Healthcare Update Satellite — 09-04-2013


Look for more updates on my other blog at

American Medical News ceasing publication due to decreasing ad sales. Now focusing on online and e-mail publications.

Too fat to rescue? Some patients weighing more than 350 pounds (and even some weighing more than 250 pounds) are being denied air transport due to their weight. Other services are spending millions of dollars to purchase helicopters that can carry patients up to 650 pounds.
What happens with a 750 pound patient, then?

University of Pennsylvania adding metal detectors to its emergency departments. They reportedly aren’t used in emergencies, though.

Young California girls end up in emergency department, then in burn unit after getting lime juice on their skin and then going out into the sun. All apparently suffered from phytophotodermatitis. They’re healing well, but can’t go out into the sun for 6 months and all have scars to their faces, torsos, and extremities.

I’m not even going to post a link, but I’m having difficulty determining whether it is appropriate for a chain of acute care clinics … in Florida … to be advertising how it will provide “stronger” treatment for painful conditions and “emergency pain relief” for patients who don’t want to wait in emergency departments.

Jesse Jackson Jr will be in jail, but receiving almost $150,000/year in federal pension and disability payments for his mood disorder.

Kid has minor blunt head injury? Observation in the ED significantly lessens the likelihood that a CT of the brain will be performed.

Obamacare is great. That’s why Daniel Werfel, the Principal Deputy IRS Commissioner for Services and Enforcement (and one of the people who will be helping enforce the Unaffordable Insurance Act mandates) wants to exempt himself and his employees from the Obamacare exchanges.

Patient’s gone wild again. California patient goes to the ED for treatment, then once he gets inside begins chasing staff around, punching one staff member in face. Now he’s cooling his heels in the Greybar Motel.


  1. Pingback: Too fat to rescue? More heavy patients denied air ambulances | The ACUTE CARE Blog: Non-Urban Emergency Medicine

  2. currently federal employees will remain in the FEHB (federal employees health benefits) so the senator is somewhat disingenuous. the letter from nteu expresses opposition to a proposed bill, it does not ask for an exemption because there is no requirement that employees/retirees go into the exchanges. nowhere in the nteu letter is the word “exemption” mentioned.

  3. …and a 225-pound Arizona patient who had an infection caused by flesh-eating bacteria and couldn’t be transported by a responding helicopter

    I’m 6’4″ and 222 pounds, the same weight I was when I played college basketball (I was the “little guy” on the team). I’m surprised that emergency air transport wouldn’t be able to handle someone just three pounds heavier than me — I’m hardly obese.

  4. The names of the little girls who squeezed lime juice all over themselves:

    Jewels (yes, plural, for some reason)



  5. As for Jesse, Jr. Please. He knew exactly what he was doing and prison will be a small price to pay because he will get out and have all kinds of perks, despite what he’s done.

  6. regarding phytophotodermatitis
    “Hogweed Burns

    Coming into contact with the sap of giant hogweed, followed by exposure to sunlight, can produce painful, burning blisters, also known as photo-dermatitis. Hogweed stems contain a large amount of juice that squirts out when stems are broken or cut. Contact with the toxic sap usually happens when people cut down hogweed plants without taking precautions.”

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