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Latest Posts

The FDA Provides The Dos And Don’ts Of Medical Waste Disposal

All medical offices must dispose of medical waste in a safe manner.  I closed my office at the end of September, but my last medical waste pickup is the first Friday of December.  My dear husband is going to open the office and wait for them.

How have you told patients over the years to deal with their medical waste?  Needles?  Syringes?  JP drains they pull out or that fall out before they get back for follow up?

Last week the FDA sent out a press release announcing the launch a new website for patients and caregivers on the safe disposal of needles and other so-called “sharps” that are used at home, at work and while traveling. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Study Looks Into New Afib Treatment: It’s Not All Good News

The news wires for atrial fibrillation were abuzz this last week. The vigor and speed with which health news travels is striking.

Since 2.6 million Americans live with AF, my guess is that many are looking at the release of the Medtronic-sponsored TTOP-AF trial with anticipation. Here is a link to the press release. The trial purported to show benefits of Medtronic’s novel phased RF ablation system in treating persistent AF.

The study was small and released at a relatively small symposium in Venice, Italy. The TTOP-AF trial randomized 210 patients with persistent AF (including flutter) to either ablation with Medtronic’s ablation system or conventional therapy with drugs and cardioversions.

They found, not surprisingly, that AF ablation reduced AF burden. AF ablation significantly reduced AF burden in 55.8% percent of patients versus only 26% of those treated with conventional medical treatment. Editorial comment: That kind of data is pretty typical.

The problem with the study Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr John M*

Hospitalist Compensation Increasing With Productivity

Hospitalists in adult medicine reported an increase in median compensation from $215,000 to $220,619 in 2010, while pediatric hospitalists median compensation rose from $160,038 in 2009 to $171,617 in 2010. Though hospitalists earned more in 2010, they also reported higher productivity. The annual median adult hospitalist physician work relative value unit (wRVU) rate was 4,166, a 1.4% increase over last year.

According to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and Society of Hospital Medicine’s (SHM’s) State of Hospital Medicine: 2011 Report Based on 2010 Data, compensation varied by how it was structured. Adult hospitalists with 50% base salary or less reported median compensation of $288,154, while adult hospitalists with 51-70% base salary reported median compensation of $249,250. Adult hospitalists who reported 71-90% base salary earned Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Hospitalist*

Cook Medical Launches Less Painful Needle For Ovum Collection

Cook Medical has announced the launch of its new Otrieva Tapered Ovum Aspiration Needle for ovum collection in women pursuing in vitro fertilization. The company claims its new needle’s reduced diameter will result in reduced pain and bleeding during the procedure compared to existing solutions, while still providing precise collection.

The Otrieva also makes use of Cook’s EchoTip technology to further enhance safety by improving the needle’s ultrasound visibility.

From the press release:

The Otrieva needle, developed exclusively by Cook, has Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Drug Manufacturer Issues Statement Banning Drug Used For Lethal Injections

A friend sent me a press release a few days ago and I still find myself thinking about it. Here in the United States capital punishment is still legal in many states and is performed, frequently, by lethal injection. Prisoners sentenced to death have an IV placed in their arm which is then infused with the following three solutions:

  1. A barbiturate like Sodium Pentothal or Nembutal, used to induce anesthesia
  2. A paralytic like pancuronium bromide or succinylcholine chloride, used to stop respiration
  3. Potassium chloride used to stop electrical conduction in the heart

I remember a few years ago drug manufacturer Hospira, the producer of Sodium Pentothal, issued a statement that it disapproved of its drug being used in capital punishment.  But, that was as far as their opposition went and, although Sodium Pentothal is in short supply, they have not to my knowledge formally discontinued supplying Sodium Pentothal to doctors who might use the drug in lethal injection.   In 2010, the supply of Sodium Pentothal became limited and several states made the switch to Nembutal.

In response, Lundbeck, the producer of Nembutal, has issued a statement saying that they will no longer provide Nembutal to prisons in states where lethal injection is legal.  In this press release Lundbeck announces its new distribution system, saying: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at On Becoming a Domestic and Laboratory Goddess*

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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