This is going to be a quick welcome to Deborah Blum who has just moved her blog, Speakeasy Science, to ScienceBlogs.
Because I am only 22 pages away from finishing her latest book, The Poisoner’s Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York.
This engaging tale of the race of science and medicine against chemical poisonings for profit and punishment features the true story of NYC chief medical examiner Charles Norris and toxicologist Alexander Gettler.
Of course, the other actors are arsenic, methanol, chloroform, thallium, and radium, among others. In the teens through the mid-1930s, long before benchtop atomic absorption spectrophotometry and LC/MS instruments, Norris and Gettler devised methods to detect poisons in human tissues with high sensitivity. These advances led to the prosecution of some, the absolution of the wrongly-accused, and revealed that our own government poisoned citizens who dared to challenge Prohibition. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Terra Sigillata*
Over at the WSJ Health Blog, some academic docs, such as hospitalist Dr. Wachter are suggesting just that.
Punishments such as revoking privileges for a chunk of time tend to be used for administrative infractions that cost the hospital money – things like failing to sign the discharge summaries that insurance companies require to pay the hospital bill. By contrast, hospital administrators may just shrug their shoulders when it comes to doctors who fail or refuse to follow rules like a “time out” before surgery to avoid operating on the wrong body part.
Docs and nurses who fail to follow rules about hand hygiene or patient handoffs should lose their privileges for a week, Pronovost and Wachter suggest. They recommend loss of privileges for two weeks for surgeons who who fail to perform a “time-out” before surgery or don’t mark the surgical site to prevent wrong-site surgery.
This couldn’t have come at a better time. At Happy’s hospital there is a massive witch hunt to crack down on not signing off verbal orders within 48 hours. This has nothing to do with patient safety. It has everything to do with meeting the requirements of CMS so the hospital does not lose their funding. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at A Happy Hospitalist*