Your mother always warned that it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye. But it's doubtful she warned of losing a finger while painting the house.
Turns out Mom's got nothing on a bunch of radiologists.
The Radiology Society of North America at its recent meeting in Chicago touted a University of Southern California study showing the danger of cleaning paint guns with a finger. Apparently, freeing the clogged nozzle of a high-pressure paint sprayer with a digit can cause paint to shoot out of the gun and lodge under the skin, necessitating surgery and possibly amputation.
The school reports that, over a four-year period, 15 men (must be a guy thing) sought emergency treatment at USC Hospital for water-based paint injected into a finger that was used to clean a paint gun nozzle. All required surgery and had some degree of permanent injury. One patient's finger was amputated after developing necrosis.
Oh, and the RSNA wants everyone to know that it's a bad idea stick sharp objects in your eyes. Like paint gun nozzles.
Rough seas. According to his biography, Gregory Taylor has been in healthcare for 20 years, including a most recent stint as vice president of turnkey solutions for Siemens/Shared Medical Systems.
Taylor set sail from his seemingly safe harbor at Siemens for the choppy waters of Internet healthcare aboard what the stock market has labeled a leaky vessel: drkoop.com.
Taylor took a job last month as chief operating officer at the popular and highly regarded but financially afflicted Web site based in Austin, Texas.
"I don't think anybody questions it being a trusted name and a trusted brand," Taylor says.
Yet, in what could be the understatement of 2000, Taylor said Dec. 4 that "the last year has been particularly harsh on Internet companies."
drkoop.com was no exception. Its stock plunged from the mid-teens in January to $0.40 on Dec. 6.
Still, Taylor says his jumping ship from Siemens "makes perfect sense." Taylor says he has tremendous confidence in his and fellow managers' ability to develop a business model less dependent on advertising "and reverse what has been happening to the stock."
Drop it, already. Like a cat ready to pounce, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine can't seem to drop its beef with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
PCRM could hardly wait to announce that the federal government had missed its deadline for appealing a ruling that the USDA violated federal law for hiding conflicts of interest. The physician group sued the USDA in December 1999 alleging that the department had purposely withheld data that a majority of USDA's committee members had inappropriate financial ties to the meat, dairy or egg industries. PCRM was upset about the prominence of those foods in the recently revised food pyramid because of the prevalence of lactose intolerance in minorities.
But enough already. It boils down to this: People are going to eat what they want--as the obesity problem in the nation has proven. Didn't the presidential vote count debacle teach us anything about dragging things through the courts?
To cut or not to cut. In the continuing saga of bizarre comments on court cases, Kaiser Permanente and seven people suing the HMO have engaged in a "did-not, did-so" exchange.
A doctor and six patients covered by Kaiser filed a suit they want classified as class action against the HMO, accusing it of endangering patients' lives by forcing them to accept double-size pills. The plaintiffs allege that Kaiser forces them to buy medication at a higher dose and then split the pills in half.
Some medical and pharmaceutical experts say that practice can harm patients.
The suit was filed in Alameda County (Calif.) Superior Court.
Several patients told a San Francisco newspaper that they received the higher-dosed pills and were required to split them in half. Some physicians told the paper that they believe some patients have suffered strokes or even died because they either didn't know to split the pills, split pills that didn't require splitting thus reducing their required doses or didn't get enough of the medication when the pills were split.
Kaiser officials declined to comment on the suit but called the stories "bogus," adding that pill splitting is voluntary and any patient who can't or doesn't want to split pills isn't required to do so. Company officials say pill splitting saves money, since higher dose pills are often less expensive than lower doses.
It's hard to figure whether pharmacists and doctors are confused about what "voluntary" means, the health plan hasn't explained its policies clearly or patients just don't understand the policies.