Everyone knows that when it comes to germs and kids, it can sometimes be difficult to limit the spread of infection — especially in a school or daycare setting. In this video, I talked with local TV news last week about germs and kids, and about preventing infections in college students during finals week:
If you find this video helpful, I invite you to check out my other videos at MikeSevilla.TV. Enjoy!
We are invading their home turf. Increasingly, in among the thousands of doctors, scientists, and medical industry marketers at the largest medical conventions you are finding real patients who have the conditions discussed in the scientific sessions and exhibit halls. Patients like me want to be where the news breaks. We want to ask questions and — thanks to the Internet — we have a direct line to thousands of other patients waiting to know what new developments mean for them.
I vividly remember attending an FDA drug hearing a few years ago and how there were stock analysts sitting in the audience, BlackBerries poised for the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on whether a proposed new drug would be recommended for approval. (At that session it was thumbs down.) When the analysts got their thumbs moving, a biotech stock tanked in minutes and before long the company was announcing layoffs. Those analysts were powerful reporters.
Now patients are reporters, too, and their thumbs are just as powerful. So are their video cameras and microphones. These folks are a different breed than the folks from CNN or the scientist/journalists from MedPageToday. Their questions are all-encompassing: “What do the discussions about my disease or condition here mean for me? What should change in my treatment plan? What gives me hope? What’s important for my family to know?” Read more »
Vitamin D has been talked about as the vitamin — the one that might help fend off everything from cancer to heart disease to autoimmune disorders, if only we were to get enough of it.
“Whoa!” is the message from a committee of experts assembled by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to update recommendations for vitamin D (and for calcium).
The IOM committee’s report, released this morning, says evidence for many of the health claims for vitamin D is “inconsistent and/or conflicting or did not demonstrate causality.” The exception is the vitamin’s well-documented (and noncontroversial) benefits on bone growth and maintenance.
The IOM panel’s report also says most North Americans (Canadians as well as Americans) have more than enough vitamin D in their blood to achieve the desired effect on bone. The committee said a blood level of 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) is sufficient for most people.
The panel set 600 International Units (IU) as the recommended daily intake for children and for adults ages 19 to 70. People ages 71 and older are supposed to get an additional 200 IU, or 800 IU a day.
That’s a fairly sizable increase over the previous recommendations of 200 IU per day through age 50, 400 IU for people ages 51 to 70, and 600 IU for people ages 71 and older. Read more »
Over the long weekend I caught up on some reading. One article* stands out. It’s on informed consent, and the stunning disconnect between physicians’ and patients’ understanding of a procedure’s value.
The study, published in the Sept 7th Annals of Internal Medicine, used survey methods to evaluate 153 cardiology patients’ understanding of the potential benefit of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI or angioplasty). The investigators, at Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts, compared patients’ responses to those of cardiologists who obtained consent and who performed the procedure. As outlined in the article’s introduction, PCI reduces heart attacks in patients with acute coronary syndrome — a more unstable situation than is chronic stable angina, in which case PCI relieves pain and improves quality of life but has no benefit in terms of recurrent myocardial infarction (MI) or survival.
The main result was that, after discussing the procedure with a cardiologist and signing the form, 88 percent of the patients, who almost all had chronic stable angina, believed that PCI would reduce their personal risk for having a heart attack. Only 17 percent of the cardiologists, who completed surveys about these particular patients and the potential benefit of PCI for patients facing similar scenarios, indicated that PCI would reduce the likelihood of MI.
This striking difference in patients’ and doctors’ perceptions is all the more significant because 96 percent of the patients “felt that they knew why they might undergo PCI, and more than half stated that they were actively involved in the decision-making.” Read more »
E. coli is a Gram negative rod-shaped bacterium that is a regular inhabitant of the human gastrointestinal tract and certain strains can cause a lot of trouble. A team from the University of Tokyo in Japan, however, have manipulated the bacterium to perform a more noble task: Solving Sudoku.
The bacterium managed to solve 4×4 grid Sudoku puzzles, and in theory the more common 9×9 grid puzzles should be solvable as well. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*
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