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Website Offers Tips For Dealing With Stinging Insect Allergies

There is a site on the Internet named “Bee Aware” that provides information for patients and physicians about stinging insect allergies and venom immunotherapy. The quality of the information is good, so this website makes an excellent reference for the average person and can be reliably used by doctors and other health care providers to assist in educating their patients.

For instance:

“It is impossible, not to mention undesirable, to avoid going outdoors, but there are certain precautions that can be taken that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors while minimizing your chances of being stung.

It is important to remember that stinging insects do not seek out humans. The sting of these insects is only used against people for self-defense or in defense of their nest. This is why it is important to never approach or provoke an insect of this kind unnecessarily.

  • If a stinging insect approaches, remain calm and stay still.
  • Never Read more »

This post, Website Offers Tips For Dealing With Stinging Insect Allergies, was originally published on by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Study Looks At The Effectiveness Of Ski Helmets In Preventing Head Injuries

Child with a ski helmet.Ski season is upon us. Many experts (including myself) are of the opinion that helmets should be worn by all downhill skiers and snowboarders to help prevent head injuries. One of the “con” arguments proposed by some persons who object to wearing helmets is that they interfere with skiing in such a way as to perhaps make it more dangerous. In their opinion, this might occur by obscuring peripheral vision or diminishing the perception of sound. A very important article entitled “Do Ski Helmets Affect Reaction Time to Peripheral Stimuli?” (Wilderness & Environmental Medicine:22,148-150,2011) has recently been published by Gerhard Ruedl and colleagues from the Department of Sports Science at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

The investigators sought to determine whether or not ski helmet use affects reaction time to peripheral stimuli. They used the Compensatory-Tracking-Test (CTT) in a laboratory situation to study 10 men and 10 women during four conditions in a randomized order: Read more »

This post, Study Looks At The Effectiveness Of Ski Helmets In Preventing Head Injuries, was originally published on by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Study Investigates The Role Of Fluid Resuscitation In Treatment Of Life-Threatening Infections

Dehydration is a common phenomenon in those suffering from infectious diseases, particularly if the diseases cause vomiting and/or diarrhea. We are all familiar with having the “stomach flu,” “traveler’s diarrhea,” or food poisoning. However, severe infections of all sorts can cause profound illness, debilitation, and fluid losses. In many developing countries, very large numbers of small children are afflicted with non-gastrointestinal infectious diseases that rapidly cause relatively large fluid losses, and therefore profound, life-threatening dehydration, which is manifested in part by dangerously low blood pressure and subsequent failure to deliver precious liquid, nutrients and oxygen to the tissues of the body. This is called “shock.”

The following discussion is cutting edge information, but not simplistic or necessarily easy to understand or apply. However, I have learned that my readers are often volunteers in settings where intensive care medicine must be applied, and want to read more than simple approaches to therapy. So, I am going to do my best to interpret for you what has recently been published in the New England Journal of Medicine in an article entitled “Mortality after Fluid Bolus in African Children with Severe Infection” (N Engl J Med 2011; 364:2483-95) written by Kathryn Maitland and her colleagues.

The focus of their investigation was Read more »

This post, Study Investigates The Role Of Fluid Resuscitation In Treatment Of Life-Threatening Infections, was originally published on by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Wilderness Medical Society Publishes Prevention And Treatment Tips For Altitude Sickness

Led by Andrew Luks MD and his colleagues, the Wilderness Medical Society has published Consensus Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Acute Altitude Illness (Wild Environ Med 2010:21;146-155). These guidelines are intended to provide clinicians about best evidence-based practices, and were derived from the deliberations of an expert panel, of which I was a member. The disorders considered were acute mountain sickness (AMS), high altitude cerebral edema (HACE), and high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE). The guidelines present the main prophylactic and therapeutic modalities for each disorder and provide recommendations for their roles in disorder management. The guidelines also provide suggested approaches to prevention and management of each disorder that incorporate the recommendations.

In outline format, here is what can be found in these Guidelines: Read more »

This post, Wilderness Medical Society Publishes Prevention And Treatment Tips For Altitude Sickness, was originally published on by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

Book Review: Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within

Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within” is a small book written by Kathy and Craig Copeland and published through their company, Here’s a summary from the website:

Everyone walks. What distinguishes hikers is that walking does more than transport us, it transforms us. But nowhere is the thoughtful undercurrent of hiking celebrated. The wisdom we glean from the wilds is a match lit in the rain. That’s why we created this book: to cup our hands around the flame. These journal entries are the mental waypoints we recorded while hiking 30,000 miles / 48,280 km (more than the circumference of the Earth) through wildlands worldwide. Accompanying them are photos of the places (primarily the Canadian Rockies, Utah canyon country, and New Zealand) where we conceived and noted the initial ideas. We hope our words and images compel you to recognize, voice, own and honour the thoughts arising from within while heading outdoors. Doing so will deepen your fulfillment. A truly adventurous life is contemplative as well as vigourous.

It is important for me to state at the outset that my opinions, like those expressed in most book reviews, are highly personal. What I write about “Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within” are my impressions, and you may not agree with them. I am beginning with this comment because I truly had mixed feelings about the book. There were parts that seemed right on target, for me personally, and parts that seemed to miss the mark. I am certain that the authors have great pride in their work, and they are to be congratulated for their efforts. Read more »

This post, Book Review: Heading Outdoors Eventually Leads Within, was originally published on by Paul Auerbach, M.D..

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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