Category Archives: Healthcare

News Round Up – Lochte, Hot, Earthquake, EpiPen

lochte

I am not sure how to explain a man working all his life to be successful and then, on a whim, flushing it all down the toilet. That is exactly what Ryan Lochte did. Lochte lied to authorities in Rio. He has been formally charged with filing a false robbery report. This is a man who performed brilliantly in the Olympic pool. He was a set up to collect at least tens of thousands of dollars in sponsorships. He has lost almost all of that. Sometimes, it is extremely hard to explain human behavior.

Man, it is hot and I hope that you like hot, because the long-term outlook is for more heat!!

italian earthquake

This is just terrible. From WaPo – In this 12th-century town, as many as 70 percent of the homes were vacant in the off-season. There were fewer people on the streets. Numerous teenagers had left for good. And that was before the earthquake. As the search through the ­debris continued and hopes dimmed that rescuers would find more survivors, cities and towns hit hard by Wednesday’s devastating temblor in central Italy began to process the full extent of the disaster. Churches fell. Piazzas were ruined. Neighborhoods were leveled. The body count was at least 250 and set to grow. But in many of those towns, already fighting a long battle against depopulation, a deeper anxiety began to spread.

Yuck!!  EpiPen monopoly – A two-pack of the injectors, which release epinephrine to stop an allergic reaction, has risen from less than $100 in 2007 to $608 today. Mylan said the company never intended for patients to pay the full price, expecting insurers would carry the load. “We recognize the significant burden on patients from continued, rising insurance premiums and being forced increasingly to pay the full list price for medicines at the pharmacy counter,” chief executive Heather Bresch said in a statement. (Oh, and here’s the good part.) The debate is the latest to embroil Congress in the battle over increasing drug costs and their role in escalating health insurance premiums. EpiPen’s rising price is particularly notable because state and federal legislation have been key to the drug’s rapid growth. Annual prescriptions for EpiPen products have more than doubled in the past decade to $3.6 million, according to IMS Health data. Mylan benefited from factors including failed competitors, patent protections and laws requiring allergy medications in schools. Having a virtual monopoly has facilitated the rapid price hike. Mylan reached $1 billion in sales for the second time last year.

 

96-year-old Heimlich saves a woman from choking

choking

This is kind of a cool story.

From TPM:

The 96-year-old Cincinnati surgeon credited with developing his namesake Heimlich maneuver recently used the emergency technique for the first time himself to save a woman choking on food at his senior living center.

Dr. Henry Heimlich told The Cincinnati Enquirer (http://cin.ci/1U0lAx2) in an interview Thursday he has demonstrated the well-known maneuver many times through the years but had never before used it on a person who was choking.

An employee at the Deupree House in Cincinnati where Heimlich lives says the retired chest surgeon was in the room when an 87-year-old woman began choking. The employee says Heimlich dislodged a piece of hamburger from the woman’s airway and she quickly recovered. (more…)

DUI

Over the next couple of days, I’m going to post some of the articles that I have written for the Urban News over the past several months. Let me know what you think. –

dui

It is time for us to get serious about drinking under the influence. We continue to treat this problem as if it were a college prank. It ain’t. We are talking about life and death. It is a privilege to drive a car, not a right. I believe that cars are a necessary part of being an American. There are only a few places in this country in which you can get around without a car. Everywhere else, you need a car; therefore, you need to adhere to the rules that each state has which govern who can drive a car.

A 20-something with 2 small children in his pickup truck is driving too fast on his way to Wal-Mart. His reflexes are impaired from his daily usage of methamphetamines. He doesn’t see the red light, or he believes that he can just run it. Halfway through the intersection, he slams into the driver’s side door of a Mini-Cooper. The 53-year-old mother of two is sitting in the front passenger’s seat, She is wearing a seat belt, but is killed instantly. What makes matters worse is that this killer was arrested 18 months earlier for driving under the influence when he hit several park cars. No one was injured in that crash. How many times does he have to kill or injure someone before we understand that cars can be used as deadly weapons when the wrong person is behind the wheel?

In 2013, over 32,000 people died on American roads. 32,000 is a lot of people. The good news is that we drive safer cars and more and more of us are surviving crashes. Alcohol is estimated to be involved in somewhere between 50 and 90% of motor vehicle crashes. This doesn’t include other mind-altering substances like methamphetamines, oxycodone, Valium, anti-depressants or any of a number of other drugs that dull the senses and slow the reflexes.

Trauma Surgeons, like me, have been trying to get the American public NOT to say “motor vehicle accident.” An accident is something that really can’t be prevented. A toddler running with a drink in his/her hand will spill it. That really isn’t preventable. As long as toddlers have drinks in their hands, they will spill. On the other hand, driving a car is different. There should be some thought going into the basic operation of a motor vehicle. Sometimes, we are driving too fast for the conditions. Sometimes we aren’t paying attention. Before you back up, you check your mirrors and look behind you before you backup. Right? I think that automated cars will be great help. They will be doing all of the basic “thinking” for us. Many of the crashes that we see today will be eliminated. Unfortunately, none of us can go and buy a Google car tomorrow. (I think that the Google Car will be great for some of us who have some issues will reflexes and eyesight.)

Ethan Couch is the boy who has been labeled by the media as suffering from Affluenza (being given too much by his parents). Couch was 16 years old when he was involved in a motor vehicle crash. He killed 4 people and injured 2 others. His alcohol level was a sobering 0.24, 3 times the legal limit. The judge thought that this was some type of minor offense. Ethan got no jail time. He got 10 years’ probation. What is that? If I drove my car across the judge’s lawn, I promise you he would give me more than just probation. Now, Ethan is back in the news because he is running from the law after having been caught on video drinking at a party. Can someone do the right thing and throw this guy in jail?

Look, there are tons of injustices in our society. There are some things that we really can’t figure out. This isn’t one of those situations. If you believe in justice, then folks who take mind-altering substances and then drive a car deserve to be thrown in jail for a good, long time. If we lean toward “being nice” and allow these folks to go scott-free, then aren’t we saying that the lives that were stolen had no value? To me, life is a gift and should be valued.