What is Science Up to?

A hilarious piece aired on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart back in October 26, 2011 titled “Science: What’s It Up To?” In the segment Aasif Mandvi sits down with Republican Strategist Noelle Nikpour She says “Scientists are scamming the American people right and left for their own financial gain.” Aasif Mandvi comments “Why are surgeons the only ones allowed to perform surgeries and other surgeons are the only ones who get to say whether this surgery is necessary or not? Doesn’t make any sense. And the only other people that can check to make sure that they are not manipulating ….are other scientists.” Dr. Martin Chalfie later comments “All that we do in science is subjected to peer review.” Of course the issue as pointed it in the segment is that the peers are other scientists like them. Watch … Read more

Research During Residency for Oral Surgeons?

Earlier this year over the summer an article appeared in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery discussing the attitudes of program directors and residents toward performing research during residency. I commented on this article here http://blog.teethremoval.com/the-lack-of-importance-of-research-in-oral-and-maxillofacial-surgery-residency-programs/ A new article has appeared in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery written by Dr. James R. Hupp titled Research During Residency – Should it be Mandated? (vol. 69, pages 2685-2687, 2011). In the article is a discussion of research and whether or not it should be performed by oral surgeons in residency. Dr. Hupp discuses his own experience with research work and then questions if the current accreditation standards require all Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residents to do research. He says: “Now the question becomes, should our standards require all residents to have the opportunity to conduct research and, in my … Read more

Tips to Prevent Medical Errors – AHRQ

The largely ineffective Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has a list of 20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors  http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/20tips.htm Number 20 on the list is  “Learn about your condition and treatments by asking your doctor and nurse and by using other reliable sources.” It then suggests to ask your doctor if the treatment is based on the latest evidence. The way this is presented it seems to say that doctors and nurses often do not always present treatment options based on the latest evidence. As argued by Shannon Brownlee, http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0710.brownlee.html the U.S. is clearly in need of an “… independant agency that would fund systematic reviews of the medical literature, as well as clinical trials to test the comparative effectiveness of everything from drugs to treatments” Unfortunately the current AHRQ is not performing this service as it … Read more

Surgical Treatment of Migraine Headaches

A study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery shows that trigger site surgery may aid in reducing or even eliminating migraine headaches. 100 patients in a study underwent injection of botulinum toxin A (Botox) into up to 4 potential trigger sites. If a trigger site was identified to be effective than surgery was performed in that trigger area in order to decompress nerves and remove muscles. 71 of 79 patients that were evaluated over a 5 year period were observed to have improvement. This meant they had less mean migraine intensity and or less mean migraine duration. 20 of 69 patients (29.0%) reported elimination of migraines and 41 of 69 patients (59.4%) experience a significant decrease. Surgery is not without risk and neither is injection of botulinum toxin A.  2 patients had hypersensitivity, 2 patients had hyposensitivity, and 2 patients … Read more

Adverse Sedation Events and Impact on Provider Specialty in Pediatrics

Recently an article was published in Pediatrics titled Impact of Provider Specialty on Pediatric Procedural Sedation Complication Rates with authors Kevin G. Couloures, Michael Beach, Joseph P. Cravero, Kimberly K. Monroe and James H. Hertzog.   (2011, 127, pages e1154-e1160).  The conclusion presented in the abstract of the article is “In our sedation services consortium, pediatric procedural sedation performed outside the operating room is unlikely to yield serious adverse outcomes. Within this framework, no differences were evident in either the adjusted or unadjusted rates of major complications among different pediatric specialists.” The authors mentioned in this article another study conducted in Pediatrics which found over a 27 year period there were 60 cases identified in which death or severe neurological injury occurred of children 0.08 years to 20 years old. However, this study presented different conclusions in the abstract of the … Read more