Healthcare Update Satellite — 03-25-2014


Patients gone wild. Really wild. 70 year old Brookdale Hospital nurse Evelyn Lynch gets knocked to the ground by patient Kwincii Jones and has her head stomped. She was knocked unconscious and suffered severe facial fractures. Also underwent brain surgery, so it is likely she suffered a brain bleed or has brain swelling as well.

Congratulations to the antivaccination movement for increasing the worldwide incidence of pertussis and measles. Measles and mumps are now “crushing” the UK. Patients with “religious exemptions” to receiving vaccinations were reportedly the source of one recent California pertussis outbreak.

Rise of the machines. I thought I was pretty good at spotting patients in fake pain. Turns out that most observers are only slightly better than chance at picking out fakers from the real deal. This computer program can achieve 85% accuracy in picking out patients who are truly in pain just by analyzing their facial expressions. Of course, watching the surveillance video of people skipping in the parking lot, then limping into the ED hunched over in “pain” is also a dead giveaway.

Machines are also pretty darn good at sniffing out cancer. A device called BreathLink can detect changes in a woman’s breath that suggest breast cancer and has a diagnostic power similar to mammograms. The device may also be able to test for tuberculosis.
The article also has a neat table about the odors different disease processes cause. Did you know that rubella may cause your sweat to smell like freshly plucked feathers or that schizophrenia may cause your sweat to smell like vinegar? Typhoid fever may cause your skin to smell like fresh-baked bread.

Wrapping that rascal is more and more important lately. The CDC is warning that gonorrhea may soon become untreatable. The “love dart” – otherwise known as an injection of Rocephin – has been a stalwart of treatment and now gonorrhea is showing resistance to this class of medications as well. Another article on the topic in The Verge here.
By the way, do you know what you get when you kiss a parakeet? Chirpes … fortunately that’s still tweetable.
Stop groaning. That thar’s funny and you know it.

What do you do if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer? Take a deep breath. Own it. Don’t run to consult Dr. Google. Dr. Peter Edelstein has some more suggestions here.

Utah Senate passes bill allowing doctors to prescribe Narcan to third parties to administer to patients who may be suffering from opiate overdose.
Initially, I had problems with this idea. Would people be able to inject it IM or assemble the intranasal administration assembly? How would the lay public deal with patients who are suddenly thrown into withdrawals?
Then I thought that it would be better to at least attempt to reverse an opiate overdose and deal with the consequences rather than having a patient die.
So why require a prescription? Shouldn’t Narcan just be made over the counter?

Rhode Island emergency department becomes first in nation to incorporate Google Glass into patient care.

Call of Duty – Dialysis Edition. 14-year-old Norwegian kid drinks 4 LITERS of an energy drink over 16 hours so he could stay awake playing Call of Duty. Ends up in a coma in a hospital for two weeks with “kidney failure” but is expected to respawn and live to fight another day.

Many people in New York contracting rare skin infection called Mycobacterium marinum. All of the 30 cases diagnosed were in people who were handling seafood.

Trying to change the message again. Obamacare architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel asserts that “you don’t need a doctor for every part of your health care.” If you like your high school sophomore with a 16 hour course in basic first aid, you can keep your high school sophomore with a 16 hour course in basic first aid.


  1. I don’t suppose someone will have an open comment section for Doctors Day on March 30th will you? I’m actually taking off a day on Friday and doing some tomorrow too, taking a card and other homemade goodies for my docs who are great!

  2. How did I not know there is a Doctor’s Day?

    Anyway …they are such LIARS. Security? What a JOKE!!! I trust the doctors …but the government system can be hacked into. They KNOW this or they would not have created a law stating the government cannot be held accountable if there is an identity theft issue with the customers. And if there can be identity theft …then private information could be leaked.

    Think about this…you are obligated to pay a tax if you are uninsured and don’t sign up for the ACA …yet …it is an established FACT that if you do enroll …you could be at serious risk for identity theft.

    It is more expensive than the insurance insured people were covered under before being kicked off their quality plans and being forced on to the inferior ones. I’ll stop here. Anyone who has followed this KNOWS what the problems are.

    It is mind boggling to me that they think it’s great that people already PAYING for insurance they LIKED will be forced onto MEDICAID plans!

    It was so hard watching Pelosi repeatedly state how affordable this plan is. And have to lol when progressives bristle at the ACA being called obamacare when he himself said he liked it.

    I honest to God do not understand how every dem that voted to push this thru can sleep at night. And the same for the press who never challenges the policies and are therefore complicit in the destruction on so many fronts in this great country of ours. HOW do they sleep at night?

    Or are they really that stupid???

    And …wouldn’t it have been cheaper and better for the country if they just found a way to subsidize the uninsured without taking the entire health care system down in the process? And yes it was broken and needed revamping …but this is a disaster. Should’ve prioritized!

    I mean ..just establish a strict criteria to be met …follow up and pay for them? It still would have to be cheaper than all this fallout from this destructive debacle of a health care bill.

    Just saying.

  3. I loved the chirpes joke. Marrying that with the concept of “knowing my audience”, I’ll be sure to use it with some of my patients.

  4. California’s population is 38.2 million, and 49 cases of measles, they call it an Outbreak. How many children in Cali?

    While autism percentages are not considered an “Outbreak”.
    “autism and related disorders have come to affect one of every 88 children and one of every 54 boys, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.”

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