Archives for March 2005

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad

Happy Fmaily at Easter
From all of us!

Fort Worth Airshow 2005

I was reminded this afternoon that there’s an Airshow in town this weekend, featuring the Blue Angels. My reminder was watching them practice this afternoon. They looked good from the road, I’ll be it’ll be better from the stands.

Admission is free, and “…reasonably priced food and beverages are available…”.

I hope to go, but I’m working nearly incompatible shifts.

The Traveling Story

The Examining Room of Dr. Charles: The Traveling Story

I’d like to introduce a fabulous story, written by seven authors. About a month ago I had an idea – how fun would it be to start a fictional story, then send it out to a chain of waiting writers to add their own creative spins to it! I asked seven medical bloggers who frequently write some imaginative posts to build the first “traveling story” with me. I believe it may be the first of its kind on the internet. I hope you all enjoy!

And it’s very good!

Madhouse Madman Logo Contest

The Madhouse Madman is soliciting opinions as to which of his logos to use for his blog: Chronicles of a Medical Mad House: Madman 2

…Therefore, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Madman 2, who is in direct competition with Madman 1 over who gets to own this site. Madman 2 has a distinct advantage, he knows that, as the old adage goes, it’s not what you know it’s who you know…

If you have a second, see which you like, and let him know.

Earthlings: Behold, Your New(est) Overlord!

Born the 28th Day of March, year 2005: Aaron, Future Overlord!

Well, that’s what the birth announcement should say. This kid has the genes to pick up, should his Brother inexplicably fail.

Welcome your New Overlord, Puny Earthlings
Welcome to the party, Nephew! And many congrats to the happy parents. We knew you could do it, so to speak.

MedBlogs Grand Rounds XXVII

It’s that time!

over my med body!

GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT, READERS! It’s been an absolutely CRAZY week across the medlogosphere-from PARIS HILTON to KEVIN MD; from BRITNEY SPEARS to MATTHEW HOLT!

Many links to fine medblogging, some from more mainstream blogs with medical thoughts.

A reader has a heart attack

A reader from Wichita Falls, Texas, sent me this email and I have his permission to post it.

Back on the night of 11/12 March, I went to bed about 11:00 p.m. after helping a home supplies tech move a refilled liquid oxygen container into my son’s old bedroom. I’d been on home oxygen about two weeks after three months of the “North Texas Lung Crud,” four courses of antibiotic from azithromycin to levofloxin and one hospitalization for COPD exacerbation. The container was ultra-heavy, and I noticed my neck/shoulders had felt some strain.

At 2:00 a.m., I woke up with a tremendous pain across my back between my shoulder blades. I went in, used the bathroom, and my wife, who was still up and in the kitchen, asked me if I was okay. I told her “yeah, just some muscle pain.” However, as I went back into the bedroom, I noticed my throat on both sides of my jaw was burning, like I had infected eustachian tubes. My wife was prescribed a bottle of liquid nitro a year or two ago when her doctor thought she might have angina. I sat down on the bed, and took a spray under my tongue. Immediately, I broke out into a copious sweat. I thought that was strange, but after a minute or so, some of the pain in my back decreased. That’s when I suddenly thought, “Uh-oh!”

[Read more…]

BAC 0.08 foolishness

I am an ER doc. I don’t like drunk drivers, nor drunks in general. My distaste is not generic, it’s borne of dealing with intoxicated persons and their damages for a living. I see a lot of drunk drivers “get away with it”, and leave my ED after several hours, or from the hospital after a couple of days, having been in major automobile acidents. They don’t leave in cuffs, or with a citation, they just walk out, and my frustration is palpable.

That being said, I dislike the creeping nanny-stateism and erosion of liberties that comes with ‘more laws are better’ even more, in this case Drunk Driving Laws. I’m mostly conservative, but with a Libertarian streak that says Enough is Enough with drunk driving laws. (For the Record, I’m in favor of “mandatory reporting” ED laws for drivers and their blood alcohol levels, but it’s not to be. I’m not “Soft on Crime”, I’m Peeved about Dumb Crap). Which brings me to my next point, which I’ve linked to before, interestingly by the same author:

TCS: Tech Central Station – Drinking and Legislating If we look at “fatalities” instead of “accidents,” drivers with a BAC above .10 account for 77% of the alcohol-related body count. And the average BAC in fatal accidents involving alcohol is .17. Put another way, motorists with very high blood-alcohol levels account for an increasing percentage of highway fatalities, but a decreasing percentage of arrests.

Clearly, we’re allocating limited law enforcement resources toward the wrong pool of offenders.

So, there is a disconnect between effort and outcome, between probable culprit for DUI injury and actual arrest.

