Author Archive

Six Remarkable Facts about Mothers

woman-with-child1) Babies begin listening to their mothers’ speech in the womb.

2) A mother’s saliva might be good for a baby’s health.

3) Breast milk confers all sorts of immune system benefits — and may even protect against HIV.

4) For premature babies, skin-to-skin contact with a mother improves health.

5) A mother’s brain may contain cells from her children.

6) The word “mother” might date to the end of the Ice Age.


Hits and Misses

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

Are Doctors Really Better Than Nurses?

Confident DoctorsSimply put: the preponderance of empirical evidence indicates that, compared to physicians, NPs provide as good — if not better — quality of care. As I’ve written previously, patients are often more satisfied with NP care — and sometimes even prefer it.

The Institute of Medicine is unambiguously clear about this:

No studies suggest that APRNs [Advanced Practice Registered Nurse] are less able than physicians to deliver care that is safe, effective, and efficient or that care is better in states with more restrictive scope of practice regulations for APRNs.


An Essay Worth Reading

Our Great and Eternal National Health Care Debate calls to mind H.L. Mencken’s description of the prose stylings of Warren G. Harding, America’s much-maligned 29th president: “It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash…But I grow lyrical.” (More from Bob Graboyes)

Hits and Misses

Headlines I Wish I Hadn’t Seen

More on the Envy of the World

The latest on the British National Health Service:

At least 1,000 hospital patients are dying needlessly each month from dehydration and poor care by doctors and nurses, according to an NHS study.

The deaths from acute kidney injury could be prevented by simple steps such as nurses ensuring patients have enough to drink and doctors reviewing their medication, the researchers say.

Between 15,000 and 40,000 patients die annually because hospital staff fail to diagnose the treatable kidney problem, a figure that dwarfs the death toll from superbugs like MRSA.

The report comes less than a year after the NHS watchdog NICE was forced to issue guidelines on giving patients water after it found that 42,000 deaths a year could be avoided if staff ensured the sick were hydrated.

Hits and Misses


…11 state attorneys general recently signed a letter to former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius protesting that the administration is violating the law by making changes without congressional approval.

“The Administration may not decide single-handedly which parts of the law it will enforce and which parts it will ignore. The only way to fix this problem-ridden law is through congressional action,” the attorneys general wrote.

James Blumstein and Alex Tolbert.