Originally published in MedPage Today by Nancy Walsh, MedPage Today Contributing Writer Opportunities to learn how to perform skin cancer examinations during medical training are inadequate, a survey of residents found. More than half (55.3%) of residents said that they had never observed a skin cancer examination, 75.8% said they'd never been taught to perform one, and 57.4% had never practiced doing ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Michael Smith, MedPage Today North American Correspondent President Barack Obama's declaration that the H1N1 pandemic flu is a national emergency doesn't mean the course of the outbreak has changed, health experts said. But as the volume of cases increases, the declaration allows doctors and hospitals more flexibility in handling the expected surge in patients, they said. "I ...

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What can unify Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh with the progressive anti-vaccine bloggers of the Huffington Post? Both camps are revolting against the H1N1 vaccine. In a piece from Slate, Christopher Beam notes that "the two sides have finally found common cause," and share a worldview where there's "distrust—of doctors and modern medicine or of government." On the right, Mr. Lumbaugh eloquently told the Secretary of Health and Human Services to "screw ...

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Originally published in Insidermedicine Less-than one third of eligible patients being discharged from hospital with heart failure are being prescribed guideline-recommended treatment, even though the hospitals are participating in a program aimed at improving compliance with treatment guidelines, according to research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. id="play_continuous_flvs" classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="385" height="239" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0">
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Originally published in Journal Watch Infectious Diseases by Stephen G. Baum, MD Rapid tests for seasonal influenza generally have relatively low sensitivity; their sensitivity for detecting the 2009 H1N1 virus seems even worse. Many respiratory pathogens can produce an influenza-like illness. With a sensitive and specific rapid test for influenza, the onset of outbreaks could be established and patients could receive appropriate antiviral treatment. Reverse-transcriptase ...

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Doctors are often compelled to make quick decisions in life threatening cases with only limited information. Unfortunately, pregnant women are now going to be put in the same situation. The H1N1 flu has taken an extraordinary toll among pregnant women. A new vaccine is now available. Because of the nature of the emergency, there has not been time to do any long term studies of the vaccine. Yet pregnant women will ...

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The CRP, or C-reactive protein, is a test that many doctors use to screen for heart disease. And indeed, studies have associated an elevated level with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. But there is little data showing that reducing the CRP level saves lives. That hasn't stopped both doctors and patients from inappropriately ordering the test. Although not expensive by itself, it serves as a gateway to more ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today Washington Correspondent If parents refuse to vaccinate their children, it's ethical and legal to dismiss the child as a patient, a pediatrician told attendees of the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting here. "In the middle of treatment, you can't just say, I'm done," Gary Marshall, MD, of the University of Louisville ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Crystal Phend, MedPage Today Senior Staff Writer Reports of stroke patients who were accidentally exposed to eight times the normal radiation dose during diagnostic CT scans at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles are prompting safety warnings and soul searching among radiologists nationwide. Over an 18-month period, 206 patients at the center received 3 to 4 ...

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Originally published in MedPage Today by Todd Neale, MedPage Today Staff Writer Just over half -- 54% -- of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases in southwest England occurred when the baby was co-sleeping in the same bed as a parent, a case-control study showed. That compares with 20% of infants among randomly selected families and controls deemed to be at high ...

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