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Posts Tagged ‘Medicine’

What Surgery and Police Have in Common: Both Kill a Disproportionate Number of Black Men

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on October 22, 2014

Robert_Knox72We seldom think of medicine and law enforcement as professions with parallels. While many exist — both are predominantly white, male and fiercely loyal to their own — the most remarkable attribute they share is a unique brand of public trust that provides them license to cause harm: one with weapons, the other with scalpels.

Surprisingly, by certain counts, the damage is similar.

The FBI estimates that approximately 96 black men die each year in police homicides, deemed justifiable by circumstance. Black men undergoing heart bypass suffer approximately 95 fatalities statistically, after taking account of other factors affecting surgical survival.

In spite of the numbers, the public focuses laser-like on the former and pays minimal attention to the latter.

It’s too bad. Police and surgeons can help each other develop new tools to scrutinize these deaths and hold people accountable. Good data can help.

In the case of bypass surgeries, health researchers have amassed and analyzed mountains of data to understand what leads to fatalities. In a complex process, known as risk adjustment, they consider a vast array of patient-specific factors, such as insurance coverage, presence of other diseases, smoking status, weight, age and income, along with aspects of the surgery itself, such as number of complications, to determine what predicts death.

Identifying and investigating these factors have led to risk-reducing interventions, such that bypass fatalities have fallen substantially, but highly disparately. Over the last decade, the rate for white males declined by 33 percent, while that for black males remained stubbornly steady and fell by only 3 percent, a tenfold difference.

Researchers also use risk-adjustment when comparing mortality rates between groups to account for systematic differences between them. Advanced analyses find that the risk-adjusted mortality rate from bypass surgery for black men is 11 percent higher than that for white men of similar health status.

It’s possible, of course, that these current measures don’t adequately account for key differences in physiology or for the subtle, cumulative effects of differences in access to care. Refinements to the process, however, have yet to eliminate the persistent disparity. It is time to rethink our efforts.

A starting point is examining two key factors omitted from analyses to date: the characteristics of surgeons themselves, such as where and when they trained, and the specific settings in which they operate. Both warrant investigation, as data show that the impact of race on the risk of death is not constant across operating rooms.

Reluctance to delve into this area reflects understandable concerns about malpractice. However, it also reflects a social deference to this group, whose members, like the police, mostly police themselves. Both these factors must be overcome. Identifying whether physician and hospital features play a role in generating the racially disparate bypass outcomes is a step on the road to eliminating them.

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Infant Death Reports After DTP Vaccination in Africa

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 17, 2012

DTP Vaccine = Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis Vaccine

Anumber of observational studies have suggested that many female infants in Africa below 12-months of age die after the “non-specific” effects of vaccination with dphtheria-tetanus toxoids and killed (whole-cell) Bordetella pertussis (DTwP).

According to a recent Danish study published in the Journal of Tropical Medicine:

A number of mainly observational studies suggest that many African females below the age of one year die each year from the nonspecific effects of vaccination with diphtheria-tetanus toxoids and killed (whole-cell) Bordetella pertussis (DTwP). In contrast, similar studies suggest that many African females and males may have their lives saved each year by the nonspecific immunological benefits of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination. From an immunological point of view, we hypothesise that the adverse effects of DTwP vaccine may occur because of the Th2-polarising effect of the aluminium phosphate adjuvant in the vaccine and because intramuscular administration of the vaccine may cause chronic inflammation at the site of injection. However, the Th1-polarising effect of BCG is likely to be beneficial. Sexual dimorphism affecting immune functions and vitamin A supplementation may influence both the deleterious and beneficial nonspecific effects of immunisation.

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German Study Says Condoms Contain Cancer-causing Chemical

The Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Institute in Stuttgart said on Friday it had found the carcinogen N-Nitrosamine in 29 of 32 types of condoms it tested in simulated conditions.

The condoms, which were kept in a solution with artificial sweat, exuded huge amounts of cancer-causing N-Nitrosamine from its rubber coating. Researchers measured amounts of N-Nitrosamine, that were way above the prescribed limits for other rubber products such as baby pacifiers.

N-Nitrosamine is one of the most carcinogenic substances,” the study’s authors said. “There is a pressing need for manufacturers to tackle this problem.”

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Italian Court Officially Claims Vaccines Cause Autism

MMR Vaccine = Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccine

Many parents don’t think twice about taking their children in for routine vaccinations, as they are an integral and heavily promoted part of the conventional medical system. But this decision has had life altering, and sometimes life-ending, ramifications for more children than you might expect.

There are vaccines that historically have been associated with more side effects than others, and the combination measles, mumps and rubella vaccine – MMR shot – is one of those.

Valentino Bocca was given an MMR shot in 2004, at the age of 15 months. According to his parents, the change in his behavior was immediate. That same night he refused to eat, and he developed diarrhea during the night. It quickly went downhill from there. Within days he was no longer able to put a spoon to his mouth, and he spent nights crying in pain. His parents immediately suspected the vaccination, but were told this was “impossible.” Valentino progressively regressed, and received the diagnosis of autism a year later.

In the final analysis, the Italian Health Ministry disagreed with the initial conclusion of the pediatrician, conceding that the vaccine was at fault.

As a result, a court in Rimini, Italy recently awarded the Bocca family a 15-year annuity totaling 174,000 Euros (just under $220,000), plus reimbursement for court costs, ruling that Valentino “has been damaged by irreversible complications due to vaccination (prophylaxis trivalent MMR)i.” According to a featured article in the UK newspaper, The Independentii, about 100 similar cases are now being examined by Italian lawyers, and more cases may be brought to court.

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