Clinical

Effect Measure

Category archives for Clinical

The Director of Loyola University Medical Center’s clinical microbiology laboratory is reported as saying that rapid flu tests are a public health risk. Here’s some of what he said and then my explanation as to why it is misleading or just plain wrong: Rapid influenza diagnostic tests used in doctors’ offices, hospitals and medical laboratories…

One of the most feared outcomes of infection with influenza is Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS; in less severe form it mahy be called Acute Lung Injury, ALI). For reasons we still do not understand, cells deep in the lung that are involved in gas exchange (oxygen and carbon dioxide) become so damaged that the…

Two elite flu reporters, Helen Branswell (Canadian Press) and Declan Butler (Nature), both noted yesterday the dearth of clinic information on the serious and fatal swine flu cases. First Butler:

Since I talk a lot about flu in my real life as well as on the blog, I get questions from moms and care givers who wonder when they should start to get worried about a sick child or relative. It’s context dependent, of course. The same symptoms that would be shrugged off at any…

A reader (hat tip River) sent me a link to a New York Times piece quoting a physician who recently saw swine flu cases in Mexico City. He called attention to what seemed like an anomalous clinical presentation of many cases. Besides a higher proportion of gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), Virginia Commonwealth infectious disease…

CDC has just concluded a press briefing and the big news is there is no big news. In fact there was hardly any small news. The major questions have been identified — how transmissible, what is the epidemic curve, are there more cases in the US, are there subtle genetic differences in the US and…

Using maggots to heal wounds

There are certain things that go under the rubric “complementary medicine” that also boast they represent the Wisdom of the Ages — old therapies for currently difficult conditions that turn out to be just as good as our current therapies. Or just as bad. This week the British Medical Journal has a case in point:…

If the 1960s film, The Graduate, were to be made today (Graduate, II: The Stimulus), the iconic scene at the party where a friend of the family takes Dustin Hoffman aside and whispers in his ear, “I have only one word for you, Plastics“) would be transmogrified into, “I have only three words for you,…

Ecology and your urinary tract

Papers on biodiversity are not my regular science reading fare and the reason I found my self reading the article “Initial community evenness favours functionality under selective stress” by Wittebolle et al. in Nature from last week isn’t very important. But I did find myself reading about the “biodiversity-stability relationship” in a microbial ecosystem, so…

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that if the FDA approves a drug, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep the labeling up to date if you should warn people. So that settles one question about FDA approval. The FDA put its stamp of approval on the drug Vioxx, too, but approved or not, Vioxx…