A recent case report of a spinal mass in a patient with spinal cord injury who received an olfactory mucosa implant shows that stem cells are not risk-free, even when done at a reputable hospital rather than at a for-profit quack stem cell clinics.
Regular readers will have noticed that I haven’t been blogging nearly as much as usual. All I can say is that a combination of personal and professional issues and obligations have gotten in the way. Also, I have been a bit under the weather, as hard as it is to believe that a Tarial cell-driven ultimate computer can be. Fortunately, however, things seem to be looking up, and I think that I’ll be able to get back into the swing of things next week. In the meantime, I saw a great article by oncologist Ranjana Srivastava, who notes that My …
The claim that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US has always rested on very shaky evidence; yet it’s become common wisdom that is cited as though everyone accepts it. But if estimates of 250,000 to 400,000 deaths due to medical error are way too high, what is the real number? A study published last month suggests that it’s almost certainly a lot lower and has been modestly decreasing since 1990.
Suzanne Somers is back in the news, claiming that she "grew a new breast" with stem cells and fat transfer. But did she? Did she really? A careful look at what's public about her story suggests nothing other than a bit of self-promotion during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Over the last few years, AORN and the American College of Surgeons have been battling it out over AORN's 2014 guideline that has increasingly led to the banning of the surgical skull cap in the operating room in favor of the bouffant cap as the preferred surgical headgear. Lacking from this kerfuffle has been much in the way of evidence to support AORN's guideline, but unfortunately that didn't stop the ACS from appealing mainly to tradition and emotion in objecting to it.
Adjuvant therapy after surgery, such as chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiation therapy, has contributed to a 39% decrease in breast cancer mortality since 1989. Unfortunately, a significant number of women decline evidence-based adjuvant therapy. A recent study suggests that distrust of the medical system plays a significant role in such refusal.
Ever since the $200 million gift by Susan and Henry Samueli to UC-Irvine, I've been thinking about the "integration" of quackery into medicine through integrative medicine. The way advocates of quackademic medicine are going to make this "integration" really happen is to start with the medical schools.
When you're in an exam room with a patient, sometimes you're forced to contemplate uncomfortable questions.
It’s a seldom mentioned aspect of my professional history that I used to do a lot of trauma surgery in my youth. I did my residency at a program that included a county hospital with a busy trauma program where I saw quite a bit of vehicular carnage and an urban hospital (which has since closed) where I saw a fair amount of what we in the surgery biz call gun and knife club action. During my time as a PhD student, I moonlighted as a flight physician for the local helicopter rescue service, Metro Life Flight, where I took …
As a surgeon and skeptic, I find neurosurgeon turned presidential candidate Ben Carson to be particularly troubling. I realize that I’ve said this before, but it’s hard for me not to revisit his strange case given that the New York Times just ran a rather revealing profile of him over the weekend, part of which included Dr. Carson answering criticism for the really dumb things he’s said about vaccines, evolution, and the like. People like Ben Carson are useful examples of how highly intelligent people who are incredibly competent in one area can also demonstrate unbelievable ignorance in other areas. …