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Latest Posts

5 Avoidable Air Travel Health Risks

For those of you planning air travel to your next medical conference (and ACP Internist isn’t too shameless to plug Internal Medicine 2011 — we hope to see you there), TIME reports that there are five health risks that are rare yet have recently happened. Tips on avoiding these maladies include:

E. Coli and MRSA on the tray table. Microbiologists found these two everywhere when they swabbed down flights. Bring your own disinfecting wipes.

Bedbugs in the seat. British Airways fumigated two planes after a passenger posted pictures online about her experience. Wrap clothes in plastic and wash them.

Sick seatmates. Everyone has experienced (or been) this person. Wash your hands.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Tennis star Serena Williams experienced a pulmonary embolism, possibly related to recent foot surgery. But DVT can happen to anyone restrained to a cramped position for long periods of time. Move around in-flight (but not during the beverage service, of course.)

Dehydration. Dry cabin air may make it more difficult to fight off infections. Drink more water.

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

An iPhone App With “Skinsight”

photo 5.PNGBedbugs are back. For many people, this is only slightly curious, since their understanding of bedbugs stops at the second half of the bedtime admonition: “Sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.” But, for those others who have experienced a home bedbug infestation, it is a modern nightmare.

The tiny critters can hide in any furniture crevice or fabric fold and come out only in the wee hours of the night in search of their favorite food: human blood. Their bites cause intense itching which can last days to weeks and they can remain dormant and hide for months.

The cause of the recent resurgence is unknown. It does not seem to be paying any great regard to socioeconomic status nor to cleanliness. In metropolitan New York, it seems to have caused a minor panic, with families having to temporarily move out of their homes for toxic fumigation and thousands of dollars of clothes and artifacts being disposed of for fear of contamination. For a chilling recounting, check out this article in the UK Guardian: “How bedbugs invaded New York.”

Since so many skin afflictions are related to insect bites, the folks at Logical Images have just released Bedbugs ‘n Things, an iPhone app that describes the most common perpetrators of insect bites, identification by the appearance of the bite marks and recommended treatment. For bedbugs in particular, it goes further and gives a thorough set of guidelines for concerned traveler so they avoid bringing home uninvited travelers inside their luggage or clothes. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at iMedicalApps*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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