I recently was invited to participate in a research study, looking at the economic impact of a new drug for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. The new drug, called fidaxomicin, has been available for a few years and has proven efficacy in thousands of patients but is generally very expensive. The study will follow patients after their hospitalization and delve into analyzing the monetary costs associated with the medicine, ...

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shutterstock_100776622 Everyone likes to be recognized for a special achievement or accomplishment. Every career has special awards and commendations for everything. While there’s no reward that matches cold hard cash, many of these honorable mentions have no tangible value whatsoever. Pull into a fast food parking lot and you may see a parking space designated with a sign proclaiming, employee of the ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Testosterone Shots: Riskier Than Gels or Patches? Short-acting testosterone injections are associated with greater risk of cardiovascular events, hospitalizations, and death compared with gels or patches, according to a large retrospective cohort study.
  2. Liberia Declared Free of Ebola. In what the World Health Organization called a "monumental achievement," Liberia ...

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There she lay: a 59-year old woman who had become increasingly disoriented and confused. Not only did she have an infection in her bloodstream, years of alcohol abuse had taken its toll on her liver, leaving her skin yellowed. “Welcome to the ICU,” I thought. In contrast to my previous clinical experience, I found this patient encounter unsettling. No conversation. No personality. No interaction. She was nothing more than a body in a bed punctured ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Delaying HCV Tx Reduces Likelihood of Eradication. Delaying treatment of hepatitis C virus infection markedly increased the risk of not being able to clear the virus in these patients.
  2. Paying Residents to Keep Stroke Patients Safe. A team of resident watchdogs and a simple checklist helps one hospital system ...

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"Safety first" is a mantra of today's hovering parents.  It's the default explanation that a parent invokes when an edict has been issued that cannot be challenged or reversed. "Mommy, can I please have a water pistol?" "I'm sorry, honey.  You know how Daddy and I feel about guns.  This is a safety issue.  Now go and practice your violin and afterwards help yourself to some kale chips." The safety concept has crept ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Guidelines Loosen BP Targets in Heart Disease. Treatment should target under 140/90 mmHg for most hypertensive patients with known heart disease, according to new guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the American Society of Hypertension (ASH).
  2. Constipation Emergencies on the Rise. ...

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Test your medicine knowledge with the MKSAP challenge, in partnership with the American College of Physicians. A 55-year-old man is evaluated for a 6-year history of typical gastroesophageal reflux symptoms treated on an as-needed basis with a proton pump inhibitor. However, the frequency of his reflux symptoms has recently increased and his episodes do not respond to treatment as completely as in the past. An upper endoscopy is ...

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I walked into room 30 to find two eager sets of eyes awaiting me. One set belonged to a young man, late-twenties, muscular and imposing, sitting in a chair in the corner of the room. His eyes were hazel brown, big and inviting, relieved at seeing my entry into their sheltered world. The other set of eyes, darker brown and magnified by her gold-stemmed glasses, belonged to my patient, a ...

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The mortality from colorectal cancer has decreased substantially in the U.S. during the past decade. While some of the improvement is due to better cancer treatment and reduced risk factors, the largest proportion is thought due to screening. The concept that early detection saves lives has now become well recognized. The harms of screening -- particularly among individuals with limited life expectancy -- are less well appreciated. Royce et al. recently published a ...

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