West Boca Medical Center sued over woman's death
"Barbara Masterson, 52, deteriorated from cerebral bleeding in the
emergency room of the West Boca Medical Center as hospital staff
unsuccessfully tried to find a neurosurgeon to perform life-saving
surgery, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in Palm Beach County
Circuit Court."

According to the lawyer: "They refused to take any neuromedical emergency," Cohen said. "The hospital knew this was a ...


Lawsuits limit cancer tests
"Experts and doctors agree that not enough Florida women are getting mammograms, but the cause of the shortfall has provoked a sharp debate.

Now, a task force appointed by the Legislature and the governor is blaming lawsuits for discouraging radiologists from offering mammograms, which could reduce the availability of the test."

Mammograms can be notoriously subjective, and thus a perfect area for ...


That's Dr. Santa Claus
"It's a good thing I am a doctor, because I get to shop for what my patients need in the moments that I care for them, instead of giving them all wooden birdfeeders for Christmas. Then I am Dr. Santa Claus, handing out gifts to make the bad better or the worst the best it can be. Sometimes the choice of a gift is obvious; pain ...


Don't stress Alzheimer's patient, or yourself, on a holiday visit
Good holiday advice from a geriatric medicine specialist.

FDA approval of over-the-counter sales of at-home heart defibrillators sparks seasonal pitch
"Forget a digital camera or an iPod. What really would make Carol Emanuel happy is finding a defibrillator in her stocking this Christmas."

A defibrillator probably won't be one of the more useful Christmas gifts.

For paramedics, doctors and nurses, Christmas sees miracles, tragedies and quiet
"All too often, tragedy strikes on Christmas, local emergency workers said. And the searing memories linger not only for grieving families, but also for medical personnel.

'It's your job to fix things and help people,' said Rich Lynn, a paramedic for Pittsburgh EMS. 'When you can't, it creates a whole different aura for that holiday.'

Most people ...


For holidays, putting the best face forward through surgery
"Hampton Roads doctors are facing a hectic schedule as patients try to erase, refine, or reconfigure imperfections in time for a mistletoe meeting or New Year's revelry. The winter months, and December in particular, are the busiest time for plastic surgeons, according to American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery."

Plastic surgery seems to be a growing trend ...


South Gardiner woman to undergo transplant as Christmas gift to friend
"A half century after the world's first successful organ transplant, a South Gardiner woman is donating a kidney as a Christmas gift to her friend."

Northern Christmas comes with gonorrhea warning
"With a spike in the number of Yukoners infected with gonorrhea, the territory's

Department of Health and Social Services is distributing condoms as Christmas presents with the message, 'Wrap it for someone you love.'"

Very practical up there in the Yukon Territories.

Christmas brings time of joy for child, family
I read about Eagle-Barrett syndrome for the first time after reading this story.

Drugs Make a Good Christmas Gift
"On Christmas Day in South Africa, who will get the most precious present of all "“ the gift of life?

Up to 65,000 people, that's who. These lucky men and women will swallow a series of anti-retroviral (ARV) tablets and pills which will bully the deadly AIDS virus lurking in their bloodstream into submission "“ if not outright defeat."

Christmas-themed medblogging. ...


I was browsing the Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs site to see what they had on the COX-2/NSAID controversy:

If you need medication for osteoarthritis or other chronic pain:

* Try acetaminopen (Tylenol, generic) as an initial choice for pain relief since it's reasonably safe even for frequent, prolonged use if you don't exceed the recommended doses. Overdoses can cause liver problems. Avoid acetaminophen if you drink alcohol heavily ...


No more delay: Health Canada must stand on guard for us
A call to be more proactive and less reactive. The same can be said for the FDA.

Health Alert: Over-medicated America?
"Drug makers flatly deny they're pushing pills for profit. Doctor Paul Antony of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America says, 'For many people we are not prescribing enough medicines. There's actually a problem with underutilization for very important diseases like diabetes and hypertension.'"

That last statement is true. However with the recent push of "lifestyle" medications like Viagra and Ambien, the line between ...


FDA Issues Public Health Advisory Recommending Limited Use of Cox-2 Inhibitors
"FDA is making the following interim recommendations:

* Physicians prescribing Celebrex (celecoxib) or Bextra (valdecoxib), should consider this emerging information when weighing the benefits against risks for individual patients. Patients who are at a high risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, have a history of intolerance to non-selective NSAIDs, or are not doing well on non-selective NSAIDs may be ...


Fear Mongering At The FDA
I haven't seen the preliminary Naproxyn data that the FDA based its press release on, but this article suggests that the increase in cardiac events wasn't even statistically significant:

In the Alzheimer's study, though, there was no increase in heart risk for long-term Celebrex users. There was a slight increase in heart risk for naproxen users, but the increase was so small that it may ...


Warnings about painkillers stir worries
"Paula Frazier's family is terrified that the Celebrex she has been taking for arthritis could kill her -- the homemaker from Denton, Tex., has a family history of heart disease, and a study last week suggested the drug may increase heart problems among some patients."

With so much conflicting information, this is the time when clear guidance and appropriate patient education is imperative. ...


Doctors warn of overreaction to naproxen finding
"Doctors urged consumers yesterday not to overreact to the potential
heart risks of naproxen, saying they are skeptical about research
findings publicized by the National Institutes of Health on Monday that
linked the drug to a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and strokes."

Imagine the fallout if the COX-2 heart findings were also associated with NSAIDs in general. ...


Pfizer's Decision To Continue To Sell Celebrex Poses Legal Risks
Summarizing the legal risk that Pfizer is taking by leaving Celebrex on the market.

Grand Rounds #13
In the flurry of catching up, I nearly forgot about linking to CodeBlueBlog's edition of this week's Grand Rounds.

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