Lost Hospital — North General Hospital, Harlem, New York0

In August 2010, just a month after filing for bankruptcy protection, North General Hospital in Harlem, New York closed.  On the heels of St. Vincent’s closing, when the 200-bed hospital shut its doors, 1,000 people lost their jobs, and the remaining hospitals in New York City were forced to endure as many as 36,000 additional emergency department visits.

The four days’ notice North General Hospital employees received came after a public relations campaign proclaimed the bankruptcy had saved the hospital. City officials dismissed concerns that other area hospitals would be overwhelmed, yet other hospitals described the aftermath as “chaotic and overwhelming.” … Read more →

Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act0

Today, the American people have greater health security than they did a year ago.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans no longer have to live in fear that insurance companies will drop or cap their coverage if they get sick, or that they’ll face double-digit premium increases with no accountability or recourse.

The rest of the Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act can be seen HERE.

Keeping An Eye On Your Medication0

For most people, the process of aging takes a toll on eyesight. Blurred vision, floaters (deposits of various size, shape, and even consistency within the clear gel that fills the space between the eye’s lens and retina), cataract, and glaucoma, to name just a few, are some of the most common eye issues associated with aging.

Moreover, many find that as their vision gets worse, it becomes much harder to read small print, such as that commonly found on a medication label.  This, unfortunately, can lead to mistakes with medication, and it can also result in additional health issues.  A recent article in Medicines Talk (an NPS publication from Australia) provides some useful tips for identifying and storing medication and making sure you have the correct information. … Read more →

When Sledding, Sled Safely0

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission warns that in 2004, 74,000 emergency department and other doctor visits were due to sledding, snow tubing, and tobogganing-related injuries.  This winter season, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center offer some safety tips winter sports:

  • Make sure children wear helmets. Sleds can reach speeds in excess of 20 mph, and 15 percent of sledding-relating injuries in a hospital emergency department are head injuries (and 43 percent of these are brain injuries).   … Read more →

Lost Hospital — Camarillo State Mental Hospital, Camarillo, California0

Camarillo State Mental Hospital opened in 1936 on 1,760 acres of land purchased by the State of California four years earlier. The hospital would remain at the location until 1997.

The hospital had a sound reputation during the 1950s and 1960s. It was at the forefront of treating difficult illnesses, like drug and therapy procedures and schizophrenia. Indeed, programs started at Camarillo ultimately helped patients leave the hospital to group homes and on occasion independence. Camarillo also had one of the first autism units of any hospital. … Read more →

Lost Hospital — Wolcott Hospital, Wolcott, New York0

Wolcott Hospital on Lake Avenue in Wolcott, New York was the last private hospital to serve Wayne County. Established in 1935 by Robert G. Stuck, M.D. and George Pasco, M.D. as the Wolcott Clinic, Wolcott Hospital faithfully served its community for 31 years.

As the community grew, so did the hospital.  In 1949 the facility added a new wing and officially changed its name. Due to the commonality of physicians and patients in Wayne County, Wolcott Hospital worked with the other county facilities.  Dr. Pascodied in 1953, but the son of Robert G. Struck, M.D. — Robert G. Stuck Jr., M.D. — took over the hospital when his father died. … Read more →

Send In The Clowns. . . To Heal0

Part health care practitioner, part clown?  Or maybe all clown with a background in therapeutic healing?

The nonprofit organization ClownZero, based out of San Francisco, California, mixes humor and health care at the University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Professional performing artists dressed as clowns bring this circus-like atmosphere to one of California’s premier pediatric ward at Benioff Children’s Hospital. This hospital, located within the UCSF Medical Center, provides care for virtually all pediatric conditions, including cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, organ transplants, and orthopedics, in addition to the care of critically ill newborns.

According to ClownZero Director Dan Griffiths: “We train all the clowns to be super sensitive because the scale of play is much smaller in a hospital room; it’s like an exclusive performance for the person in the hospital bed. All our clowns work with children and have a lot of experience in knowing how to govern oneself accordingly.” … Read more →

Sniffing Out Evolution0

Why did Neanderthals have such large noses? A popular theory connected the size of prehistoric man’s protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils with the ability adapt to cold temperatures.

This enigma led scientists to suggest there were equally large sinuses behind these noses, warming the air before it entered the lungs (and thus keeping bodies warm). Still, others opined the sinuses had the exact opposite function, eliminating heat from the body and reducing sweat.

According to Todd Rae, a paleoanthropologist at Roehampton University in London: “The $64,000 question is what sinuses do — that is, what is their biological function. Scientists have been arguing over that for hundreds of years. There are dozens of suggestions for what they may do for the animals that have them, including adding resonance to the voice and acting as flotation devices!” … Read more →

The Making Of The Pandemic0

A new report published in BioEssays explains the nature of “the pandemic.”

The study questions the traditional understanding of the process by which at least two different strains of a virus (or different viruses), such as influenza combine to form a new subtype having a mixture of the surface antigens of the two original strains.

This process is known as an “antigenic shift.” … Read more →

Lost Hospital Series — Dwale0

Surgery has come a long way since the Middle Ages. In the tenth century, surgery was only used in “life or death” situations. One particular reason was the lack of any meaningful anesthetic to offset the ever-present excruciating pain that came with the actual cutting a surgical procedure typically entailed.

Many potions designed to relieve pain or induce sleep during surgery were often just as deadly as the surgery itself. One such “anesthetic agent” administered to a patient before surgery mixed lettuce juice, gall from a castrated boar, briony, opium, henbane, hemlock juice and vinegar.  This was called “Dwale” (pronounced  dwaluh).

If the hemlock by itself did not cause death, the balance of the cocktail would usually induce a deep sleep, at which time the surgery would proceed. Surgery would stop, however, if the patient stopped breathing. … Read more →