Midnight In The Desert — medicine

Russian woman ’embalmed alive’ after hospital mix-up

Posted by K R on

Russian woman ’embalmed alive’ after hospital mix-up

A Russian woman reportedly died after a routine procedure when hospital workers mistakenly injected her with a drug used to preserve dead bodies. Ekaterina Fedyaeva, 28, underwent surgery last month at a hospital in Ulyanovsk, in western Russia, to have ovarian cysts removed, according to state-owned television station RT. During the March 15 operation, however, medical personnel gave Fedyaeva what should have been saline, but turned out to be formalin, which contains formaldehyde, according to Russia’s Tass news agency. Formalin is highly toxic if ingested, and just one ounce can kill an adult. Hospital staff realized the mistake two minutes...

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The Flu Shot Is Only 36 Percent Effective This Year

Posted by K R on

The Flu Shot Is Only 36 Percent Effective This Year

After a few months of hand-wringing over the flu vaccine’s 10 percent effectiveness against one strain of flu in Australia, we finally have a number for how it’s doing in the US this season. It’s 36 percent effective at preventing flu among people in general, and 59 percent effective in children under 8. These numbers aren’t great, but they’re a heck of a lot better than zero. Quick facts to share with your local bellyacher: The flu shot is free with insurance (including at in-network pharmacies), and side effects are rare and usually mild. Even if you’re young and healthy...

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Cats Are Not Medicine

Posted by K R on

Cats Are Not Medicine

Kids who grow up in homes with cats are much less likely to have behavioral issues than kids who grow up in homes without cats. This is according to a divisive statistical analysis thrust upon the world this week by scientists at the RAND corporation. Pro-pet research findings like this have been piling up since the 1980s. The results have ranged from less heart disease among pet owners to better rates of survival after heart attacks to a reduced risk of asthma and allergic rhinitis among kids who had been exposed to pet allergens as infants. Over the decades there...

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The $100,000-Per-Year Pill: How US Health Agencies Choose Pharma Over Patients

Posted by K R on

The $100,000-Per-Year Pill: How US Health Agencies Choose Pharma Over Patients

Don Reichmuth survived prostate cancer once before, back in 2007, so his physician was concerned when tests recently revealed the cancer had returned. Reichmuth's physician prescribed a drug called enzalutamide, marketed by the Japanese company Astellas Pharma, Inc. under the brand name Xtandi. But when the physician sent the prescription to the pharmacy, the managers of Reichmuth's insurance plan sent back an immediate refusal to approve it. Reichmuth, a retired teacher who lives in Washington State, was puzzled by the logic. Then he learned the price of the Xtandi prescription: over $9,700 each month. Reichmuth is just one of millions...

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Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Need for Other Meds?

Posted by K R on

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Need for Other Meds?

People are actually using medical marijuana as a treatment for health problems, not simply as an excuse to get high, a new study suggests. States that pass medical marijuana laws tend to experience a significant decline in prescriptions for ailments that could be treated with cannabis, said study senior researcher W. David Bradford. He's the chair of public policy with the University of Georgia's Department of Public Administration and Policy. At the same time, there hasn't been a decline in prescriptions for drugs that treat conditions for which marijuana wouldn't help much or at all, Bradford said. "There was a...

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