Archive | September, 2013

Anti Affordable Care Act (Anti ObamaCare) Ads with Uncle Sam

In the United States, with the ObamaCare exchanges set to go live on Tuesday and the looming government shutdown also set for Tuesday, I wanted to draw your attention to some recent ads you may have missed. Now I came across these ads watching Real time with Bill Maher last week, where Bill plays one of the ads on his program and discusses it. The videos are designed to deter young people from signing up for the ObamaCare exchanges and do so by featuring a young man and a young woman about to undergo prostate and pelvic exams. The ads are from from Generation Opportunity, a Virginia-based group with ties to the Koch brothers. I have embedded the two ads below and they both show two young college age students who have their first doctors appointment using the new ObamaCare exchanges. In both videos before the pelvic or prostate exams are to be performed, the doctor leaves, and then a sinister looking Uncle Sam emerges. For a more detailed analysis of the videos I suggest the article titled Anti-ObamaCare ads show menacing Uncle Sam giving prostate exams by Elise Viebick on September 19, 2013 on the Hill located over at  http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/323319-disturbing-anti-obamacare-ads-place-uncle-sam-in-exam-room […]

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Unsafe Injection Practices Plaque U.S. Outpatient Facilities

In a post last year I discussed how an Oral Surgeon Investigated for Reusing Needles and Syringes. In a recent article in JAMA titled “Unsafe Injection Practices Plague US Outpatient Facilities, Harm Patients,” Bridget M. Kuehn discusses many problems with injection practices (December 26, 2012,Vol 308, No. 24, pp. 2551-2552). She describes how hepatitis C virus was contracted by 2 patients who received an epidural injection from a pain management clinic. “During the visit, they observed the physician who treated both patients withdrawing medication from a multiple-dose vial with a previously used syringe topped with a new needle, a breach of safe injection practices that may have contaminated the vial and exposed subsequent patients to potential blood-borne infections.” This led to 8,000 patients who were treated at the clinic to be tested and 8 additional cases of hepatis C to be found. A few large studies have explored the issue of lapses in infection control and have showed that they happen in more than 40% of all surgery clinics.  The article states “Michael Bell, MD, associate director for infection control in the CDC’s [US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] division of health care quality promotion, was frank in his […]

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How does the U.S. Health Care System Differ From Other OECD Countries

An interesting article written by Victor R. Fuchs titled “How and Why US Health Care Differs From That in Other OECD Countries” appears in JAMA, January 2, 2013,Vol 309, No. 1, pp. 33-34.  The article attempts to discuss the difference between the U.S. Healthcare system and other countries in the  Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). One way they differ is that the healthcare expenditures in the U.S. are twice as high. A second way they differ is that the share of expenditures funded by the U.S. government is lower. Most OECD countries have a tax-supported system healthcare system that is able to have lower administrative costs and is able to negotiate costs more aggressively with drug companies and physicians. Thirdly, there are differences in care with the U.S. being more technology intensive such as with MRIs. The author then argues some reasons for the differences. He says that in the U.S. individuals appear more distrustful of government, and that this has a deeply historic cause. Of course the author points out that Medicare and Medicaid are an exemption to this. I find this argument hard to believe. For example, many Americans put money in a private bank, yet […]

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The Immune System in Critically Ill Children with Influenza

An interesting article discussed the results of a study looking at the immune system in critically ill children. The article describes a study published in early 2013 in the January issue of Critical Care Medicine. Recent evidence indicates that the suppression of innate immune system function can occur in critically ill patients. In this study patients with innate immune suppression produced reduced amounts of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α  when their blood is stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The article states “Results indicated that despite high levels of circulating pro-inflammatory cytokines, critically ill children with influenza demonstrated lower TNFα production capacity compared with healthy control subjects. Further, children who died from influenza had markedly lower TNFα production capacity compared with survivors.” Hence this study suggests that the reduction of immune function in these children who are critically ill may make them more prone to death. Hence, this suggest that therapies developed to target the immune system could potentially be an effective treatment for individuals who are critically ill. Investigators from 15 different children medical centers helped conduct this study. Typically the immune function is not measured in patients with influenza. Source: “Study: Monitoring of Immune Function in Critically Ill Children with Influenza Reveals […]

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The Optional Alternative to Medical Injury Claims

Previously on this blog I have discussed some of the issues with medical malpractice in the United States and some potential alternatives. In this post Potential Alternatives to the Current Medico-Legal System in the United States I talk about some possible alternatives such as having some agreement directly with the physician and hence avoiding trial lawyers. In this provocative post How to Improve Your Chances to Win a Dental Malpractice Lawsuit I discuss the 4 elements you need to win a malpractice suit in the U.S. and a possible suggestion to help improve your chances of doing so. Last year, Kevin Pho known as “social media’s leading physician voice” discussed in a post written on July 16, 2012, titled “The New York medical malpractice crisis: Who’s to blame?,” how some financially struggling hospitals are going without medical malpractice insurance and just going bare as they say. He describes how if hospitals don’t have malpractice insurance than lawyers and patients will go after doctors who may have individual policies. Kevin says that conservatives have failed in their effort for tort-reform by focusing only on non-economic damage caps. Physician groups such as the AMA, ADA, and AAOMS have also seemed to focus more […]

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