Posts tagged medicine
Posts tagged medicine
Maria Cheng, AP:
More than a decade ago, British parents refused to give measles shots to at least a million children because of a vaccine scare that raised the specter of autism. Now, health officials are scrambling to catch up and stop a growing epidemic of the contagious disease.
This year, the U.K. has had more than 1,200 cases of measles, after a record number of nearly 2,000 cases last year. The country once recorded only several dozen cases every year. It now ranks second in Europe, behind only Romania.
Thanks, Andrew Wakefield! You’ve been barred from practicing medicine in the U.K., but the damage has been done anyway.
See also: some totally untrue facts about Andrew Wakefield, which are at the very least are as true as his vaccine claims.
Emily Anthes, writing on The Public Library of Science blog Wonderland back in 2010:
The case study, which appeared in the journal Movement Disorders in 2000, concerned a 29-year-old man who had been deaf since infancy. We’ll call him Signing Sal. Sal, as it happens, also had Tourette’s. In most people, coprolalia involves randomly blurting out obscenities. Sal, however, wasn’t shouting out obscenities—he was signing them. The researchers—led by Andrew J. Lees at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London—note that Sal was particularly fond of making sexual signs when talking to women. He was also known, as part of his tic, to spell out expletives, letter by letter, in sign language.
Pretty fascinating evidence that the content of Tourette’s outbursts is significant.
Atul Gawande, writing on The New Yorker’s News Desk blog:
The bombs at the Boston Marathon were designed to maim and kill, and they did. Three people died within the first moments of the blast. More than a hundred and seventy people were injured. They had their limbs blown off, vital arteries severed, bones fractured, flesh torn open by shrapnel or scorched by the blasts’ heat. Yet it now appears that every one of the wounded alive when rescuers reached them will survive. […]
How did this happen? Something more significant occurred than professionals merely adhering to smart policies and procedures. What we saw unfold was the cultural legacy of the September 11th attacks and all that has followed in the decade-plus since. We are not innocents anymore.
Gawande goes in to describe in detail after incredible detail how everyone just knew what to do. The thing is, this organization-wide preparedness is only the only way to efficiently respond to a crisis in any industry or setting. No amount of isolated planning will help. No central command will help. In a crisis the entire organization needs to respond independently and confidently. People need to be able to act with autonomy to be able to operate efficiently. And that’s exactly what happened in Boston.
As part of our continuing coverage of places you probably don’t want to seek medical care if you can help it, Jonathan Watts writing for the UK’s The Guardian:
A Brazilian doctor who has been charged with the murder of seven patients is being investigated in almost 300 other cases, according to health authorities investigating what could prove one of the world’s worst serial killings.
Virginia Soares de Souza is accused of cutting the oxygen to people on life-support systems and administering lethal doses of muscle-relaxing drugs in the Evangelica Hospital of Curitiba.
Watts states that no motive is currently known. While looking if there was more information from other sources, I did notice the titles of several other news stories said that she did it to “free up hospital beds,” but none of those stories actually included that in the body text itself so that seems potentially questionable.
This fellow is Nigel Ackland from the United Kingdom. In this video he shows off some of the capabilities of his prosthetic hand, a bebionic3 made by RSLSteeper.
I never realized how much I wanted a hand that can rotate 360˚ until watching this.
Sad news out of South Africa, reported by Sibongile Mashaba for the Sowetan:
AT LEAST 28% of schoolgirls are HIV positive while only 4% of young boys are infected with the virus in the country.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said this was a clear indication that old men were sleeping with young girls - a statistic he said “destroyed my soul”.
Motsoaledi was speaking at a conference, so it doesn’t seem like a full set of numbers was released.
Thaune Nunes Ferreira, 29, was arrested on Sunday for using prosthetic fingers to fool the biometric employee attendance device used at the hospital where she works near Sao Paulo.
We’ve been able to do this kind of thing with fingerprint scanners for a long time, so this isn’t some unprecedented, astounding new scam or anything. Bruce Schneier wrote in 2002 about some Japanese researchers doing it with gelatin, and I’m sure I could find earlier work if I bothered to look deeper.
Still though, fake fingers for fingerprint scanners are totally a thing that’s happened in the real world. And for a pretty mundane reason, too.
Erika Pesantes for the Sun-Sentinel:
A 47-year-old man has been accused of posing as a dentist, treating a woman for a toothache and kissing her buttocks after administering an injection, according to a Hollywood police report.
This guy seems legit.
Linda A. Johnson, AP:
Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals Inc. has recalled dozens of lots of its generic version of cholesterol drug Lipitor because some may contain tiny glass particles, the latest in a string of manufacturing deficiencies that once led U.S. regulators to bar imports of the Indian company’s medicines.
Glass particles in pills. This is frightening. I am frightened.
Fergus Walsh, BBC News:
A Canadian man who was believed to have been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, has been able to tell scientists that he is not in any pain.
It’s the first time an uncommunicative, severely brain-injured patient has been able to give answers clinically relevant to their care.