Breakthrough Digest Editorial & Commentary
The articles below are the opinions and analysis of Breakthrough Digest, and should in no way be construed
to be medical advice.
Breakthroughs That Break Out!
seen it in the news time after time, “Researchers discover promising
new breakthrough that may someday…’ The keyword here is
‘someday’. Just what happens to all of those breakthroughs that we
never hear about again? Is there simply a pile of broken promises
littering the floors of research labs around the nation, or have these
new discoveries somehow slipped into our healthcare system, and are now
quietly saving lives? The answer to both these questions appears to be-
Who’s Taking Your Blood Pressure — Seriously?
I’m going to the doctor’s for a routine visit. I’m a bit late and
had to park a block or so away, I practically run the distance to the
office. I check in at the front desk, turn to take my place behind a
1999 copy of Sunset magazine, when the doctor’s assistant calls my
name. She leads me into a small room and takes my blood pressure
(BP). She gets a reading of 196 over 95. ” A bit high”, she
says. A bit high? I had taken it at home only an hour
ago with a reading of 119 over 72: I’ll say it’s a bit high.
During an insurance exam only a month ago, the nurse took a reading of
121 over 70. A bit high? More
Radiation: Too Much of a Good Thing
is wacky. We spend half our lives being terrified of it, and the
other half rushing to the hospital to be voluntarily exposed to it.
We’re frightened at the thought of dirty nuclear bombs and concerned
about too much exposure to medical radiation. On the second point, your
concern may be more immediate. Recently, the National
Research Council issued a press release, of which the very first line
read: “A preponderance of scientific evidence shows that even low
doses of ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays and X-rays, are likely
to pose some risk of adverse health effects…” Yet at this very
moment, doctors all over the country are ordering x-rays, CT scans and
PET scans for their patients. Radiation indeed seems to be wacky. More
Just What Are We Thinking?
close to me recently passed away. Not a 97 year-old codger or an 85
year-old ‘lived-a-full-life’ type. Instead it was a middle aged man in
his late fifties. His principal diagnosis was diabetes. For
the past 10 years, we could see his battle with this incipient disease:
first the heart attack, then the infections, later an amputation, a
stroke, a second heart attack, and then only months later, a third and
final heart attack. There was some indication that he wasn’t
taking all of his medication. We don’t take our medicine correctly, we
skip out of blood tests and doctors visits, we don’t exercise and
ignore diet guidelines. No wonder we’re sick. More
Other articles and analysis by BreakThrough Digest…
- Health insurance: Isn’t it time we think this thing through?
- A Challenge for Health IT Vendors
- Discovering the Discovery
- Are You Prepared for a Medical Emergency?
- Using Your Head Before It Breaks
- Health on the Web: If you’re not confused, you should be
- Evaluating Health Information On The Web
- Government Health Web Sites; A Primer
- Anatomy of a Flight Nurse