May lay in a hospital bed, her wrinkled skin covered with sensors that monitored her every breath and heartbeat. Her husband sat at her bedside gently stroking her withering gray hair as her chest moved slowly up and down accompanied by the soft whoosh-whoosh of the ventilator that breathed for her. He stared expectantly at her face as if at any moment she would rise and free herself from the multiple ...

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“Doc, you mind switching that to an oral preparation?” our clinical pharmacist inquired during multi-disciplinary rounds as intravenous infusion devices beeped annoyingly in the background.  Taking care of ICU patients can be extraordinarily complicated, so doing it as part of a team helps make sure that all bases are covered. Like many hospitals, ours uses a multidisciplinary model which makes rounds on all patients in the ICU.  An ICU nurse, clinical ...

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Republicans have been waiting a long time for this moment. After sixty previous attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, their moment has arrived. President-elect Trump and Speaker Ryan believe that they can repeal Obamacare and roll back the clock. It won’t happen. Here’s why. 1. Millions will lose health insurance. Pre-Obamacare, nearly 20 percent of Americans went uninsured,  and this disproportionately affected lower-income levels. Those are ...

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shutterstock_119953213 Recently I  read an article in the New York Times by Elisabeth Rosenthal. She’s the same author of the enlightening article, “My doctor charged me $117,000 and all I got was this lousy hospital gown.” That may not have been the exact title of the article. Following that article she wrote a follow-up about the long and difficult ordeal it ...

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Like a lot of people, I get pretty numbed to gun violence on television. I stopped watching the local news because all they seem to show is news about shootings. The general public’s perception about gun violence is that it’s always somebody else, that the person who was shot had somehow been involved in crime. The numbness we feel to gun violence often ends for most of us when things ...

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shutterstock_50580199 As a sleep physician, I spend a lot of time educating patients about what sleep is and how it works. Sleep, as I often explain, is not simply the lack of being awake; any more than landing a plane is simply the lack of flying. It’s becoming increasingly understood that sleep is an actively generated state, created by a series of ...

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Sleep apnea is a condition that afflicts millions of people.  There are two types of sleep apnea: central, and obstructive. Obstructive is by far the most common, and is usually what is referred to when people talk about sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when, during sleep, the airway passages in the throat close and block the movement of air. Common symptoms are snoring, gasping during sleep, sleepiness during the day, ...

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shutterstock_140022184 I arrived at my designated gate at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.  After handing over my crumpled boarding pass for scanning, I made my way down the jetway and onto what appeared to be a small but fairly packed little jet. Passengers on each side of the aisle eyed me as I walked past, a few noticed that my jeans were soaked from ...

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shutterstock_158365127 I can recall, though it seems quite long ago, my first basic life support (BLS) course as a first-year medical student. The instructor dutifully demonstrated on a mannequin to eager young medical students what to do if someone is found unresponsive. Shaking the unmoving mannequin she said loudly,  “Sir, are you OK?” Then hearing no response she showed us how to ...

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It was with much fanfare that two American aid workers were airlifted from across the world and brought to Emory University Medical Center where they began experimental treatment for Ebola. We hope for a full and speedy recovery for them and others like them who do God’s work. But it appears to me that lost in this conversation are myriad others who need help but never get it. Right now, humanitarian work ...

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