Preventative Care in the Emergency Department — A Delicate Balance0

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, between 1997 and 2007, Emergency Department (ED) visit rates increased nationwide from 352.8 to 390.5 per 1000 persons. These EDs exist as critical foundations in the nation’s ability to deliver health care to everyone, regardless of insurance, ability to pay or even immigration status. The Institute of Medicine has referred to EDs as “the Safety Net of the Safety Net . . . the provider of last resort for millions of patients who are uninsured or lack adequate access to care from community providers.” … Read more →

Tackling Concussions Head On1

The concussion: From the Latin word concutere (“to shake violently”) or concussus (“action of striking together”), the concussion is the most common type of serious brain injury. American football-related head injuries are on the rise, not just at the professional level, but throughout college and high school, too.

The September 2010 edition of the Journal of Athletic Training (a publication of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)), tackles this issue of concussions head-on with an article about the legal liability athletic trainers can face for football-related injuries. … Read more →

The World is Round, and Apparently So Are We0

According to a recent publication by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), obesity has spread at “an alarming rate” since the 1980’s.  In countries affiliated with OECD, 1 in 2 is overweight and 1 in 6 is obese.  Obesity has been more defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a BMI of 30 and above (a BMI of 30 is about 30 pounds overweight).  The following table can help you identify your BMI: … Read more →

Understanding that “Freshman 15”0

With talk about health care and obesity making headlines just about every day, there is finally a study for the estimated 19.1 million students expected to attend college and university programs this fall.  What’s the story behind the legendary “freshman 15”?

A recent study conducted at the University of Michigan identified college students with overweight roommates as more likely to lose weight — up to 1.5 pounds — than those students with slim roommates.

According to one research scientist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research: “This finding seems counterintuitive, but there are some good explanations for why it may be happening. It’s not really the weight of your roommate that’s important, but the behaviors your roommate engages in. These behaviors are what may really be ‘contagious.’ “

The study is expected to continue, hoping to expand the understanding of this phenomenon at college campuses nation-wide.

The information from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research comes courtesy of Medical News Today.

Live Well, Die Old(er)0

Apparently, being physically fit may lead to a healthier and longer life.  According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, individuals who are able to perform simple tasks such as gripping, walking, rising from a chair or even balancing on one leg may actually live longer.

According to the study:  “Objective measures of physical capability are predictors of all cause mortality in older community dwelling populations. Such measures may therefore provide useful tools for identifying older people at higher risk of death.”  Perhaps this study will revolutionize exercise in the future.

The Appendectomy0


The first report of an appendectomy came in 1735 from a surgeon in the English army who performed the operation without anesthesia. Today, one out of every 2,000 people has an appendectomy, almost always with pain medication.

Although appendicitis is one of the more frequent surgical emergencies, there is no specific test to diagnose it with absolute certainty. Symptoms typically include abdominal pain. During early stages, the pain can be difficult to pinpoint, as inflammations of the small intestine and colon are not often localized, but other symptoms may include loss of appetite, fever, and/or nausea. … Read more →

EMTALA and Mental Health0

Federal law defines an “emergency medical condition” as “a medical condition manifesting itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that the absence of immediate medical attention could reasonably be expected to result in . . . placing the health of the individual . . . in serious jeopardy.”  42 U.S.C. Section 1395dd(e)(1)(A)(i).
Passed in 1986, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) is a United States Act of Congress that requires every hospital to treat any patient with an emergency condition in such a way that, upon the patient’s release, no further deterioration of the condition is likely.  No hospital may release a patient with an emergency medical condition without first determining that the patient has actually been stabilized, even if the hospital properly admitted the patient.
  • When a patient presents at a hospital with a severe mental disability, does this trigger the requirements under EMTALA?
  • When does a mental health emergency qualify as an “emergency medical condition” under EMTALA? … Read more →