How to read a paper is a series by Trisha Greenhalgh in BMJ, the British Medical Journal, that explains how to critically read and apply the biomedical literature. Deciding what the paper is about. Assessing methodological quality. Statistics for the non-statistician: parts I and II. Drug trials, diagnostic and screening tests, economic analyses, systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PDF), and qualitative research (PDF).
A retired grandfather receives his medical marijuana card. He's never smoked before, and is trying it because he feels he is taking too many pills to control his back pain, anxiety, rage, and more. His exploration of the logistics (especially the pipe lighting techniques) is really quite charming.
Kevin Zelnio is a science writer with a degree in marine biology. He is the father of two children. And, like many in this country, he has no insurance. Earlier this week, his 6 year-old developed pneumonia.This is his account of what happened.
In the 1940s, US doctors deliberately infected thousands of Guatemalans with venereal diseases. The wound is still raw.
Woman, 83, Has World’s First Lower Jaw Replacement – In 3D [abc.com] In what has been called the first operation of its kind, an 83-year-old woman in the Netherlands has been fitted with a custom-made artificial jaw that was created by a 3D printer. The titanium implant, which weighs less than 4 ounces, was created by taking a CT scan of the woman’s lower jaw and duplicating it with a 3D printer that lays down titanium powder instead of ink. The printer followed the pattern of the woman’s jaw bone layer by layer, fusing the titanium powder in place with heat. In just a couple hours, the 3D replica was ready.
In 2002, Doug Monroe placed his parents in assisted living. A decade later, he's looking back at "the weighty financial and emotional costs that come with a parent's immortality": The Long Goodbye.
Bioanimation companies like XVIVO, Hybrid Medical (Previously), Random42, Biolucid, Argosy Medical, and BioDigital have been doing beautiful work for hire, freely available to watch. [more inside]
As Doctors Use More Devices, Potential for Distraction Grows — Do too many digital devices distract doctors from their daily rounds and endanger patients?
The term never event describes when something happens in a medical setting that should never occur. The list of never events (formally called "Serious Reportable Events) released by the NQF includes mistakes such as performing surgery on the wrong body part (or the wrong patient!), or patient suicide while under care. Despite their moniker, "never" events do happen. [more inside]
Indian man has hysterectomy after doctors find uterus. The 35 year-old farmer and father of two had a full female reproductive system, which was removed from his stomach at a Chhindwara district hospital. Joan Rivers is probably not surprised.
"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret. Undocumented workers, an autoimmune mystery traced to aerosolized pork brains from increased line production speed, and what sounds like one of the worst jobs in America.
On Wednesday, the House approved an amendment from Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) that would prevent a federal healthcare education fund from being used for abortion or to provide for training for abortion procedures. [more inside]
A young woman writes about her breast reduction.
A Political Meltdown: For decades, Canada has been a world leader in the production of medical isotopes. So why did the government announce that it was dumping the entire program? (alt)
The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide. The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide is intended primarily for use on ships where no doctor is carried and it is necessary for laymen to assess and treat injuries and to diagnose and treat ill health. The Guide can also be recommended for use in other situations where professional medical advice is not readily available, for example on expeditions.
Embarassing Bodies, your one-stop clinical revulsion shop! Is it painful? And does it ooze? Pus and blood? Yep, that sounds nasty. [warning: NASTY] [more inside]
Antique contraception & protection from the disease - (NSFW) male & female methodologies of birth control from antiquity to the 1900s in pictures and text (Translated from Russian) [more inside]
Roger Ebert gets a new chin An inspirational story; and he is due back on TV real soon.
Jonah Keri looks at the unconventional methods being used by the Texas Rangers to improve the durability and effectiveness of their pitching staff.
"It is only fitting that the story of the brain should be a visual one, for the visuals had the ancients fooled for millenniums. The brain was so ugly that they assumed the mind must lie elsewhere. Now those same skeletal silhouettes glow plump and brightly colored, courtesy of a variety of inserted genes encoding fluorescent molecules. A glossy new art book, “Portraits of the Mind,” hopes to draw the general reader into neuroscience with the sheer beauty of its images." Slide Shows: The Beautiful Mind and Portraits of the Mind [more inside]
The Defense Department forced all "war on terror" detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison to take a high dosage of a controversial antimalarial drug, mefloquine, an act that an Army public health physician called "pharmacologic waterboarding". The US military administered the drug despite Pentagon knowledge that mefloquine caused severe neuropsychiatric side effects, including suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and anxiety. The drug was used on the prisoners whether they had malaria or not. [more inside]
Masturbation cuts cancer risk! That is all.
Dirty Medicine — How medical supply behemoths stick it to the little guy, making America’s health care system more dangerous and expensive. [more inside]
Couples from Western countries, such as Australia, the US, and the UK are turning to surrogates in India to carry their babies. [more inside]
"EIZO High End Monitors Medical Imaging" presents: Pin-Up 2010, an x-ray pinup calendar. (Possibly NSFW)
London Lives 12 London archives – digitised, marked up and tagged – to "create a comprehensive electronic edition of primary sources on criminal justice and the provision of poor relief and medical care in eighteenth-century London". The Lives page is a good place to start browsing. [related]
Given the news that Joe Biden's son Beau had a mild stroke today, perhaps it would be helpful to know the warning sides. FAST was a series of public service announcements from the Massachusetts Department of Health. You could be a hero! HBCH!
