Category Archives: Medicine

Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Tweet An understanding of statistics is essential if a physician, or any interested party, is to understand the medical literature. Alas asking a typical doctor to evaluate statistical data is like giving a scalpel to an accountant and asking him to perform a coronary bypass. My last post on sodium intake gave an example of…


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The Salinity Obsession

Tweet Many physicians and those charged with regulating the nation’s health have been obsessed with salt since Lot’s wife was transformed into a pillar of the stuff. On March 7, 2018  the JAMA published online a well performed study of sodium intake, the investigators used 24 hour urinary sodium excretion as a marker of intake, which…


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Prevention of Contrast-Associated Acute Kidney Injury

Tweet The infusion of iodinated contrast materials as an aid to a variety of imaging studies is associated with the development of acute renal failure (now typically called acute kidney injury). This nephropathy almost always occurs in predisposed patients. Risk factors include pre-existing kidney disease, advanced age (>75), diabetic nephropathy, and congestive heart failure. The…


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Britain’s National Health Service Continues to Struggle

Tweet The UK’s NHS is experiencing another major problem. Patients ‘dying in hospital corridors’ is the headline of a BBC article describing “intolerable conditions” in the country’s government run hospitals. The system’s current problem is blamed on the flu and, of course, government underfunding. That the taxpayers’ funding of the NHS is at an all…


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Robot Reaches Milestone, Passes Medical Licensing Exam

Tweet The following is from Becker’s Hospital Review – November 21, 201. It was bound to happen. Draw your own conclusions. An artificial intelligence-powered robot in China took the country’s medical licensing examinations and passed, becoming the first robot to do so, Futurism reports. The robot, Xiaoyi, not only passed the tests, but it did so with flying colors…


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New Blood Pressure Guidelines – Think First

Tweet The press with an assist from the American College of Cardiology is trying to drive the American public crazier than it usually is. Here’s a quotation typical of those floating around the media: “Nearly half of Americans have high blood pressure under the new guidelines issued Monday by heart organizations and the medical community….


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The Gene – Book Review

Tweet That children share traits with their parents, grandparents, and siblings has been recognized since antiquity. How these traits were transmitted remained a mystery for more than two millennia. Unmasking this process has been the greatest scientific discovery since man discovered fire. Siddhartha Mukherjee has written a history of this entire process – The Gene:…


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Medical Rationing in the UK

Tweet A sizable, but likely still a minority, of the population seems to think that the federal government should have sole responsibility for the funding and delivery of medical care in the US – ie, a single payer system. Many, if not, most people make up their minds about the provision of both medical care…


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Random Thoughts on Addiction, the Stock Market, and Gerbils on a Wheel

Tweet Having changed the definition of sex, gender, marriage, pronouns, speech, health, victory, defeat, money, bullying, poverty, success, dress, fake news, children, and height, I thought a few ruminations on smoking, addiction, and whatever free association could bring to mind might fill a few paragraphs. On Friday July 28 the FDA announced a comprehensive regulatory…


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Don’t Look Back

Tweet The most poorly managed institution in modern western society is the hospital. I say this after half a century of steady exposure to hospitals of all sorts. I was a student, resident, fellow, staff member, section chief, department chair, chief of staff, and even a patient. Inertia at all levels was unconquerable. Newton’s first…


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