Sunday, May 29, 2016

Is a soda tax an idea whose time has come?

They seem to tax just about everything except taxes, and someone is likely working on that, so how about a tax on the sugary soda that many love to consume.  It is just a way to raise revenue, or could there be some health benefits?  Here is a discussion from the MedPage Today website with a variety of views, including mine, on that topic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Thoughts about being snipped

Looking for the most foolproof form of birth control, many men turn to vasectomy, an effective and permanent form of contraception.  Only problem is that it does not work immediately.  Although the vas deferens, the tube that carries sperm from production to insemination, is cut, residual sperm in the system are still present, and can still impregnate.  Here is a piece from the Self site that looks at this situation.

Shortly after publication, this piece was picked up by Fox News on their site:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

When the pain killer kills more than the pain

As the news continues to come out about the death of Prince, it is beginning to appear as though prescription pain relievers, medication he needed to deal with pain from a variety of sources, may have been a significant factor in his death.  Unfortunately, you don’t need to be a celebrity to walk this same path.  People from all walks of life can find themselves taking too many of these medications, sometimes with dangerous consequences.  Here is a look at the problem, and some warning signs to watch for along the way.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

When Poochie Gives a Smoochie

Not all babies are fond of dogs, and not all dogs are fond of babies, but there are other reasons to avoid having your dog plant a slurp on your baby’s face.  Your dog’s intent may not be what you think it is, and his tongue is not the cleanest object in the world.  Here is a little article with some appropriate cautions.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Who is that in the room writing about me?

With the advent of the Electronic Medical Record, many physicians find that they just cannot keep up with the system’s need for data input.  While dictation has advocates, reading and correcting transcriptions takes valuable time, leading to the often applied phrase “dictated but not read” on many such reports.  Recently, some physicians have started using scribes, like the stenographer of old but with a computer rather than a shorthand pad, to record the physician’s words for the record.  In doing so, many potential transcription errors can be avoided, but does the presence of the scribe in the examination room impact the nature of the visit?  Here is a discussion about the topic from the Medpage Today website, looking at that question.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pneumonia - an ancient killer continues to stalk

In the days before antibiotics, pneumonia was the third leading cause of death overall, and even today, it remains the leading infectious cause of hospitalization and death in this country.  The cost in lives and to the economy is staggering, and even celebrities, such as Merle Haggard, can succumb to the disease.  With vaccination and prompt treatment, the toll from many forms of pneumonia can be significantly reduced.  Here is a look at this issue, through the lens of the death of one star.

Sepsis - What is it and how does it kill you?

Heart disease, lung disease, cancer ... those you've heard of.  But my mother, and hundreds of thousands of others each year, die of the effects of an overwhelming infection, a condition called sepsis.  There are many sources for such infections, and many treatments, but the final common pathway is multiple organ failure and death.  Actress Patty Duke died at 69, far too young, from sepsis originating in bowel disease.  Here's a piece from the Self website looking at the disease, and how to recognize it so that it can be treated.