A study suggests that ER discharge instructions were either written at too high a level, or contained information that may be dangerous - including the suggestion of taking aspirin (which can increase the risk of bleed) after head injury.

Some of the medical complications are scary:

Other reports in medical journals include a sewing needle that disappeared during a do-it-yourself tongue piercing and had to be extracted by oral surgeons; a variety of serious, drug-resistant bacterial infections; hepatitis and tetanus; fractured teeth and nerve damage from tongue studs; as well as permanent scarring.

Don't look now, but that possibility may be closer than you think:

Despite all the trans fat scaremongering "“ aided in part by food companies caving in to trans fat-free alarmism by reformulating cooking processes or selling trans fat-free products "“ the Food and Drug Administration still classifies all uses of trans fats as "generally recognized as safe."

This classification obviously serves as a roadblock to successful personal ...

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Here is a right-wing view:

I'm of the opinion that it would be immoral to deny someone emergency medical services, regardless of their legal status. However, I don't believe hospitals should provide long-term care to illegals.

In other words, break your leg and head to the hospital, then you get treated whether you're legal or illegal. On the other hand, if you'll need regular long-term treatment and you're not ...

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This physician from Singapore rants on:

'Dignity' is in itself a social construct. We, as a society and as individuals, choose what to call 'dignified' and what to call 'undignified'. The fact is there is nothing inherently undignified in receiving life-support measures and treatment. People receive it all the time - from preterm babies, young people who suffered trauma, old people with serious infections, to people who are dying.

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Behold the face bra



Not a joke, but poor reviews:

Anyone who invests in the face bra is making a massive boob. In my years I've encountered many useless anti-aging products. The face bra is literally money for old rope.
(via Drudge)

As if they don't have enough to worry about, such as infectious disease and malnutrition, chronic diseases of "rich" countries are starting to spread to developing nations.

That's a question we're all wondering. He's simply an opportunist who takes advantage of the broken system, giving shame to his medical degree:

So what has McGuire done to warrant his $1.1 billion farewell package? He's done what Wall Street investment banks have done for decades. He positioned himself and his company at the choke point of money.

UnitedHealth and other managed care providers have essentially become ...

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The combination of waiting, lack of equipment, and liability fears pushes this person over the edge. All that is wrong with the health-care system, in a nutshell.

Entrepreneurs are cashing in on oncology treatment and community hospitals are being squeezed:

Cancer treatment is one of the few bright spots on Dr. Dale Fell's income statement. His nonprofit Mission Hospital in Asheville, N.C. loses money on its emergency room, its pediatric division and its care for indigents. But not on radiation used to zap tumors at a cost of up to $50,000 per patient. Oncologists send 1,700 ...

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Maybe this can be used in the ER to determine who is really in need of narcotic pain medication.

Typically the rule of thumb is 5 years of life expectancy or less - but this can sometimes be hard to determine. A recent Annals study suggests that those with three or more chronic diseases may be used as an endpoint instead.

Talking about toilets isn't as sexy as say, vaccines, but it's a huge problem:

"Issues dealing with human excrement tend not to figure prominently in the programs of political parties contesting elections or the agendas of governments," said Kevin Watkins, the main author of the report. "They're the unwanted guests at the table."

The human cost of that taboo, however, is more unspeakable than the topic itself, he ...

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Zero surprise, with the rampant practice of defensive medicine and now with new technology like multidetector CT heart scan. Having the media publicize these tests also does no favors, as it simply encourages the public to ask for these tests. (via The Health Care Blog)

Hypocritical AMSA

Dr. RW takes AMSA to task for their claim of "providing the highest quality care through evidence-based medicine," while taking apart their Complementary Therapies Primer, filled with dangerous ("ephedra must be used with caution") and evidence-disproven advice.

Fascinating first-hand account of a graduate student on the game show, using priming, intuition, cognitive models, and theory of mind. He made it all the way to the million dollar question. (via Slashdot)

Update:
The winner writes about the experience in the Boston Globe.

Difficult diagnostic cases were solved by Google in most cases:

Hangwi Tang and Jennifer Hwee Kwoon Ng, doctors at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, in Brisbane, simply entered words from the case records into Google. The words reflected the symptoms described, and for each case they picked between three and five.

They then looked at the first three pages of the Google output "” thirty items "” and chose what ...

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The recently announced $4 generic drug program is luring buyers to its website and boosting its internet sales for other products. Pretty smart move:

The program, in which a month's supply of 314 generic drugs sells for $4, has been introduced in 27 U.S. states beginning in September. The company's online pharmacy has had "triple-digit growth,'' the strongest increase in the Web site's history, as customers place drug orders ...

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You only can squeeze down reimbursement so far:

Here's what one physician wrote to me about her efforts to stay afloat last year: "We pinched pennies. We cut back. We let go of employees. We cut back our benefits plans. We did all that we could to save money. And all the while, working like a dog, staying here until 7 at night, doing surgery one day a week ...

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I normally don't have much good to say about Dr. Gott, but this time he lays the smackdown in this letter:

Alternative remedies are, for the most part, understudied. Their production is not supervised by responsible government agencies.

Some alternative drugs appear to show promise, but, if you are willing to be honest, drugs are drugs.

What is the difference between an herbal remedy and a prescription ...

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