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 ...

Read more...

“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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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, ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

“Doctor, can I record this conversation?” It’s happened to me a couple of times already. But the question above was never asked. Rather I was informed later on that my conversation with a patient or family was recorded without my knowledge. Smartphones have made it all too easy for patients to secretly record conversations with their health care providers. Simply hit a button,  lay it innocently down by your side in ...

Read more...

I’m back at it again, talking about my continued love/hate relationship with EMRs. From my conversations with doctors at different hospitals in our region, it seems that most docs appear to be falling into the “hate” column. Meanwhile, I’m still chugging along with the EHR that’s been installed in my office. And while it works just fine for the needs of a 3 physician single-specialty outpatient practice, it’s hardly the ...

Read more...

Much has been written about how Web 2.0 tools can change the healthcare landscape.  It would appear a recent set of circumstances has upped the ante. This story begins with a recent study that attempted to tackle the problem of ICU infections. ICU infections are a challenging problem, patients who are admitted to the ICU are at risk of worsening illness and death from infections such as MRSA which can be ...

Read more...

How dare you! Life can change in a heartbeat. Most of us believe that our lives, our loves and all the that things that make us who we are is a gift from a higher power. One that can be taken away as swiftly as it is given. But somewhere in the shuffle of taking kids to practice, catching up on emails, worrying about bills, and the search for the perfect ...

Read more...

Well, I’ve done it again. It seems that everytime I try to make the early registration deadline for a conference, something seems to come up. One of the kids gets sick, a transmission breaks, I have a crazy week at work ... you know, life. Unlike the past few years however, I’m very excited to say that I will be making it to the American College of Chest Physician’s annual scientific ...

Read more...

Mail order pharmacies like Express Scripts and Medco have become increasingly prominent players in health care. But these companies are a lot more than simply mail order pharmacies, they are in fact a new generation of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). PBMs are essentially middle-men between insurance and pharmacy, with companies like Express Scripts merging the dual functions of a PBM and pharmacist into one. PBMs manage and administer medication benefits ...

Read more...

electronic cigarettes Electronic cigarettes are here, settling over the country, quite literally,  like a fine white fog.  Smokers in turn, have been turning to them as a tool to help them quit, though the device manufacturers are are not allowed to market them that way in U.S. It seems intuitive that a device that mimics the action of smoking but without the combustion ...

Read more...

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that can make all the difference. Unfortunately, when it comes to informing patients with a new diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis what to expect, things are anything but simple. For years, pulmonologists have dreaded the moment when we inform patients of a diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis. The discussion invariably involves informing them that this disease (which they have probably never heard of) may either kill them or ...

Read more...

It was my second day of residency, and something was afoot. As I made my way around my first rotation on the cardiac floor, my medical senses were tingling. There was something strange happening to all of my patients, I saw. As I peaked over my cohort’s shoulders, I secretly saw that it was happening to their patients too, though they hadn’t seemed to notice. Only I did, and I was ...

Read more...

I’ve written several times before about my love/hate status with my EMR. While I enjoy using mine, I long for it’s usefulness to get to the next level. While the EMR is useful at tracking data, it’s greatest handicap right now, is that it can’t talk to other systems. Data is still locked in individual systems and can’t be shared across platforms. This lack of interoperability has thus far been ...

Read more...

2 Pages

Most Popular

Join 150,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.