31 March 2008
Not surprisingly, this medicine would frequently be added to the formulary soon after. The military system had to put a draconian ethic system in place because the problem spiraled out of control. Every new drug to hit the market was making its way into the military treatment facilities, no matter what it cost. Even after these new rules were in place, it was a long time before pharmacists and doctors started having trouble working around the restrictions. One pharmacist I knew made sure the drug reps knew exactly how much they could spend per person without running afoul of the regulations... this was down to the penny. It was ten times worse in the civilian hospitals I worked.
I'm all for tort-reform but people need to remember why it became popular in the first place.
29 March 2008
What do you do when the religious beliefs of parents endanger their children? I am a strong supporter of parental rights and the freedom to practice religion, but kids have rights too.
The family believes in the Bible, which says healing comes from God, Leilani Neumann said.
If they believe in God and the Bible, where do they think medical knowledge comes from? If a child breaks a bone, is it a sin to put a cast on? The parents have three other children who are now staying with another relative while this is being investigated. I hope the investigation is thorough, but that won't bring Kara back.
28 March 2008
I love when simple things are used in new ways that make you say, "Dang! I should have thought of that!" This article just started me wondering about other technologies that have been around for decades might be useful in unique ways.
As decibels rise, the colors on the new monitoring system change from green to yellow to red, hushing chatty parents or doctors so the babies get the rest they need to develop.
It will be interesting to see some longevity studies on the efficacy of these monitors.
17 March 2008
If you mumble to yourself, "Great veins!" when looking at the arms of complete strangers... you might be a nurse.
If you believe that the more equipment a doctor carries, the newer they are... you might be a nurse.
If you wash your hands before going to the bathroom... you might be a nurse.
If you ever get scared when a child is quiet... you might be a nurse.
If you've ever been tempted to choke the life out of someone who thinks the night shift is boring because, "All the patients do is sleep"... you might be a nurse.
12 March 2008
My oldest daughter is blind in one eye and we were told as recently as last year that it wasn't something they could fix. The doctor didn't even mention this, so I don't think the research is very common knowledge. Our daughter's very good eye surgeon and I had discussed what advances were being made, and what more needed to happen, before we could reasonably hope my daughter's vision might be restored. According to what we looked at, the medical science seemed to be between 10 and 15 years away, but now it's time to make another appointment I think. Just to talk.
08 March 2008
I used to work with patients suffering from Alzheimer's and other demetias when I was a clinical instructor in the Army. At the time, Aricept was one of the first drugs specifically labeled for treatment of Alzheimer's. Since then, it's not surprising that many advances have been made, so as I read this article was very surprised to see this:
Still, some controversy exists among experts as to what actually causes Alzheimer’s. Recent breakthrough research raises the question that Alzheimer’s could be a third form of diabetes. [emphasis mine]
I had never considered this but it makes a lot of sense. We already know that diabetes can have many chronic and potentially fatal complications. Cardiovascular disease, impotence, nerve damage, diabetic retinopathy... the list goes on and on. What most people don't realize about diabetes is that it's really about insulin, not sugar. I'm going to simplify this quite a bit, but it's pretty representative of what happens. Insulin is what breaks down sugar in the blood (glucose).
When your pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin, that's Type I (or Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus -- IDDM). When your cells resist insulin and prevent it from working even though you have enough, that's Type 2 (or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus -- NIDDM). It's really that simple... diabetics either don't make the insulin they need, or something in their cells keeps the insulin from working.
Alzheimer's is generally considered to be caused by the formation of amyloid plaques and tangles breaking down the brain's nerve cells. Now, how can problems with insulin be related to Alzheimer's? My guess (and it's only my guess, no research or anything to back it up. Just thoughts sparked by the linked article) is that if insulin is interfering with the transport or function of glucose (blood sugar) past the blood-brain barrier, it could possibly create the amyloid plaques and tangles assumed to cause Alzheimer's. This could be either through direct accumulation of waste sugars, damage from excess sugars in the vessels (kind of like creating scar tissue), or something else that I haven't considered.
The bottom line is that this will be very interesting research to watch in the future because curing one might end up meaning curing both. That would be fantastic.
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