Medicine is obsessed with numbers.  Or rather, journalists and medical administrators are.  Here are two related examples of how large a grain of salt one must put on numbers. Cardiac surgical procedures, like everything else in medicine, have quality indicators.  One of these is what we doctors call “30-day mortality.”  What this term means is that surgeons are evaluated in part on how many of the patients they operated on died ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. OA Patients Don't Face Higher Heart Disease Risk. Neither radiographic nor clinical osteoarthritis (OA) was related to a greater risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in older patients.
  2. Senators to Providers, Industry: Lobby Harder on End-of-Life Care. A strong coalition is needed to transform care for the dying, said U.S. ...

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Many readers know that I favor empiric antibiotic treatment for adolescent/young adult pharyngitis when the clinical signs and symptoms strongly suggest a bacterial infection. I favor narrow target antibiotics and only in the patients with Centor scores of 3 or 4 (and perhaps some 2s when the patient looks very ill). This would exclude over 50 percent of patients from antibiotics. Most organisms already have developed resistance to penicillin, amoxicillin, and ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Opioid Abuse Drops, Then Levels Off. Making an abuse-deterrent formulation of OxyContin (oxycodone ) diminished abuse in the short term, but the reductions eventually hit a plateau.
  2. After Ebola, Measles Death Toll Could Be High. The death toll from post-Ebola measles outbreaks in three West African countries could rival ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. MedPage Today at 10: Where We Have Been. Sometimes things go so right, that you get nervous. Really nervous. That's pretty much what happened when MedPage Today launched 10 years ago.
  2. Sepsis Readmissions May Be Correctable. It might be possible to prevent many of the hospital readmissions that occur ...

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It’s 2015, and we’re talking about measles. Not Enterovirus. Not Ebola. Not RSV. Not influenza. Instead, we’re talking about a historical virus that was declared eradicated from the United States in 2000. Most pediatricians who began practicing within the last 15 years have never even seen the disease. Measles starts as a high fever followed by a cough, runny nose (coryza), red and watery eyes (conjunctivitis), and tiny white spots inside the mouth ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Flu Vaccine: A Matter of Time. The flu vaccine was about 23% effective this season.
  2. Supreme Court Spars With Both Sides in Subsidies Case. The Supreme Court pummeled both sides with questions during Wednesday's oral arguments over the fate of the subsidies granted to people enrolling in health insurance ...

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My father’s sister Mary died from measles when she was six years old. Her death haunted my grandparents for the rest of their lives. She was one of the thousands who died each year from measles before there was a vaccine to prevent this life-threatening disease. Her story has always stayed with me -- from my days as a child to my years in medical school. And once again I’m reminded of ...

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There’s been a lot written about the measles outbreak and antivaccine parents. Fact is, the current situation is a direct and predictable result of many social/political trends that have emerged in America over the last generation. I am sharing five easy steps to take if you want to create an epidemic just like this. 1. Raise a generation ignorant about science. The majority of Americans are 
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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Statin Therapy Suppresses Coronary Plaques in HIV Patients. Treatment with potent statin medication appears to reduce plaque burden in coronary arteries of patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while untreated patients experienced expansion of plaques.
  2. Few Women Qualify for 3-Person IVF. Close to 800 women of childbearing age ...

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