Tag: USA

  • Reducing salt in processed foods would save many lives

    The link between salt intake and high blood pressure has been known for decades. That’s why, if you have high blood pressure, your doctor will tell you to reduce your salt intake. The reason is that excess salt makes your body retain more water. And more water in your circulation means more fluid in your…

  • A new study on the safety of home births: are they as safe as hospital births?

    From time immemorial until about 75 years ago or so most babies were born at home. Now it’s around 1% in the USA, although it’s much higher than that in many Western European countries. The shift to hospital births paralleled the growth of hospitals, pediatrics, and obstetrics. With that shift there has been a perceived…

  • Vaccines and parents’ selective worries about medical risks

    I’ve been involved in several boisterous Twitter debates about vaccines, at least to the extent that one can debate using snippets of 140 characters or less. I’ve also been a Super Moderator at a very large Internet message board (AbsoluteWrite) for many years and have seen my share of passionate vaccine debates there. I’ve been…

  • The economic costs of measles vaccine refusal

    The measles virus is among the most infectious of all known viruses, with an attack rate of well over 90%. That means that over 90% of susceptible people — those who have not been vaccinated or who have not had the disease — will get it if exposed. I’ve seen one case, and that was…

  • Treatment of bronchiolitis

    Bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalization for very young children in the USA. You’ll find various definitions of what bronchiolitis is, but a standard one is a viral illness that starts in the upper respiratory tract with runny nose, congestion, and cough. This is soon followed by symptoms in the lower respiratory tract —…

  • Technology-dependent children

    Anyone who works in a children’s hospital, and particularly in a PICU, soon comes to know many children we call technology-dependent. This term includes a wide variety of children with a wide variety of problems, but a good working definition is a child who requires some item of technology to stay alive. This requirement need…

  • Troubled times at the FDA

    The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has been battered with another serious incident, this one involving bad batches of the drug heparin (a blood thinner) that originated in China. Nearly a hundred people have died and many others experienced serious reactions after receiving heparin which appears to have been deliberately adulterated with a dangerous (and…