A UK hospital has stepped back from a policy requiring beds of Muslim patients to be pointed towards Mecca:

There were claims last night that the bed shifting policy almost cost one 80-year-old her life. Staff at Dewsbury Hospital were so busy gran Mavis Fox was able to slip out unnoticed and walk over three miles home. She was rushed back after falling and gashing her head. Overworked nurses ...

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The long resuscitation

Edwin Leap on a patient "running away from the light."

Too much information?

How exactly has the internet benefited patients?

The explosion of the internet "” and specifically the explosion of health information on the internet "” has done absolutely nothing for healthcare in America. Has it empowered patients as consumers? Not even close. Has it saved us money? Again, a very loud nope. Has it improved outcomes? Nope"¦it might even worsen outcomes. Has it caused undue anxiety in millions of people? Yep. ...

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"Too little doctor"

The first 90 minutes of an ER shift. (via Dr. RW)

Nuclear radiology tests

A reactor in Canada is out of commission, making diagnostic studies like nuclear stress tests impossible to perform.

The Medicare cuts

Merrill Goozner explains how the Medicare Advantage plans will play a role. It's looking bleak that Congress will rescind this year's cuts. (via The Physician Executive)

To what extent should patients be partially responsible for medical errors?

The assumption that an error-free medical utopia is attainable just by addressing the deficits of hospitals and doctors leaves the human frailties of our patients out of the equation.

Many patients are self-saboteurs and wind up costing the system a lot"”those who do not listen, who do not care to know the names or dosages of their ...

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Which is why health courts are needed:

Technical litigation has proven to be a major challenge for the jury system, and malpractice cases are no exception. Matters that are too difficult for expert physicians to decide, or at least reach a consensus on, are referred to a panel of 12 laymen for final decisions.

Research indicates that lesser-educated members of society are more likely to serve as jurors, making ...

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HIV misdiagnosis

A positive is normally confirmed with a Western Blot, making false positives exceedingly rare. However, that usual step wasn't done for some reason:

Serrano's ordeal began in 1994 after an anonymous test at a clinic in Fitchburg showed that she was HIV positive. Serrano and her attorney, David Angueira, say they are unsure whether the initial test was a false positive, or if it was a record mix-up.

A ...

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Online vaccine videos

Don't believe what you see on YouTube.

"Deplorable." (via Dr. Wes)

The SGR

Shadowfax about the fatally-flawed Medicare formula responsible for decreasing physician reimbursement. Does Medicare get it? Well, you can read Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt's blog to find out.

Richard Reece and Roy Poses with their thoughts on the matter.

He's suing the makers of heparin for the medical mishap. The hospital has already apologized. Will it be enough?

Suicide by hanging

A CT of hypoxic brain injury.

Worry

There's so much on the plate now, it's easy to lose sight of the patient:

I feel sure - or at least hope - that the good doctor still worries about their patients but it seems all the other worries - like how to keep the practice viable and not be audited by CMS and somehow be stewards of the limited medical resources, or if you prescribed the "wrong" ...

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Chronic pain in the ER

A chronic pain sufferer asks Scalpel for some honest advice:

The bottom line is that we are under no obligation to give anyone narcotics ever, so once an emergency medical condition has been ruled out, then all we really have to give anyone is our advice. Anything more than that is personal preference and medical judgment, which is quite variable (as you have undoubtedly discovered).

How physicians are trapped by the coding system: "You can't win; you can't break even; you can't even get out of the game.

Unless, that is, you really get out."

Dominic Carone talks about how much of your medical record is actually true.

They actually came out in support of single-payer. Ugh - I feel sick.

The traditional "cost containment" approach is a poor idea:

A bad idea for dealing with cost is "cost containment." What that means is cracking down on the prices and incomes of doctors, hospitals, and drug companies. Government attempts to do this run afoul of organized political opposition. Moreover, it is very difficult to implement heavy-handed negotiations on price without at some point stifling innovation and hurting quality. When it is ...

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