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Letting Doctors Make The Tough Decisions

August 12, 2011 5:54 am | by Pauline W. Chen, MD | Comments

Soon after I finished my surgical training, I worked with a young doctor who was impressive not only for his clinical skills but also for his devotion to patients. He was large and powerfully built but never seemed to loom over his patients, miraculously shrinking down to their eye level whenever he spoke with them.

Chimpanzee Attack Victim Receives Face Transplant

August 12, 2011 5:53 am | Comments

Undated photos provided Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011 by the Nash family and Brigham and Women’s Hospital show chimpanzee attack victim Charla Nash before she was attacked by a chimpanzee and a recent photo release by the hospital Thursday Aug. 11, 2011 showing Nash after face transplant surgery, right.

Management Of Durable Surgical Instrumentation

August 10, 2011 7:13 am | Pemco, Inc. | Comments

Jeffrey P. Sites Cardiovascular and Extracorporeal Technologies CVTS Consultant, Pemco, Inc. August 10, 2011 The management of durable surgical instrumentation has evolved into a complex series of steps and criteria to safely and effectively care for the oldest and most consistently used “life support” technologies.


The Death Penalty And Medical Errors

August 10, 2011 7:10 am | by AngieNadia, MD | Comments

A fascinating, beautifully-written article on a death penalty  granted to a most likely innocent man, with interesting details on fire dynamics and the history of the judicial system pertaining to the death penalty. Reading about the system in place that should prevent an innocent man from being wrongfully executed reminds me of the supposed system that prevents medical errors from occurring – both are imperfect, with innocent victims falling through the holes in the leaky swiss cheese model to the void of failure on the other side.

Fighting Superbugs

August 4, 2011 11:52 am | by Amanda Hankel | Comments

A look at the role of the environment in the spread of infection-causing superbugs, and how best practices and new technology to enhance cleaning can help prevent their transmission. August 9, 2011 The 3M™ Clean-Trace™ Hygiene Management System monitors surface cleanliness.


Pilots vs. MDs Analogy: A Different Wrinkle

August 4, 2011 11:51 am | Comments

I've blogged about my feelings that surgeons aren't pilots and patients aren't airplanes and I've discussed the crisis in intensive care units regarding the proliferation of confusing alarms . The constant blare of multiple sounds in the ICU leads to "alarm fatigue" and distracted personnel.

Best Practices For Reprocessing Instruments

August 4, 2011 8:38 am | by Ralph J. Basile, Vice President, Healthmark Industries Company, Inc., | Healthmark Industries Company, Inc. | Comments

From a reprocessing perspective, the most consistent challenge I see to proper cleaning is organic soils, most commonly blood, are allowed to dry on instruments before cleaning begins. Once dry, blood and other proteins become highly insolvent and are orders of magnitude much more difficult to remove.

A Better Way To Keep Patients Safe

August 4, 2011 8:37 am | by Pauline Chen, MD | Comments

Not long ago, a few colleagues and I were discussing the challenges of improving health care quality and patient safety. We debated the merits of clinical benchmarks that payers and regulatory groups now require, crude proxies of quality care like giving antibiotics at certain times, ordering specific tests at set intervals or permitting our results to be reported publicly.


The Hidden Costs Of Medical Student Debt

July 29, 2011 5:59 am | Comments

He was a senior surgeon many of us in training wanted to emulate — smart, busy and beloved by patients and staff. But we loved him most because he could have been any one of us. He had slogged through the same training program some 15 years earlier, and he had survived. I caught up with him one afternoon during my internship, hoping to glean some wisdom, but all he could talk about was how he was going to be seeing patients less and focusing on his dream of improving hospital quality and efficiency.

Artificial Lung Mimics Real Organ’s Design And Efficiency

July 27, 2011 5:46 am | Comments

Use in humans is still years away, but for the 200 million lung disease sufferers worldwide, the device is a major step toward creating an easily portable and implantable artificial lung, said Joe Potkay, a research assistant professor in electrical engineering and computer science at Case Western Reserve University.

When Perfect Is The Enemy Of Good

July 27, 2011 5:45 am | Comments

Over the years, I have come to the painful realization that I am not perfect. Ok, all you other surgeons, close your eyes and ears, because to admit to being less than perfect is a sign of weakness (like asking for help). Don’t read this, patients, because you wish even more than I do that I were perfect (especially when I’m operating on you).

Tackling C. diff

July 26, 2011 6:29 am | by Amanda Hankel, editor | Comments

In America’s hospitals, an estimated one in 20 patients will contract a hospital-acquired infection (HAI). Last year at Western Massachusetts Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH), one in 129 patients caught an HAI. Despite CDH’s better-than-average infection rates, Clostridium difficile (C.

A Med Student’s First Day Of Clinical Training Starts On The Bus

July 26, 2011 6:22 am | by Ron Li, medical student | Comments

It happened on a bus on my way to work. I got on and sat in the only available seat, which I quickly realized was next to a disheveled looking man who smelled faintly of urine and had a dry hacking cough that could be heard throughout the entire bus. He was leaning against the window and did not seem to notice me.

A Customized Approach

July 25, 2011 6:36 am | Comments

Jonathan Yunis, MD, FACS, Center for Hernia Repair, Sarasota, FL July 25, 2011 Few surgeons have gone as far as I have to really limit their practice solely to hernia surgery. Today, I perform about 600 hernia operations per year. In focusing solely on hernia repair, there are several creative aspects, or things I’ve changed over the years in my practice.

Minimally Invasive Abdominal Wall Reconstruction

July 22, 2011 5:34 am | by John Scott Roth, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, Chief of, Gastrointestinal Surgery, University of Kentucky | Comments

A hybrid laparoscopic ventral hernia repair technique with closing of the defect. July 22, 2011 When there is a risk for a high incidence of hernia recurrence with primary sutured closure, I fundamentally think that it does not make sense to close the defect under tension.


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