Galen hosts Grand Rounds this week
Come take a trip around Blogger General Hospital.

Some surgeons in India are performing coronary bypass surgeries while the patient remains awake
"In the awake coronary artery bypass (ACAB) surgery, an epidural anesthesia is applied to the patient at a point at the top of the spine. 'The area below the neck becomes numb. It is not paralyzed as the patient continues to breathe normally,' Dr Honnekeri explains.

As a result of the type of anesthesia, the ...

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The neurologist whose drug cocktail brought a patient out of a coma is in demand
"'Why don't you just tell me the medications?' Ahmed recalls one woman demanding. ''You just tell me the name of the medications, and I'm not going to be calling you again.'

Ahmed, who has been asked by Herbert's family not to identify the drugs, has returned a few phone calls, explaining his medication strategy ...

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Are CT Angiograms Overused?
"The number of CT angiograms (CTAs) has gone up substantially, but the number of pulmonary emboli found has not, leading some researchers to question the utilization of this procedure.

Researchers reviewed 1,384 records of patient who underwent a CTA for suspected pulmonary embolism during a seven-month period (March-September) in 2002, 2003 and 2004. 'The total number of CTAs performed during the study interval in 2004 ...

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Hospitals may become criminally liable for MRSA infection
"UK Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt, says UK hospitals should face the same strict hygiene regulations that factories do - hospital managers should have a legal duty to protect patients from MRSA.

If the Labour government's plans materialise, hospitals may become criminally liable for MRSA infection.

Patricia Hewitt would like to make it easier for patients to sue for medical negligence. ...

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Consumer Reports releases their recommendations for ace inhibitors
I've always liked their summaries since they tend to focus on generic medications - which never gets enough press.

Also see their recently released report on beta blockers.

A $20 co-pay can buy OxyContin that brings as much as $3,000 on the street
"Theodore's patients were allegedly charged $400 to $500 for an office visit at Advanced Pain & Weight Management, at 1787 E. Fort Union Blvd., then given a prescription for OxyContin. After the prescription was filled under the patient's insurance, a recruiter allegedly would buy part or all of it from them, re-selling the pills at ...

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C. Everett Koop sounds off on the unacceptable amount of uninsured in the US
"I am urging America's leaders to put aside political differences and have a full and sweeping assessment of proposals to curb this crisis. This problem is too important to let politics get in the way of practical solutions. We could make insuring America a great, lasting gift to the next generation, rather than burdening them with ...

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The uninsured have a hard time seeing specialists
"American medicine is flush with specialists, experts who know particular body systems or diseases inside-out and stay on top of the most advanced treatments. For someone with insurance, access to these physicians is usually as easy as calling for an appointment.

But if a patient without insurance contacts a private doctor's office, he will typically be asked for payment upfront--in cash. ...

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A doctor in New Zealand is told to apologize for not obtaining a chest x-ray soon enough
"A doctor who failed to arrange a chest X-ray for an elderly patient, later rushed to hospital with pneumonia, has been told to apologise.

The woman's granddaughter complained to the health and disability commissioner in 2003 about the care her grandmother, a rest home resident, received.

The doctor, known as Dr ...

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Are these the "top 10 medical tests you need"?
Should you listen to a financial magazine for medical advice? Let's look at the tests that Forbes recommends. When reading this, I make reference to the USPSTF Strength of Recommendation Ratings:

1) Blood pressure screening
Agreed. This is a class A USPSTF recommendation.

2) C-reactive protein
Still not enough data to support general screening. There are some ...

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Vermont is moving closer to a malpractice crisis
"Vermont's largest malpractice insurance carrier will raise rates for emergency room physicians by 69 percent, oncologists by 46 percent and family care obstetricians 38 percent. Medical Mutual Insurance Co. of Maine will also raise rates for radiologists, urologists and surgical podiatrists more than 30 percent. Overall, the average rate increase is 19.7 percent; the new prices take effect in July . . ...

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5 out of 6 physicians in this small Ontario town are leaving

An man who married without telling his bride he was impotent must pay damages for abusing her "right to sexuality"
"The man had failed to fulfill his conjugal duty and deprived his wife of the chance to be a mother, Italy's Supreme Court said.

His wife had already had the marriage annulled on the grounds of non-consummation."

A physician vents against the insurance companies
"One very effective way for insurance companies to control physicians was through extensive documentation requirements. Keep the physician busy with paperwork so that he or she will not have time to fight back. This policy has worked. Using preventive medicine as their battle cry, insurance companies demand an ever-growing list of documentation."

Obese employees are being paid at a lower wage than workers of normal weight
"We view this as evidence that the higher expected expense of obese people is being passed along in the form of lower wages."

"Me too!": A jackpot jury award causes another to up their request for damages
"If a Portsmouth man can win $800,000 in damages because someone left a towel inside him after a surgery three years ago, then a 69-year-old Courtland woman who endured the same thing might deserve an equal award . . .

. . . BrownÂ’s medical malpractice lawsuit, expected to be heard by a jury later ...

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One reason that "House, M.D." is so successful is that some people relate to the main character's chronic pain and narcotic use
"House's hardship is all too relatable for viewers.

'Approximately 1 in 5 Americans suffers from chronic or recurrent pain,' reports ABC News, which was partnering with USA Today this week in a project called 'The Fight Against Pain.'

Time magazine addressed 'The Right (And Wrong) Way ...

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A hospital stay can make the elderly more likely to commit suicide
"A study in the May edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society indicates that suicide in persons age 80 and older is more prevalent among those who have been hospitalized than in those who have not."

A pregnant woman addicted on Oxycontin, is having trouble receiving appropriate prenatal care while in an inpatient treatment program
"Outside of court, Michael Lowe also expressed his frustration. His wife wanted help, but instead has been pulled away from her family, and is allowed only limited contact with the people who support her.

He's also concerned about her medical care. Although she's been seen by a psychiatrist and is ...

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