Nothing really to say today. I just like this cartoon. Have a good weekend!
To the great surprise of parents, kidney stones, once considered a disorder of middle age, are now showing up in children as young as 5 or 6.
While there are no reliable data on the number of cases, pediatric urologists and nephrologists across the country say they are seeing a steep rise in young patients. Some hospitals have opened pediatric kidney stone clinics.
“The older doctors would say in the ’70s and ’80s, they’d see a kid with a stone once every few months,” said Dr. Caleb P. Nelson, a urology instructor at Harvard Medical School who is co-director of the new kidney stone center at Children’s Hospital Boston. “Now we see kids once a week or less.”
Dr. John C. Pope IV, an associate professor of urologic surgery and pediatrics at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, said, “When we tell parents, most say they’ve never heard of a kid with a kidney stone and think something is terribly wrong with their child.”
In China recently, many children who drank milk tainted with melamine — a toxic chemical illegally added to watered-down milk to inflate the protein count — developed kidney stones.
The increase in the United States is attributed to a host of factors, including a food additive that is both legal and ubiquitous: salt.
Though most of the research on kidney stones comes from adult studies, experts believe it can be applied to children. Those studies have found that dietary factors are the leading cause of kidney stones, which are crystallizations of several substances in the urine. Stones form when these substances become too concentrated.
Forty to 65 percent of kidney stones are formed when oxalate, a byproduct of certain foods, binds to calcium in the urine. (Other common types include calcium phosphate stones and uric acid stones.) And the two biggest risk factors for this binding process are not drinking enough fluids and eating too much salt; both increase the amount of calcium and oxalate in the urine.
Excess salt has to be excreted through the kidneys, but salt binds to calcium on its way out, creating a greater concentration of calcium in the urine and the kidneys.
Emergency Medicine is notable as much for its drama as for the pedestrian and mundane things that come through the door. Every time I meet someone new and tell them what I do for a living, I always get the "Is it as exciting as it is on TV?" question, or some variant.Keep reading to find out why the nurse questioned the ER doc's actions. You gotta love ER nurses - they've seen everything.
Truth is, of course not. Headaches, abdominal pain, weak & dizzy, etc account for a substantial majority of our cases. In fact, the critical care stuff is generally less than 10% of what we do. Now sure, if I see 16 patients per shift, then yes, I do perform critical care daily. But it turns out that the simplest cases can be the most challenging.
You see, in residency, there's a lot of focus on critical care. I spent months working in the cardiac ICU, the medical ICU, the pediatric ICU, the surgical ICU, the burn ICU, the OR, anesthesia, and on the floors. I could line, intubate, and resuscitate in my sleep (and did, on a few notable occasions). I could recite the Killip classifications for MI and knew the DeBakey versus the Stanford classifications for aortic dissections. So I was well prepared and very comfortable with caring for severely ill and unstable patients, which is an important qualification for the job. Internal medicine also was highly emphasized: complex physiology, the key things not to miss in chest pain, electrolyte management, etc.
All this prepared me very poorly for some of the more mundane elements of my practice in "the real world." Stuff you might call "family medicine," though I don't know if that's the right phrase. For example, I remember the first time I saw a new mother bring in her week-old infant who was vomiting blood. Holy crap but I was scared. I knew all about GI bleeds -- in adults -- and vomiting blood was really bad. I didn't think kids even got GI bleeds. I was wracking my brain over it, wondering if the baby had some sort of vascular malformation in the stomach, and the nurse just stared at me when I told her to put in an IV and draw blood. "Why would you want to do that?" she asked
On a recent Wednesday, Karleen Perez lay unconscious on an operating table in Upper Manhattan while her surgeons and two consultants from a medical device company peered at an overhead monitor that displayed images from inside her digestive tract.What does the procedure itself entail, you ask?
The surgeons, Dr. Marc Bessler and Dr. Daniel Davis, had just stapled her stomach to form a thumb-sized tube that would hold only a small amount of food. The operation resembled others done for weight loss, with one huge difference. In Ms. Perez’s case, there was no cutting. Instead, the surgeons had passed the stapler down her throat and stapled her stomach from the inside.
