Archive for Health /Medical Consumerism

MRSA on the Today Show

Excellent piece this morning on the Today Show about MRSA, the superbug infection that resists any of the drugs developed to treat it. I’ve written two of my columns, and blogged about it before about it, including my interview with Dr. Betsy McCaughey who founded RID: Reduce Hospital Infections. RID has developed 15 steps patients can take to keep themselves safe in hospitals. Find them at:

In particular, the Today Show piece was about a 15-day old baby who contracted it from her mother. They believe her mother was housing MRSA on a boil on her thigh, but they stated they didn’t know how her mother got it. Well — duh!! — her mother had just given birth two weeks previous. Don’t you think there’s a good chance she picked it up at the hospital?

That’s speculation, of course. I’m not a medical person — that’s just a guess. And yes, it’s possible to acquire MRSA in many places now, so perhaps she picked it up elsewhere.

The important point is that both baby and mom are doing well now.

Here is a link to the Today Show piece:

Posted in: Health /Medical Consumerism, Healthcare Quality, Hospitals, Medical Errors / Mistakes / Misdiagnosis, Patient Advocacy, Patient Empowerment

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Trusting Intuition: Second and Third Opinions

I heard from a woman today about her son’s recent experience with two doctors who are contradicting each other. She wants to know who she should believe.

See what you think.

He’s a college athlete who for the past few months has had problems breathing, and has no energy. He has gone from being in top physical condition to barely making it up a flight of stairs without pausing to catch his breath.

A doctor in the town where he goes to college has diagnosed him with a cardiac-related problem, but has told his parents that there is no treatment for this particular diagnosis. Realizing such a difficult diagnosis would plague her son for the rest of his life, his mother took him to a cardiologist in their hometown. He informed them that there is nothing wrong with her son at all.

Yeah, right.

Here’s what she DOES know. There is something wrong with her son, and so far, two professionals can’t agree on what that is.

Here’s what I’ve advised.

First — that Mom trust her instincts and to pursue continued analysis until she feels like she has an answer that moves them forward. This is a good example of trusting one’s instincts and moving forward toward an answer.

Second — that the question of “right” vs “wrong” doesn’t apply here — what she really needs to do is get another opinion — at least a third opinion and maybe a fourth. Perhaps a family doctor/general practitioner can send them in the right direction — someone who understands the big picture, as opposed to a specialist who may understand only one body system well.

From there, there may be other considerations. For example — the problem her son is having may be related to pulmonary problems (lung) — not cardiac. Or — maybe he’s allergic to something, or having asthma attacks of some sort. Or — maybe he’s doing drugs. Or — maybe the problems are related to his heart, but another doctor would actually be able to put together a treatment plan.

Don’t forget — medicine is still an ART in many ways. So trust your intuition — and be creative — until you find the answers.

Posted in: Health /Medical Consumerism, Healthcare Quality, Medical Errors / Mistakes / Misdiagnosis, Patient Advocacy, Patient Empowerment

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