Do nurses complain too much?

Scalpel likens nurse complaints to how lawyers consider lawsuits:

Nevertheless, it seems to me that many nurses will complain about each other and about physicians at every opportunity. They will fire off e-mails to their bosses, my bosses, or even the CEO of the hospital about any disagreement or perceived mistreatment, whether or not it affects patient care. Everyone has to walk on eggshells or we will end up …

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A strange, severe case of narcolepsy

A woman faints when she says “I love you”:

Most sufferers will suddenly feel sleepy or experience temporary muscle weakness. Mrs Richmond, however, goes into a full faint. And the causes are often as simple as excitement, laughter or anger.

So the 53-year-old has to avoid telling her family she loves them and tries not to laugh at jokes or funny situations.

“When it happens it’s like …

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The Ashley Treatment

Thanks Dr. Anonymous for summarizing the controversy surrounding The Ashley Treatment:

Ashley was born with a rare condition of the brain called static encephalopathy. What does this mean? The best way I’ve seen it described is a type of permanent brain damage. This type of condition is associated with a lot of disabilities like mental retardation, cerebral palsy, autism, and other similar conditions. It’s been reported that she currently …

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TIME.com on the "Pharma Babes"

Despite appearances, some physicians and hospitals are forced to rely on reps:

. . . the most urgent reason we need our reps is that hospitals are low on trained staff these days. With the myriad parts and pieces it takes to do a spine fusion, knee replacement or robotic prostatectomy, operating room staffs need help keeping the trays and trays of little parts organized and ready for action. In …

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Gender differences in reporting pain

Will the treatment of pain eventually be tailored to a patient’s gender?

When I get a particularly nasty headache, I race for the ibuprofen bottle and down three 200-milligram tablets (a dose long ago approved by my doctor) and get on with whatever I was doing, comforted by the knowledge that I’ve taken action to dull the pain and that I will feel better soon. When my husband has …

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15 things you don’t know about your penis

Here’s one:

Turns out size does matter: The longer your penis, the better “semen displacement” you’ll achieve when having sex with a woman flush with competing sperm. That’s according to researchers at the State University of New York, who used artificial phalluses (ahem) to test the “scooping” mechanism of the penis’s coronal ridge.

Buddhist beliefs and end-of-life care

An ugly dispute involving a brain-dead patient’s religious beliefs and Boston’s BI-Deaconness leads to court:

Last week, doctors declared Cheng, a grandfather of seven who suffered cardiac arrest the day after Thanksgiving, brain-dead and said it was time to remove him from the ventilators and intravenous medicines keeping his organs functioning.

But the family refused to let doctors take Cheng off the life-support system because his heart was …

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A study links firefighters to cancer

Specifically, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, prostate cancer and multiple myeloma. The reason is that firefighters’ exposures to carcinogenic toxins occur when they are in the vicinity of the fire, not just in the fire. (via Robotic Surgery Blog)

Anti-depressants for a 4-year old

More are going into therapy, and now, prescription medication for depression and anxiety for children is increase in frequency:

Although the number of children suffering from depression remains relatively low, experts claim the rate has dramatically increased in recent years.

According to research by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, as many as 40,000 children and adolescents were prescribed anti-depressants in 2003.

The post-CABG bra

Novel idea:

Dr. Kathryn King, a University of Calgary researcher, says her study of 481 women in 10 cities across Canada suggests those who wore the bra had significantly less post-surgical breast pain and discomfort, compared to women in a control group . . .

. . . The new design stops the weight of the breast from putting pressure on the surgical wound. It also …

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TeleDoc: Damn the physical exam

I’m pretty sure the first malpractice case will kill them off:

But David Karp, a risk management consultant in Cloverdale CA, thinks TelaDoc’s physicians could face some potential liability. “Of course, some minor conditions can be diagnosed over the phone,” says Karp. “In fact, doctors do this all the time. But when you take away the ability to see the patient, to palpate the body, check the skin color, evaluate …

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Epidural overdose: An anesthesiologist responds

Tragic event, but as usual, news reports raises more questions than answers:

The drugs used in labor epidurals are usually a dilute local anesthetic and a small amount of narcotic. Using both types of drugs in combination allows lower concentrations of each individual drug to be used, hence improving the margin of safety for each. In labor epidurals, our goal is relieve pain without causing significant weakness. That is why …

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