The operation is not as simple as it might sound. To begin, Ms. Perez was given general anesthesia and put on a respirator. Then the surgeons pushed a dilator, a formidable-looking tube about three-quarters of an inch wide, down her throat to stretch her esophagus.Next came another wide tube, this one about two feet long, containing the stapler. The surgeons inflated her stomach with carbon dioxide to create space in which to work. Dr. Bessler struggled for 5 or 10 minutes to position the stapler properly, and then activated controls that opened it, like a miniature spaceship, inside Ms. Perez’s stomach.A sail and curving wire emerged from the stapler to help push aside the folds of her stomach. Then Dr. Bessler turned on a vacuum pump to draw parts of the front and back walls of the stomach into the device to be stapled together.Three rows of staples were needed, but the stapler holds only one row, so the whole apparatus had to be withdrawn, rinsed, reloaded, pushed back down Ms. Perez’s throat and painstakingly repositioned for each row. The Satiety consultants stood close by to coach, at one point warning Dr. Bessler that if he inflated Ms. Perez’s stomach too much, her first row of staples could pop. The surgery took three hours.
This post from about a year ago explored the reasons why my friend and personal physician -- internist Bill Lent, MD -- decided to convert his internal medicine practice to a concierge practice in which he limited his practice to 600 patients who pay $1,500 per year to retain his services. Inasmuch as I am blessed with good health, the only time I see Bill in most years is for my annual physical, which was this past week. As always, it was good to catch up with him and hear his thoughts about the first year of a concierge practice.
In short, Bill's experience has been overwhelmingly positive. The funds generated through his patients' retainer payments have relieved Bill of the financial pressure that had been mounting over the past decade to increase patient visits as Medicare and private medical insurers systematically reduced the amount paid to doctors for such visits. Released from that pressure, Bill is now able to spend more time with each patient, which Bill believes provides the patient with better quality service. The response from Bill's patients has been uniformly positive.
Although Bill's workload has been reduced from the standpoint that he no longer feels compelled to see more and more patients to maintain revenue levels in the face of reduced insurance payments, Bill has had to spend quite a bit of time over the past year in the process of computerizing his patients records. Part of the deal for patients in signing up for the concierge service is that their records are digitized so that the patient, Bill or any other doctor who the patient retains can review the records from anywhere via the Web. That perk has required a considerable expenditure of effort over the past year in digitizing those records, but now that the process is largely complete, Bill will spend far less time in future years as he simply amends a patient's computerized record with each visit.
There have been a number of pleasant surprises in Bill's first year of the concierge practice. For example, Bill was initially concerned that a number of his less affluent patients would opt not to participate because of the retainer payment. Surprisingly, however, his patient base has remained quite diverse from a socioeconomic standpoint -- even a large number of his elderly patients on Medicare elected to participate despite the fact that Medicare doesn't cover any of the retainer payment.
Keep reading for some more interesting observations about the practice. I'm not sure how I feel about the concierge idea yet, but it seems like it has some merit depending on the type of patient the PCP sees. Your thoughts? Comment below!
A dozen athletes, including six N.F.L. players and a former United States women’s soccer player, have agreed to donate their brains after their deaths to the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy.
On Thursday, the center will announce that a fifth deceased N.F.L. player, the former Houston Oilers linebacker John Grimsley, was found to have brain damage commonly associated with boxers.
The former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, one of the players who has agreed to donate his brain, said he hoped the center would help clarify the issue of concussions’ long-term effects, which have been tied to cognitive impairment and depression in several published studies. The N.F.L. says that, in regard to its players, the long-term effects of concussions are uncertain.
Hopefully, this new initiative will provide conclusive proof of the effects of football and spur the league into action.
As medical students we traveled the U.S. interviewing at medical schools and residency programs. We searched the web to find the cheapest options and created this site to be the most comprehensive collection of budget airlines, rental cars, and second option airports compiled in one place.It looks pretty decent. If you use this site, let me know what your experience with it is like. I'll also be sharing my thoughts in a future post.
This site can be utilized by anyone. It is specifically tailored for medical and pre-med students as it is arranged to show the cheapest travel options for every city that has a residency program or medical school