVC piping illustrating the type of material used."

Sounds like those truth ads may be working:

A survey of successful former smokers suggests that anti-tobacco spots on TV were instrumental in helping them break the habit.

That finding was reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. The former smokers, all from Massachusetts, said that TV ads were a significant help as they struggled to stay smoke free for more than six months.

Why aren't drugs tested on pregnant women? The answer is so obvious, I thought the question was rhetorical:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says pharmaceutical companies have not tested drugs on pregnant women for ethical reasons, and especially because they're afraid of being sued if the fetus is harmed.

NY Times - Why doctors get it wrong:

But we still could be doing a lot better. Under the current medical system, doctors, nurses, lab technicians and hospital executives are not actually paid to come up with the right diagnosis. They are paid to perform tests and to do surgery and to dispense drugs.

There is no bonus for curing someone and no penalty for failing, ...

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Officials in Massachusetts are debating whether to ban handouts of formula to new mothers:

Backers of the ban say the formula gifts discourage new mothers from breast-feeding. Formula manufacturers call the ban unnecessary and doubt ending the decades-old custom would lead to a rise in the number of mothers who breast-feed.

Romney, who is weighing a bid for the White House in 2008, said mothers know what's best ...

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The VIGOR authors to the NEJM - "Bite me":

The letters come two months after the editors of The New England Journal of Medicine published their first "expression of concern" about the November 2000 article, sharply criticizing Merck "” and, implicitly, the outside scientists who were co-authors "” for failing to present a complete picture of Vioxx's heart risks.

In their letter yesterday, the outside scientists strongly disagreed. ...

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More supplements wilt in the face of evidence. This time it's glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for mild osteoarthritis:

Two hot-selling supplements used by millions of Americans, including President Bush, are of little help to most people with mild arthritis, concludes a large government study that is part of an effort to scrutinize unregulated health remedies.

For most arthritis patients with aching knees, the two supplements sold in ...

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Medtees.com: T-Shirts that empower patients with illnesses. Interesting site I read about recently in AMNews.



Washington's governor is being kudoed for brokering compromise. "There is more to do on malpractice, patient safety and doctor transparency, but this a strong beginning. Gregoire's hard-nosed negotiating skills prove once again to be one of her most successful leadership traits."