Eye Safety Tips Over Labor Day Weekend

In the U.S., more than 9,000 fireworks injuries happen each year, with roughly 1 in 8 fireworks injuries harming the eyes. With Labor Day weekend celebrations approaching, Dr. Ronald C. Gentile, Professor of Ophthalmology and the Chief of Ocular Trauma Service at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, wants to remind people of some eye health and fireworks safety tips.

“Common fireworks and sparkler eye injuries include burns, lacerations, abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and ruptured eyeball,” says Dr. Gentile. “And children are frequent victims of these injuries. As many as 30 percent of eye traumas caused by fireworks impact kids.”

Read more

New Research Refutes Long-Held Antiviral Theory

A long-standing belief that mammals use the same potent antiviral molecules deployed by plants and invertebrates is being challenged by researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Their findings, published in the July 10, 2014, issue of Cell Reports, surprised many scientists who assumed that antiviral RNA Interference (RNAi) exists in humans as a natural result of evolution.

Scientists know that human cells, like cells in every living organism with a nucleus, encode and generate small RNAs, which influence our genetics. It is also known that mammals combat viruses with interferons—proteins manufactured by immune cells in response to pathogens.

Read more

Chronic Disease Management Is Not “Free” Under Obamacare

Here’s a Q&A from Kaiser Health News:

“Q. My doctor added on a charge for a “chronic disease management” appointment on top of my annual physical because I have thyroid disease and arthritis. The doctor’s office explained that my visit was more complicated than a routine physical. I’m not sure I buy that. In my case, it only cost a $20 copay, but I was surprised that it was billed that way, and it could be a surprise for someone without the excellent coverage that I have. Can they do that? ”

Read more

“Consumers Expecting Free ‘Preventive’ Care Sometimes Surprised By Charges”

Recently Kaiser Health News reported “The new health-care law encourages people to get the preventive services they need by requiring that most health plans cover cancer screenings, contraceptives and vaccines, among other things, without charging patients anything out of pocket. Some patients, however, are running up against coverage exceptions and extra costs when they try to get those services.

Read more

“Doctors’ Stethoscopes Are Contaminated With Bacteria … That Can Easily Be Transferred From One Patient To Another”

A recent New York Times article noted “Doctors’ stethoscopes are contaminated with bacteria that can easily be transferred from one patient to another …”

“Researchers cultured bacteria from the fingertips, palms and stethoscopes of three doctors who had done standard physical examinations on 83 patients at a Swiss hospital. They tested for the presence of viable bacterial cells, looking specifically for the potentially deadly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.”

Read more

“The Doctor-Patient Relationship Is Ideally An Intimate Partnership Where Information Is Exchanged Openly And Honestly.”

A recent New York Times article addressed this concept by stating “That it is seldom the reality, however. Deception in the doctor-patient relationship is more common than we’d like to believe. Deception is a charged word. It encapsulates precisely what we dread most in a doctor-patient relationship, and yet it is there in medicine, and it often runs both ways.”

Then a vignette:

Read more

Preventing Clothing Infection Transmission From Your Doctor

We used to hear that male pediatricians do not wear ties to prevent the spread of infection.

Recently an article in the New England Journal of Medicine “issued new guidelines to help prevent infection transmission through healthcare personnel attire outside the operating room,” while acknowledging “role of clothing in cross-transmission remains ‘poorly established.’”

Among the recommendations, published in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology:

Read more

“Like All Victims Of The Single Best Answer Syndrome, (The Doctor) Ordered Tests …”

“… in wild profusion because, in his experience, every question had an answer and a test that would get you there.”

We have become a society where test scores are associated with success so it is not surprising that this has become a controversy in physician education.

Recently an article in the New York Times noted: “My young friend had just finished the last months of his medical training. He had faced down many multiple-choice tests and triumphed over them all.”

Read more

“What Personal Care Hospitalized Patients Now Get Is Mostly From Nurses.”

“When nursing is not optimal, patient care is never good.”

It’s always interesting and illuminating what we learn from physicians who report on their experiences as hosptalized patients.

Recently a New York Times article reported about the hospitalization experience of a legendary physician.

“Last June, the month he turned 90, Dr. Arnold S. Relman, the eminent former medical educator and editor, fell down a flight of stairs at his home in Cambridge, Mass. He cracked his skull and broke three vertebrae in his neck and more bones in his face.”

Read more