In September 2010, a seasoned pediatric intensive care unit nurse administered an accidental overdose to a critically ill baby, giving ten times the amount of calcium that was prescribed. Five days later, this baby, with an already tenuous heart condition, died. The nurse recognized her mistake immediately, informed her superior, and also told the family and physicians. She was, however, escorted out of the hospital, put on administrative leave, and ...

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A Kentucky appeals court ruled that a surgeon was not responsible for a burn caused by an instrument that had been removed from an autoclave and placed on an anesthetized patient's abdomen. According to an article in Outpatient Surgery, the surgeon was not in the room when the injury occurred and only discovered it when he was about to begin the procedure. An insufflator valve had been sterilized and was ...

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I recently wrote about inter-professional hostility in health care.  I thought I would share some of the inspiration for that post here.   Is there really an escalation of scope of practice conflicts and a downward spiral of disrespect, or is it just more palpable in the modern era of anonymous comments and viral online posts? I don’t know for sure, but lately, the conversation seems louder to me. In ...

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The amount of hostility among health care professionals seems to be at an all-time high.  Are “scope of practice” and “turf” battles really escalating, or is it just more palpable in the modern era of anonymous comments and viral online posts?  I don't know for sure, but lately, the conversation seems louder and uglier to me. In medical school, I heard derogatory comments (“jokes”?) from physicians and nurses alike about pretty ...

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Every time I walk through the automatic sliding doors, that strong smell of ammonia stings my nose. The lobby is clean -- too clean -- with a vast amount of open space leading to the front desk. The just-below-comfortable air brushes against my skin, raising the hair on my arms and legs. Almost cold enough to be a morgue -- but that’s later. The room is silent, except for the ...

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Relax to the smooth harmonies of Gary Corzine's singing anesthetists, the Laryngospasms.

In recent months, widespread media coverage regarding second opinions for breast cancer diagnosis has sparked a dialogue about if -- and when -- a patient requires a second opinion. Seventy percent of all medical treatment plans are driven by laboratory test results, and every treatment begins with a diagnosis. That’s where pathologists come in. As professor and chair of pathology at Albert ...

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"Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility." - Robin Morgan Fifteen years into the future, in 2030, a patient returns home after a stay in the hospital. He powers up his mobile device and finds a file that was created during his surgery. “Let’s see,” he says. “I think I’ll turn off the ‘commentary’ for now. Maybe ...

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Since the introduction of the robotically assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (RALP) in 2000, the long-term prostate cancer control has been uncertain. We now have the first long-term cancer control study that compared the results of the earliest RALP with historical open radical retropubic prostatectomy (ORP) outcomes. Diaz and associates from a recognized RALP center of excellence concluded that RALP has similar long term cancer control compared to open ...

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“I admire anyone who has the guts to write anything at all.” – E. B. White “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” – Mark Twain “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at ...

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