by Matthew Bowdish, MD The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that approximately 180 Nigerian children have become paralyzed by polio as a result of widespread vaccination efforts in Africa’s most populous country. The outbreak is from the use of an oral polio vaccine (OPV) that contains a live-attenuated form of the poliovirus. OPV was initially developed by Albert Sabin in the 1950s. A live-attenuated poliovirus vaccine is ingested and stimulates ...

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Most prefer the bottom line, sparing them the raw data. Primary care physician Rob Lamberts asks that exact question, and reprints sample reports of lab tests and an echocardiogram, demonstrating the wealth of information they contain. So, borrowing this image from Dr. Rob, I'm not sure how useful something like this would be to patients (sorry for the small type, but you get the idea): lab-valuesRead more...

I've often written that the public's appetite for excessive medical testing is difficult to overcome. Kent Bottles finds the same thing. Indeed, he writes that, " One of the obstacles to achieving health care reform is the enormous gap between what the health care experts believe and what the general public believe about staying healthy." For instance, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, "the experts believe that 30% of care is ...

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Surprisingly, lacrosse is the fasting growing youth sport in the country. MedPage Today reports a recent study from Pediatrics that showed that lacrosse players have a disproportionally higher rate of commotio cordis, which is ventricular fibrillation caused by blunt chest trauma. 43 percent of lacrosse deaths can be attributed to the condition, compared to 27 percent in hockey, and 24 percent in baseball. What to do? Researchers are looking at ...

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In the spirit of the vigorous town hall meetings across the country discussing health care reform, I'll be taking your questions on the topic today at 12:15pm Eastern. I'll open up the forum a few hours before; just click on the Live Q&A window below. You can ask your question when the Q&A opens, in the comments of this post, or Tweet them to #kevinmdqa. I'll try, but cannot guarantee, ...

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With the new treatments and medications available to treat heart disease, it sometimes appears that a strong family history of heart disease can be overcome. That's not always the case. In this piece from The New York Times, Michael Winerip does all the right things, including exercising, closely following up with a cardiologist, and undergoing stress tests and angiograms, but still was diagnosed with significant heart disease at the same of ...

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A physician recently uploaded 10 of the original Rorschach plates to Wikipedia, and psychologists are angry about it. rorschach The Rorschach test is commonly used by psychologists to assess personality and emotional responses. By uploading the images, as well as common responses, they fear that patients can "game" the test, and in effect, render the results useless. They say that, "the ...

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Do homemade spacers for asthma work? Take a look at how WhiteCoat "MacGyvered" a spacer for a metered dose inhaler, which can cost up to $100. So, instead of this: spacer You get this: spacer-device Brilliant. While keeping in mind that this blog does not give medical advice, consider a study from The Lancet that compared ...

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With so much focus on health care costs, it's important to consider the mindset of the American patient. The Wall Street Journal asks whether simple, less expensive, health care strategies that work in developing countries can be implemented Stateside. For example an AIDS clinic in Alabama, by mimicking a similar program in Zambia, decreased its no-show rates by giving prompt appointments and interviewing patients looking for reasons why they may not ...

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Tremendous controversy surrounds the screening for cardiac disease. The USPSTF does not recommend heart screening tests for the general population, like a routine EKG or exercise stress test. Texas, however, takes the opposite approach. They recently passed the Texas Heart Attack Prevention Bill (via Schwitzer), "mandating health-benefit plans to provide coverage for certain screening tests for early coronary artery disease." Indeed, some of the wording of the bill endorses tests ...

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