Addicted to Medblogs: Dr. August is . . . #1 Dinosaur

Addicted to Medblogs: Dr. August is . . . #1 Dinosaur

Nice addition to a clever monthly feature.

AP: Pain medicine use has nearly doubled

AP: Pain medicine use has nearly doubled – Yahoo! News

The amount of five major painkillers sold at retail establishments rose 90 percent between 1997 and 2005, according to an Associated Press analysis of statistics from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

…and the pendulum begins to swing back…

Good luck with your new cancer!

One of our techs has recently graduated from Respiratory Therapy school, and as such is changing jobs, leaving us.

A card was circulated for people to well-wish upon, and I wrote something along the lines of “good luck with your new career”. My handwriting isn’t terribly good.

Shortly after the card was presented, I started getting some odd questions, like, ‘does respiratory therapy make you more likely to get cancer’? to which I of course said no. (?Why would they ask me that?).

Finally someone asked me why I’d wished her luck on her new cancer; after I figured out my penmanship deficit, all was forgiven, but I agree that’d be odd to see in your farewell card.

Med Journal Watch: Grand Rounds 3:47

Med Journal Watch: Grand Rounds 3:47

“Blogger”, not pedophile

How’s CNN feel about bloggers?

Blogger%20arrested%20near%20UCLA

I guess ‘pedophile arrested’ is dog-bites-man, but this seems a little much. (Yes, he had a blog. It was disgusting (reportedly), and was shut down).

Methinks bloggers have irritated CNN a bit.

The Future of Universal Healthcare: A Warning

I am skeptical of socialized medicine / universal healthcare / give the unsolvable problem to the Government and hope for the best plans. Why? Our government.

The New York Times (h/t anonymous reader #9) reports the following:

August 12, 2007

Select Hospitals Reap a Windfall Under Child Bill

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 — Despite promises by Congress to end the secrecy of earmarks and other pet projects, the House of Representatives has quietly funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to specific hospitals and health care providers under a bill passed this month to help low-income children.

Instead of naming the hospitals, the bill describes them in cryptic terms, so that identifying a beneficiary is like solving a riddle. Most of the provisions were added to the bill at the request of Democratic lawmakers.

One hospital, Bay Area Medical Center, sits on Green Bay, straddling the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, more than 200 miles north of Chicago. The bill would increase Medicare payments to the hospital by instructing federal officials to assume that it was in Chicago, where Medicare rates are set to cover substantially higher wages for hospital workers.

The article goes on to name names, on both sides of the isle, who’ve used the power of legislation to reward / give money to one hospital over another for entirely non-transparent reasons.

This is before Congress completely controls the medical system. Think Governmental regulations are onerous now? Just wait until every medical complaint is, in effect, a Federal case. “The Congressman’s office called and wants answers” is going to get a lot more attention, and response, than the current complaints. (I’ve seen a tiny amount of this, when in the military: the Congrint (a congressional inquiry) would absolutely stop the Battalion senior staff who spent the next several hours jumping through hoops to answer whatever questions were put to them (usually regarding a complaint from a Marine or Sailor about some percieved maltreatment)).

I’m not so naive as to believe this sort of political foolishness is new, but for now, consider you’re a competing hospital of the ones that just got congressionally mandated favorite-son treatment. Being a hospital administrator is now even harder than it was, now you’ll be expected to curry favor with the Political Class, else your hospital is at a disadvantage, at least. You can be the most efficient system in town, but you’ll lose to the one who gets the pork.

Given the historic levels of corruption in Congress in the last several sessions, I’m now even more leery of turning the whole system over to them. They’ve earned their popularity (24%).

Weird Oddities: No running with sharp objects!

Weird Oddities: No running with sharp objects!

Beware: unpleasant photo.

via Mike at FFM. Ketamine would be my drug of chioce here.

RangelMD.com and a funny

RangelMD.com

A good joke about end of life conversations.

Death Knell for King-Drew

Feds pull funding for L.A. hospital – Yahoo! News

What took so long?  More to the point, why was this tolerated for so long?

Children of single dads get less health care on Yahoo! News

Print Story: Children of single dads get less health care on Yahoo! News

Single fathers are less likely than other parents to take their children for routine doctor visits, and more likely to go without health insurance, a new study suggests.

