Archives for August 2005

HHS May Use Mail to Deliver Emergency Meds

HHS May Use Mail to Deliver Emergency Meds – Yahoo! News.

WASHINGTON – In the event of a flu pandemic or a bioterrorism attack, drugs in the future could arrive via door-to-door postal carriers or from the fire station down the street, Health and Human Services Secretary
Mike Leavitt said Tuesday.

Leavitt, in an interview with Associated Press reporters and editors, said it’s clear the current system of delivering medicines is inadequate in case of a major emergency, and he suggested possible options for the future.

Leavitt said the government was looking to stockpile 20 million doses of a bird flu vaccine and another 20 million doses of Tamiflu, an antiviral medication to treat the disease.

The vaccine, in human clinical trials, has created an immune response in those who have taken it, he said. Still to be determined, he said, is how much is necessary to produce a sufficient response.

Leavitt said the government’s goal is to have the medicine delivered within 12 hours of a decision.

"We’re finding that the distribution systems are not adequate to put medicines in the hands of people fast enough, so we’re beginning to look at alternative ways to speed that up," Leavitt said. 

"We’re looking at having more points of distribution, for example. We’re experimenting with having the Postal Service be able to deliver them, because they walk those routes every day."

He said other possibilities included using firehouses as distribution points.

Okay, before you start with the postal service jokes, this model has some real advantages, and kudos to the HHS for thinking outside the ‘Health Department’ box.  I don’t know about the vaccine (I cannot imagine the havoc mailing injectable vaccines would cause), but the Tamiflu distribution is a good idea.

With surveillance during an outbreak, the HHS could leverage USPS distribution by zip codes in a ring around an outbreak, one of the epidemiologic ideas to halt the spread of a disease.  This makes sense!

I can’t wait to hear the Letter Carrier: "I’m from the Government and I’m here to help you".

How NOT to Blog About Your Job. Especially If You Are a Doctor.

Excellent, must-read thoughts for medical bloggers: Clinical Cases and Images – Blog: Simply Fired – How NOT to Blog About Your Job. Especially If You Are a Doctor..

To stay out of trouble, always ask yourself: What if my patients are reading this?  What if my colleagues are reading it?

Be honest and respectful to others. And once again, remember the HIPAA rules.

A question for the medical bloggers: Should we try to establish guidelines for medical blogging?

Now with and the Grand Rounds, the movement is becoming more or less organized. Everybody values their freedom of expression and that is understandable. But should we try to construct a crude framework of what is OK and what is not? It could be helpful to the new medical bloggers who joining the field almost on a daily basis.

My short answer is, those ARE the guidelines (though sometimes I bend the ‘respectful’ a touch).  They’re succinct and easy to understand, perfect for doctors.

Earlier in the article he discussed the pseudo-anonymity of blogs like mine, Red State Moron, etc., and quite rightly points out that we could be ‘outed’ pretty easily.  I’ve been telling everyone who writes me with a ‘how should I start a medical blog’ the same thing: you’re not anonymous, you’re just not broadcasting your personal identity.

Please read the entire entry.  There are good points to be had there.

via medmusings

Ouch; one of a series.


Yes, it’s an open fracture, and, yes, those extra things are carpal bones out where they don’t belong.  To OR.

MedBlogs Grand Rounds 1:45

It’s up, and it’s maybe the shortest ever Grand Rounds:AloisMD.

I figure everyone is on holiday.

Dentists Prepare to Be on Front Line of Civil Defense

In the ‘I didn’t think of that’ Department: Dentists Prepare to Be on Front Line of Civil Defense – New York Times.

Dr. Rekow’s plan is ambitious, national in scope and revolutionary in concept: she wants to draw dentists into the squadron of so-called "first responders" – the police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians dispatched for disaster relief and crisis management.

Dentists, she argues, are a rich but overlooked source of help in what is euphemistically called a surge environment, in layman’s terms, the moment when all hell breaks loose.

Well, I won’t turn down any help when the time comes.  In the Navy, the Dental Officers were to serve as triage officers, and as adjunct anesthesiologists if needed in the OR.  I won’t presume to denigrate dentists, but I was a little uncomfortable then and am  more uncomfortable now with that arrangement.  (I don’t know what the current arrangement is, by the way).

Dentists into the breach!

via InstaPundit

Law School Review Produces ‘Legislative Intent Roadmap’ On Texas’ 2003 Landmark Lawsuit Reforms

Law School Review Produces ‘Legislative Intent Roadmap’ On Texas’ 2003 Landmark Lawsuit Reforms.

Monday August 1, 10:00 am ET

LUBBOCK, Texas, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/

The Texas Tech Law Review today released a comprehensive overview of lawsuit reform measures passed in 2003.

The 357-page article, the culmination of a year of review and written by six leading Texas attorneys, is designed to serve as the "authoritative word" or a "legislative intent roadmap" on the landmark liability reforms passed by lawmakers in 2003 and approved by voters that same year.

"Two years ago, Texas lawmakers passed arguably the most expansive rewrite of the state’s civil justice laws since the adoption of the Texas constitution 140 years ago," said Walter Huffman, Dean of the Texas Tech University School of Law. "The article in today’s Texas Tech Law Review is intended as an objective research tool on these landmark reforms — a roadmap to what lawmakers intended to enact. This scholarly article may serve as a guide for attorneys, as well as judges at all levels, to understand and properly apply the hundreds of new laws."

The Tech law review article — "House Bill 4 and Proposition 12: An Analysis with Legislative History" — captures what the Legislature did and did not intend in the wording of the reform legislation. The review includes more than 1,850 footnotes.

They are not, by the way, wishy-washy about whether liability reform was helpful for physicians.  It is, I agree, still too soon to determine the full impact on patients.  However, since doctors and patients should be working together on health, what’s good for one is very likely good for another (something our adversarial legally-trained folks cannot accept).

Some of the main findings of the panel are listed at the bottom of the article, and I’ll put them in the extended entry.

[Read more…]