A Precarious Exchange
What an interesting article in bringing up a salient point.

To a physician, this scenario is all too familiar "” we call it "sign-out" "” but in a way, the anthropologist would be right: it is a peculiar ritual, this daily transfer of patients from one medical team to another. As I write this, at the end of a frantic afternoon, 18 residents are simultaneously handing ...

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Sleepy Interns Committing Key Errors, Study Shows
"The researchers, led by Charles Czeisler at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, found that interns working more than 80 hours a week committed 36 percent more serious medical errors than interns who kept a less arduous schedule.

When it came to diagnosing illness, the sleep-deprived interns made 5.6 times more serious mistakes than their rested colleagues, the research showed."

The ...

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Smoking and other poor health choices
In response to what was written last week on hospitals collecting debt, a physician writes about the lack of patients' personal responsibility.

Five hospitals ignore C. Difficile guidelines
"At least five Montreal hospitals are flouting infection-control
guidelines by sticking patients sick with deadly C. difficile diarrhea
in rooms with uninfected patients."

C. Difficile diarrhea should be able to be controlled with appropriate isolation techniques. The reason that this is not happening is due to staffing cuts, which is simply unacceptable in this day and age.

Hospital using liens to collect from patients
It seems mercenary and places both the hospital and patients in a difficult position. However, if the hospital can't collect and the patient can't afford the bills, who pays for the medical care?

A reader responds to the recent WSJ story on the effects of non-economic caps:

I have become a pediatric patient safety advocate, not by my own choosing. I have received several emails from grieving parents over the past few months asking me for advice. They can't get answers why their child died - because of the archaic and accepted disclosure policies most hospitals insist upon - nor an attorney ...

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Grand rounds #3

It is my pleasure to host the third edition of Grand Rounds, a weekly best of the medical weblogs. The blog format provides a unique and powerful opportunity to bring medicine, "behind-the-scenes", to light.

This edition features a diverse collection of voices - ranging from physician commentary on breaking medical news to personal stories from nurses, EMTs, and medical house staff. I invite you to browse and read the ...

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Rest in peace, Superman

As has been reported, Christopher Reeve passed away yesterday of complications from pressure sores:

Reeve went into cardiac arrest Saturday while at his home in Pound Ridge, New York, then fell into a coma and died Sunday at a hospital surrounded by his family. . .

. . . In the last week, Reeve had developed a serious systemic infection from a pressure wound, a common complication for people ...

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As we have all heard, the big news is the flu vaccine shortage by half. Last year, 87 million got vaccinated. This year the demand was expected to be even higher, but only 54 million of the inactivated vaccine and 2 million of the live FluMist are available. The efficacy data of the flu vaccine is well-established.

With healthy adults, a systematic review showed a significant ...

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A recent study has suggested that there has been increasing use of CT angiography in the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism:

A new study, published in the October 2004 American Journal of Roentgenology, shows that during a nine-month period in 1997 –1998, 81 patients underwent CT for suspected pulmonary embolism through the emergency department at University Hospitals of Cleveland. That number increased to 349 during the corresponding nine-month interval in ...

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