Conditions

What having the H1N1 flu feels like

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta went to Afghanistan to cover a story, and got infected with H1N1 influenza.

His blog post on the experience is quite eye-opening, and consistent with the cases that I’ve seen here. Much has been made on how the virus attacks younger patients with healthy immune systems. Dr. Gupta was previously healthy, but being sick from H1N1 was a miserable experience. Writing in his blog, …

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Poll: How can we increase the supply of donor kidneys?

The United States has almost 60,000 patients with end-stage renal disease who need a kidney transplant. Every year, almost 4,000 people will die waiting for that transplant.

How can we increase the supply of donor kidneys?

Though some economists suggest a legal organ donation “marketplace,” where kidneys can be legally bought and sold, opponents envision the wealthy buying their way to the front of the line, and the poor resorting to selling …

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Op-ed: Reasons why health care workers need to receive the H1N1 flu vaccine

The following op-ed was published on October 5th, 2009 in The New York Times’ Room for Debate blog.

Not only are patients asking me whether they should receive the H1N1 influenza vaccine, but it’s a question doctors are asking themselves.

Recent polls say doctors and nurses may be more resistant to getting vaccinated than most Americans. The British Medical Journal published a survey showing that less than half of health care …

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Do heart attack patients benefit from an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)?

Originally published in Insidermedicine

Implanting a cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is no better at saving lives than simply providing optimal medical therapy for individuals who suffer damage to the heart from a heart attack, according to research published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Texting young liver transplant patients to take their medications

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Todd Neale, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Here’s a case where texting may actually improve a teenager’s health: Text message reminders appear to be effective in getting young liver transplant patients to take their immunosuppressive medications, a small study showed.

In 41 patients with a median age of 15, there was a significant improvement in medication compliance …

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One way to treat patients with severe H1N1 flu

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Todd Neale, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Most patients who underwent extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for respiratory failure survived their struggle with pandemic H1N1 flu, according to a study by researchers from Australia and New Zealand.

Of the 68 patients treated with ECMO during the Southern Hemisphere’s winter, 54 were still alive as of Sept. 7, according to …

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Should medical journals use the term nauseous, nauseated, or nauseating?

by Phil Sefton

Writers and editors rushing to meet deadlines know the feeling. The effects of stress, a few too many cups of coffee, and perhaps a candy bar or bag of chips in place of a meal can conspire to make the most steely-nerved wordsmith feel a tad nauseated. Or is it nauseous? And what of that stress, that coffee, that ill-chosen meal replacement—are its effects nauseating or nauseous?

Grammarians with …

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How H1N1 pandemic flu will affect intensive care units

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

The winter wave of the pandemic H1N1 flu hit intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand hard, researchers said, and may offer lessons for doctors bracing for the pandemic’s return to the Northern Hemisphere.

All told, 722 people with confirmed pandemic flu were admitted to one of the …

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Dating advice from an oncologist

How do you know if a couple is right for each other?

Watch how they interact in a cancer clinic.

So says this oncologist in a poignant column from the Boston Globe. As Robin Schoenthaler writes, “When you’re a single woman picturing the guy of your dreams, what matters a heck of lot more than how he handles a kayak is how he handles things when you’re sick. And one …

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Does your patient really need another chest CT?

Originally published in Journal Watch Emergency Medicine

by Richard D. Zane, MD, FAAEM

Repeat chest CT angiography scans have a low yield for diagnosing pulmonary embolism.

Computed tomography (CT) angiography of the chest is considered the definitive test for pulmonary embolism (PE) in the emergency department. Although CT angiography is readily available, it exposes patients to ionizing radiation and iodinated contrast dye (JW …

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Poll: How effective is the HIV vaccine, and will it affect public health?

Findings released in late September showed potential benefits of an investigational HIV vaccine.

16,000 people were involved in the three-year study. Roughly half received the vaccine, and the others received a placebo. 74 participants in the placebo group got infected with HIV, compared with 54 in the vaccinated group. The results suggested that the vaccine was 31 percent effective, and were deemed statistically significant. The National Institutes of …

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Will riding in a convertible harm your hearing?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Ed Susman, MedPage Today Contributing Writer

Cruising down the highway in a sleek convertible, with the wind blowing in your hair, may sound like the ideal road trip — but it could harm your hearing, British scientists said.

medpage-today In a study conducted on the high-speed motorways of the U.K., doctors found that at highway speeds, …

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Can ventilating patients spread H1N1 flu in hospitals?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today Senior Staff Writer

Plumes of virus-laden air shooting out from the masks of patients undergoing noninvasive ventilation could put healthcare workers at increased risk for infectious diseases such as the pandemic H1N1 (swine) flu, researchers said.

medpage-today A positive-pressure ventilation mask on a simulated patient yielded a jet of exhaled air extending …

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Does vitamin D reduce the risk of falls in the elderly?

Originally posted in Insidermedicine

Taking a high daily dose of vitamin D can help the elderly reduce their risk of falls, according to research published in the latest issue of the British Medical Journal.

insidermedicinelogo Here is some information about vitamin D:

• It is a vitamin that is present in very few foods but is necessary for development and maintenance of …

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When a health care professional gets diagnosed with breast cancer

A social worker at a Boston hospital, who counsels patients with cancer, discovers that she herself has breast cancer.

She tells her compelling story to Better Health’s Val Jones.

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Doctors and nurses need the H1N1 flu vaccine, and recent media mentions

Doctors and nurses should receive the H1N1 vaccine.

roomfordebate_main That’s the take-home message from my latest opinion piece in The New York Times’ Room for Debate blog, published earlier this week:

There are over 11 million health care providers working in our hospitals, nursing homes and medical clinics. And with studies suggesting that 70 percent of doctors plan to continue working …

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Is a cocaine abuse vaccine coming soon?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

A vaccine against cocaine was effective in nearly 40% of users of the drug, researchers said.

medpage-today In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, volunteers who reached a high level of antibodies after vaccination used less cocaine than those whose response was lower, according to Thomas Kosten, MD, of Baylor College …

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Should children with autism be diagnosed at home?

A company is selling a test to detect early signs of autism at home.

For $200, parents receive an iPod-like device to attach to their 12 to 24-month toddler and record what they say for 12 hours. The data is then shipped back for analysis, where “acoustic algorithms . . . compare the child’s vocalizations to those of other children.” The interpretation is then mailed to parents, who presumably …

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Is clinical breast examination, added to mammography, worthwhile?

Originally published in Journal Watch General Medicine

by Allan S. Brett, MD

CBE was associated with 55 additional false-positives for each additional breast cancer detected.

journal watch logo Whether patients benefit when clinical breast examination (CBE) is added to screening mammography is unclear. Canadian researchers addressed this issue in an analysis of data from the Ontario Breast Screening Program, a network …

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