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From “Winnie The Pooh”: Edward Bear And Primary Care

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Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. 

— From A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner.”

Internists, I expect, will identify with Edward Bear.

Richard Baron’s study in the NEJM on the amount of work he and his colleagues do outside of an office visit — the “bump, bump, bump” of a busy internal medicine (IM) practice — has resonated with many of his colleagues.

Jay Larson, who often posts comments on this blog, did a similar analysis for his general IM practice in Montana, and found that for every one patient seen in the office, tasks are done for 6 other unscheduled patients. Jay writes: “So really there [are] internists [who] are managing about 130 patients per day. Not much consolation when they only get paid for 18 per day.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*

Baby-Monitor Bracelets Connect Mommy And Baby

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It’s only a concept, but the Sikker (Danish for “safety”) baby monitor is a great idea by designers Jessica Mendoza and Henoc Monte that will likely have both parents and babies alike going gaga.

The bracelets, charged on a docking station during the day, would allow two-way communication between mother and child, as well as the ability for the mother to monitor the baby’s temperature and heart rate. It would also allow the mother to play .mp3 lullabies to the baby.

If built, they’d probably have to ditch the idea of monitoring temperature, since any readings at the wrist would be poor indicators of core body temperature, but connecting parent and child via bracelet is a good idea that has promise, and it’d be great to see this built.

More from Yanko Design: Sikker is for Safety

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Blue Jeans May Offer Protection From Rattlesnake Bites

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When I was a medical student, I served a summer externship in 1975 with the Indian Health Service at Fort Belknap in Harlem, Montana. On some hot summer evenings, I went fishing at a place the locals called “Snake Lake,” which was loaded with cutthroat trout, and surrounded by rocky outcroppings that were home to scores of rattlesnakes. I was advised to stay away from the rocks, and to always wear long pants.

In the December, 2009 issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine (Ann Emerg Med 2009;54:830-836), there appeared an article reporting a study by Shelton Herbert, PhD and William Hayes, PhD entitled “Denim Clothing Reduces Venom Expenditure by Rattlesnakes Striking Defensively at Model Human Limbs.” The purpose of the study was to determine whether ordinary clothing (denim material from blue jeans) interferes with the kinematics of venom delivery, thereby reducing the amount of venom injected by a typical snake into a (model) human limb. Read more »

This post, Blue Jeans May Offer Protection From Rattlesnake Bites, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Brain Size Does Matter: When It Comes To Video Games

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To the delight of video game enthusiasts, a new study coming out of MIT has discovered a relationship between the size of certain structures in the brain and the ability to perform in video games. The researchers analyzed the size of specific brain regions of the participants using high-resolution MRI. They then had participants play Space Fortress, (pictured) a game that makes Asteroids look like a technological marvel.

Here is more from the press release:

Half of the study participants were asked to focus on maximizing their overall score in a video game while paying equal attention to the various components of the game. The other participants had to periodically shift priorities, improving their skills in one area for a period of time while also maximizing their success at the other tasks. The latter approach, called “variable priority training,” encourages the kind of flexibility in decision-making that is commonly required in daily life, according to Kramer. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Mosquito Repellents: Do Essential Oil Candles Work?

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From the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association comes an interesting article by BC Muller and colleagues (J Am Mosquito Control Assoc 2008;24:154-160) entitled “Ability of Essential Oil Candles to Repel Biting Insects in High and Low Biting Pressure Environments.”

Anyone who has spent much time outdoors, whether on a camping trip or enjoying a backyard picnic, has encountered the scourge of biting insects, and in particular, mosquitoes. There is no good reason to be bitten by a mosquito, and many very important reasons to avoid them, namely, the risk of transmission of infectious disease, such as dengue, West Nile virus, malaria and so on. My first experiences with mosquito repellents were the ubiquitous green (“snake”) coils and candle products, which were supposed to keep the critters away. No surprise – some of them work well and some of them do not work so well. Read more »

This post, Mosquito Repellents: Do Essential Oil Candles Work?, was originally published on Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

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