Clinical

Effect Measure

Category archives for Clinical

Pills, profits and medical schools

When I was in medical school it was common to get gifts from drug companies. Since many of us had very little money, the gifts were welcome. One company gave me a Littman stethoscope, at the time, the most advanced stethoscope around. The same model costs about $100 now. I was glad to get it,…

Fire in the operating room

I’ve seen surgeons blow up in the operating room but never saw an operating room blow up. But according to the Wall Street Journal, it’s not that rare for them to catch fire and sometimes worse. Operating rooms are full of flammable gases and materials and oxygen. Moreover it isn’t just a matter of taking…

In my younger days I was quite enamored of radiology as a specialty. I published some papers in that area and enjoyed reading x-rays, quite a complex task, requiring the reader to integrate three dimensional anatomy with two dimensional shadows and relate that to physiology, pathology, surgery, medicine and who knows what else. It was…

“I will please” (placebo)

A study just published in the British Medical Journal (full disclosure: I haven’t read it, only seen wire service reports of it, but I have absolute confidence it is true — or, more accurately, I’d say it accords 100% with my prior beliefs so I’d have no reason to question it), says that US doctors…

The health concerns about bisphenol-A (BPA), a component of hard polycarbonate plastic, has been extended once again (see here, here, here for previous posts on BPA). BPA, a ubiquitous contaminant of human bodies, leaches from water and baby bottles, the lining of tin cans, dental sealants and many other sources. BPA also looks a lot…

Gall balls in the gall bag

We don’t post much about clinical topics here, mainly because we haven’t done much practice since our medical training days. I’m primarily a researcher and professor. But every once in a while I see papers on subjects that strike a nostalgic chord from those days and yesterday was one of those once-in-a-whiles. This was a…

Variation in Caesarian section deliveries

I was born by Caesarian section at a time when this method of delivery was fairly rare (too long ago to even mention). The reason was placenta praevia. Both my children were C-section births, too, both for good medical reasons. My daughter has now had two C-section deliveries. These data might lead some to think…

Lice go to the head of the class

A recent letter on the worldwide prevalence of head lice in CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases made me nostalgic for the good old days when our two kids were in daycare (they are both adults with children of their own in daycare now). In particular, I got to thinking about the days when I was…

One of the effects of high gas prices is to encourage people to use bicycles. This also includes the police, where some jurisdictions are taking cops out of cruisers and putting them on foot or on bikes. Bike police (and bicycle messengers, people who use their bikes in crowded urban areas to endanger pedestrians), spend…

A new article in the British scientific journal, The Lancet, suggests that seasonal influenza vaccines may not be effective in preventing community acquired pneumonia in people 65 years old and older. This is the group specially targeted by CDC for vaccination each year and, not coincidentally, an age group that includes me. So I have…