Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Anesthesiologist Bad-Mouths Patient - Does This Occur Often?

I'm not surprised that there are some doctors who do this.  I've heard other stories where anesthesiologists demean their patients.  In my own personal experience, the operating room personnel sometimes swear at each other or make casual jokes, but these are never directed at the patient.  I just wonder how much of this is unaccounted for, since most patients don't have the opportunity to record their doctors.  Should all operating rooms be monitored after this incident? Does the patient even have the right to secretly record the operation?  Feel free to comment. 

From:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/anesthesiologist-trashes-sedated-patient-jury-orders-her-to-pay-500000/2015/06/23/cae05c00-18f3-11e5-ab92-c75ae6ab94b5_story.html

Monday, June 8, 2015

A Personal Analysis of Depression and Suicide in the Elderly

I write this after the recent passing of an elderly family friend due to suicide.  This event has taken quite a toll on us and our community, and I can't help but wonder how it could have been prevented.  Previously, I didn't think that seniors were very likely to commit suicide.  However, the following article insists that their depression is different.  Major life changes occur, for example, the death of a spouse or retirement.  Some believe that loneliness after these experiences may contribute to depression.  Contracting many illnesses could be another factor.  What's most interesting to me, though, is that it is not easily detected.  The article suggests that their symptoms may overlap with those of their other illnesses, ultimately hiding the depression.  In the case I described above, it also appeared that the onset of depression was very quick.  I don't know the answers to a lot of these questions, but like many others, I do not think that we value mental health in this country enough.  Looking back, I wish there was something I could have done, but there's no way I could have known.  Any personal stories or advice?  Feel free to share.


From: http://www.komonews.com/news/consumer/Senior-depression-is-different-and-often-undiagnosed-305790371.html

Friday, May 22, 2015

Will Anesthesiologists be Replaced by Robots, Nurses?

My opinion:  Considering that anesthesiologists are some of the highest paid professionals in medicine, many people believe that they should be replaced by assistants, such as certified registered nurses anesthetists (CRNAs), or even by robots.  The issue is, their replacements may not always provide adequate care, especially with complex surgical procedures.  Many states have already allowed for CRNAs to practice independently of anesthesiologists.  I believe that CRNAs and robots may be used in certain scenarios instead of anesthesiologists.  These doctors may not be eliminated, but will be used to a lesser extent to save money.  Do you think this will occur?  Feel free to comment. 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303983904579093252573814132

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Millions of Births, Deaths Unrecorded

My opinion:  I am not surprised that so many people are not tracked, as poorer countries may not have the resources to keep records.  I agree with the article that the civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) may make for better records.  When a family member dies, relatives may are asked questions that point to the most likely cause of death.  This is probably the best alternative to physician diagnosis, since many places lack doctors required for an examination.  I do wonder, though, if the family will have any motivation to complete the documents.  Furthermore, what if they are illiterate?  In those cases, someone else would have to do CRVS for them.  Finally, this may not capture the number of children who are stillborn, since it is easy to keep the child's birth a secret from the community.  I believe that a medical worker may have to be responsible for the collection of this data, although he or she does not necessarily have to be a doctor.  Any opinions of your own?  Feel free to comment.

Link:
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/293782.php

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cleveland Clinic Starts Ambulance for Stroke Patients

My opinion: I'm glad to see that they're doing this for the public - I think this will benefit people in all locations around town, as time is of the essence when treating strokes.  I am surprised, though, that a regular ambulance cannot give the same care.  I suppose they may be able to treat heart attack victims, but maybe the emergency personnel aren't trained to handle strokes.  Is it possible to utilize this mobile stroke unit in a regular ambulance?  And if not, should there be other ambulances with different specialty treatments, like for seizures or asthma attacks?  Feel free to comment.

http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2014/05/cleveland_clinic_to_launch_mob.html

Monday, May 19, 2014

Website Posts Public Opinions to Solve Medical Mysteries

My opinion:  While I certainly think this website can do wonders for some people, the founders need to be careful of liability issues.  For example, say someone takes the medical advice of just anyone who posts online, and then suffers serious consequences because of it.  The company could find itself in numerous lawsuits.  I think it may be a good idea to take some of the ideas on the website and discuss them with the doctor to verify their potential credibility.  Also, if some of the information seems insecure, then perhaps users should all be anonymous.  Then again, this would also make it impossible to know who is evaluating the patient.  What's more, unless the company insists that its users who provide answers undergo a background check, people with no credentials at all may be posting answers.  Any other ways to improve the site, or is it just too difficult to carry out?  Feel free to comment.

From: http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_25695944/san-francisco-company-aims-become-wikipedia-medicine

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Doctors Fail to Know if Patients can Afford Medication

My opinion: Again, this is a very important piece of information that doctors should be aware of, but there are only so many things that go into conversation during a meeting with the patient.  I think, in addition to asking this in the end, doctors should also ask if the patient may have trouble taking their medication, as this is often a problem in our society.  Then, the doctor should ask the patient if there are any other problems at all that the doctor needs to know.  This will help cover all potential issues, as the doctor cannot ask dozens of specific questions about the patient in one meeting, not to mention the fact that it may appear obnoxious.  Finally, in the cases in which the patient doesn't reveal a problem when there actually is one, the doctor will need to rely on social cues to figure out what is going on.  For example, the doctor in the article could see that the patient seemed nervous when he received his prescription.  These are the skills that are developed over by interacting with people and patients for a long time.  So what should doctors do if their patients can't pay?  Should they pay themselves?  Feel free to comment.
 

Article found at:  http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/05/01/doctors-not-asking-about-money/