Like most pregnant women Lynsey Addario was cautious and conscientious. After all, this was her first pregnancy. She called the border officials in advance to make certain that she would not have to walk through an X-ray machine when she entered a country that has been besieged by war for more than 60 years. Unfortunately, Addario was wrong. Dead wrong. She was scanned, not once. Not twice. But THREE times and then made to strip down to her underwear. The soldiers laughed each time she complained. What was so funny? Her 28-week pregnant belly? Or perhaps her vulnerability.
As an American photojournalist with a Pulitzer Prize under her belt, Addario is not immune to danger. She had first-hand experience while on an assignment for The New York Times in March of 2011. At that time, she along with four other journalists went missing for four days in Libya. They were ultimately released but not before Addario was allegedly groped and humiliated by Libyan soldiers. In May 2009 she broke her collar bone in a motor vehicle accident in Pakistan where another passenger was injured and the driver was killed. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*
Medical Pastiche blogger Peter Zavislak, whom I can always count on to point out the unusual and interesting sides of medicine, sent me to a website that has nothing but pictures and videos of food in an MRI scanner.
Here’s a series of images from their site of a cantaloupe as viewed from an MRI:
I just find myself thinking that these MRI machines aren’t cheap to run and maintain. Doctors and nurses used to be able to get “freebies” by buddying up with the X-ray, CT or MRI technologist and running a scan for free.
Some hospitals allow their employees to test the machines after being set up or maintained to get images for testing purposes. I’m sure more than a technologist or radiologist or two have found incidentalomas from this practice. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*
Emergency physicians are in a dilemma. Risk missing a diagnosis and be sued, or be criticized for overtesting.
Regular readers of this blog, along with many other physicians’ blogs, are familiar with the difficult choices facing doctors in the emergency department.
The Associated Press, continuing its excellent series on overtesting, discusses how lawsuit fears is a leading driver of unnecessary tests. Consider chest pain, one of the most common presenting symptoms in the ER:
Patients with suspected heart attacks often get the range of what the ER offers, from multiple blood tests that can quickly add up in cost, to X-rays and EKGs, to costly CT scans, which are becoming routine in some hospital ERs for diagnosing heart attacks …
… and the battery of testing may be paying off: A few decades ago insurance statistics showed that about 5 percent of heart attacks were missed in the emergency room. Now it’s well under 1 percent, said Dr. Robert Bitterman, head of the American College of Emergency Physicians’ medical-legal committee.
“But you still get sued if you miss them,” Bitterman added.
The American Medical Association’s idea of providing malpractice protection if doctors follow standardized, evidence-based guidelines makes sense in these cases. Furthermore, it can also help reduce the significant practice variation that health reformers continually focus on. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at KevinMD.com*
An orthopedic doctor in Japan wanted to see what made the iPad tick, so he threw it under an X-ray machine and posted the images to his blog.
We guess the good doctor (whose name is Dr. Ambition, according to his blog) wasn’t happy with all of the teardown photos and videos of the iPad. Or maybe he just wanted to see what happens when you pump it full of radiation.
Appropriately enough, the iPad’s X-ray was processed with OsiriX DICOM medical imaging software for Mac.
The good news for the iPad is that nothing was broken and, as long as the stool samples come back negative, it seems it can look forward to a long life.
*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*
There’s a nice WSJ article on how forward treatment of combat casualties has become possible. Kudos to these deployed doctors, and to the military that invests the time, money and effort to make things like this happen:
Dr. York, an interventional radiologist who usually performs surgery at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Va., is especially skilled at treating internal injuries. His type of surgery—using X-rays and imaging equipment to guide catheters through veins to perform micro-operations—is comparatively rare in emergency rooms. But in the cramped Kandahar hospital, it is critical to saving lives.
via Wounded Soldiers Have Increased Odds of Survival – WSJ.com.
Probably the world’s only front-line (literally) interventional radiologist.
HT: He who shall not be named.
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*