Latest Medical News

Item 1: Trick Question

Q. What’s the most dangerous place to go when you’re sick?
A. The hospital.

“In its seminal 1999 report on the subject, To Err is Human, the Institute of Medicine estimated that as many as 98,000 American patients are killed each year by medical error.”

[ Cary’s Note ] Other studies including one by the AMA place that figure much higher — some by over 200% higher.

Subject: Keyword News: [“Journal of the American Medical Association”]

Limits On Resident Work Hours Do Not Improve Patient Mortality Rates,
Studies Find Guidelines that limit medical residents to 80 work hours per week, which were implemented by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education four years ago in an effort to help reduce medical errors, have had little effect on reducing patient mortality rates, according to two studies published Wednesday in the *Journal of the American Medical Association*, …

Item 2: The FIFTH leading cause of death:

“The average community-dwelling older adult takes 4.5 prescription drugs and 2.1 over-the-counter medications,” Dr. Stern reported. Polypharmacy is responsible for up to 28 percent of hospital admissions and, he added, if it were classified as such, it would be the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
< snip >
Never take an over-the-counter or herbal remedy without checking with your doctor. If your doctor is hard to reach or ill informed, ask the pharmacist whether the remedy is safe in view of the other drugs you take.
Carefully review and abide by all dosing directions, especially those that say, “Take with food,” “Take one hour before meals,” “Do not consume alcohol while on this drug,” or, “Do not take this medicine if you are also taking …”

Item 3: FDA Fails to vet Many prescription Drugs

Sports Illustrated Wed, 26 Sep 2007 10:14 AM PDT
Every year, doctors write approximately 65 million prescriptions for drugs not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency that regulates prescription drugs.

Item 4: Many Drugs Slip Through Regulatory black Hole 

Every year, doctors write approximately 65 million prescriptions for drugs not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the federal agency that regulates prescription drugs.

This kind of bad news isn’t limited to the USA as this article illustrates:
One In Ten Patients Comes To Harm While In Hospital, British Study Finds (December 1, 2007) — One in 10 National Health Service (UK) patients comes to harm while in hospital as a result of their clinical care, suggests a new study.

Okay, that’s enough bad news for today. My next few entries will be my own creative stuff.

Walking Corn Chips

Walking Corn Chips. Now that’s a scary thought!

“Our bodies need a balance of omega-6 fatty acids like soybean oil and omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil, Hibbeln says. Over the last century, our diets have shifted almost completely to omega-6 fatty acids.
— Your Health Tools – Health Library
“It’s quite likely that most of the diseases of modern civilization, major depression, heart disease and obesity are linked to the radical and dramatic shift in the composition of the fats in the food supply,” Hibbeln says.
Our brains are composed of fatty acids, and an absence of omega-3 fatty acids can actually change our behavior, according to Hibbeln.
Hibbeln’s research suggests diets containing omega-3 fatty acids found in fish reduce depression, aggression and anger, while improving mental well-being.”

Personal note: I’m not a “corn chip” because I consume virtually no sweeteners. I’m mostly a tomato/wheat/orange/legume/oatbran/soybean (not oil)/peanut/fish.

Airing on CNN six times this weekend so you may want to set your TiVo or VCR to record it.
CNN takes on omega-3 deficiency in the American diet …
“In a special feature to air six times this weekend, CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta will examine how we Americans really are what we eat. According to CNN, “No beef about it, America’s too fat! Dr. Sanjay Gupta investigates our calorie overload – and the science behind it.” All aspects of the American diet will be covered in this story – what we eat, how much, what’s missing, and what the effects are.

“In particular, the CNN Special Investigation Unit story will report that we are not getting enough omega-3 fish oil in our diets, which has been shown to lead to the psychiatric disorders that are currently plaguing the American population. Dr. Gupta will be interviewing CDR Joseph R. Hibbeln, MD of the National Institutes of Health and National Institutes of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, who has extensively studied the connection between omega-3 deficiency and mental health issues such as depression and bi-polar disorder.”