Medical Week in Review 3-22-13

Happy Friday!  It's been a busy week on all fronts for me here in Nashville.  From getting started on springtime yard work to working on exciting new plans for MidlevelU (stay tuned for updates!) and pulling a few night shifts in the ER, this week has been jam-packed.  Here are a few tidbits of medical news to get you through your work day and into the weekend. 

The Let's Have Dinner and Talk About Death Project.  This exciting new movement encourages Americans to discuss end-of-life issues with friends and family.  While 70 percent of Americans want to die at home, only 30 percent actually do.  I'm excited to see the impact of this project as it gathers momentum. 

Dystextia is the newest symptom of stroke.  Although I doubt the NIH will be including texting-related incidences in their stroke score anytime soon, cases of garbled text messages alerting the recipient something is wrong with the sender are cropping up all over the country.  

Remember the European horse meat scare?  While the presence of horse meat in products labeled "ground beef" didn't actually pose a health risk to Europeans, it turns out horse meat is perfectly safe for human consumption, it did cause many to cringe, shudder and gag.  IKEA (who knew they sold food products?) is bringing back it's farm-to-table meatballs this week now equine free.  It seems they initially went a little too "farm" on this product. 

Coming soon, you could have instant insight into your patient's blood work 24/7.  A tiny new device created by Swiss inventors can be implanted under the skin wirelessly transmitting lab data to a computer.  Currently, researchers are using this device to monitor levels of specific enzymes as well as blood sugar but creators say it can potentially be used to continuously monitor any lab value.  They hope it will have practical implications for patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Lacking motivation to exercise?  Check out this 102 year-old gym goer.  Centenarian Ray Clark says his workout routine includes rowing, the squat rack, throwing kettlebells and stretching.  

It might be wise to forgo your next Brazilian wax.  After noticing an increase in the number of sexually transmitted infections, researchers in Nice, France decided to test their theory that pubic hair removal increases risk of STD's.  A small study of their observations shows an association between pubic hair removal and sexually transmitted infections.  Just something to consider in your down South grooming situation.

Does your child hate broccoli?  Is your 2 year-old refusing to eat anything besides chocolate milk and chicken nuggets?  It turns out picky eating could be genetic.  Similar to temperament or personality, some children are more genetically susceptible than others to avoid new foods.  Researchers make sure to point out this doesn't mean children can't change their habits and become less picky.  So keep pushing the veggies. 

If I ever have to be hospitalized, I hope it's on a Monday.  A new study shows that weekend surgeries for ulcerative colitis are associated with an increased risk of complication.  Authors of the study note that "Weekend effect is a well described phenomenon of worse outcomes for patients hospitalized on a weekend compared with a weekday".  

Want to know more about Obamacare?  Start reading.  Apparently the bill contains 20,000 pages and counting.  In this legislative comparison blogger and ED physician "WhiteCoat" compares the heft of the Affordable Care Act to the four page document upon which out country was founded, well five if you include the Bill of Rights.

Have a wonderful weekend!