Conditions

How long are you contagious after being infected with H1N1 influenza?

by Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today

People infected with the H1N1 pandemic flu strain continue to shed virus after the point where current recommendations say they can go back to work or school, two studies here suggested.

medpage-today The question, experts said, is whether those people are still contagious and whether a longer stay-at-home period would prevent enough additional …

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Don’t wait for the H1N1 vaccine before you get your flu shot

by Cole Petrochko, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Don’t wait for the pandemic H1N1 vaccine to become available before getting an inoculation for seasonal flu, the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases warned.

medpage-today Putting off routine flu shots in hopes of one-stop-shopping would defeat the primary line of defense against a proven threat, according to a panel representing some of the nation’s …

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What does Tiger Woods have to do with medical futility and end-of-life care?

by Michael Kirsch, MD

Consider this hypothetical vignette. Tiger Woods accepts my challenge to play 18 holes. Obviously, the gallery would be packed with golf enthusiasts who would cancel job interviews, vacations and even worship services in order to witness this historic competition. Spectators would be permitted to place bets at even money. Perhaps, my mother would bet on me, but no other sane person would. They would properly conclude that …

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AMA: How to prepare for seasonal and H1N1 influenza

The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American Medical Association.

by Nancy H. Nielsen, MD

This year’s flu season promises to be different than in years past. With the potential of both seasonal and H1N1 influenza circulating this year, it is more critical than ever that health care professionals proactively talk to their patients about influenza.

Many patients will be confused about who needs the H1N1 …

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A routine brain MRI can lead to incidental findings

by Nancy Walsh, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today

Almost 3% of healthy, asymptomatic people who underwent MRI brain scans showed incidental abnormalities in a recent study, leading researchers to express concern about about psychological and medical fallout from these increasingly popular screenings.

medpage-todayIn meta-analysis of MRI brain scans, the prevalence of neoplastic incidental findings was 0.70% (95% CI 0.47 to 0.98), while …

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A critically ill baby can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder in the parents

Parents who have a critically ill infant can exhibit symptoms later on similar to those who have been through war.

And indeed, this article in The New York Times draws parallels between the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and a warzone, “with the alarms, the noises, and death and sickness.”

Infants in the NICU can cause the parents to experience multiple traumas, starting with a premature birth, where many of the …

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What Mozart can teach us about suberbugs and antibiotic resistance

by Maya Sequeira

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s death in 1791 has long been a mystery, but a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that it was, of all things, a common strep infection that killed the maestro at the age of 35.

Researchers speculate that Mozart contracted the strep infection—easily treatable today—from a fellow musician who had been hospitalized at a crowded military hospital in Vienna. It’s not …

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eRoentgen for the iPhone puts a radiologist by your side

The following is a sponsored guest post by Constantine Brocoum, a radiologist in Concord, NH. I have personally used eRoentgen, and recommend the product without reservation.

by Constantine Brocoum, MD

Like most inventions, eRoentgen was developed to respond to a need. As a practicing radiologist, I take frequent calls from primary care providers who need assistance in choosing the smartest way to diagnose their patients’ illnesses. They often need …

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H1N1 rap and a swine flu freestyle

Dr. John Clarke is the medical director of the Long Island Railroad and raps some sweet rhymes to H1N1.

“Hand sanatiza I advise ya get it why, it makes germs die when you rub and let it dry.”

Genius.

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How Twitter and blogging helped a patient with cancer

Here’s a fascinating slideshow presentation from a patient who took to Twitter and started a blog after being diagnosed with cancer.

Take a look at how social media helped him. His name is Maarten Lens-FitzGerald, and he blogs at Maartens Journey.

Maartens Journey presentation for Healthcare 2.0 event style=”margin:0px” width=”425″ height=”355″>Read more…

Is the test that finds the most cancers the best?

When it comes to mammograms, not always.

I’ve written previously that the major problem in cancer screening tests is that they are not specific enough. With both PSA tests looking for prostate cancer and mammograms screening for breast cancer, many lumps or lesions that are slow-growing will be diagnosed, but not necessarily lead to a patient’s death.

A good piece in the Los Angeles Times outlines the breast cancer screening …

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PSA screening and the overdiagnosis of prostate cancer

by Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Only one of every 20 prostate cancer diagnoses leads to a benefit that would not have been realized without PSA screening, an analysis of 20-year trends suggests.

medpage-today An estimated 1 million excess diagnoses have accrued since 1986, and the incidence of prostate cancer remains well above levels that existed prior to widespread PSA …

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Will the spread of swine flu be affected by the uninsured?

By now, we’re aware of the sobering predictions for this fall’s spread of H1N1 influenza.

But, as the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein points out, our health system is ill-suited to deal with the situation:

It’s simply too fractured to do anything different. Almost 50 million Americans have no insurance. Many more are underinsured. Many don’t have a particular doctor or even medical center where they feel comfortable receiving care. Many are …

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Why following a delayed vaccine schedule may be dangerous

by Steve Perry, MD

I recently read a post by Dr. Bob Sears which listed several “Vaccine Friendly Doctors” in Colorado and across the nation.

As a pediatrician and vaccine advocate, I thought I’d be on this list. I am “vaccine-friendly doctor” who works with moms and dads to find the best health care plan for their babies. I read the information on both sides of the issue and weighed the science …

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Increasing radiation exposure to patients from CT scans and other imaging tests

by Kristina Fiore, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Imaging procedures can expose patients to high cumulative doses of radiation, researchers say.

medpage-today In a large study, 193.8 people per 1,000 were exposed to moderate doses of radiation each year, while 18.6 per 1,000 were exposed to high doses, and 1.9 per 1,000 received very high doses, according to Reza Fazel, MD, of …

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New troponin tests to better diagnose a heart attack

by Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today

A generation of new, more sensitive troponin assays has improved hospitals’ ability to diagnose a heart attack to a point as early as the time of emergency department presentation, two separate studies affirmed.

medpage-today1 In one multicenter study, a sensitive troponin I assay had an early diagnostic accuracy of 96%, compared with conventional …

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Treating Fournier gangrene, or necrotizing fasciitis of the male genitals

Fournier gangrene one of the nastiest infections you’ll ever see.

General surgeon Jeffery Parks details a case, complete with a vivid CT scan:

fournier-gangrene

Dr. Parks takes us behind the scenes in treating the condition, which requires rapid surgical debridement. “There’s nothing fancy about this surgery,” he writes. “You cut and debride until all the necrotic fat and skin and muscle …

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Is Caster Semenya a woman, and the issues surrounding androgen insensitivity syndrome

Caster Semenya is the South African track and field star who recently was engulfed in controversy at the recently concluded World Track and Field Championships.

caster-semenya Turns out, there are some who are questioning her gender, and subsequently, tests are being conducted to see if she is really a woman.

It’s not as cut and dry as it appears.

Consider the possibility of Read more…

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