Orac on how he bilked gullible, alternative-medicine believing patients.

Too cool. (via PharmaGossip)

A newspaper reader calls out the idiocy of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers:

I read with interest Philip J. Fulton''s May 25 letter. I also read the article he refers to in the May 11 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. Fulton, president of the Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers, claims this article "establishes that almost every medical-malpractice suit filed in the United States has a ...

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Sometimes what the AMA does makes some sense:

"A temporary moratorium on DTC advertising of prescribed drugs and medical devices will benefit both the patient and physician," AMA President-elect Dr. Ronald M. Davis said in a prepared statement. "Physicians will have the opportunity to become better educated on the pros and cons of prescription drug uses before prescribing them, and will be better able to determine when they are best ...

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Doing this can instantly release 3 days worth of narcotic more powerful than morphine.

The WashPost looks at the implications:

For the price of a mail order test kit containing swabs to scrape cells inside the cheek, nearly a dozen companies now offer curious consumers the chance, without ever seeing a doctor, to learn whether they carry genes for cancer, blood disorders or other diseases. Some companies are marketing personalized diet or skin care recommendations based on DNA analysis using tests that are ...

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An interesting discussion on the topic, suggesting that egos play a role:

Another challenge is the "rock star" syndrome. Also as with law, doctors - and to a lesser extent, nurses - go through a very long and arduous training program before they're allowed to practice, and it has a significant rate of failure. Along the way, many doctors (and lawyers, along with celebrities of all stripes) end up ...

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This happens in many hospitals, not just in Australia:

When asked what she thought the standard dose of dextrose was at the time of the error, she answered a standard solution of 4 to 5 per cent. She said she did not know a 50 per cent dosage could have a dangerous effect.

"It was a strange order," she said. "It was unusual. I recall thinking I have ...

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He single-handedly caused the UK's current measles outbreak:

Numbers of measles cases in the UK have risen to their highest level in nearly 20 years, experts said.

Surrey and Sussex could have up to 156 cases and South Yorkshire may have 180. Last year there were just 77 cases across England and Wales.

The south east's health agency blames low uptake of the MMR vaccine. It comes ...

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It costs about $20,000:

The Chinese want boys, and the Canadians want girls. If they have enough money, they come to the United States to choose the sex of their babies.

Well-off foreign couples are getting around laws banning sex selection in their home countries by coming to American soil "” where it's legal "” for medical procedures that can give them the boy, or girl, they want.

A lot of factors are in play here:

David Llewellyn, an Atlanta attorney who specializes in circumcision cases, is helping the father'Â’s attorneys without a fee. He called the surgery "a bizarre American custom." . . .

. . . Tracy Rizzo, the mother's attorney, said religion, not medicine, is the father's concern. Rizzo said the father disagrees with circumcision because he resents the fact that his ex-wife ...

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The "Peeometer"

It's used to measure hydration:

Yorkshire Water have developed "peeometers" to help members of the public gauge how well they are performing against the ideal.

The organization has urged men to use Men's Health Week to make a resolution to check their hydration levels on a regular basis.

A spokesman said men in particular needed to be encouraged to drink water.

Yes, it's causing controversy:

"Naughty America: The Game" pairs a multiplayer, interactive game with the opportunity to be, well, naughty with other people playing from their own homes, using webcams all over the country. (Players can even agree to meet offline).

More on out-of-control prescription drug abuse:

It's a culture with its own lingo: Bowls and baggies of random pills often are called "trail mix," and on Internet chat sites, collecting pills from the family medicine chest is called "pharming."

Carol Falkowski, director of research communications for the Hazelden Foundation, says young abusers of prescription drugs also have begun using the Internet to share "recipes" for getting high. Some ...

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Can it be another pharma-invented disease?

Sounds like a con, right? Yet it's exactly what's happening right now with Restless Legs Syndrome, Road Rage Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder and even Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Every one of these is utterly bogus. Completely fictitious. Designed for one sinister purpose: To sell drugs to people who don't need them.

As reported in one news story, "Experts claim IED is caused ...

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Hey, I learned something new today. Donating one pint of blood burns off 650 calories, or equivalent to a 40 minute run. (via Gordon's Notes)

Yes, ERs are in crisis. A favorite topic here. A major part of the problem can be traced to poor primary care access and "defensive medicine". Let me elaborate:

1) Lack of access
Lack of primary care incentives for medical students and providers = dwindling primary care access = patients going to the ER for "routine" or non-emergent care = ER overcrowding = eventual collapse. Simple.

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Most physicians wash their hands after seeing a patient - just because it wasn't personally witnessed, doesn't mean it didn't happen. Many sinks and alcohol-based cleansers are outside of the patient's view in many hospitals. This lawyer urges everyone to speak up:

The law can do only so much to address the wrongdoing. Proving causation is often extremely challenging, and few relish the prospect of suing a ...

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Well, that is just one more reason why he should have quit smoking:

A hospital patient was trapped for more than three days in a broken lift after sneaking away from his bed for a cigarette.

Relatives, hospital staff and police searched for days after wheelchair-bound Karlheinz Schmidt, 68, went missing from the Charite Hospital in Berlin.

It was only when technicians were finally called out to fix ...

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Finally, more acceptance for open-access scheduling. In this fee-for-service world, practices are adapting to the fact that quantity pays the bills.