Tag Archives: health care

The Internet will cure you of anything

Pax Arcana

internet_addictionSuldog over at Universal Hub says this site is his favorite reference for the growing swine flu pandemic, and it’s difficult to disagree. The site offers everything you need to know and more about the illness, and as a bonus feature comes written in seemingly randomized verbs and nouns.

Witness teh awesome:

What preventive measures?
Influenza virus is mainly spread through the air and contacts, so when coughing or sneezing should cover the mouth, the nose; as a result of influenza virus can often be in some daily necessities to survive the surface for some time and should therefore wash their hands, but also regular daily use of alcohol for disinfection . In addition, as little as possible to the local people, but also reduce the probability of infection is an effective way.

But swine flu is a relatively recent cause for concern. There are several pressing medical issues for which the site has already built an impressive body of work.

For example, there’s this handy piece of medical advice from a post entitled “The women like to ailing the Six health problems”:

Fart. Moore said, speaking with your doctor, because usually associated with eating fart can be by adjusting the diet and non-prescription drugs to treat. Mayo Clinical Medical College of Thielen said that in addition to eating beans, the use of straw to drink beverages and eat cruciferous vegetables will make fart.

The site is especially useful for self-diagnosis and self-administered treatment plans. Now if I could just figure out how to for under tree make Special yoghurt spider, I may be able to finally get rid of these make hair back.

Falling Leaves [Home]
My Favorite Swine Flu Site [Universal Hub]

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Drug goats are the next big thing

Pax Arcana


Goats are all the rage these days. Not only are we finally discovering that goats are healthy and delicious, but now it appears they might also save your life.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new anti-clotting drug (ATryn) made from goats that “secrete a special therapeutic protein” into their milk. The drug won’t be on the shelf anytime soon because have you ever seen a bunch of secreting goats on a drug store shelf? Sure, it’s hilarious, but it’s also dangerous. Someone could slip and fall.

Anyway, ATryn could be important because it could lead to even awesomer animal drugs:

“It’s really a milestone event,” said Eric Overstrom, chairman of biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who collaborated with GTC on some of its early research using goats. “This adds to the toolbox for the pharmaceutical industry.”

Though ATryn is likely to have limited marketing potential because it would serve a relatively small pool of patients, the drug’s approval could clear the way to produce many more drugs with genetically modified animals, an approach nicknamed “pharming.”

Of course the milestone wasn’t cheered by everyone. The head of the nonprofit Center for Food Safety — which is apparently a thing — says when it comes to drug animals, oooogedy boooooogedy whaaaaahaaaaaaa beeeafrraaaaaaaaiiiiiiddd!!!!

“The creation of GE animals is a very slippery slope,” Jaydee Hanson, the center’s policy analyst on cloning and genetics, said in a statement. “All it takes is one mating between an escaped specimen and a natural animal to set off a chain of events that could lead to contamination or extinction.”

OK, I guess he has a point. On CSI: Miami this week they had a whole show about something called a “drug mule,” which is apparently a mule that looks like a Venezuelan teenager and has heroin up its ass. Too many of those and we’re all dead.

Fresh from the farm, a biotech ‘milestone’ [Boston.com]

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We have a new ally in the war on terrorism

Pax Arcana


Anyone who has studied the bubonic plague epidemic knows that the primary signs of spreading infection are — in this order — rats scurrying about the European countryside, sooty-faced peasants desperately clawing their way into dimly lit gothic cathedrals, and children creeping out their dying parents by singing Ring Around the Rosie super slowly.

Add to that list Algerian terrorists dropping dead by the dozen. At least according to the UK Daily Mail, which is at least as accurate as this Internet antenna I made out of a coat hanger and some aluminium foil:

The new plague epidemic is said to have begun in AQLIM’s cave hideouts of in Tizi Ouzou province, 90 miles east of the capital Algiers.

