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August 2013 Archives

Medical experts testify that singer requested propofel

Music fans in Massachusetts may know that a doctor has stated that Michael Jackson asked for the drug propofol to help him seep at least a decade before he died from an overdose. The doctor refused to give him the drug, noting that to do so would be anesthesia negligence, as sleep attained under propofol is not proper rest. Jackson countered by saying that the sleep he received while using propofol was the best sleep that he had ever had.

Massachusetts researchers study athletes with brain injuries

A study conducted by a Boston University researcher and others has shed new light on the symptoms experienced by people suffering from traumatic brain injuries. The study subjects were 36 deceased former athletes who were diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which is a degenerative brain disease that sometimes develops in individuals who have experienced numerous traumatic head injuries, such as athletes or soldiers.

Alzheimer's diagnosis often wrong

People in Massachusetts concerned with Alzheimer's may be interested to hear of a case involving a 72-year-old man diagnosed with the disease and in severe decline. He was confined to a wheelchair, incontinent and unable to read or even converse. All believed he would continue the slow decline, except his wife. She did not believe he had Alzheimer's disease, so she arranged for a second opinion. Doctors discovered that the man had normal pressure hydrocephalus, a little known and highly treatable disease.

Boston doctors may be able to peer through veil of brain injury

Boston doctors may soon be able to better determine treatment for unconscious patients. Scientists in Italy are reporting breakthroughs in measuring consciousness in patients with traumatic brain injury. The technique could be used for patients who can no longer speak, move their hands, blink or bodily make any responses intelligible to the outside world. Researchers estimate that about 40 percent patients who were thought unresponsive are actually conscious but just unable to move.

Inducing labor may increase chances of autism

Massachusetts infants who are born as a result of induced or augmented labor have a significantly increased incidence of autism. While giving birth is not in itself a risk-free endeavor, there are many instances where the actions taken by medical staff may increase the chance of birth injury. A recent study revealed that in a very small but nevertheless statistically significant number of cases, an autism diagnosis could have been prevented had the doctor not induced or augmented labor.

Prevention efforts hampered by misplaced nerve blocks

Massachusetts readers may take an interest in a report regarding the prevalence of wrong-site peripheral nerve blocks. While they're not as widely publicized or disastrous as wrong-site surgeries, they occur 10 times more frequently. Additionally, the issue of anesthesia error can be almost entirely avoided with improved vigilance, planning and engagement by the care team members.

Not all cancer needs to be treated

Massachusetts residents might be interested to hear that sometimes cancer, as we know it, isn't really cancer at all. The term "cancer" oftentimes invokes feelings of a fatal disease. However, according to a working group for the National Cancer Institute, cancers are heterogeneous and can follow different paths, not all of which lead to death.

Car accident victim still suffering from brain injury

A Massachusetts man is still suffering from a traumatic brain injury following a 2012 multi-vehicle accident involving a drunk driver. After being in a coma for weeks and nearly dying from a torn aorta, the victim had to spend one year relearning to walk. Although years of rehabilitation may be necessary to treat his brain injury, money from the responsible party's insurance is not covering his medical expenses.