She seemed awfully angry and at the very least dubious that I couldn’t do more for her father. After 7 hours of surgery trying to salvage her father’s leg, I tried patiently to explain that this new (third) bypass we had just successfully completed was unlikely to provide her dad with a long-term solution. Ultimately, he would lose the leg, if we were lucky he’d have it for another year ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, July 28, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Time to End Lethal Injection? The third botched execution of a death row inmate in a year should serve as proof enough that lethal injection won't work as an execution modality.
  2. HIV Cure Still Years Away. The African journalist asked a simple, clear, and direct question: When, people want ...

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Top stories in health and medicine, July 25, 2014From MedPage Today:

  1. Vitamin D Megadoses Safe in Frail Elderly. Giving a very high dose of vitamin D -- 20,000 IU per week -- to older patients in nursing homes keeps them sufficient in the vitamin and appears to be safe.
  2. Medicare Tests Exceptions to 3-Day Rule. Medicare officials have allowed patients ...

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Family physician Mike Evans is famous for his terrific whiteboard videos, where he distills complex medical ideas to its most understandable essence.  Here, he tackles low back pain, a condition that most adults will experience sometime during their lives. Watch and learn how more tests for back pain isn't necessarily better.

As an early Google Glass explorer, I see many ways this and other wearable technologies will soon enhance patient care. Google Glass is “smart” eyewear that offers features similar to a “smart” phone: It can take photographs, video, make phone calls, display Internet-based information. The data is transposed onto the glass lens in the wearer’s field of vision. The device is activated by voice command or a touch to the tiny ...

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I recently got back from a brief trip to Florida. I went down there to celebrate my mother’s 85th birthday. As you might expect, her social circle has shrunk in recent years, but she did get a number of cards and calls from friends and family members. The cards were on display in her kitchen, and a few calls came in while I was there. One in particular pointed out some ...

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The patient was a 78-year-old businessman who acted and looked about half his age. He was very pleasant and talked freely about his lower back pain and the pain down the side of his left leg, which had been a problem for about six months. It was consistently more severe when he stood or walked on it, and it immediately disappeared when he sat down. His MRI scan revealed that ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. The 5 Big Surprises in Code Denials. An April 30th post on the Physicians Practice website, "5 Common Medical Practice Denials and Remedies: March 2014" has a nifty info-graphic which synthesizes Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data from the month of March in 2014.
  2. Treat Car Crash Pain Early On, Lest It Linger. Widespread pain that persists a year ...

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My husband suffered with hip and low back pain for about four months. It started right about the same time he was prescribed a new blood pressure medication. He didn’t think much of the pain at first because he was recovering from a groin injury, the result of a close encounter with a hockey puck while playing the game. But the pain grew in intensity over the following weeks. He’s a ...

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In a voice confident and ringing with anticipation, Mr. A explained with meticulous detail how he determined which approach shot to hit to the second green on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. Only ten minutes earlier, when we first met, Mr. A had been weary, his face drawn, and his speech so quiet that the sound of the aortic balloon pump keeping him alive made it nearly impossible to ...

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