AQLIM is the largest and most powerful al Qaeda group outside the Middle East and trains Muslim fighters to kill British and American troops.

Its boss Abdelmalek Droudkal claims to command around 1,000 insurgents and masterminded the bombing the UN headquarters in Algiers in 2007, killing 41.

So far 40 terrorists have succumbed to the plague. This places it 51st on the list of “Deadliest Diseases You Can Catch In Rural Algeria,” just behind African sleeping sickness, African exploding balls, and several diseases that make your body turn inside out.

Al Qaeda hit by Black Death fear as medieval plague kills 40  terrorists at training camp [Daily Mail]


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Paging Dr. Douchebag… Dr. Douchebag to the OR please

Pax Arcana

drdouchebag1In my long and storied career as a rakishly handsome doctor, I’ve been called a lot of things.

I’ve been called cocky. I’ve been called demanding. I’ve been called a perfectionist.

But now those imbeciles at the New York Times are calling me something else — a murderer. According to them, patients are dying because of “arrogant, abusive and disruptive” doctors:

A survey of health care workers at 102 nonprofit hospitals from 2004 to 2007 found that 67 percent of respondents said they thought there was a link between disruptive behavior and medical mistakes, and 18 percent said they knew of a mistake that occurred because of an obnoxious doctor. (The author was Dr. Alan Rosenstein, medical director for the West Coast region of VHA Inc., an alliance of nonprofit hospitals.)

Another survey by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a nonprofit organization, found that 40 percent of hospital staff members reported having been so intimidated by a doctor that they did not share their concerns about orders for medication that appeared to be incorrect. As a result, 7 percent said they contributed to a medication error.

The story recounts one incident in which a baby died after a resident noticed a possible problem with a fetal monitoring strip, but failed to contact the attending physician — who was known for “ridiculing” the residents. Several nurses have reported being ignored or abused by doctors for alerting them to possible problems or misspeaking in the operating room.

I guess I see their point. From now on, I’m going to bring my residents marshmallows and soda-pop everyday, and instead of doing our rounds we’ll sing campfire songs and talk about our feelings. Then when one of our patients dies we’ll go down to the pet store and look at the puppies to cheer ourselves up. YOU DON’T SEEM TO GET IT YOU LITTLE SHITS, THIS IS A HOSPITAL NOT A DAYCARE CENTER AND I AM DR. DOUCHEBAG AND I GET WHAT I WANT.

Now if you don’t mind, I have a very important meeting with my Porsche dealership. Please sew this patient back up, and try your best not to leave any gauze in there this time, mmmkay?

Arrogant, Abusive and Disruptive — and a Doctor [NYT]

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Mirko Geffken should prepare for the shitstorm

Pax Arcana

While most of those displeased with the results of Tuesday night’s election merely vented on their Facebook statuses (statii?), one local businessman took things a giant douchey step beyond that.

According to Jeff Cutler (via Universal Hub), Mirko Geffken is the owner of Aspiant, a retardedly named consulting company based in Cambridge, MA. Just minutes after the major networks announced Obama’s victory in the presidential race Tuesday night, Geffken fired off an email to all employees saying that the company would be revoking its contributions to their healthcare plans.

Mirko Geffken, aka Scrooge McFuck

And, for reasons that defy comprehension, travel reimbursements are being revoked as well.

Here’s how Geffken explained the move to his employees:

I regret having to move in this direction, but this is the partially the cost of doing business in the state of Massachusetts and the impact that future policies will have on this organization.

I can only hope that future elections will provide a more positive environment for business or further measures will have to be taken.

Further measures should be forefront on Geffken’s brain, I would think, as this maneuver has all the markings of a bad PR shitstorm hurricane tornado. Bostonist has already declared him the “douche of the week,” and I suspect it won’t belong before this story ends up on Digg and Fark and Reddit and all kinds of other sites that nerds (like those Geffken would want to hire one day for his IT consultancy) like to read.

