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December 2018
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February 2019

January 2019

Keeping track of toxic exposure

This HND piece examines the activities and technology involved in monitoring exposure to toxic substances. Pioneers of public health introduced this concept around 100 years ago, but it would take official government agencies such as EPA and OSHA to take it to the next level.

OSHA promulgates Permissible Exposure Limits for more than 500 substances, and most of these are based on an 8-hour time-weighted average exposure. Thus, some means of recording this data and calculating such averages is implied--even if such technology was not readily available when these limits were first introduced.

We then segue into some current products for data logging and new developments.

Read the complete article.

Hot topics for mid-January

This HND piece focuses on two items: A new diagnostic for colorectal cancer that seems every bit as effective as a colonoscopy, and requires only a simple blood draw; and some controversies that are sure to arise as CBD becomes a mainstream drug.

While colonoscopy is the gold standard, many people for whom this test is indicated do not comply. It is certainly invasive, and requires a prep that is not as nasty as some years ago, but is still a bit unpleasant. The new blood test from CellMax Life looks impressive in trials.

As to CBD, Epidiolex—a purified CBD extract boasting an FDA approval (for certain seizure disorders)—is looking for great things. Only, it will cost more than $30,000 per year. This is ironic, since CBD has long been known to have wonderful anti-seizure properties, and has been used for this purpose for a number of years. Look for the insurance industry to push back. Fun, fun, fun.

Read the complete article.

Be a man...unless it hurts your feelings

This HND piece analyzes the new "Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men," published by the American Psychological Association. Sadly, they are heavily influenced by PC diktat, and seem to offer little that would improve the actual mental health of males. The Guidelines, which were developed over a 13 year period, are based on research from the past 40 years, hold that "The main thrust of the subsequent research is that traditional masculinity—marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression—is, on the whole, harmful."

One can only wonder what the geniuses behind the Guidelines would recommend in the case of a five-year-old boy who thinks he's a girl.

Read the complete article.

New year, old problems

This HND piece examines the ongoing problems at healthcare institutions—that seem to persist from year to year. We focus on two big aspects: Infection control and flat-out incompetent mistakes.

As to infection control, we analyze—based on the limited information that has been released to the public—the shocking infection control breaches at a Saddlebrook, NJ surgery center. The facility admitted that 3.778 people could have been exposed to Hep B, Hep C, and HIV. And this, over a period defined as January 1 to September 7 of 2018. The January 1st seems a bit arbitrary, doesn't it? And, the September 7th only marks the date that they were temporarily closed down by the state department of health.

Drug diversion seems to be a reasonable explanation, although we're not hearing too much about this. Typically, the gory details almost never emerge in these sorts of breaches, but maybe this one will be different.

As to medical mistakes, while they occur everywhere, it is most disheartening when they occur at marquee establishments run by big names, such as Johns Hopkins. We discuss a few real bad ones.

Read the complete article.