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Old July 29th, 2002, 16:08
sysadmin sysadmin is offline
Join Date: 2001
Posts: 1,085
July 21 - July 27, 2002

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Low Body Temperature Associated With Long-Term Stroke Survival
This study looked at 390 patients with an acute stroke, and found that for each 1 degree increase in temperature (Celsius) there was a 30% increased risk of death at 5 years. Comment: there have been several studies recently that have shown a decreased body temperature improves survival after a stroke, as well as evidence that a lower temperature may also benefit victims of severe myocardial infarction. [ article ]  

Legal System Hijacking Healthcare
The legal system is continuing to take massive amounts of money out of the healthcare system and divert it into their own pockets. In Nevada, the crisis has arrived, with the recent temporary closure of the only trauma center in Las Vegas. When the St. Paul insurance company stopped offering liability insurance to physicians in September, 2001, malpractice premiums have begun to soar. For example, in some instances, insurance rates for trauma surgeons have increased from $40,000 USD a year to $200,000 a year. This has had the effect of forcing highly trained physicians practicing high (liability) risk medicine to either stop practicing or move to a state with tort reform. As noted in previous pearls on this website, access to care is becoming harder and harder, especially for pregnant women in rural areas. Hardest hit specialties are obstetrics, neurosurgery, emergency medicine, and trauma surgery. Comment: again, where are the trial lawyers when it comes to figuring out a solution to this problem? Their silence is deafening. [Emergency Medicine News June 2002, Vol 24(6):1]  

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Young, Poor Women Hardest Hit by AIDS Epidemic
Epidemiologists state that young, poor women have become the hardest hit group by the AIDS epidemic. For example, in sub-Saharan African young women with HIV outnumber infected men by a ratio of 2 to 1. A companion article reports how the best weapon against AIDS continues to be the condom-- not expensive medications. Comment: the best cure is prevention. Condoms need to be made widely available. I've always thought that a good law would be to require all taverns to have condom dispensing machines in both the men's and women's restrooms. [Spokesman Review July 7, 2002 pA4 ]  

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Obesity Rates Rose 61% During the 90's
Per capita consumption of food in the US rose by 140 pounds a year. This means that the average American in the year 2000 ate 140 more pounds of food in a year as compared with 1990. This increase was associated with an increase in the obesity rate by 61%. Comment: the reason for the increase in obesity rates was not "slow metabolism" -- clearly it was due to eating in excess. It is very rare that an overweight person I see in my office takes responsibility for their weight, and acknowledges that they simply need to eat less. Usually, people will state that they don't eat hardly anything, and that something is wrong with their metabolism. The solution is to use exercise to increase your metabolism, and eat less to lose weight. And also take smaller helpings of excuses. [ Spokesman Review July 7, 2002 pA6 ]  

Monday, July 22, 2002

Medicare Pay Cuts Limiting Access to Care
Pay cuts in Medicare reimbursement have amounted to 17% over the last 4 years. This has resulted in limiting the access to care by Medicare beneficiaries. For example, in Washington state, a recent survey found that the majority of physicians (57%) were limiting Medicare patients or dropping all of their Medicare payments. Since the Medicaid program is also making cuts, in Massachusetts physicians treating low-income, elderly poor patients have had a 20% pay cut. Comment: the cuts wouldn't be so bad if that was all. However, the rates for malpractice insurance are skyrocketing, and the explosion in bureaucratic requirements from the government are also very costly and time consuming. The estimates are that in only a few short years, office overhead will exceed reimbursement from Medicare. This means that doctors will end up paying more in expenses than they receive in payments from Medicare. This system cannot work, and a crash in the system is imminent unless dramatic changes in the nations tort laws and bureaucracy are made.  

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Exercise Helps Prevent Preeclampsia
This study of 582 pregnant women found that those who participated in recreational physical activity during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy had a 34% less chance of developing preeclampsia as compared with inactive women. Comment: eating right (including vitamin supplementation with a vitamin pill containing a sufficient amount of folic acid) along with sensible exercise not only helps during pregnancy but before and after pregnancy as well! [ Fam Practice News June 15,2002 p33 ]  
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