David Blaine

The "magician" is going to try to hold his breath for nine minutes. Some interesting physiology goes into this:

Blaine has been working on maneuvers to increase his body's ability to withstand carbon dioxide while also doing yoga-style moves to expand his rib cage and the connecting muscles to get more oxygen into his lungs during his final breath.

"We want him to be able to tolerate ...

Read more...

My turn

Dean Giustini interviews me today.

A patient fit for discharge stays in the hospital for 4 years.

Not sure what procedure is being done from the article, but that's putting a lot of faith into acupuncture while going under the knife:

Here's how it works. Instead of getting a muscle relaxer like Valium, the patient spends 30 minutes in a room with an acupuncturist.

Every effort is made to help the patient relax. Music, soothing words and candles all contribute to a quiet atmosphere.

Needles ...

Read more...

Apparently there are no clear advanced directive laws there.

Stories are emerging where illicit quacks are injecting silicone into patients:

Silicone is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used for any cosmetic purpose. However, cases around the country indicate injections of household items directly under patients' skin is more common than one might think.

In Georgia, a woman named Verna Barnett was arrested in 2005 for allegedly mixing silicone with baby oil to ...

Read more...

They're cracking down on narcotic prescriptions up north as well:

"I can predict the net effect is (doctors) are going to tell even legitimate pain patients who aren't at risk, 'I'Â’m sorry, the college is looking over my shoulder, I can'Â’t prescribe this any more,'" Dr. Jovey said. The last provincial budget committed $300,000 to a review of pain management services across Nova Scotia.
The only pain management clinic in Nova ...

Read more...

Meet the physician who is clogging up the court system with frivolous lawsuits:

"In 40 years of practice, she is one of the most litigious and filing non-attorneys I have ever seen," said Tom Keever, chief of the Denton County district attorney's civil division . . .

. . . Rohr, who serves as her own attorney, has filed suit over such things as being forbidden to go to ...

Read more...

The bureaucracy of the NHS has pushed this UK physician into retirement:

"I would probably have stuck in for a few more years but the bureaucracy is catching up and I can't keep up with it any more.

"The targets are not all for the benefit of the patient.

I feel strongly that a lot of these changes are for saving money, not for helping the patient ...

Read more...

Home-made x-rays

This guy found out how to do x-rays at home using a dental x-ray machine (bought on eBay) on Polaroid 600 color film.



(via kottke.org)

Take a trip down memory lane.

Cadaver skin

Used for burn victims:

Cadaver skin is removed from donors shortly after their deaths, then processed and distributed by skin and tissue banks. It has long been the preferred option for a patient with the most severe burns until a graft of the patient's own skin can be applied. Although some synthetic skin has come on the market in the last 20 years, new products have not appeared as ...

Read more...



(via The Huffington Post)

Miffed

A patient wonders what he (or she) paid $25 for:

I went to my doctor'Â’s office just to check my blood pressure. He charged me $25 and I didn't even see him. His nurse took care of me.

Why does my doctor charge that much when I can go to the grocery store and get my blood pressure checked for nothing?

Congratulations to those mentioned in the Oakland Tribune.

Transgenders

The challenges of caring for a transgender patient. They're right when they say there's no formal training in this:

Some medical experts say doctors are unschooled in how to deal with transgender patients and often are confused on everything from hormone therapy to sex reassignment surgery to the proper personal pronouns _ he or she? Some are simply uncomfortable with a transgender patient, advocates say.

A Canadian physician recommends screening for homocysteine. There is no data to support this recommendation:

While screening for hyperhomocysteinemia itself is not difficult, a benefit from lowering the homocysteine concentration on cardiovascular and venous thromboembolic disease remains unproven. Thus, even if we identify patients with an elevated homocysteine concentration it is not clear that acting on this information is of benefit.

Some common sense talk fueling the fire for tort reform:

Open societies flourish because they are driven by intelligence and information; the U.S. tort system creates an enclave of idiotic whimsy in the heart of the most open society in the world. But the Vioxx litigation does not merely celebrate dumb prejudice. It's extraordinarily expensive. For this year alone, Merck has set aside a legal war chest of $685 million. ...

Read more...

Apparently, a new profession of the "patient advocate" has sprouted:

Some advocates have minimal medical training; others are nurses and doctors. Some charge nothing; others thousands of dollars. Some advocates might help save your life; others may complicate patient-doctor communication.

It's so early in the life of this new profession that it's not entirely clear what an advocate is or how to judge whether you've found a good ...

Read more...

Dr. Welby is dead

This is what you get when incentive is based on volume, not quality:

Dr. Bea Karing has had her own practice for about 18 years. Her practice has grown and she is generally known and respected by patients and colleagues as a caring dedicated internist. Her patients range from a new college student who is generally healthy but has had a hard time adjusting to school, to a ...

Read more...