Using data from a national survey of U.S. families, researchers found that fewer children in single-father homes made routine, “well-child” doctor visits compared with children in either two-parent or single-mother homes.

The children with single fathers were also 20 percent more likely to go a full year without health insurance, according to findings published online by the journal Health Services Research.

In contrast, children of single mothers had “comparable if not better access to care” than children living with both parents, the study authors report.

Hmm. Support bias by the government, lack of asking for support by single dads? Not a lot of answers here.

“The bottom line is that children in single-father families may be more vulnerable to health problems because they’re not getting well-child visits or they don’t have easy access to care when they need it,” study co-author Dr. Kathleen Ziol-Guest said in a statement.

Operative word in that run-on sentence? May. As in we may be assuming too much, or we may just take one data point and extrapolate that to other conclusions.

Men are generally less likely than women to make routine doctor visits for their own health, and this may partially explain the findings, according to Ziol-Guest, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

More mays. One wonders how this gets published..

Johnson & Johnson Sues Red Cross Over Symbol – New York Times

Johnson & Johnson Sues Red Cross Over Symbol – New York Times

By STEPHANIE SAUL
Published: August 9, 2007

The red cross symbol is an icon of relief from disaster. For months, it has also been the subject of a festering disagreement between major American institutions: the health care company Johnson & Johnson and the American Red Cross.

I wonder if J&J would object to my using the Red Cross in my logo?

Booorrriiing

Yeah, the blog’s dull.

I’ve recently finished working 9 in a row, and am suitably fatigued. This does not excuse the lack of free ice cream, and you’d think it’d give hours of blogfodder. You’d be wrong.

Oh, four years ago I’d rant about how getting liquored-up and riding a motorcycle in flipflops and cutoffs would be a bad idea, how not having the $4 for your meds at WalMart might not make the ED doc smile at 0200, etc. Perhaps the blogs’ maturing, possibly I’m maturing. Perhaps, and possibly.

It occurs to me that maybe I’m dull. That’ll be an alternate hypothesis.

Grand Rounds at the Beach

Grand Rounds at the Beach
Welcome to the Grand Rounds Beach House!

Where’s Flea when you need him: New Statement Issued for Emergency Care by Pediatric Primary Care Providers

From Medscape:

July 5, 2007 — The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement identifying the best approaches for pediatric primary care providers to provide emergency care for pediatric patients. The statement, which notes that pediatricians and other pediatric primary care providers are critically important members of the pediatric emergency care team, is published in the July issue of Pediatrics.

Okay, no problems there.

“High-quality pediatric emergency care can be provided only through the collaborative efforts of many health care professionals and child advocates working together throughout a continuum of care that extends from prevention and the medical home to prehospital care, to emergency department stabilization, to critical care and rehabilitation, and finally to a return to care in the medical home,” write chairperson Steven Krug, MD, and colleagues from the Committee on Pediatric Emergency Medicine. …

Wow, cliche-inclusiveness run amok.  I’d just point out that ‘prevention’ isn’t part of Emergency Care, and that the concept of the ‘medical home’ gives me the willies.  The rest of the article is actually pretty good.

Aaah, Flea.  It’s times like this I miss your ED hatin’ ways.

Skinny Tire Blues

I’m back on my road bike, and am enjoying the exercise as much as anyone who dislikes exercise, but at least the scenery changes enough to keep my interest.

There’s a low-water crossing on my route, and I’ve ridden over it before, just about 4-6″ of running water over concrete. I chose a different path back home through the water, after seeing a mountain-bike follow it. I hadn’t really considered how much more contact are a mountain-bike tire has than my overinflated skinny road-bike tire. I should have.

When the dime-sized contact patch rolled up on the algae, the water running along was enough to wash the bike out from under me, and so now I’m lying in the stream. I was nice, cool water, but a) it was a nasty surprise to fall and b) I was lying atop my new blackberry. So, out of the stream, no harm done to me or the bike (and the Blackberry worked fine after a drying-out period).

I still like the bike riding. Now I have a ziplock baggie for the phone, because with my skills you never know.