medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. ED Throughput: A Fixable Problem. As I travel the freeways of the various cities I visit, I often come across billboards announcing waiting times at the local ED, or billboards promising no wait at all. Sometimes they just advertise "faster" care, whatever that means.
  2. Mumps Checks NHL Players. It ...

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No one wants a hospital-acquired infection -- a wound infection, a central line infection, or any other kind.  But today, the level of concern in American hospitals about infection rates has reached a new peak -- better termed paranoia than legitimate concern. The fear of infection is leading to the arbitrary institution of brand new rules. These aren’t based on scientific research involving controlled studies.  As far as I can tell, ...

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shutterstock_114524698 In the midst of multiple public health crises, the NIH budget is in an unprecedented period of stagnation. So why the growing chorus of voices calling to slash more science? Senator Rand Paul recently slammed the NIH, specifically calling out a study of “origami condoms” which he says are “designed with Japanese folding paper in mind.” In fact, this research is ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Ankylosing Spondylitis: More Than Just the Spine. Extra-articular disease manifestations that can have substantial impact on quality of life are common among patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
  2. Does Flu Vaccine Reduce Kids' ED Visits? The CDC recently announced it expects a more severe flu season this year, but a study ...

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The cherry trees are still there, blossoming every spring, on a patch of land near Stanley Park in Vancouver. They were planted in 1985 by a group of volunteers from AIDS Vancouver, to honor the memory of three Canadian sons who were among the early victims of AIDS. One of these men was Gaetan Dugas, who died in 1984. During this same period in San Francisco, Randy Shilts, a reporter ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. CDC: HIV Remains Uncontrolled for Most Patients. Only three Americans in 10 with HIV had the virus under control in a 2011 snapshot of the epidemic, the CDC is reporting.
  2. Atherosclerosis a Signal for Brain Drain? Asymptomatic atherosclerosis could be a warning sign for cognitive impairment risk.

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At a recent conference I was approached by more than a few colleagues and asked about the Kardashian Index (K-index). For those oblivious to the term, K-index is a ratio of a researcher’s Twitter followers (as a measure of “celebrity”) over the number of their research citations (as a measure of “scientific value”). The article implies, and I quote: “A high K-index is a warning to the community that researcher X may ...

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medpagetodayFrom MedPage Today:

  1. Does an IUD and Family History Boost RA Risk? Current use of an intrauterine device (IUD) was associated with an important biomarker of future rheumatoid arthritis risk among women with a family history of the disease.
  2. Pricey Generics Draw Senate Scrutiny. Robert Frankil, RPh, was dismayed when a customer ...

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It didn’t seem like my college-age patient Quincy had any idea what was in store when I entered the exam room. “Hi Dr. Rifkin,” he said with a warm smile as I sat next to him. Quincy (not his real name) had been my pediatric patient for years. I didn’t delay. “Hi Quincy. I’m afraid I have some terrible news. Your lab work came back -- you’re HIV-positive.” His head went back slightly. ...

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Four months ago, a 44-year-old woman was referred to me by her audiologist and ENT for acute deafness of the right ear. She is a healthy woman without any past medical history and was not on any medication. Her otolaryngologist (ENT) could not find any physical reason for the patient’s acute unilateral deafness, including a negative CT scan. She was being referred to me to determine if there was an ...

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