Great. More disconnect between reality and the law.

Happy Easter

Go and spend it with your loved ones.

Dr. Charles and Big Pharma

Seems Dr. Charles has had reasons to consider the pros and cons of the pharmaceutical industry recently:
The Examining Room of Dr. Charles: Monkey Business

…this past week, three incidents occurred in rapid succession that have me resenting Big Pharma.

Just do what we did, Dr. Charles, and ban the reps. You’ll get more done, and not feel grimy after talking to them.

Identity Theft Story

Identity theft is something I am concerned about, and have so far been lucky (googles for picture of wood, knocks on screen). Here’s a guy whose credit cards were being used to rip him off, and he caught the theives! publius_ovidius: Don’t [mess] with Ovid — the long version

This morning, I found out that thousands of dollars of charges had been made on two of my credit cards in the past two days. Now, the identity thieves are sitting in jail. This is how it happened. It involves identity theft, a careless thief, one pissed-off Ovid and lots of luck.

Ovid is the blogger, and it’s a very interesting story. More interesting than the last episode of 24 I watched, anyway.

BlogAds gets an ad!

You may have noticed the forlorn little BlogAds code sitting on the right sidebar, looking a little sad as there were no advertisers. Thanks to GPInformatics-MEDI Binder, the little code has a purpose!

I like this product idea, and personally recommend it, especially for people who have more than 3 medicines / allergies, more than 3 doctors, or more than three surgical scars on the body.

A description:

The Medi Binder is an organizational system designed to help you keep track of the most important aspects of your medical records. It is NOT a complete medical record, just the highlights that will allow healthcare providers to make an informed judgement when needed.
Currently the Medi Binder is composed of twelve sections:

Anyway, click over and look at it. If you like it, try it out.

As a practicing doc, having a patient with one of these would be wonderful!

By the way this product is brought to you by a doctor with a blog, Galen’s Log. How does he have time to blog AND start a company? The mind boggles.

HUS in Florida from a Petting Zoo? – National News

Two additional cases of a mysterious kidney ailment have been confirmed in Central Florida patients, hospital officials said today.

A child and an adult have been admitted to Florida Hospital Orlando in critical condition with kidney failure, said Dr. Mehul Dixit, a pediatric nephrologist. They are suffering from HUS or “hemolytic uremic syndrome,” an uncommon ailment that develops after an infection causes the kidneys to malfunction.

Health officials have been investigating a spate of HUS cases that may be connected to petting zoos, where people can come in contact with trouble-causing bacteria in animal feces.

There are now five children hospitalized with the condition at Florida Hospital Orlando. Dixit said three of the children are in critical condition and two have improved to good condition…

Well, the “mysterious” word is in there soley to sex up a fairly straightforward story about an HUS outbreak.

From the CDC:

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is characterized by the acute onset of microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, renal injury, and low platelet count. … Most cases of HUS… occur after an acute gastrointestinal illness (usually diarrheal).

So, what we’re talking about here is anemia and renal failure, usually precipitated by a gastrointestinal infection. This is, as memory serves, the same thing that nearly put Jack in the Box out of business.

The biggest culprit for that infection, and the potentially resulting HUS is a particular E. coli strain, E. coli O157:H7. The link is to a good site at Ohio State about that particular strain, and a good discussion of HUS.

So, beware the petting zoo poo.

Medblogger hosts Carnival of the Vanities

MedBlogs Grand Rounds (see link in yesterdays’ posts) is modeled after COTV, hosted this week by CodeBlueBlog: CodeBlueBlog: The 131st Carnival of the Vanities. It looks like a lot of work, and what a job he’s done!

There’s even an introduction to the medblogs for the COTV audience (yours truly is described as a stud of the ER!), and that’s great for all of us medbloggers.

So, after you’ve memorized the MedBlogs Grand Rounds, head over to the rest of the blogworld, at CBB.

FDA orders killer hospital beds to be seized

Most likely you don’t have one in your home, but we have them in our hospital: – FDA orders killer hospital beds to be seized – Mar 22, 2005

LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, citing a public health risk, said Tuesday it ordered the seizure of enclosed hospital beds made by Vail Products Inc.

The FDA said it was aware of 30 people who became trapped in the beds, seven of whom died.

Officials at Toledo, Ohio-based Vail Products could not be immediately reached for comment. The company’s Web site says the beds, used for clinical and home care, allow "the patient to move about freely within a safe, padded environment."

The site makes no mention of Tuesday’s seizure.

The FDA said it directed U.S. marshals to seize all finished Vail 500, 1000, and 2000 enclosed beds as well as components, labeling and promotional materials for those models.

The FDA can order the Marshals to seize things?  I didn’t know that.