Concerns Over Danger to Children and Others From Synthetic Turf Fields Escalate

This year’s LandTek FieldTurf convention, held last month at a hotel in Huntington, Long Island, New York, was dedicated to addressing recent worries that the filling material, composed of ground up tires, could eventually expose athletes to life-threatening illness.

The concerns have to do with the fact that the artificial fields are constructed using up to ten tons of ground-up used tires, or crumb rubber, as in-fill. The danger is that since tires typically contain toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans, it seems reasonable to question whether this material is safe for use on fields where … Read the rest

Doctors Successfully Repel Aetnas Unwarranted Intrusion Into How They Perform Colonoscopies

After coming under attack from doctors, Aetna has withdrawn its intention, announced late last year, that in New Jersey, effective April 1, 2008, it would drop its coverage of propofol, the anesthesia typically used during colonoscopies, calling the same medically unnecessary. In reality, it is not the propofol that Aetna minds paying for; what Aetna wants to cut-out is the $300 to $1,000 cost that Aetna pays for an anesthesiologist to be present at a colonoscopy.

Propofol, also known by the trade name Diprivan, is more powerful than other sedatives traditionally used to help patients endure the discomfort of a … Read the rest

Ensuring Every American Access to Broadband Is Essential For the Nation’s Health Care, Says Congress

Ensuring that every American has access to broadband throughout the country has been declared to be an essential health care imperative by the Joint Advisory Committee on Communications Capabilities of Emergency Medical and Public Health Care Facilities in a recently released report. The Joint Advisory Committee was established pursuant to legislation Congress passed in 2007 to implement the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission.

The Committee found that home broadband can enable access to distant telemedicine applications, remote monitoring technologies, health information, and the ability of health care workers to work remotely in an emergency. Broadband communications systems can help ensure … Read the rest

Amid Privacy Concerns, Google Announces “Google Health”, an On-Line Health-Records Management System

Google has announced a pilot project called Google Health in which it will begin storing the medical records of 1,500 to 10,000 patients at the Cleveland Clinic who agreed to an electronic transfer of their personal health records so they can be retrieved through Google’s service, which will not be open to the general public. Each health profile, including information about prescriptions, allergies and medical histories, will be protected by a password.

Last year Microsoft introduced a similar service, HealthVault, and AOL co-founder Steve Case founded Revolution Health, which also offers online tools for managing personal health histories.

The project … Read the rest

Study of Artificial Spinal Disk “Prodisc” – Guided by Physicians’ Finances or Concern for Patients?

When patients are considering treatment options, there is often”blind faith” in the doctor’s recommendations, as he is viewed as a concerned, educated and neutral provider. Perhaps, this view is nave. In reality, doctors are often financially motivated in the varying courses of treatment offered. Instead of acting as neutral gatekeepers of potentially harmful drugs and procedures and “neutral scientists “investigating a procedure’s safety, at times they are in actuality financially motivated advocates for the same.

For instance, Dr. Joseph E. Zigler, a well known spine specialist, and an advocate of Prodisc, an artificial spinal disk for the lower back, has … Read the rest

Serving Chili Peppers (sort of) to Patients Undergoing Knee and Hip Replacement Surgery to Reduce Post-Surgical Pain

Researchers are “hot” on the trail to finding a new way to decrease post-surgical pain following painful operations such as knee and hip replacements. Surgeons are experimenting by dripping capsaicin – the ingredient that gives chili peppers their fire, directly into open wounds during knee replacement surgeries hoping that bathing surgically exposed nerves in a high enough dose will numb them for weeks. The theory takes root from the fact that when you bite into a hot pepper, after the initial burn your tongue goes numb.

Research shows that capsaicin targets key pain-sensing cells in a way that blocks pain … Read the rest

A Concierge is a Service Available Not Only at a Hotel

“Medical concierge,” also known as “boutique practice” and “retainer medicine”, is over 20 years old. The goal behind this form of medicine is to provide quality medical services that were formerly only able to be offered to affluent entertainers and the like. For instance, this field promotes limiting the number of patients that each doctor sees, increasing the number and length of house visits with those patients, lengthening the time available with patients during their appointments, and the overall goal of increasing the quality of health care.

Many doctors pursue the field of “medical concierge” to ensure that patients are … Read the rest

Latest Brain Scan Technology May Help Increase Recovery for Conscious Pain and Suffering of “Vegetative” People

Brain scans using the most recent technologies are challenging the decade-old doctors’ assumption that patients who have been diagnosed as vegetative lack any capacity for conscious thought. Most of these patients are previously healthy people who suffered a traumatic brain injury such as in a car accident, or oxygen deprivation after a heart attack or stroke or perhaps even due to medical malpractice. Although most brain scans show what is wrong with someone’s brain, sophisticated brain scans are showing what parts of the brain are working, with surprising results.

What is lacking in these patients is not necessarily … Read the rest

Increase in Abuse by Nursing Homes To Be Investigated by Federal Government

According to the New York Times, nursing home facilities owned by private equity firms receive worse scores than the national average in twelve of the fourteen indicators that regulators use in tracking the ailments of nursing home residents. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid state that residents of nursing homes owned by private investment firms suffer from higher rates of depression, mobility loss, and the loss of the ability to bathe and dress themselves. Facilities of these companies are also restrain residents for long periods of time more often than facilities that are not privately owned.

The report in the … Read the rest