Habituation

A soon to be father uttered this comment yesterday while watching an ultrasound:

"I've seen at a lot of things in my life, but nothing like this..."

I'm not sure why his comment caught me by surprise. Every day a patient and/or a family member or friend will say something about how "amazing" it (the ability to see inside the uterus) is...and if I ever ...

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Today in history

Spending the next 22 hours in labor y partos, currently listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas (the melancholy fits the mood of the day), and this caught my eye;

You are standing up to your knees in the slime of a waterlogged trench. ...

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For your holiday reading pleasure.

The Christmas spirit at Walmart. Maybe they aren't completely heartless.

Suicide risk (and successful suicide) increases at Christmas-time.

A Georgia doctor has been indicted on 87 counts of health care fraud, money laundering and "distributing unapproved and misbranded drugs."

Prosecutors said the doctor and assistant injected numerous patients with unapproved and misbranded drugs, including dinitrophenol, a commercial-grade weed killer and insecticide.

"It happens to have the same chemicals you use to treat lawns. But so does water. There's probably something in the cookies you ...

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Also Posted on KidneyNotes.

The following are the top 100 keywords from the Medical Blogosphere Tag Cloud, a way of seeing at a glance what people are talking about online. The full cloud with links to individual posts is here.

access ... american ... american heart association ... avian flu ... bioethics ... bird flu ... blog ... blogosphere ... boston ... bush ... california ... canada ... ...

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A sobering conclusion

"The paucity of randomized controlled trials is in stark contrast to the plethora of 'hangover cures' marketed on the internet," wrote Max H. Pittler, Ph.D., a research fellow at the University of Exeter, and colleagues. "Our findings show no compelling evidence to suggest that any intervention is effective for preventing or treating alcohol hangover."

...

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A good idea.

"U. S. Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop"

"...the death rate for all cancers was 193.6 per 100,000 [Americans], down from 195.7 a year earlier and continuing a steady downward trend."

Cowabunga! It is esoteric reports like these that make news headline writers drool with delight while the rest of of poor slobs try to understand how this minuscule mathematical mitigation helps to ease the pain of watching ...

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"Tall, narrow glasses may help reduce alcohol indulgence"

Is this real, or is this akin to what my old attending called "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?"

I could have sworn that knowing when to stop was the best way to prevent becoming gassed/plastered/stewed/tanked/jugged/blitzed/three-sheets-to-the-proverbial-wind (insert your own metaphor here: ___________).

Next thing you know we'll have a national shortage of these familiar cocktail glasses.

Na Zdrowie ...

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Times Online, on the fears that grip us at Christmas. For Sarah Vine, it's illness:

There is an upside to neurosis in that the true neurotic also enjoys the gift of prophecy. Worry enough about any problem and you can make it happen, no matter how highly the odds seem stacked against it. The healthy individual thinks herself thin or rich, the hand-wringing worrymonger thinks herself into a 102-degree fever, ...

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So, why do surgeons ask for abdominal CT's in patients with abdominal pain suspicious for appy?

Yes, I agree, they are from Satan.

So, what do you think about the morning after pill? Do you think it is an abortofacient or just contraception? Does the pregnancy begin at fertilization or at implantation? Some thoughts here.

Remember, always wear clean underwear and keep your feet warm!

Compassion amid horror


First Lt. Jeff Morgan watched with concern as Soad Jaffar al-Hasan cradled her precious baby girl, the mother's smile masking the inevitable.Morgan, a single father of five from Georgia, knew that in a few months, possibly weeks, Noor, al-Hassan's firstborn, would succumb to a birth defect.Noor, whose name means light in Arabic, was born with a severe form of spina bifida. Iraqi doctors lack the resources to treat her. ...

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A new stop smoking drug:

Drug maker Pfizer Inc. said Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration will give a priority review to its stop-smoking medication.

A priority review means the FDA will review the drug's marketing application within six months rather than the standard 10. Pfizer said the six-month period will begin when the agency determines the application is sufficiently complete for review.

The drug to be reviewed ...

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Wow! Tamiflu to the rescue! Is there anything it can't do?

Roche announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) extending the prophylaxis (prevention) indication for Tamiflu® (oseltamivir phosphate) to include children ages one through 12. The leading prescription antiviral medication for prevention and treatment of influenza, Tamiflu was previously approved for prophylaxis in adolescents (age 13 years and older) ...

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The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan have released a new survey showing no change over the past year in the percentage of 8th, 10th and 12th grade students who smoke.

Is this simply due to cuts in state anti-smoking programs, or does it represent a change in the zeitgeist of a country grappling with several weighty issues? (portrayed in "B" movies by ...

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