Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hepatitis C: Sunday Mornings, My Computer and Coffee

Good Morning Folks,

My Sunday morning confession;  I wake up grab my cup of coffee and head right over to Grand Rounds. If you haven't been privy to what goes on at "Grand Rounds" let me bring you up to speed.
Grand Rounds is the weekly collection of the best in online medical writing. Each week, a doctor, nurse, patient or healthcare professional with a blog will "host" Grand Rounds and compiles links to noteworthy posts about medicine.
However, the site publishes the summary on Tuesday, but I love to read it on Sunday mornings. It's my thang.
This weeks host is Dr. Val Jones here a just a few of the highlights, read the complete list of entries here.
When I host Grand Rounds I like to organize the posts into emotion categories – kind of the way that movies are categorized into “drama, action, comedy, etc.” This achieves two goals: first, readers have the option of starting with their favorite emotion – maybe you need a “pick me up” or maybe you’re looking for something to get your blood pumping? Second, I get a general feeling for how my fellow bloggers are feeling these days. Judging from the volume of posts in each category, it seems that the majority of you are either surprised or outraged!

I organized the submissions by emotion category, and then listed them in order of submission (the first one was submitted earliest within each category). I hope you enjoy meandering through the blog posts with this structure!


Some people spend years finding the correct diagnosis of their symptoms. Carolyn Thomas (of Heart Sisters blog) relays the exasperating story of a young woman who nearly became bankrupt searching for the cause of her disease. The answer was discovered with a blood test. You’ll have to read the full post to find out what the mystery diagnosis is!


Dr. Michael Kirsch (at MD Whistleblower blog) wonders if hospitals vying for wealthy patrons with hotel-like facilities is much different than pharmaceutical companies offering free samples of their drugs to people. Both are trying to increase their customer base, but no one criticizes hospitals for their activities. Hmmm…


South African surgeon, Bongi Taverner (at Other Things Amanzi blog), relays a tragic story of a missed diagnosis that still haunts him. A young man was shot in the abdomen and died because the surgical team couldn’t tell that the bullet had pierced his small intestine and didn’t operate on him soon enough.


Do you know what radiation exposure would actually do to your body? Dr. Paul Auerbach (at the Medicine for the Outdoors blog at Healthline) explains what causes radiation damage, how to decontaminate yourself, and how to reduce or prevent damage with potassium iodide.


Family physician Ed Pullen (at his eponymous blog) discusses what “carpe diem” might mean to a patient. He suggests that seizing the day may boil down to this: “Make intentional decisions, and take purposeful steps to make today better than it would be if you passively let today slip by without being cherished.”

Read the full volume by Dr. Val Jones here  You can view Better Health Here.

Next Grand Rounds will be hosted by;
Vol. 7 No. 29 @

On Tue, Apr 12, 2011 - Wed, Apr 13, 2011

At Hiv and Hepatitis from Liz Highleyman, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher;

SUMMARY: Cyclophilin inhibitor alisporivir (Debio 025) plus pegylated interferon/ribavirin boosted sustained response in treatment-naive genotype 1 hepatitis C patients, and also demonstrated antiviral activity against hepatitis B in a laboratory study, researchers reported at EASL 2011.

SUMMARY: TMC435 improves response rates of genotype 1 previous non-responder hepatitis C patients, researchers report at EASL 2011. Further, adding TMC435 helps overcome the effects of unfavorable IL28B gene pattern and high IP-10 levels.

At NATAP From Executive Director: Jules Levin

Yesterday over at pharmalot was this little ditty;

 By Ed Silverman
The healthcare giant was charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing public doctors in several European countries - and paying kickbacks to Iraq - to illegally obtain business. The FCPA forbids US companies from bribing foreign government officials (read here).

For the science lover is Nature in the news;

Fear of HIV leads to decline in infections
Fungus and alga against malaria
The skinny on leptin and infections
Faster flu vaccine! Kill! Kill!
Salmonella to the rescue

At found in their hepatitis section;

Portal hypertension is a condition caused by liver disease. It's a type of high blood pressure (hypertension), but instead of affecting the entire body, it mostly affects the portal veins leading from the intestines to the liver. It's a significant complication of alcoholic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis, and can cause swelling and bleeding

World news from Harvard

Julie Steenhuysen

(Reuters, April 7, 2011)
"About one in three people in the United States will encounter some kind of mistake during a hospital stay…The finding, which is based on a new tool for measuring hospital errors, is about 10 times higher than estimates using older methods, suggesting much work remains in efforts to improve health quality…The [Health Affairs] special issue came 10 years after an influential Institute of Medicine report that found significant gaps in health quality…Medical errors can range from bedsores to objects left in the body after surgery to life-threatening staph infections."

Li Qian and Zhu Shanshan

(Global Times, China, April 7, 2011)
"Responding to reports stating that some Chinese people repeatedly tested negative for HIV but still claimed to have AIDS-like symptoms, health authorities [at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] pointed to a likely 'AIDS phobia.' They also blamed media reports for allegedly worsening hype surrounding the issue. As early as 2009, six Chinese provinces and municipalities recorded thousands of people reporting AIDS symptoms…In response to a Global Times' inquiry, Connie Osborne, a senior HIV/AIDS adviser for the World Health Organization (WHO), said the health agency supports Chinese authorities' assertion on this matter."

André Picard

(The Globe and Mail, Toronto, April 3, 2010)
"Drug therapies have become an essential part of treatment for many ailments, but costs of the latest and most advanced treatments have soared. The response from public health plans has been uneven and often inadequate…There are currently 19 public drug plans (mostly for seniors and those on social assistance) and 1,000 private drug plans in Canada. Yet, many Canadians…still don’t have sufficient coverage for 'catastrophic' drug costs, which are defined as anywhere from 2 per cent to 10 per cent of family income…Ultimately, coverage depends on where people live and where they work. Young, self-employed, and middle-income earners in smaller provinces are the most vulnerable."

From the New York Times;

A genetic disease that causes weakness in the hands, arms, feet and legs, C.M.T. can cause difficulty walking and performing tasks.

From my fav online paper Huffington Post

Cliff Schecter, 04.06.2011

Best-selling author, public-relations consultant, pundit, bon vivant
Nowhere is this greed more pervasive than among those companies responsible for the health of roughly 300 million of Americans: Big Pharma.


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