Conditions

How House, M.D. is affecting patients’ expectations of medical care

More patients are expecting doctors to be more like Gregory House, the fictional doctor of Fox’s House, M.D.

But when you consider how much unnecessary testing is already going on, can this be a good idea?

house md Well, no. But that doesn’t stop a handful of patients with rare diseases to implore that their doctors do more testing: “Doctors say …

Read more…

Flu and H1N1 influenza vaccine recommendations for doctors and health care workers

The following is part of a series of original guest columns by the American College of Physicians.

by Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP

In the Fall of 2009, we physicians should perhaps change the Biblical phrase, “Physician, heal thyself” to “Physician, immunize thyself” and then follow the phrase twice – once for seasonal influenza and once for H1N1. To date, physicians and other health care workers have too often been lax …

Read more…

Are surgical masks as effective as N95 respirators to prevent influenza?

Originally posted in Insidermedicine

Nurses are as well protected from influenza with a standard surgical mask as with an N95 respirator while caring for febrile patients, according to a randomized trial published in the November 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

insidermedicinelogo Here are some guidelines for infection control among hospital patients with confirmed or suspected H1N1 influenza, …

Read more…

Did the 1918 flu pandemic increase the risk of heart disease?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

Men who were in utero during the peak of the 1918-1919 flu pandemic were at increased risk of heart disease when they reached their 60s, 70s, and 80s, researchers said.

medpage-today In those men, the rate of heart disease was more than 23% higher than among those whose mothers …

Read more…

Not all doctors discuss the risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening to patients

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Todd Neale, MedPage Today Staff Writer

Men might not be getting the information they need to make an educated decision about prostate cancer screening, two new studies suggest.

medpage-today Among 375 men surveyed by telephone, only 69.9% had discussed a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test with their physician before making a decision about screening, according to the …

Read more…

2009 H1N1 influenza – the pandemic continues

Originally published in Journal Watch Infectious Diseases

by Stephen G. Baum, MD

Since the emergence of this virus in spring 2009, the number of infections has remained uncharacteristically high, presaging a bad winter for influenza.

journal watch logo The first cases of influenza A (H1N1) in the U.S. were identified in April 2009. By August 30, at least 1 million cases …

Read more…

What’s the latest on prostate cancer and the PSA screening test?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Chris Emery, MedPage Today Contributing Writer

Prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests may lead to unnecessary treatment of healthy men for prostate cancer, and there is little evidence supporting the common but controversial test for routine cancer screening, two new studies found.

medpage-today Measurements of blood concentrations of PSA failed to predict cancer with the accuracy generally …

Read more…

Poll: Doctors and nurses should get vaccinated against the seasonal flu and H1N1 influenza

It’s been shown that flu shots reduce the spread and severity of influenza. But despite CDC guidelines recommending that all health care professionals receive both the seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccine, a significant number of physicians and nurses plan to decline the shots.

Data from the CDC show that only 40 percent of health care workers receive the seasonal flu vaccine. Reasons include fear of side effects, including the perception …

Read more…

Should letting a premature infant die be considered health care rationing?

by an anonymous NICU nurse

There is a medical controversy brewing over in England that is threatening to invade the United States. Ms. Capewell, a 23-year old British mother, is claiming English doctors let her 21 5/7 week infant die, only because they were following national perinatal guidelines.

If only he was born at 22 weeks, she insists, they would have tried everything to save him and admitted him to the …

Read more…

Is the seasonal flu vaccine associated with H1N1 pandemic influenza?

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

In unpublished data, Canadian researchers have suggested that seasonal flu vaccination may increase the risk of catching the H1N1 pandemic strain, but such a pattern has not been found in the U.S., the CDC said.

medpage-today The Canadian data appear to suggest that people who had been vaccinated against …

Read more…

HIV vaccine works in an investigational trial success

Originally published in MedPage Today

by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent

For the first time, an investigational HIV vaccine has shown it can protect people from the virus.

medpage-today In a large phase III trial, the vaccine candidate reduced the risk of infection by 31.2% compared with placebo.

The trial, conducted in more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, enrolled volunteers from …

Read more…

Radiologists and communicating mammogram results to patients and their doctors

by an anonymous radiologist

I recently read the article and comments on this link from this post, concerning radiologists, from Musings of a Dinosaur.

I was disturbed to discover the animosity with which this topic is covered. The tenor of the blog is that radiologists are greedy, self-serving and are out to erode the doctor-patient relationship. The suggestion that radiologists would schedule percutaneous breast biopsies for their financial enhancement is both …

Read more…

Why suffering patients find their way to psychiatrists

“Psychiatrists may be the last batch of physicians who are still granted a luxurious amount of time with patients.”

So says Maria, a psychiatrist who blogs over at intueri.

And because time is so undervalued without our health system, some doctors relying on psychiatrists to counsel patients in the hospital. She cites an example with surgeons, saying that “it is entirely unfair to both the patient and the psychiatrist for the …

Read more…

How to protect yourself from abdominal aortic aneurysms

by Mark Adelman, MD

While diseases like prostate cancer and heart disease have become household concerns, abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), the 10th leading cause of death in men age 55 and older, have been overshadowed by more prominent diseases for far too long. It’s time we pull back the curtain and take a closer look at this serious disease and how it can be both detected and prevented.

An AAA, which …

Read more…

Is the flu a heart attack risk factor?

by Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage Today

Flu appears to act as a trigger for myocardial infarction and cardiovascular death, a review of the literature showed.

medpage-today All observational studies included in the review found an association between times when influenza viruses were circulating and increases in cardiovascular death, according to Charlotte Warren-Gash, MBChB, of University College London, and colleagues.

There was …

Read more…

How will the H1N1 vaccine be distributed to patients?

by Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today

A minimum of 3.4 million doses of vaccine against H1N1 pandemic flu will be available in the first week of October, the CDC said.

medpage-today Those doses — all in the form of a live attenuated nasal spray vaccine — may be supplemented by some injectable vaccine, according to Jay Butler, MD, the …

Read more…

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 …

Read more…

224
pages

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories