Patient

Patient burns from a hospital visit, and fires in the operating room

When undergoing a procedure in the hospital, the last thing most patients suspect would be sustaining burns from medical equipment or carelessness of the medical staff.

Thankfully, such instances are rare, but they do occur. As the WSJ reports, the oxygen-rich environment of an operating room can increase the risk of flames, from say, a stray spark of an electrocautery device.

Furthermore, medication patches, like nicotine …

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Child mauled by a pit bull, but the ER sends the kid home

Trying to find ways to decompress its crowded emergency department, the University of Chicago is “re-directing” non-urgent cases to community centers or clinics.

However, as emergency physician Shadowfax notes, you better be careful who you turn away, because as this case shows, doing it poorly results in a public relations nightmare.

Will those on Medicaid, or without insurance, be preferentially “re-directed” to safety net hospitals? In …

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The privilege of being at a patient’s bedside

The bedside exam has become increasingly irrelevant, as technology and tests have largely supplanted physical diagnosis skills.

Pauline Chen interviews Stanford’s Abraham Verghese, who also wrote last year’s excellent NEJM piece on the demise of the physical exam, and he provides some provocative insight.

Dr. Verghese calls the physical exam “an important ritual” that still matters to patients. “If as a doctor you shortchange the ritual, …

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How to survive heart disease requiring quintuple bypass surgery, did continuity of care care help?

Author Jay Neugeboren presented with shortness of breath after exertion, and eventually was diagnosed with coronary artery disease requiring an emergent quintuple-bypass.

How did two doctors, including a cardiologist, miss the urgency of his symptoms? It probably was because they didn’t know the author, whereas his lifelong friend, who turned out to also be a doctor, was able to “place [his] new symptoms in the context of [his] …

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When should you keep your sick child away from school?

It’s an age-old question that many parents still ask.

Pediatrician Perri Klass gives her take in a NY Times column. In general, you can’t prevent every child who’s shedding virus from going to school, as “that’s everybody all winter long.”

The only confirmed way to prevent the transmission of infection is hand-washing, a habit that should be regularly taught and enforced.

Dr. Klass’ bottom …

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Should a doctor be banished from medicine after having sex with a patient?

That’s a question this case in the UK is trying the answer.

As Dr. Crippen, the crusty blogger who notes the inanities of the UK medical system, notes, extra-martial affairs are commonplace.

But should a physician be censured, effectively ending his medical career, for having a dangerous liaison?

“If every man and women in Britain who had an extra-marital affair were to be prevented from working,” writes …

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