April 23, 2014 |
Over a five-year period, a government-mandated tracking system in France showed that physicians in that country treated 1,979 patients for serious health problems associated with the use of marijuana, and nearly 2% of those encounters were with patients suffering from cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia and stroke, and circulation problems in the arms and legs. In roughly a quarter of those cases, the study found, the patient died. In the United States, when young and otherwise healthy patients show up in emergency departments with symptoms of heart attack, stroke, cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia, physicians have frequently noted in case reports that these unusual patients are regular marijuana users.
April 22, 2014 |
University of California regents agreed to pay $10 million to the former chairman of UCLA's orthopedic surgery department, who had alleged that the well-known medical school allowed doctors to take industry payments that may have compromised patient care. The settlement reached Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court came just before closing arguments were due to begin in a whistleblower-retaliation case brought by Dr. Robert Pedowitz, 54, a surgeon who was recruited to UCLA in 2009 to run the orthopedic surgery department.
April 21, 2014 |
When oxygenated blood needs to squeeze through a narrowed space to get to the brain -- a condition called asymptomatic carotid stenosis -- mental performance may suffer, even in the absence of stroke, a new study suggests. In patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and worrisome cholesterol readings, physicians may test for buildup of plaque in the carotid artery, peering into the vessel at the nape of the neck with ultrasound. As plaque either builds up or breaks off and lodges deeper into the brain's vasculature, it can cause a stroke, a major cause of death and disability.
April 19, 2014 |
The nurses on the 20th floor were the first to see them. "Oh my goodness," declared Colleen Forrester, 29, a nurse dressed in green scrubs, who pointed to the windows. Other nurses came to look and laughed. Were the children strong enough to come see? Soon, parents and nurses were leading kids out of their rooms. The children were small and frail-looking. Most were undergoing treatment for cancer and other serious disorders. But on this cold April morning, they had a precious moment of distraction.
April 17, 2014 |
Dr. Theodore Corwin, a plastic surgeon in Thousand Oaks for the last 30 years, has had run-ins with insurers before, but never one so aggravating - and pointless - as this. A 26-year-old woman recently came to his office complaining of back, neck and shoulder pain, as well as numbness in her hands and arms, resulting from her unusually ample bust. She's 5-foot-6, not overweight, Corwin said. She wanted a breast reduction. "There seemed to be no question that her pain and numbness was caused by her carrying this excessive weight," Corwin told me. "It seemed like a straightforward diagnosis.
April 16, 2014 |
Free samples of prescription drugs may seem like a great deal for patients. But even when doctors think they're doing patients a favor by handing out the freebies, the real beneficiaries are the drug manufacturers, according to new research in the journal JAMA Dermatology. Medical groups have grown increasingly wary about free drug samples, and they've already been banned by Kaiser Permanente, many academic medical centers, the Veterans Health Administration, the U.S. military and plenty of private medical clinics.