Home / Healthcare Updates / Healthcare Update — 10-13-2014

Healthcare Update — 10-13-2014

See more medical news from around the web at my other blog at EP Monthly.


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Straight out of Men in Black. UC Davis researchers have discovered that they can erase certain memories in mice by using flashes of light.

China is cracking down on pharmaceutical price fixing. Some company executives received prison sentences of between 2 and 4 years for their actions – although unfortunately those prison sentences were suspended. Government department heads are also being investigated since they are responsible for and must be punished for law violations committed by their subordinates.


Even the cats were amazed. 18 year old woman who had habit of chewing on her hair goes to doctor with abdominal pain and malnourishment. Rushed to surgery where a 9 pound hairball was removed. Yes, you read that correctly. A nine pound hairball. Like she had a baby Cousin Itt inside of her.

The Limits of Friendship. How many friends can an average person realistically have in their social circle? Based on human brain size … about ….
Oh go on and read the article. The discussion is pretty interesting.

Baylor University Medical Center reportedly at risk of losing all federal funding if it doesn’t submit an acceptable action plan regarding psychiatric patient elopement. CMS inspectors recently found six cases in which psychiatric patients walked away from the hospital’s emergency department before treatment concluded and determined that those “elopements” put patients in “immediate jeopardy” of their health and safety.

The Netherlands has a slightly different way to treat patients with severe psychiatric problems: Euthanization. The rate of death by lethal injection for patients with severe psychiatric problems tripled from 14 cases in 2012 to 42 cases in 2013. Counting “terminal sedation,” euthanasia accounts for one in eight deaths in the Netherlands. But at least the patients in the Netherlands have insurance – just like us.

No more curly fries for me for a while. Woman puts potato in her vagina after being assured by her mother that doing so would be a fail-safe contraceptive method. Turns out mom was right. Guys tend to run the other way when they see roots growing out of your hoo hah. Fortunately, doctors were able to remove the budding spud without surgery.
And if anyone makes any Mr. Potatohead jokes, I’m going to be sick. I just know it.

The hormones from birth control pills found in sewage found to cause feminization of of male minnows. This caused the number of minnows in the Ontario waterways to decrease to 1% of the usual population. As a result, the number of lake trout decreased – lake trout are the minnow’s main predator. Also as a result, the number of insects in the area began increasing – insects are the minnow’s main source of food. When estrogen was removed from the water supplies, all of the changes reversed.
Wait a minute. Obamacare requires that birth control pills be provided at no cost. That must mean that the government wants less fish and more insects in our country.

What effect has the Affordable Care Act had on employment in the US? Mostly negative, according to this paper from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
It creates financial incentives for employees to work less. Part time workers receive subsidized coverage, full time workers do not. That equates to about $3000 extra each year that full time workers have to earn just to break even. The effect will be a loss of an additional 4 million full time equivalent workers. Women are more likely to be affected than men.

When antibiotics don’t work for your clostridium difficile infection, there’s always something else you can take: poo pills. Researchers as Massachusetts General Hospital have developed pills made from strained, centrifuged, and frozen human feces. Two days worth of the pills can cure C. difficile infections and are a lot easier to administer than current fecal transplants.

Patients gone wild. West Virginia’s own Misty Crabtree was arrested after she gouges triage nurse’s arm with her fingernails, then tells the nurse that she has hepatitis and hopes that the nurse dies. There goes THAT hospital’s Press Ganey scores.

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