Healthcare Update Sattelite — 08-28-2013


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British National Health Service now gives physical therapists and podiatrists the authority to prescribe medications to patients without physician supervision. Good for them.
I still believe that all drugs aside from antibiotics and perhaps narcotics should be over the counter anyway.

Not only the King of Beers, it’s the King of Emergency Department visits. One third of injury visits to Level 1 trauma centers were alcohol related. Personally, I think that number is low. Of the patients who admitted drinking before their injury, 69% were male and 69% were black. Of the types of alcohol consumed before the injury, Budweiser ranked supreme. Malt liquor was consumed by 46% of patients before their injury while it only accounted for 2.4% of consumption in the general population. (.pdf file)
As a result of this study, the researchers suggested that alcohol content on malt liquors should be clearly labeled and that perhaps the availability of malt liquor should be limited … which just tells me that the researchers really have no clue about real world effects of their recommendations.

Welcome to the Abercrombie and Fitch emergency department, how may I help you? When payments for providing care get cut, some hospitals get creative in making more income. Ohio State University is one of them. Hey – think about the Ronald McDonald Childrens Hospitals. Not sure I disagree with the tactic, although it may tend blur the distinction between medical care and retail which I don’t think is a good thing.
Although personally I would think it was funny if some rich donor from another school purchased the naming rights for a hospital and made it the Michigan Wolverine Trauma Center.

Elevated BMI may not be the best indicator of poor health. In fact, some studies show that an “obese” BMI improves survival under certain conditions. So why do we use it? “Because it’s simple,” says one of the authors of the paper.
Strangely similar to Press Ganey scores, isn’t it?

Using Google Glass to record and live-stream surgery? The Reebok Chair of Orthopedics at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center is doing it. Check out the video.
Had you going for a second with that “Reebok” thing, didn’t I?

Why we need free markets and open pricing. Hospitals charge $787 for IV fluids that cost about $1 per bag. Then hospitals accept $119 as payment in full of bills for more than $2,100.

Illinois emergency department gets a bolus of 79 teenaged patients who were crop-dusted while in a field detasseling corn. What felt like raindrops was really some chemical being dropped on the field next to theirs.
Monsanto apparently owned the field and the patients were being contracted to work in the field. A spokesman for Monsanto, who incidentally has three eyes, seventeen fingers, and involuted genitals, said there was nothing to worry about.
I’m kidding. She only has thirteen fingers.

Are you giving epinephrine to patients with suspected or actual anaphylaxis in your ED? If not, you should be.

Tort reform works. Or, if you’re a plaintiff attorney, tort reform is a sham. Medical malpractice payouts reach an all-time low in 2012.

One final note from the ED community to the ED community. A third year emergency medicine resident at Cook County Hospital in Chicago was recently diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. Because it is so rare, there is no standard treatment, so insurance won’t cover any therapy.
If you can spare a few bucks to help or if you can attend a fundraising event, it would be appreciated.


  1. The IL crew detasseling corn — great summer work for rural teens — was in an adjacent field when a crop duster spraying fungicide on a separate corn field mistakenly turned around over the detasseling crew. Monsanto did not own the field the crew duster was contracted to spray.

    Parody: Dr.WhiteCoat, who incidentally wields three stethoscopes, refuses to review patient charts and has an involuted humor, said I don’t get paid to fact check. I’m kidding. He said is required not to fact check.

    • You got me doc.
      Monsanto was “using” the field, it didn’t “own” the field. And I’m sure that Monsanto had nothing to do with the chemicals being sprayed, either. Just some random fungicide attack. Good thing we have Johnny on the Spot reporter wannabes like you to clarify things.
      And I think you huffed too much of that fungicide. Seems like the humor center in your brain is misfiring and your grammar gene has been adversely affected.
      If you can’t take a joke, you can read this instead.
      Or is it that you work for Monsanto and you’re having difficulty with your polydactyly?

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