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Showing posts from June, 2013

Poem - Do Not Resuscitate

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Do Not Resuscitate
I can say your father is dying. I can say wishing will not make it so, belief doesn't change a thing.
I can say love does not conquer all, miracles are pretty stories told in church, the movies you saw as a child are lies, blind hope is not a recipe for success, underdogs usually lose, death is not the worst thing, it is just the last thing. But for you that is not true.
I can say we have to pretend that we can bring him wheezing back to you like an old accordion, chest pleating in and out, singing his customary songs, oxygen bumping its hurdy-gurdy way again through his ancient heart.
But how can I tell you how someone will shout down the hallway, kneel frantic on the bed, lean his fists against that old breastbone, sharp, frail, one onethousand, two onethousand, and count it out.
I can say we should not do this. He will never be the same. I can say if it were my father.
I can say do not confuse resuscitation with resurrection, although neither works particula…

Morning After Pill Now Available Without Prescription

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The U.S. Justice Department has dropped its appeal to block a ruling by a New York Federal Judge to allow easy access, over-the -counter purchase of the "Morning After" pill for birth control. The emergency contraceptive, named for women who either got caught without a contraceptive, or the condom broke, is called  Plan B One-Step.  (I guess that is when plan A fails.)  Plan B is a one dose pill of 1.5mg levonorgestrel that reduces the possibility of pregnancy.  It is to be taken within 24 hours of unprotected sex and the drug’s principal effect is to prevent ovulation, but it may also make the lining of the uterus less hospitable to a fertilized egg.

The controversy about Plan B began when HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, invoked her authority over the FDA, who had approved the drug for purchase from a pharmacy without a prescription.  Ms. Sebelius, in an unprecedented move, stated that prescription dispensing requirements should not be removed for women of all ages.  She…

Answer to Image Challenge

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The answer to the image challenge this week is #1 - Atherosclerosis.  Most of you got the right answer because you obviously know that the diagonal crease seen in the earlobe is known as "Frank's sign".  The sign was originally described as a marker for coronary artery disease, with a moderate sensitivity ( approximately 48%) and specificity ( approximately 88%).  Frank's sign has been associated with other cardiovascular risk factors like atherosclerosis.

Good job, readers!  How many of you have looked in the mirror at your own earlobe?

Komen Suffers For Its Blunder

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How do you wreck a beloved brand?  Just look at Susan G. Komen Foundation For the Cure (Breast Cancer) and remember what a well-known brand they had.  From pink ribbons to breast cancer walks and gala events, corporate and individual sponsors were happy to give to such a worthy cause.  The "Race for the Cure" was catchy and easy to promote.

 Fast forward to January 2012 when Komen foolishly bowed to social conservatives and announced they would "defund" Planned Parenthood because of the highly political abortion issue during the last Presidential race.  The Breast Cancer Foundation decided not to pay for screening mammograms for poor women through Planned Parenthood.

The backlash was rapid, strong and widespread on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.  The Komen board of directors reversed their decision within a few days.  Two top executives at Komen Foundation resigned and apologies were rendered.  But that wasn't enough to keep the brand that women lov…

Medical Challenge

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This weeks Challenge from the New England Journal of Medicine is a good one.  Check out the photo (click on it to see closer) and make your best guess as to the diagnosis.  The answer will be posted tomorrow so put your answer in the comment section and check back to see if you are a good diagnostician!

What condition would cause this ear abnormality?

1.  Atherosclerosis
2.  Fabry's disease
3.  Gout
4.  Hashimoto thyroiditis
5.  Ulcerative colitis