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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A cruise doctor is sued over a methadone overdose

The physician was faulted for not having the antidote on hand during the emergency:

According to the suit, at about 1:45 p.m. the next day, Ginsburg ran into the hallway screaming for help.

A nearby volunteer firefighter heard and started CPR on Ashley. Ginsburg called 911.

A nurse arrived at the cabin at approximately 2:10 p.m. Ginsburg told her that five of his Vicodin pills were missing.

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How pain patients are treated like criminals

A responsible narcotic-using pain patient writes:

I no longer go to emergency rooms for help with any pain. They might fix my broken bone but then ask, “How many hospitals do you go to to try to get extra drugs?” One ER doctor told me to “go home and play your little drug games.”

Problem is, for every responsible narcotic user, you have another hundred who play the drug …

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Breast lumps and unnecessary testing

Sid Schwab talks from a surgeon’s perspective:

In a nutshell, it comes down to this: when there’s a lump you can feel, diagnostic imaging (Xrays, ultrasound, etc.) is a waste of time and money. OK, that’s a bit over the top: you get needed information about the rest of the breast, and the other side, which will come into play at some point. But getting a bunch of studies …

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You can’t sue a doctor for a medical bill

Some patients think they can sue doctors for anything. Like this story over medical bills:

Out of the blue, we received a bill for $300 from a collection agency from the former neurologist. I recently wrote to the doctor and told her what had transpired and how we felt we owe her nothing.

We know we could have pursued a medical malpractice claim but choose not to, but …

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Dr. Anna Pou on 60 Minutes

The Attorney General sounds pretty ignorant to me during the piece. Dr. Pou responds:

Asked if she murdered those patients, as the attorney general alleges, she says, “No, I did not murder those patients. Mr. Safer, I’ve spent my entire life taking care of patients. I have no history of doing anything other than good for my patients. I do the best of my ability. Why would I …

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Morphine, Versed and Ativan: The Anna Pou case continues

As previously stated in the comments, the combination of morphine and ativan is a poor choice to induce death:

Morphine and Ativan, one of the drug combinations that a Foti witness says were administered to the patients, is an extremely unreliable way to induce death, pharmacologists and forensic pathologists say. It is used to relax agitated patients and to relieve severe pain.

The experts contacted for this story …

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The "Disney" approach to health care

This non-concierge clinic offers amenities not commonly found:

“I love everything here,” said Laurie Wheeler, who came with sons Justin, 10, and David, 12. The boys couldn’t wait to play their favorite video game. Wheeler, if she wants, can check her e-mail in the patient library/computer room.

A surgeon removes a kidney instead of the gallbladder

It took 3 days before the mistake was noticed:

A physician assistant and a nurse present during the surgery said the surgeon “was working in the exact location you would expect…(the gallbladder) to be located,” according to the DPH’Â’s investigation report.

However, the patient had a lot of internal inflammation and an unusual internal anatomy, which made the surgery more complex, Muller said.

“From a medical standpoint, absolutely …

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Dr. Anna Pou: Here comes the lawsuit fallout

People are going after the hospitals:

The deaths at Uptown’s Memorial Medical Center during the stifling, dark hours after Hurricane Katrina have spawned more than the highly publicized arrests of a doctor and two nurses on murder charges. A predictable thicket of civil lawsuits has also sprouted, records show.

Two suits filed at Orleans Parish Civil District Court concern the deaths of five patients at Memorial, some of them …

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