Patients Often Face Barriers to Obtaining Medical Records

Patients looking to obtain copies of their health records continue to face various obstacles, despite initiatives aimed at digitizing the U.S. health care system and increasing access to medical records, the New York Times‘ “Sunday Review” reports. Continue reading

Cancer Breakthrough: Probiotics May Save Patients from Deadly Chemotherapy; Antibiotics May Cause Chemo to Be Fatal

If you or someone you love is facing the possibility of cancer or chemotherapy, make sure they read this story. Breakthrough new science conducted at the University of Michigan and about to be published in the journal Nature reveals that intestinal health is the key to surviving chemotherapy. Continue reading

The Seven-Cent Cure for High Cholesterol

A new report from the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service (OMNS), a top research group, claims that niacin — and not dangerous statins — is by far the most effective and affordable cure for keeping your nagging high cholesterol in check.

Niacin — a form of vitamin B3 — has been studied in more than 42,000 scientific papers, Continue reading

Zithromax and Januvia: Two Commonly-Prescribed Drugs Now Shown to Be Killing Patients

Story at glance:

The US FDA is investigating a potential link between a commonly used class of diabetes drugs known as DPP-4 inhibitors and pre-cancerous changes to the pancreas. Additionally, previous studies have also indicated a connection of thyroid, colon, melanoma, and prostate cancer

Prostate Cancer Patients Leave Normal behind

If you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer you can probably tell me the exact date and time when you received the news. And all you want is the same thing that any cancer sufferer wants — for life to return to normal.

Well, new research has revealed a sad and sobering truth — Continue reading

Robot ‘Doctor’ Tends to St. Charles Patients

New Telemedicine Assistant on Job in Redmond

There’s a new way for Central Oregon doctors to take care of their patients without even being in the hospital. St. Charles Medical Center-Redmond recently bought a telemedicine robot, and on Wednesday, they trained their staff using a mock patient. Continue reading

Second Thoughts about Ginko Biloba

When looking closely at ginkgo biloba and acetyl-L- carnitine for use against Alzheimer’s disease, I’ve found a mixed bag. It’s best to become informed before investing hope in supplements.

Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that occurs naturally. In animal studies, it’s been found to increase the energy production in nerve cells, protect the nerve cells from toxins, maintain the number of receptors on nerve cells, and increase Continue reading

Why Kidney Disease Patients Should Be Extra Careful with Nutrition

One in five overweight Americans is suffering from chronic kidney disease — a very significant number. A brand new piece of health news from the famous “Cleveland Clinic” has led to some valuable health advice: be careful when trying to shed pounds, because some things could damage your kidneys further. Continue reading

Patients Often Use ED Even When Primary Care Is Available

As national healthcare reform proceeds, hospitals that have benefited financially from high use of emergency departments (EDs) by routine primary care patients will be challenged to retool primary care delivery and payment methods, according to a research letter published in the February 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Karen E. Lasker, MD, MPH, from the Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine, and the Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, in Massachusetts, and colleagues analyzed the use of ED services by established primary care patients at BMC, a safety-net hospital, between July 1, 2009, and July 1, 2010. They found that about half of all ED primary care visits took place during weekdays when primary care practices were open and seeing patients.

BMC has 8 primary care practices Continue reading

Gene Therapy for Inherited Blindness Succeeds in Patients’ Other Eye

Image: After gene therapy for congenital blindness, areas in the part of the brain responsible for vision show a response after a visual stimulus

In 3 adults, repeat dose safely improves vision

Gene therapy for congenital blindness has taken another step forward, as researchers further improved vision in three adult patients previously treated in one eye. After receiving the same treatment in their other eye, the patients became better able to see in dim light, and two were able to navigate obstacles in low-light situations. No adverse effects occurred. Continue reading

Discharged ER Patients often Miss Instructions

People who are discharged from emergency departments are often unable to tell what symptoms should raise alarms and make them return to the hospital, a review suggests.

Dr. Stephen Porter, head of emergency medicine at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, led a review of more than 50 studies on the subject. The papers examined the content, delivery and comprehension of discharge instructions for both adults and children.

In the hectic and distracting environment of an emergency department, key instructions to patients can be lost. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

It’s important Continue reading

Probiotics Shown To Stave Off Infection in Brain Injury Patients

Individuals who are hospitalized for brain injuries sometimes develop infections because their condition tends to suppress the immune system and induce inflammation in the body.

Researchers at the North Sichuan Medical College and Hospital in China conducted a study to determine whether supplementing these individuals with probiotics could help reduce rates of infection among traumatic brain injury patients.

They discovered that when probiotic bacteria were administered through an intravenous feeding tube over a 15-day period, individuals experienced fewer markers of inflammation and a heightened immune response when compared to a control group who received standard care. Continue reading

Twenty-Seven Years Bring no Deaths from Vitamins but Three Million from Pharmaceuticals

Despite mainstream medical establishments and media outlets portraying multivitamin supplements as worthless and oftentimes toxic, vitamins have led to 0 deaths over the past 27 years. In contrast, pharmaceutical drugs were responsible for 3 million deaths, topping the death toll from traffic-related incidents. In 2009, pharmaceuticals were responsible for the death of 37,485 people nationwide.

The statistics come from the Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS), and the findings go against the claims of most mainstream doctors Continue reading

Real Doctors, Onscreen: VA Program Makes Online House Calls on Vets

A new pilot program will allow veterans in the Midwest to access behavioral health, oncology and post-operative care services wherever they have Web access. Using telehealth technology — a combination of streaming video, e-mail and text applications — the system is designed to help veterans in geographically remote areas or with mobility issues to conveniently contact clinicians and support services.

Part of the Veterans Affairs Department’s VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) Industry Innovation Competition, the effort uses the Online Care system developed by American Well to provide a variety of online services. The Online Care service allows veterans to visit their health care providers, both primary doctors and multidisciplinary care teams, online.

Patients and clinicians communicate via two-way video, secure text and/or telephone. Through the system, doctors can review patients’ health records, discuss symptoms, Continue reading

High-Tech Hypothermia Treatment Helps Patients

The treatment and care of heart patients is always evolving, often dramatically, and one therapy in particular now may help cardiac arrest survivors in central Alabama.

Emergency departments in the U.S., Europe and Australia have been experimenting with a treatment called therapeutic hypothermia (TH) over the last several years.

For reasons that aren’t clearly understood, the induced hypothermia — or a rapid cooling of the body — reduces brain damage and reduces the brain’s demand for oxygen. That helps preserve the patient’s neurological function once the body recovers.

One example: A patient who suffered cardiac arrest in the University of Alabama at Birmingham emergency department was successfully revived — after 90 minutes of chest compressions — and then was treated with TH. He eventually made an amazing recovery with no neurological deficits. His story was reported in The Birmingham News Continue reading