Josh Funk, AP Billionaire Warren Buffett says health care costs are a major drain on U.S. businesses and act like an “economic tape worm.” The head of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. said Monday on CNBC that America's health care system needs fundamental reform to attack costs because it's not practical to continue devoting roughly 17 percent of the nation's gross domestic product to health care.
University of California-San Diego Medical Center surgeons have performed America's first incision-free myotomy through the mouth. The laparoscopic technique to treat Achalasia is called the Heller Myotomy, a two-hour procedure requiring up to six small incisions in the abdomen to divide the esophageal muscle.
Marilynn Marchione, AP People at risk of a stroke because of narrowed neck arteries can be safely treated with a less drastic option than the surgery done now, the largest study ever done on these treatments concludes. If Medicare agrees to cover it, hundreds of thousands of Americans a year might be able to have an artery-opening procedure and a stent instead of surgery to remove built-up plaque, doctors say.
Teleflex, Inc. recently announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its SSI Surgical Services, Inc. business to an unnamed, privately-owned multi-service line healthcare company for approximately $25 million. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2010.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, AP With President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in limbo, Americans' fears about its effect on them eased in January, according to a poll released as the president tries to revive sweeping Democratic legislation. The monthly poll from the non-partisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation also found that three-fourths of Americans still think it's important that the President include health care reform in addressing the nation's economic crisis — even if many have misgivings.
(Reuters) An industry group representing the top five manufacturers of CT equipment have committed to adding new safeguards in helping prevent excess exposure to radiation. The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance said manufacturers will add a color-coded warning system to give health care providers clear indications of when they are doing scans that give patients potentially dangerous doses of radiation.
A collaboration between the Center for Robotic Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has produced a simulator that closely approximates the touch and feel of Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci™ robotic surgical system.
Samuel Goldsmith, New York Daily News A Manhattan doctor thinks he may have found a surgical cure for Type 2 diabetes. Dr. Francesco Rubino will soon begin a surgical trial with overweight, but not obese, diabetes patients in which he'll perform gastric bypass surgery to reverse the disease. Rubino, the chief of gastrointestinal surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, feels that because a significant number of people with lower body mass indexes can develop diabetes, that the medical community needs to start asking whether BMI should be the only clinically appropriate way to decide who gets diabetes-targeted surgery.
A surgery technician who infected about three dozen people with hepatitis C after she injected herself with painkiller-filled syringes and replaced them with ones filled with saline, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. Kristen Diane Parker received the sentence in federal court after pleading guilty to some of the charges in the case.
The results of a misread pathology report and results unnecessary mastectomy at the Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital in Windsor, Ontario has led hospitals throughout the region to reconsider their surgical protocols. Officials at Windsor hospitals said that surgeons are generally the only ones looking over the final pathology and clinical diagnosis report before surgery, even though many pairs of eyes may see a patient's chart and test results throughout the cancer diagnosis and treatment process, as is the case in most hospitals across Ontario.
Lindsey Tanner, AP When 4-year-old Eric Stavros Adler choked to death on a piece of hot dog, his anguished mother never dreamed that the popular kids' food could be so dangerous. Some food makers, including Oscar Mayer, have warning labels about choking, but not nearly enough, says Joan Stavros Adler, Eric's mom.
Carla K. Johnson, AP Doctors have steadily cut their work hours over the past decade, a new study finds, something that experts say may only worsen the health care situation. It's not that doctors are terrible slackers. Average hours dropped from about 55 to 51 hours per week from 1996 to 2008, according to the analysis, which will appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Older patients hospitalized for acute care or a critical illness are more likely to experience cognitive decline when compared to older adults who are not hospitalized, according to a study in JAMA . Some studies have suggested that many survivors of critical illness experience long-term cognitive impairment, but these studies did not measure cognitive function before a critical illness, according to background information in the article.
A comparison of two strategies for treating severe sepsis or septic shock finds that using lactate levels measured in blood samples showed a similar short-term survival rate compared to a treatment regimen using central venous oxygen saturation measured using a specialized catheter, according to a study in JAMA .
(Reuters) Pneumonia and blood-borne infections caught in hospital killed 48,000 patients and cost $8.1 billion in 2006, according to a recently unveiled report. The study is one of the first to put a price tag on the widespread problem, which is worsening and which some experts say is adding to the growing cost of healthcare in the United States.