Medicine | WOSU Radio

Medicine

When people take medicine at home, mistakes happen.

Some people end up taking the wrong dose of a medication or the wrong pill. Sometimes, they don't wait long enough before taking a second dose.

Other times, it's a health professional who's at fault. A pharmacist might have dispensed a medication at the wrong concentration, for example.

These kinds of mistakes are on the rise, according to a study published Monday in the journal Clinical Toxicology.

Lisa Noelle Cooper/Neomed

Bats are the only flying mammal.

But that's just one of a long list of bats' unique attributes, including an unusually long life and the ability to avoid the effects of aging. In Northeast Ohio, researchers searching for the fountain of youth by studying bats.

Technology three decades old is grabbing the attention of Cincinnati doctors as a possible substitute for drugs and surgical procedures for treating heart patients.

From the front door of the glass-walled gift shop at the Alnwick Garden in the far northeast of England, the scene looks innocent enough. A sapphire green English lawn slopes gently downward, toward traditional, ornamental gardens of rose and bamboo. Across the small valley, water cascades down a terraced fountain.

But a hundred or so plantings kept behind bars in this castle's garden are more menacing — and have much to tell visitors about poison and the evolutionary roots of medicine.

Nearly 1.5 million Americans were treated for addiction to prescription opioids or heroin in 2015, according to federal estimates, and when those people get seriously hurt or need surgery, it's often not clear, even to many doctors, how to safely manage their pain. For some former addicts, what begins as pain relief ends in tragedy.

Scientists at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Ben Gurion University have developed a prototype device designed to quickly and accurately locate a vein or artery in children and adults in need of a medical procedure. It uses ultrasound and a robotic arm.

FIND, or Fast Intelligent Needle Delivery, is the invention of the newly formed company, Xact Medical and an ongoing partnership with Ben Gurion.

John Krahne received alarming news from his doctor last December. His brain tumors were stable, but his lung tumors had grown noticeably larger.

The doctor recommended a drug called Alecensa, which sells for more than $159,000 a year. Medicare would charge Krahne a $3,200 copay in December, then another $3,200 in January, as a new year of coverage kicked in.

Ohio State University

Synthetic blood is the Holy Grail for doctors. And though a true version has so far escaped scientsts, researchers at Ohio State University think they may have at least found a temporary solution.

Adam / Wikipedia

Leaders at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center says they’re trying to make it easier for doctors and nurses to comply with a law meant to curb doctor shopping and painkiller abuse. 

The long arm of the pharmaceutical industry continues to pervade practically every area of medicine, reaching those who write guidelines that shape doctors' practices, patient advocacy organizations, letter writers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and even oncologists on Twitter, according to a series of papers on money and influence published Tuesday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Several times a month, you can find a doctor in the aisles of Ralph's market in Huntington Beach, Calif., wearing a white coat and helping people learn about food. On one recent day, this doctor was Daniel Nadeau, wandering the cereal aisle with Allison Scott, giving her some ideas on how to feed kids who studiously avoid anything that tastes healthy.

"Have you thought about trying smoothies in the morning?" he asks her. "The frozen blueberries and raspberries are a little cheaper, and berries are really good for the brain."

Chances are your doctor has stopped taking notes with pen and paper and moved to computer records. That is supposed to help coordinate your care.

Increasingly, researchers are also exploring these computerized records for medical studies and gleaning facts that help individual patients get better care.

In a study that is sure to rile male doctors, Harvard researchers have found that female doctors who care for elderly hospitalized patients get better results. Patients cared for by women were less likely to die or return to the hospital after discharge.

Previous research has shown that female doctors are more likely to follow recommendations about prevention counseling and to order preventive tests like Pap smears and mammograms.

On a crisp New England fall day, college freshman Jordan Taylor was playing Ultimate Frisbee when he collided with another player. Taylor was rushed to the hospital, where doctors realized he'd been hit hard enough to tear the delicate covering of his spleen, and he was bleeding internally. A quick surgery fixed the spleen, but doctors saw something strange while they were operating.

"As the doctor was speaking to me post-surgery, he mentioned he'd noticed I had a bunch of extra spleens," Taylor says. We asked if the additional organs gave him spleeny superpowers.

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A record number of women enrolled in medical schools across the country this year, including at Ohio State University.

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