West Nile Virus: Just How Bad Is It?

March 5, 2014
West Nile Virus: Just How Bad Is It?

By Julian Horwitz

Peer Reviewed

As of mid-August 2012, the CDC had reported 1118 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infections and 41 related deaths, which, pro rata, made 2012 the most prolific year for WNV in the United States . Although West Nile’s classification as a public health crisis remains debatable, the lack of treatment and vaccination options make associated severe infections a real threat.

West Nile virus, a single-stranded RNA virus of the Flavivirus family, was first isolated in Uganda in 1937 .…

Read more »

Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

March 3, 2014
Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

By Kerrilynn Carney, MD

Peer reviewed

This week in global, national, and local news: the Winter Olympics came to a close in Sochi with Russia leading the medal count; Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay men and lesbians on religious grounds; and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio reneged on Mayor Bloomberg’s promise to reserve space inside NYC Public School buildings for Charter Schools. Oscar buzz is still in full force, and…

Read more »

School Fees Or Head CTs: Reflections For Ethical Clinical Practice

February 28, 2014
School Fees Or Head CTs: Reflections For Ethical Clinical Practice

By Steffen Haider, MD

Peer Reviewed

She was a thin, 4-year old girl brought to the Accident Centre by her mother for evaluation of new-onset bruising around the eyes after being an unseatbelted passenger in a motor vehicle crash three days earlier. She denied vomiting or having a headache, and her mother said that she had not been sleeping excessively or acting unusual. She was alert, ambulatory, and quiet but not in distress, without other injuries aside from bilateral periorbital ecchymoses not apparent at initial…

Read more »

The Yolk Or The Egg

February 27, 2014
The Yolk Or The Egg

By Nicole A. Lamparello, MD and Molly Somberg, MD, MPA

Peer Reviewed

You hear it wherever you eat, whether at the deli ordering a breakfast sandwich or at the diner for Sunday brunch, “Egg whites only, please.” For the last decade, there has been a strong movement toward avoiding egg yolks; instead people are opting for only the ‘healthier’ egg white when ordering or cooking their breakfast.

However, are egg whites truly ‘healthier’ than eating whole eggs? What is the basis for this decision being…

Read more »

Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

February 24, 2014
Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

By Miguel A. Saldivar, MD

Peer Reviewed

This week’s edition of Primecuts brings highlights from studies on a variety of topics ranging from prescription drug abuse to cost-effective medical care. Given that the CDC classified the issue of prescription drug abuse/overdose as an “epidemic” in 2012, we begin with a paper on opiate prescriptions in the Medicare population.

The relationship between use of multiple opiate providers and hospitalizations

The British Medical Journal published a retrospective observational study that analyzed data on opiate prescriptions…

Read more »

An antidote on the horizon? An update on the progress toward achieving reversibility for the new oral anticoagulants

February 21, 2014
An antidote on the horizon? An update on the progress toward achieving reversibility for the new oral anticoagulants

By Gabriel Schneider, MD

Peer Reviewed

The new oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are an appealing alternative to the burdensome vitamin K antagonists such as warfarin. These novel agents include direct thrombin inhibitors such as dabigatran (which inhibits thrombin) and factor Xa inhibitors such as rivaroxaban and apixaban (which prevent thrombin generation). Compared to warfarin, NOACs have fewer food and drug interactions, as well as a more predictable pharmacodynamic profile that serves to obviate the need for the frequent outpatient monitoring in most patients. In addition…

Read more »

What Physicians Should Know About MDMA (Ecstasy)

February 20, 2014
What Physicians Should Know About MDMA (Ecstasy)

By Loren Gorcey

Peer Reviewed

With the recent resurgence of techno music and raves in the United States, the drug MDMA, known worldwide by the name “ecstasy,” has experienced a comeback. In light of a New Year’s Eve rave in Los Angeles in 2010, where 18 MDMA-related emergency room visits and 1 death occurred, MDMA is once again becoming a problem . Locally, 4 MDMA-related emergency room visits and 2 MDMA-related deaths occurred this past summer at Electric Zoo, an annual electronic music festival in…

Read more »

Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

February 18, 2014
Primecuts – This Week In The Journals

By Miguel A. Saldivar, MD

Peer Reviewed

While walking through snowy streets of NYC, the sight of one or two innocent bystanders sliding on a patch of ice on the road is not uncommon. However, these unfortunate folks are far from being the only ones with a bruise or two: this week a widely accepted screening tool, the mammogram, received more than a few punches in the media.

The Cost of Mammography

The utility of mammography as a screening tool, questioned in a Canadian study…

Read more »