Friday, August 27, 2010

Katrina Racial Violence

I read an article in the New York Times about the post hurricane violence in New Orleans after Katrina and the stories that are finally emerging about vigilante white people, including police, who threatened and murdered innocent blacks.  These accounts, so many years later are difficult to believe and several police officers have finally been indicted in various cases.

It takes me back to the

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Humane Farming to Prevent Salmonella Infected Eggs

More than a thousand Americans are ill from egg contaminated Salmonella and it has forced a recall of 1/2 billion eggs and increased scrutiny of the safety of eggs.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have tracked the contaminated eggs to two Iowa facilities, one with over 1 million chickens.  It turns out that less than 200 big companies supply 95% of the eggs in the United States.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weight Loss Requires a Major Change in Lifestyle

I know it is not politically correct to look at what other people buy at the grocery store, but as a physician I just can't help noticing.  Some baskets contain huge containers of soda pop, Doritos, frozen pizza and other packaged goods.  I'm not surprised because at the end of every isle is a display case that offers the giant soda for 89 cents or the Doritos on special for $1.29.  With this

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Answer to Medical Challenge

The answer to yesterday's image and patient case was #3-Ludwig's angina.  Ludwig's angina is an infectious process involving the submental (chin), Sublingual (under tongue) and submandibular (under the jaw) spaces. The bacterial cause is usually strept.  It can rapidly progress and is considered a medical emergency because it can affect the breathing and airway.

The term angina means "

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Medical Challenge

This weeks Medical Challenge from the New England Journal of Medicine is a tough one.  This patient had been treated with penicillin for a toothache the day before.  You be the doctor.  What is the diagnosis?

1. Acute parotitis
2. Angioneurotic edema
3. Ludwig's angina
4. Penicillin allergy
5. Peritonsillar abscess

The answer will be posted tomorrow.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Communication Gaps Between Doctors and Patients

In a surprising report from the Archives of Internal Medicine, we learn that most hospitalized patients (82%) could not accurately name the physician responsible for their care and almost half of the patients did not even know their diagnosis or why they were admitted.  If that isn't enough, when the researchers queried the physicians, 67% thought the patients knew their name and 77% of doctors

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Osteoporosis Testing with DXA

One of the good things that has come out of the Affordable Care Act (the name for Health Care Reform) is that the payments to providers who do DXA screening for osteoporosis will increase immediately from Medicare and Medicaid.  Unfortunately these increased payments expire at the end of 2011.  To show how crazy the Medicare payment policies are, in 2006 the DXA service was reimbursed at $143.00.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Top 10 U.S. Pharmaceutical Sales

The top money makers for the U. S Pharmaceutical Industry might surprise you.  These are not necessarily the most prescribed medications (although some of them are) but they are the top products in terms of sales in 2009.  The revenues were in $ Billions:
Lipitor  -      used for high cholesterol                 $7.5
Nexium  -    a proton pump inhibitor for reflux     6.3
Plavix   -      a blood

Monday, August 9, 2010

Don't Wait After Miscarriage to Get Pregnant Again

About 15-20% of women who know they are pregnant will have a miscarriage.  The loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks is considered a miscarriage. Many women suffer grief and shock after a miscarriage and fear there is something wrong with them or that they did something to cause it.  But the reasons for miscarriage are usually not known.  Women are often told to wait "a few months"  to get pregnant

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Are Teens Overmedicated?

It is summer camp season for kids and well run camps require a medical history and record of prescription medications that the child is taking.  One prestigious camp for teens (ages 11 to 19 - average camper is 16) in Southern California had 153 residential teenagers last week.  These kids come from California and other states across the U.S.  Fifty percent come from out of state and a number of