Print Issue: July 02, 2009

Malpractice payouts continue to fall

According to the watchdog group Public Citizen, medical malpractice payouts continued to fall across the country last year and account for a minuscule portion of health-care costs.

Cosigning prescriptions for controlled substances

I work in a small community clinic that provides low-cost prescription medications to patients. These patients also see consultants who write prescriptions for controlled substances. In order for patients to get the medications at reduced cost, a clinic physician must cosign the prescription using his Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number. I am uncomfortable cosigning these…

Coronary bypass (as seen on a 64-slice CT) was associated with lower mortality in some patients

CABG may lower mortality compared to PCI in patients with diabetes and those older than 65

Level 2: Mid-level evidenceThe relative benefits of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) continue to be actively debated and analyzed. A recent meta-analysis of individual data from 7,812 patients in 10 randomized trials suggests that CABG may be associated with lower mortality in certain populations (Lancet. 2009;373:1190-1197). There was no difference…

When to test children for lead exposure

Because of the number of toys that have been recalled for potentially high levels of lead paint, some parents are requesting that children not otherwise at high risk be tested for lead exposure. Is this testing necessary? If so, at what age? At what level of lead in the blood should an oral chelating agent…

Hospitalization and nonfatal stroke higher with aspirin than warfarin in heart failure patients

Level 2: Mid-level evidenceUse of aspirin for patients with heart failure (HF) is controversial. Previously, the Warfarin/Aspirin Study in Heart Failure (WASH) trial found increased hospitalization for HF in patients taking aspirin compared with patients taking either warfarin or placebo. The newly published Warfarin and Antiplatelet Therapy in Chronic Heart Failure (WATCH) trial compared the…

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