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Old Health and Medicine Articles from 2007 and Before

The $1,000,000 Surgical Error

Many years ago I wrote, “The problem with laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery is it leaves the impression that tiny incisions mean a simple, uncomplicated way to perform an operation. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as catastrophic complications can happen.”  Recently, a Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA) survey confirmed the potential dangers of keyhole surgery. So what went wrong to cause a $ 1,000,000 settlement?

The CMPA reviewed 423 surgical cases involving keyhole surgery. It revealed that patients suffered a number of injuries to the bowel, blood vessels, nerves, and reproductive organs. There were 46 deaths. 

Operations that resulted in the most trouble were hysterectomy, other gynecological procedures, removal of the gallbladder, appendix and kidney.

By News on the Net - Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story

Orthopedic surgery in Canada: Most had positive outcomes, but one-in-four found the wait too long

As news reports profile orthopedic surgery patients frustrated with lengthy wait-times, a unique Angus Reid Institute survey of more than 1,500 Canadians who have undergone orthopedic surgery within the last ten years finds large majorities satisfied with their surgeon, hospital, and surgery outcome, but a significantly smaller number satisfied with the amount of time they had to wait.

By News on the Net - Monday, July 24, 2017 - Full Story

Need Cataract Surgery? So What Should You Know?

Do you remember the Holiday Inn ad? It stated, “There Are No Surprises at the Holiday Inn.” But, unlike Holiday Inns, there’s no such thing as surprise-free or risk-free surgery. To get an update about Cataract surgery I interviewed Dr. Raymond Stein, Medical Director of the Bochner Eye Institute, and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto.

Today, by age 80, half of North Americans have developed cataracts. The only good treatment when visual loss finally affects quality of life is to have a foggy lens removed and replaced with another one. Today, due to improved surgical advances, it’s possibly the safest surgery performed.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, July 17, 2017 - Full Story

Measuring a patient’s vital signs without any contact

Our bodies are in constant motion – not only on the outside but within. Our hearts beat, our chests rise and fall with each breath, the composition of our blood changes as we take in alcohol or sugar. Each motion, great and small, generates vibrations on the molecular level.

Two scientists – Zeev Zalevsky, professor of electro-optics at Bar-Ilan University, and Javier Garcia-Monreal, professor of physics and optics at the University of Valencia in Spain – have been collaborating for a dozen years on developing ways to measure the tiny, “nanometric” vibrations the body emits.

The result of their decade-long research is a revolutionary way to monitor patients’ vital signs without any physical contact – no more intrusive cables, wires, tubes or IVs.

In 2015, Zalevsky and Garcia-Monreal formed a company, ContinUse Biometrics, to commercialize their work and bring it to consumers and medical professionals.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - Full Story

Swimming In 20 Gallons of Pee!

Have you ever wondered what you’re swimming in when someone invites you to a pool party? I’ve always found it hard to turn down these weekend soirees. The weather is usually good, you enjoy cocktails talking to friends, and then a refreshing dip in the pool. Now, an eye-boggling report by Jennifer Clopton in the publication WebMD, shows there’s more lurking in the pool than you imagined.

Clopton reports that Indiana Health Officials had to close a water park when two children received chemical burns from chlorine in the water! This resulted when the chlorine equipment malfunctioned. At least this is a fixable problem.

But Clopton’s research also shows that fixing human behaviour poses a greater challenge. Her study shows that many people pee in pools.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, July 10, 2017 - Full Story

Israeli doctors find link between Alzheimer’s and bedsores

Dr. Efraim Jaul, director of geriatric skilled nursing at Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem, noticed that many patients with dementia — and especially those with Alzheimer’s disease — seemed more prone to developing pressure ulcers (bedsores).

It occurred to him that perhaps the significantly higher incidence of bedsores was not simply a result of the immobility of advanced dementia patients, as is commonly assumed.

“I wondered if they were really distinct diseases or if there could be any connection between them,” he tells ISRAEL21c.

Quantifying the phenomenon in his own hospital, Jaul found that 76 percent of geriatric patients with pressure ulcers had dementia, whereas only 32% of patients without pressure ulcers had dementia.—More...

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - Full Story

Damn It, I was born too soon

Is it an impossible dream to find Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth? No! I’ve just attended my 67th reunion at The Harvard Medical School (HMS) and, while interviewing Dr. George Church, I discovered it is no longer science fiction.

Dr. Church, Professor of Genetics at HMS, one of the world’s great scientists, predicts we are about to end the aging process. In the next five years no less! That’s why I say “Damn it, I was born too soon.”

Is Church too optimistic? Maybe, but when you see his 6-foot 5 inch body towering over you, with his white beard, it’s like talking to Charles Darwin or even Jesus Christ.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Monday, July 3, 2017 - Full Story

What Are You Doing To Grandma?

Is Grandma’s doctor slowly harming her by over-medication? I’m being facetious here, as no doctor wants to injure patients. But remember, today is not the horse-and-buggy era of medical practice. Today, rushed doctor visits and potent drugs can be a hazardous combination. So can you protect a beloved grandparent?

First, keep an eye on what grandparents are consuming. Studies show that 60 percent of those over 65 are taking five or more prescription drugs. This includes one in five who are taking 10 or more drugs and one in 20 using 15 or more. “Pillitis” has reached staggering levels in 2017 and it’s potentially harmful. Especially when natural remedies may treat Grandma better.

By Dr. Gifford Jones - Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - Full Story

First dual-targeting nanoparticles lower cancer’s defenses and attack tumors

Cancer immunotherapy has emerged as one of the most exciting directions in cancer treatment.  But the approach only works in a fraction of patients and can cause nasty side effects. Now, in the journal ACS Nano, scientists report the development of the first dual-cell targeting immunotherapy nanoparticle that slows tumor growth in mice with different cancers. In their study, up to half the mice in one cancer group went into full remission after the treatment.

Immunotherapy works by giving the body’s own immune system a boost in its fight against disease. In cancer patients, there are two main lines of immunotherapy: One disables cancer cells’ ability to hide from the immune system, and the other recruits the body’s T cells to destroy tumors. Jonathan P. Schneck and colleagues wanted to see if they could combine these two tactics with one nanoparticle-based platform.

 

By American Chemical Society - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - Full Story

Multiple sclerosis study reveals possible trigger

Multiple sclerosis, one of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affects some 2.5 million people worldwide and has no known cure.

Researchers have long speculated that MS is triggered by the body’s own immune system unleashing an uncontrolled attack on myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells (neurons).

A study published by Israeli scientists in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) pinpoints a structural instability in the myelin membranes, the “insulating tape” surrounding neurons.

This vulnerability seems to be what gives the immune system access to otherwise protected regions.—More…

By ISRAEL21c - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - Full Story