Hospital transport arrives to take my daughter just after 9am. We’d been told her ultrasound and x-ray were scheduled for 10am, an hour away. Jess and I exchange a look. She’s just about to take another swig of the laxative drink she’s been drinking since 8:30. “I’ll go with you,” I say. “We’ll make sure there’s a bathroom nearby.” Strike one for the Golden Cocoon. We get to the ultrasound department, and are left ...

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A study published in the British Medical Journal highlights the importance of carefully choosing which children should receive diagnostic CT scans.  As a diagnostic test, CT scans utilize ionizing radiation that can cause cellular DNA damage, increasing the risk of cancer.  Children who received a CT scan were 25% more likely to develop a cancer in 10 years after radiation exposure, according to a study of 11 million ...

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A JAMA Pediatrics article found that the use of pediatric CT scans rose in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s. Further, research shows that these CT scans can increase risk for future cancer diagnoses. Authors calculated the risk: they estimate that for every 4 million pediatric CT scans preformed annually, some 4800 children will go on to develop cancer as a result. Like many studies published this decade, the ...

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Emily wrote in about an article about prenatal ultrasounds and autism: “I saw this on The Daily Beast today. Is the media trying to freak us expecting couples out or what? How big of a question is this in scientific circles or is this just sensational stuff? Sometimes I think there should be studies about how the internet causes anxiety disorders!” A good question, and another post that I’m going ...

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Respect diagnostic radiation, but don’t have an irrational fear of it I’ve written before about the increased risk for future cancer, if any, of diagnostic radiation. These posts have generated a large number of comments and questions from parents. Most take the form of fear they have needlessly increased their child’s future cancer risk by agreeing to a CT scan. A new research study give us some important new information about ...

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The Food and Drug Administration was created in 1927 in order to carry out the mission of the Food and Drug Act put into effect by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906. In the early 1900's and before, medicines killed and maimed people in gruesome ways and adding chemical substances to foods to mask the fact that they were rotten or substandard was felt to need some sort of legal response. The ...

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These days, there is a lot of talk about expanding scopes of practice for the group of folks who used to be called physician extenders and then midlevel providers and more recently non-physician providers, many of whom are now getting degrees with the title “doctor” incorporated. While it seems to vary, these folks may include nurses, physician assistants (one day to be called physician associates perhaps), pharmacists, and more.   Lots ...

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Brought to you by MedPage Today. 1. More Evidence Fecal Transplant Clears C. Diff. Fecal transplant for Clostridium difficile infection is a safe and effective treatment and can alter patients' fecal microbiota to resemble that of donors over time. 2. CT Lung Screens Catch Most Cancers. The National Lung Screening Trial found that CT scans were highly sensitive in detecting lung cancer in ...

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A radiologist reflects on indeterminate findings Radiologists care about their patients, even though most diagnostic radiologists don't meet and greet their patients the same way direct-care clinicians do. Some people have the erroneous perspective that radiologists and pathologists don’t care about the welfare of their patients. It is possible for us to understand that view if we look at radiologists and pathologists as isolated workers who work in ...

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Female feticide: The ethical issues of ultrasound in India and China The use of ultrasound has had a large impact on health care in resource poor countries. This article details some of the research that has been done overseas to look at the impact on bedside ultrasound by caregivers to deliver more appropriate care for injured and ill patients in Africa, Asia and Mexico. Using an ultrasound to determine how dehydrated a child ...

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