Harvard Study: Computers don't save hospitals money. An article from Computerworld cites a clinical research study in the American Journal of Medicine. Four years of research finds that "the immense cost of installing and running hospital IT systems is greater than any expected cost savings." (Also on Wired and Slashdot.) [more inside]
CT Scan art - Radiologist Kai-hung Fung takes scans of our innards and makes them outwardly beautiful.
War Dances: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”. Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review; interview 1, 2.)
About 8% of the male population has some sort of color vision deficiency. The color blind are unable to clearly distinguish different colors of the spectrum, they tend to see colors in a limited range of hues. Because of this, the color blind have trouble with a lot of websites. The patterns and examples on We Are Color Blind help developers create websites the color deficient can use with minimal problems. Take a color vision test to see where you stand. 50 facts about color blindness.
Nearly 1 in 5 young adults is out of work. Student debt is the highest its ever been. With a 10 year job growth of negative 230,000 jobs, the pool of available jobs is the lowest its ever been as a ratio to available college grads. And even with this dwindling tax base, in order to sustain Medicare and Social Security by 2020, we will need to tax 1.5 workers for every retiree. [more inside]
Top 10 Disgusting Websites to Share With Friends: Bloody-Disgusting l The Internet Pathology Library for Medical Education and so much more.
Everyday Miracles: Medical Imagery in Ex-Votos "The expression of our relationship with illness is wonderfully illustrated in the ex-voto, a devotional painting giving thanks to a saint or deity for a miraculous healing or a blessing. The faithful have always used prayer to invoke the aid of saints as a means to heal the sick and end one's suffering. These devotional paintings are an individual's expression of thanks for the intercession of the divine in a crisis, a snapshot in time of illness and healing. They offer a rare opportunity to view health, healing, and illness through the hearts and minds of the ordinary person." Anatomy::Italian Tradition::Mexican Tradition::Early Medical Guides::Gallery (click for larger) More Mexican antique ex-votos HERE [ some favorites]
The Medill School of Journalism's Washington Program revealed its Pentagon Travel project last week (multimedia). Most privately paid for travel was found to be within the bounds of federal law, but some still show a clear conflict of interest. Key findings: From 1998 through 2007, sources outside the federal government paid for more than 22,000 trips worth at least $26 million. The medical industry paid for more travel than any other outside interest — more than $10 million for some 8,700 trips, or about 40 percent of all outside sponsored travel. Among the targets: military pharmacists, doctors, and others who administer the Pentagon’s $6 billion-plus annual budget for prescription drugs. Medill acquired 10 years worth of trip data and partnered with the Center for Public Integrity to form a searchable database which includes destination, date, sponsor, sponsor nationality, cost of trip or agency.
Omega-3 fats are considered highly beneficial for the body. It may be important to take supplements because our bodies don't create it naturally. A nurse however, recently discovered that some supplements can make holes on Styrofoam cups.
FDA says your company's medical device isn't safe to market? No problem. Just hire a lobbyist. Afraid of being sued? Don't worry. The Supreme Court says you are immune.
Variations in normal human genitalia. All links NSFW. Breasts (of women who have not given birth; of women who have), vulvae, and penises. Previously, erection photos. [more inside]
Bob Boorstin, Google's Director of Policy Communications, wrote a letter to the Rose Foundation, suggesting that the foundation stop funding Consumer Watchdog, an outspoken Google critic. [more inside]
Be a hero on your own time (VIDEO) When McDonald's employee Nigel Haskett interceded to stop a man who was beating a woman in the restaurant, the assailant went outside, retrieved a gun from his car and shot Haskett – “multiple times,” as the employee stood at the door to keep the assailant from re-entering the restaurant. $300,000 in medical bills later, McDonald's insurance says no dice: "we have denied this claim in its entirety as it is our opinion that Mr. Haskett's injuries did not arise out of or within the course and scope of his employment."
Human fat was supposed to alleviate rheumatism and arthritis, while a paste made from corpses was believed to help against contusions.... For some Protestants,... , it served as a sort of substitute for the Eucharist, or the tasting of the body of Christ in Holy Communion. Some monks even cooked "a marmalade of sorts" from the blood of the dead.When we read about Burundians and Tanzanians murdering albinos to make "medicine" of their victims, we should not forget that European Medical Cannabalism was an accepted practice as late as the 18th Century.
. . . . The assumption was that all organisms have a predetermined life span. If a body died in an unnatural way, the remainder of that person's life could be harvested, as it were -- hence the preference for the executed.... In 1492, when Pope Innocent VIII was on his deathbed, his doctors bled three boys and had the pope drink their blood. The boys died, and so did the pope.
The Canadian Medical Association Journal's archive of humorous medical articles. See, for example, why Pooh needs help, why Tintin needs a dose of HGH, and an exhortation to abolish the law of gravity.
Every year the British Medical Journal publishes a less-than-serious Christmas edition. [more inside]
Not just for religious pharmacists anymore: the Department of Health and Human Services proposes a rule that protects anyone who refuses to provide medical services on moral or religious grounds. [more inside]
A Good Poop is an entertaining blog by an occupational and environmental health student who enjoys finding oddities in medical and scientific research from PubMed. (via Look at This...)