On the US News & World report website, Dr. Kenny Lin writes as a physician and a concerned observer about “Dangers of Incidentaloma: Why To Think Twice Before Getting a CT Scan.”
It’s an important issue. Give it a look.
Lin’s blog, “The Common Sense Family Doctor,” is also worth visiting. Recently he cited one of my alltime favorite essays, “The Last Well Person,” by Dr. Clifton Meador, who wrote in 1994:
“The demands of the public for definitive wellness are colliding with the public’s belief in a diagnostic system that can find only disease. A public in dogged pursuit of the unobtainable, combined with clinicians whose tools are powerful enough to find very small lesions, is a setup for diagnostic excess. And false positives are the arithmetically certain result of applying a disease-defining system to a population that is mostly well. … If the behavior of doctors and the public continues unabated, eventually every well person will be labeled sick. Like the invalids, we will all be assigned to one diagnosis-related group or another. How long will it take to find every single lesion in every person? Who will be the last well person?”
*This blog post was originally published at Gary Schwitzer's HealthNewsReview Blog*
There was an interesting study published this week in the journal Radiology:
Rising Use of CT in Child Visits to the Emergency Department in the United States, 1995–2008 (Abstract)
The results are not surprising to anyone who has been working in medicine in the US over the last fifteen years. Basically, in 1995, a kid visiting the ER had a 1.2% likelihood of getting a CT scan, and by 2008, that number was 5.9%.
I had written about this general phenomon not too long ago, in defense of the general increase of CT utilization in the ER, largely on the basis that CT is a better tool: it provides diagnoses in a rapid and timely manner, and excludes many potential life threats, saving lives and mitigating malpractice risk. That was largely relevant to the adult population, though, and kids are not, as they say, just little adults. The increase in scanning children is more dramatic, especially given the generally lower incidence of disease in kids compared to adults and the chonrically ill. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*
In preparation of Internal Medicine 2011 in San Diego this week, the unavoidable choice to make isn’t which sessions to attend, but even before arriving: Will you pass through the airport’s security scanners, or opt for the pat down?
Physicians themselves are split on the issue, with some physicians opting out of repeat scanning in favor of the pat down search.
“I do whatever I can to avoid the scanner,” one physician told CNN. Other physicians interviewed were split on the issue one way or another. But as a frequent flier, this doctor was concerned about the cumulative effect. “This is a total body scan–not a dental or chest X-ray. Total body radiation is not something I find very comforting based on my medical knowledge.” Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
By Richard C. Hunt, MD, FACEP
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A 17 year-old athlete arrives on the sideline, at your office, or in the emergency department after hitting her head during a collision on the sports field and is complaining that she has a headache and “just doesn’t feel right.”
Can she return to play? If not, when can she safely return to school, sports, and to her normal daily activities? Does she need immediate care, a Head CT or MRI, or just some time to rest?
Do those questions sound familiar?
Each year thousands of young athletes present at emergency departments and in the primary care setting with a suspected sports- and recreation-related concussion. And every day, health care professionals, like us, are challenged with identifying and appropriately managing patients who may be at risk for short- or long-term problems.
As you know, concussion symptoms may appear mild, but this injury can lead to significant, life-long impairment affecting an individual’s ability to function physically, cognitively, and psychologically. Thus, appropriate diagnosis, referral, and education are critical for helping young athletes with concussion achieve optimal recovery and to reduce or avoid significant sequelae.
And that’s where you come in. Health care professionals play a key role in helping to prevent concussion and in appropriately identifying, diagnosing, and managing it when it does occur. Health care professionals can also improve patient outcomes by implementing early management and appropriate referral.
As part of my work at CDC, and as a health care professional, I am committed to informing others about CDC’s resources to help with diagnosing and managing concussion. CDC collaborated with several organizations and leading experts to develop a clinical guideline and tools for the diagnosis and management of patients with concussion, including:
For more information about the diagnosis and management of concussion, please visit www.cdc.gov/Concussion/clinician.html.
Also, learn more about CDC’s TBI activities and join the conversation at: www.facebook.com/cdcheadsup.
Engineers at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital have been trialing a new system that uses Microsoft’s Kinect to allow surgeons to browse through diagnostic images without having to physically touch any controls. Using the system surgeons can manipulate images without losing sterility, without any assistance from a nurse or other person in the OR, all while not having to move away from the patient.
Here’s a report from The Globe and Mail:
More from The Globe and Mail: Toronto doctors try Microsoft’s Kinect in OR
Flashbacks: Microsoft Kinect 3D Camera for Hands-Free Radiologic Image Browsing;
*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*