Hospital Runs Ad for $1,995 Colonoscopies in Sunday Newspaper

The Becker Hospital Review article reported “A hospital in New Hampshire is garnering some attention after it advertised its colonoscopies for a flat rate in the Sunday newspaper.”

“Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., is using CareBundles to set all-inclusive fees for colonoscopies, hernia repair ($4,995) and knee arthroscopy ($5,995), according to a New Hampshire Public Radio report. Only the uninsured can get these set-price procedures for now, although the hospital is hoping to launch relationships with employers.”

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“Incidentalomas” + – Concerns about Overdiagnosing and Overtreating Cancer

The Wall Street Journal article noted “Removing the word ‘cancer’ from the terminology used for many slow-growing lesions in the breast, prostate, lung, skin and other body areas could ease patients’ fears and reduce the inclination of doctors to treat them aggressively, says a panel of experts advising the National Cancer Institute.”

“…new diagnostic technology is finding ever smaller abnormalities that are unlikely to be lethal, but are being labeled cancer and treated as if they were. The result: billions of dollars in unnecessary surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.”

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Dirty Dollars! “Talk about Dirty Money: Scientists Are Discovering a Surprising Number of Microbes Living on Cash.”

The Wall Street Journal article noted “In the first comprehensive study of the DNA on dollar bills, researchers at New York University’s Dirty Money Project found that currency is a medium of exchange for hundreds of different kinds of bacteria as bank notes pass from hand to hand.”

“In the first genome study of the DNA on money, NYU researchers identified 3,000 types of bacteria on a set of one-dollar bills collected in New York.”

“Easily the most abundant species they found is one that causes acne. Others were linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning and staph infections, the scientists said. Some carried genes responsible for antibiotic resistance.”

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1881 – Assassination of President Garfield

“What Dr. Towsend did next was something that Joseph Lister, despite years spent traveling the world, proving the source of infection and pleading with physicians to sterilize their hands and instruments, had been unable to prevent. As the president lay on the train station floor, one of the most germ-infested environments imaginable, Towsend inserted an unsterilized finger into the would in his back, causing a small hemorrhage, and almost certainly introducing an infection that was far more lethal than Guiteau’s bullet.”

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Childhood Fever – Nineteenth Century Medical Mystery

Ignaz Semmelweis, a young Hungarian doctor working in the obstetrical ward of Vienna General Hospital in the late 1840s, was dismayed at the high death rate among his patients.

He had noticed that nearly 20% of the women under his and his colleagues’ care in “Division I” (physicians and male medical students) of the ward died shortly after childbirth.

This phenomenon had come to be known as “childbed fever.” Alarmingly, Semmelweis noted that this death rate was four to five times greater than that in “Division II” (female midwifery students) of the ward.

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“Robot versus Surgeon: No Clear Winner”

An article in Medpage Today noted “Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP) led to complication rates, readmission rates, and rates of additional cancer therapy similar to those of conventional surgical prostatectomy, a review of almost 6,000 cases showed.”

“First-year reimbursements were greater for patients undergoing robot assisted compared with open radical prostatectomy.”

“Introduced a decade ago, robot-assisted prostatectomy has become the dominant surgical technique for patients with localized prostate cancer. Investigators in some studies have suggested that robotic prostatectomy has driven the overall prostatectomy rate to a level beyond what would have been expected given current demographic and clinical trends.”

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“…Now the NIH Says That This Routine Gender Bias in Basic Research Must End.”

The New York Times article noted “For decades, scientists have embarked on the long journey toward a medical breakthrough by first experimenting on laboratory animals. Mice or rats, pigs or dogs, they were usually male: Researchers avoided using female animals for fear that their reproductive cycles and hormone fluctuations would confound the results of delicately calibrated experiments.”

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“…Medical Trials —Often Fail to Include Older Participants.”

A Boston Globe article noted for older patients the “cardiologist must develop a treatment plan despite little published evidence to guide his clinical decisions.”

“There are almost no data to guide cardiovascular disease management for people who are over 80 and relatively poor data for people over 70… ‘You have smart and caring doctors trying to practice evidence-based medicine, but there is little evidence.’”

“While doctors and policymakers have long recognized that translating drugs from adults to children might not be as easy as halving the dose, and that the toxicities that are common in men might be different than in women, researchers say that the same understanding lags when it comes to older adults.”

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“…Doctors Didn’t Know Whether the Medication Was FDA Approved for the Condition”

The NPR noted: “One study found that 1 in 5 prescriptions written in doctor’s offices has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the condition it is being used for.”

“It’s actually quite common for doctors to write ‘off label’ prescriptions, including using cancer drugs to treat migraine headaches or blood pressure medication for heart failure.”

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