Many medical students are taught simple sayings to help them make the most accurate diagnosis possible. One such saying that comes to mind is “all that wheezes is not asthma” – meaning that just because a patient is wheezing when you listen to the lungs with a stethoscope, it does not mean they have asthma. There are many other conditions that cause wheezing; everything from heart failure (probably the most common cause of wheezing) to aspirating a foreign substance such as a toy part or even a tumor. The saying is important because it reminds doctors to be thorough in their evaluation and not to be fooled.
Archive for January, 2008
Most women already know to eliminate smoking, alcohol and most medications during pregnancy, but what about caffeine? Certainly a single morning cup of eye-opening caffeine must be safe? Well think again. A new study published in this month’s American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, looked at 1,063 pregnant women in San Francisco over two years who were members of the health insurer Kaiser Permanente in the San Francisco area. Following a positive pregnancy test by a lab, they interviewed in person every woman who agreed to participate in the study and questioned them extensively about their health, caffeine consumption and other health habits. They found that even a typical cup of coffee a day may double the risk of miscarriage.
Everyone’s talking about the hospital employees that allegedly accessed information from George Clooney’s medical records after his recent motorcycle accident and shared it with the media. This has led to endless talk in the media about the security and privacy of our medical records and stories of identity fraud as well. One safeguard recommended was to ask for a copy of your medical records to assure their accuracy!