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Top stories in health and medicine, October 23, 2014

From MedPage Today: Aortic Dissection Becoming Less Deadly. Aortic dissection survival has improved, particularly for patients getting surgical repair. Preparing for Ebola: Is New York City Ready? The hall was packed, the speakers were primed, and the message to thousands of healthcare workers gathered here today was simple: Ebola will not sneak up on the Big […]

Green Coffee Beans Will Mostly Slim Your Wallet

Very few readers of this site are likely to have a good opinion of Dr. Oz (I certainly don't). And very few readers will be surprised to hear that one of his highly-touted miracle weight loss regiments - green coffee bean extract (GCA) - has turned out to be a load of faked-up nonsense. Show More Summary

Acute right heart failure

---occurs in a variety of critical illnesses. It is probably under recognized. When recognized specific treatment strategies may suggest themselves and result in improved hemodynamics. Free full text review here.

Do electronic devices distract students? Be careful with this study.

After listening to a lecture, third-year students at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine were surveyed about distractions by electronic devices and given a 12-question quiz. Although 65% of the students admitted to having been distracted by emails, Facebook, and/or texting during the lecture, distracted students had an average score of 9.85 correct compared to […]

Mayo Clinic Chiefs Name E-Patient Dave as 2015 Visiting Professor

Wonderful news! E-Patient Dave, the leader of the global e-patient movement who gave a talk last year at my Social Media in Medicine university course as well, was named Visiting Professor for Mayo Clinic. Patient engagement and empowerment is a natural extension of Dr. Will Mayo’s vision of a medicine as a cooperative science. We […]

Grumpy People Get the Details Right — Science of Us

Think back to the last time you had to navigate a customer-service situation. Perhaps you were trying to make a doctor’s appointment when few convenient times were available, or you may have been speaking with a credit-card rep in an effort to get a onetime waiver on a late payment charge. Maybe you were speaking […] No related posts.

Roche Rebuilds

Roche has announced ambitious plans for new buildings at its home base in Basel: They're building a new home for John Reed and Roche's pRED research group in Basel – and the pharma giant is thinking big. Roche said today that it is committing...Show More Summary

Ebola and the tension between bureaucracy and medical judgment

If another case of Ebola emanates from the unfortunate Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, the root cause analysts might mount their horses, the Six Sigma black belts will skydive and the safety champions will tunnel their way clandestinely to rendezvous at the sentinel place. Continue reading... Your patients are rating you online: How to respond. Manage […]

Interview on BBC Radio 5

Last night, I was interviewed live on BBC Radio 5 about currents trends that will shape the future of medicine. You can listen to the talk here (21, October, 9:45 PM GMT).

Unity Farm Journal - Third Week of October 2014

Apple Season continues. This weekend we crushed 152 pounds of apples yielding 8 gallons (2.2 gallons per bushel), down a little from our last crush which yielded 2.4 gallons per bushel, likely because Baldwin apples are less juicy than...Show More Summary

In which I and my ‘style’ are vindicated. Grumpy People Get the Details Right via @thescienceofus

In which I and my ‘style’ are vindicated. Grumpy People Get the Details Right via @thescienceofus Related posts: Perhaps something good will come of ebola: maybe we can finally get people to stop wearing scrubs out of the hospital. Show More Summary

Improving the Old-Fashioned Reaction Workup

Here's something new: working up a reaction. The authors say that they have a porous polymer that adsorbs organic compounds from aqueous reaction mixtures, allowing you to just stir and filter rather than doing a liquid/liquid extraction. Show More Summary

Statins and diabetes

As Larry Husten at Cardiobrief points out, statin use has been associated with slight elevations in blood sugar leading to a diagnosis of diabetes in small numbers of patients. (This phenomenon, by the way, has been observed in other classes of drugs such as thiazides). Show More Summary

Treating hepatitis C with Sovaldi: Is it worth it?

One catch phrase in health care reform is cost-effectiveness.  To paraphrase, this label means that a medical treatment is worth the price.  For example, influenza vaccine, or flu shot, is effective in reducing the risk of influenza infection.  If the price of each vaccine were $1,000, it would still be medically effective, but it would […]

The Real Cyborgs

If you want to read only one article about the world of cyborgs, choose this one.

“@MDaware: common misnomer – most emergency “rooms” are actually peninsulas”

“@MDaware: common misnomer – most emergency “rooms” are actually peninsulas” Related posts: Did she see the jacket yet? “@MDaware: LittleAware is nonplussed about joining the Cobra Kai” Did she see the jacket yet? “@MDaware: LittleAware is nonplussed... @doconskis @mdaware @cbsdfw @aceofspadeshq Defining illness down. Show More Summary

Phenylalanine Crystals

No matter how long you've been doing chemistry, there are still things that you come across that surprise you. Did you know that plain old L-phenylalanine has been one of the most difficult subjects ever for small-molecule crystallography? I sure didn't. Show More Summary

InformaticsMD in Podcast by Neil Versel

Neil Versel is a journalist specializing in health IT, mobile health, patient safety, quality of care and the business of healthcare. He is a prolific writer of the web site Meaningful HIT News and others ( More Summary

Delirium in the elderly: pharmacologic management is a last resort

From a paper in American Family Physician via Hospital Medicine Virtual Journal Club: Treatment of delirium should focus on identifying and managing the causative medical conditions, providing supportive care, preventing complications, and reinforcing preventive interventions. Show More Summary

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