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Harmed in the Hospital

In the opinion section of the News & Observer yesterday (1/20/11), Dr. James Bryan and Burton Craige wrote about a study published recently in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that looked at the “shockingly high rate of preventable injuries to patients, and little or no improvement over time”…specifically in North Carolina hospitals. Researchers …

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Report Questions Nursing Home Charges

The Department of Health and Human Services released a report titled “Questionable Billing by Skilled Nursing Facilities.” The title says it all… but we’re still going to comment. In recent years, government analyses have discovered improprieties in the amount of Medicare dollars billed by–and paid to–to skilled nursing facilities (a general term that includes nursing …

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First Major Drug Recall of 2011

For decades, McNeil Consumer Healthcare has given the world some of the most popular over-the-counter (OTC) medications, including Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, Sudafed, and Zyrtec. But with a long string of recent product recalls, McNeil  is at risk of losing consumer trust. The latest recall affects several highly popular brands. In consultation with the U.S. Food and …

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NFL Launches Health Info Website

Last fall, the National Football League (NFL) unveiled new guidelines regarding concussions, encouraging players to recognize symptoms, report them to coaches, and  follow treatment suggestions. The announcement was met with cautious optimism that the culture of head-cracking aggression might be softened. The culture is as thick-skulled as ever, but the NFL is making another attempt, …

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The Most Dangerous Part of Your Drive

Road statistics show that of all normal (and legal) driving maneuvers, the most dangerous is something we do every day:  Making a left turn. Studies of intersection wrecks show that making a right turn caused only 4% of collisions, but making a left turn caused a whopping 50% of intersection collisions. The reason has to …

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Abbott Recalls Diabetes Test Strips

Abbott Diabetes Care is recalling about 359 million glucose test strips. The test strips are unable to absorb enough blood for proper monitoring, and this means the strips may give falsely low blood glucose results. If the strips are exposed to warm weather or prolonged storage, they may be more likely to provide a false result. …

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Role for Palliative Care in Dementia

Palliative care is treatment intended not to heal, but to relieve symptoms so that the patient feels better. Despite the fact that it is an important part of treatment, especially for people with incurable disorders, palliative care is not well understood by most people, including those who need it. For people with a terminal illness, …

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Eyetracker Device to Help Keep Drivers Awake

It won’t be in next year’s model cars, but there is a terrific new device that could become a built-in standard in the next few years. According to an article in ScienceDaily, German researchers have developed a system that tracks a driver’s eye movements. If the driver’s eyes close for too long, the device emits …

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