Yesterday's article takes a fairly standard attack on tort reform, popularized by some who read this blog. Walter Olson responds:

In any event, consider the centerpiece graphic of the Times piece, which plots the rise of rates and payouts since 1975 based on data from the highly regarded firm of A.M. Best. (I suggest keeping it open in a second window.) If I were trying to get ...


Medpundit links to a couple of websites that tries to get behind the often inadequate health reporting by major media
The first is Behind the Medical Headlines:

Welcome to Behind the Medical Headlines, which has been developed by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, to provide authoritative and independent expert commentaries on topical medical matters reported in the international media.
Next ...


Terry Schiavo's parents and husband square off in court today over whether he is fit to be her guardian
The saga continues.

"Unnecessary spending will continue until we have a reliable system of medical justice that protects reasonable decisions - like prescribing aspirin instead of a CAT scan for a headache."
"Said Dr. Alan Sager, a co-author of the Boston University study, '[W]e need to demand that health care gets reshaped in ways that encourage and persuade doctors to take charge of spending money more carefully [and] ... weed out clinical waste.' ...


There is a lack of PET scanners in the UK
There are 10 PET scanners on the UK, and 80 in Germany. To put that in perspective, there are 80 in the state of Florida alone.

Television drug advertising is about promotion, not education
"It furthers the notion that there's a pill for every ill and that the road to better health begins with self-diagnosis and treatment.

But many consumers, say doctors, are not asking questions so much as simply asking for the drug. And doctors usually comply "“ 75 percent according to one study."

Instapundit's wife is out of the hospital
The discharge was predictably held up by paperwork. A former nurse comments on the hospital experience, both from the patients' and staff's view.

The CDC is starting to get worried about bird flu

An in-depth story, behind the scenes at Pfizer
"Every weekday, some 38,000 Pfizer Inc. sales reps fan out around the globe. Armed with briefcases full of free drug samples, reams of clinical data, and lavish expense accounts for wining and dining their quarry, the reps infiltrate doctors' offices and hospitals. Their goal: to persuade medical professionals the world over to make Pfizer drugs the treatment of choice for their patients' ...


Grand Rounds 22 is now up
Come get your weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Docs are still skeptical about rapid opiate detox
"It's like treating someone in the hospital with high blood sugar with insulin and then discharging him from the hospital without the insulin."

This was touched upon last month.

Gift certificates for breast cancer screening
"REACH for Breast Health is offering a $10 gift certificate to a local supermarket to every woman who completes breast screening who has never had a mammogram, or who has not had one in over two years."

It's come down to this - paying people to maintain their health.

There are many who are willing to take the risk of Vioxx in the quest for pain relief
It would be tough to prescribe it in today's litigious environment, no matter how much the patients want it. I wonder if someone can introduce a legal waiver that patients can sign (an informed consent of sorts), which will make many physicians more comfortable prescribing it.

EMRs are overrated and erodes the doctor patient relationship
"In our clinic, the computer monitors are placed so that the doctor can watch the screen or the patient, but not both. Frankly, it's not much of a contest. The monitors are mesmerizing, with their colors and windows, boxes and beeps, menus of pills ripe for the prescribing. Walk down the row of offices and you see the patients looking ...


Two die after overdosing on cold medicine
In this case, they took Coricidin, which contained dextromethorphan - don't forget it's a chemical relative to morphine.

Radio appearance

I will be on Boston's Sports Station, AM 1510 The Zone, tonight at 7:45pm talking about strokes in athletes. I believe they have streaming audio from their home page.

Instapundit wonders about the quirks of the hospital, such as 5am weighings
shrinkette responds.

A man had to wait more than five hours for a doctor to come to his home to certify his wife's death from cancer
"It would have been nice to have her for about an hour just to say goodbye but five-and-a-half hours, well, the body starts to go cold and that's not what anybody wants to remember, especially not my 10-year-old little sister who was with us. It's ...


Hyperbole: Are COX-2s "Weapons of Mass Destruction"?
Not everyone is happy that the FDA didn't outright ban COX-2s.

From today's Sunday Boston Globe:

One thing Tedy Bruschi and his doctors will have to decide in the next few weeks is whether the Patriots linebacker should take a blood thinner such as cumadin (sic) for a lengthy period, because, if so, his career will be in serious jeopardy. Patients on blood thinners have to be careful about being cut because the blood does not coagulate easily, making it ...


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