Archives for July 26, 2006

Rotund Radiographically Rejected – Study: More Americans too fat for X-rays, scans

More and more obese people are unable to get full medical care because they are either too big to fit into scanners, or their fat is too dense for X-rays or sound waves to penetrate, radiologists reported Tuesday.

With 64 percent of the U.S. population either overweight or obese, the problem is worsening, but it represents a business opportunity for equipment makers and hospitals, said Dr. Raul Uppot, a radiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Our population, or a majority of it, has eaten itself into livestock proportions. Now I frequently have patients I cannot CT.

Oh, take your ‘do a history and a careful physical exam and you won’t need as many scans’ and stick it in your ear. I defy you to clear the c-spine of a 450 pound patient with tingling in the arms. Won’t fit in the CT or the MRI, even the ‘open MRI’.

Weighty problem. Not funny.

Cutting Remarks: An unsolicited review

Dr Sidney Schwab has written a book, and I bought one.

It’s aimed at a general audience, and while not a ‘natural’ writer his prose is very accessible and he takes great pains to make the medical jargon easily understandable.

His topic is that physical, emotional and intellectual challenge that is residency, specifically a surgical residency in a city by a bay in the 70’s. Intense situations make for indelible memories, and that’s what this was for him (and anyone who’s done a residency worth a damn) and he’s given us an inside look. A non-too-sparing look, as well, with instructors he felt were sub-par identified as such. There’s some tense memories, and it’s obvious he reigned some of it in while telling the story.

And, he made me laugh out loud. Really, I was laughing aloud after reading a particular passage (about a retractor), and that’s a rarity for me.

Recommended. Here’s where to get yours.