I’ll refrain from piling on, since Geffken will undoubtedly hear it from all corners (Cutler posted his office telephone number) — but I would advise Mirko Geffken to get his toilet paper umbrella ready, ’cause here it comes…

Healthcare mandatory in MA? Evidently not at Aspiant [Jeff Cutler]
Company blames Massachusetts voters for its decision to eliminate health-insurance coverage [Universal Hub]
Douche of the Week: Mirko Geffken Stops Paying His Employees’ Health Insurance

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Spina Perryiana: Inside the backbone of Perry Ellis

Perry Ellis

MRIs are all the rage around these parts lately. I had one earlier this week to determine whether my persistent and sometimes excruciating back pain was due to the poison toad I ate in a remote jungle in Borneo as part of a pre-zombie-hunt purification rite, or something more prosaic like a herniated disc:

Perry Ellis shows some backbone.

As you can see, the Matchbox car I swallowed as a child is no longer a problem. But aside from having completely digested a Porche 960, the image reveals a couple of more serious issues:

It’s a twofer!

Turns out I have two herniated discs, which are pressing on the nerve roots at the base of my spinal column. It’s a bit uncomfortable.

But the good news is that later today a doctor will take a long needle and insert it into my spine, making me the first one in the family to get an epidural (sorry, Mrs. Ellis, but I win this race). The needle will convey some painkiller and anti-inflammatory steroids to the site of the herniations, providing (I’m told) fairly instantaneous relief.

So the next time you see me, Pax, I’ll not only be pain free but totally pumped up and buff. It’s science!


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Pax Cranium: Inside the mind of Pax Arcana

Pax Arcana

This morning, Pax Arcana had an MRI on my noggin to determine whether my intermittent arm numbness is caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, a pinched nerve, or the lingering effects of that zombie poison the natives sprayed at me in the Haitian jungle (Spring Break ’99! Woot woot!!).

These days, they hand you a CD of the images the machine generates when you leave the MRI center. You then take them to your doctor, who points out where the Q-Tips and paste bottle tips must have gotten lodged. Before that happens, though, you put the CD into your computer at work and look at disturbing images of your brain, carotid artery, and blood vessels with Father Scott.

Here is what my brain looks like (click to enlarge):

The Neanderthal-like protruding brow says it’s working

To help you navigate this image, I have created a guided tour of my brain below. It’s a complex mechanism, so I was forced to leave out some of the smaller areas, but the majority of it is correct:

(Click to enlarge. No seriously, dude. Clicking this will enlarge my brain. Please?)


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Monday health tip: Watch for flying pig brain spray

The AP reports that a bunch of workers at a Minnesota slaughterhouse may have contracted chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or CIDP, from their jobs as pig de-brainers.

Braaaaaaaains! Brains! Salad optional. BRAAAAAAAAAINS!!

CIDP is, in medical terms, some seriously fucked up shit. According to the AP, the disease “attacks the nerves and produces tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms and legs, sometimes causing lasting damage.”

Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say they believe the disease was caused because of the particular method of de-braining employed at the factory. Here’s what that process entails:

In a rapid-fire process that is noisy, smelly and bloody, severed pigs’ heads are cut up at the head table at a rate of more than 1,100 an hour. Workers slice off the cheek and snout meat, then insert a nozzle in the head and blast air inside until the light pink mush that is the brain tissue squirts out from the base of the skull.

Sounds like Christmas morning at Pax Domicilus. For good measure, here’s a meat industry flack covering the collective ass of producers everywhere by feigning sympathy before mounting the customary multi-million dollar legal defense drive to paint the sick workers as scumbag opportunists:

American Meat Institute spokeswoman Janet Riley said: “We are watching the situation very closely and we’ve offered any help that the state health department would need. But certainly if facts came to light that justified the change in practices, you could imagine protecting the workers is critical.”

Minn. Slaughterhouse Workers Fall Ill [AP]

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