A rare case of "psychogenic gait disorder". This is a gait abnormality literally caused by a fear of falling.

The next "Bachelor" is an ER resident. "One of my casting people saw him walking down the street and she said, 'Oh, my God! That is the best-looking guy I have ever seen in my entire life.' . . . But when we found out he was a doctor, we were like holy s-!"

Is Tim Burton autistic? The "diagnosis" was made by Helena Bonham Carter, who learned about this from a movie she was making.

The effect of the Medicare "donghnut hole". "People with high drug costs will have relatively low out-of-pocket expenses for part of the year - say, until next summer. Then, suddenly, they'll enter the doughnut hole. Their personal expenses will soar. And because the same people tend to have high drug costs year after year, the roller-coaster ride will repeat in 2007.

How will people respond when their out-of-pocket costs ...

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The implications of the FDA bowing to conservative pressure. "Susan Wood, who headed the FDA's Office of Women's Health, said she was 'very worried' political pressure on the agency from the same conservative groups who opposed wider availability of the contraceptive could also result in a delay for a new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer . . .

. . . 'I also worry when and if ...

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The next Vioxx? "Parents of a 14-year-old Wisconsin girl who died last year are suing the makers of a popular birth control patch for failing to warn people sooner about serious side effects.

Eighth-grader Alycia Brown died of blood clots on May 7, 2004, after using Ortho Evra for about six weeks, according to the lawsuit filed this week in federal court in Madison."

From the Annals of Emergency Medicine - The Next Generation of Emergency Medicine Reality Television. My favorite:

The Mole - A high-volume ED, and one of the staff is sabotaging patient care. The Mole changes lab results, erases orders, and gives wrong doses; each week another abbreviation is cut from the list of accepted abbreviations. Can the emergency physician find the Mole before another patient calls their attorney? ...

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I doubt we can do that here. "China's Agriculture Ministry said Tuesday that it would inject all of the nation's 5.2 billion chickens, geese and ducks with a vaccine against bird flu."

News and blog feed page

After some technical difficulty, the medical news and blog feed page is back up. It may be helpful for those who want a quick glance at what's happening in the medical world and blogosphere.

Some blogs have been left out, as I am not able to incorporate Atom feeds - you must convert it to RSS. I suggest FeedBurner.

This has been fixed.

The Great American Smokeout is today. "If you smoke, the American Cancer Society can help you quit. And people who plan a quit attempt in advance double their odds of succeeding. Why not give up cigarettes for the day - maybe forever - on Thursday, November 17, during the 29th annual Great American Smokeout?"

Donovan McNabb, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles continues to play through a sports hernia - which would require surgery at the end of the season. However, this physician thinks he should shut it down for the season and have it now.

Companies are adding surcharges to smokers for their health insurance premiums. "Companies are increasingly tacking surcharges onto insurance premiums in an attempt to manage rising health care costs, and some refuse to employ smokers."

Washington Post: "Legislation that would pour billions of dollars into the production of vaccines against avian flu and other pandemic diseases is threatened by the trial lawyers' lobby, which objects to proposed limits onlawsuits against drug manufacturers."

Dr. Charles hosts Carnival of the Vanities this week.

The next Vioxx case is upcoming, with the recent autopsy of the Vioxx user showing blockage of 60%-70% in the artery where his fatal blood clot occurred. The plaintiff's lawyer comments: "He had no more plaque build-up than any other 53-year-old man in America." (via PointofLaw.com)

Nice try, Pfizer: "High doses of the cholesterol-lowering statin Lipitor did no better than standard, lower doses of the statin Zocor in preventing recurrent heart attacks and heart-related deaths, a new study found."

This study compared high-dose (80mg) Lipitor with 20mg of Zocor. There was no mortality benefit between the two doses. The real reason behind this study is profit - Zocor is scheduled to go generic next year, ...

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More good stuff from the NY Times - an article wondering when is a person too old to screen for cancer:

It would seem logical that screening for cancers in their earliest, most curable stages would benefit anyone who might develop the cancers in question. But while the lives of some people over 65 or 70 could be saved by screening, for others the potential for harm associated with ...

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NY Times: Merck Manual, the hypochondriac's bible. "But my attachment goes beyond the merely physical. For me, The Merck is a talisman against the frightening unknown. Pretty much all of the life-shattering ailments that have struck my family and friends have been things I've never heard of. So by worrying about ailments like endocrine neoplasia or Refsum disease, I am actively warding them off, keeping myself and my loved ...

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More flu vaccine backlash. "Private physicians are speaking out about the way flu vaccine is distributed, saying the current system of giving high volume buyers first priority is jeopardizing the health of high-risk patients.

The California Medical Association claims that more than half of its member physicians have yet to receive any of the flu vaccine they ordered. Many of the remainder are have had only a portion of ...

Read more...

Another cerebral palsy lawsuit . . . even after C-section was done.

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