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When undergoing an invasive procedure, such as a colonoscopy or biopsy, patients trust that the equipment being used is clean.

Nurses often open syringe containers in front of patients to emphasis that they are using the syringe for the first time. When they are done, they throw it into a biohazard container, often on display for the patient’s benefit.

William Heisel's picture

In the first of my “Making Hepatitis History” series of posts, I wrote about the Southern Nevada Health District’s Public Health Investigation Report about the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, the epicenter of the worst hepatitis C outbreak ever to hit the US.

William Heisel's picture

One question that’s getting lost in all the chatter after Scott Brown’s historic election and Nancy Pelosi ‘s defeated comments on health reform today is what’s going to happen to the concessions that the insurance and pharmaceutical industries offered last year as serious reform discussions were just getting underway.  The Wall St.

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

So convoluted was Dr. Mark B. Kabins’ scheme to scam a patient he injured that you might need a whiteboard and several differently colored markers to make sense of it.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Melodie Simon underwent a spine surgery by Kabins, an orthopedic surgeon, in 2000. It went badly, and Simon ended up paralyzed.

According to the FBI, Kabins “knew that experts could say that he fell below the standard of care in his treatment of Simon, and that he could be sued.”

William Heisel's picture

UPDATE: 9:54 p.m., Jan. 19

The phrase "stunning upset" doesn't even begin to capture the national political shockwaves as Republican Scott Brown defeats Martha Coakley for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy's seat. The "what happens to health reform now?" political analysis below remains relevant. In the meantime, here's a quick roundup of the latest coverage and analysis:

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

You might be alarmed at what you find in the bankruptcy records for a medical company or a physician. Here are a few things that have alarmed me.

  • Patient records, with birth dates and social security numbers.
  • Charts showing detailed histories of visits, procedures and lab workups over decades.
  • Pathology lab reports.

Why would you find all these things mixed in with more mundane financial records showing the sums various people are owed?

William Heisel's picture

One of my first investigative stories as a reporter started with a call from a doctor who was worried about the sterilization practices at his hospital.

I started calling people at the hospital to try to answer some basic questions about what they were doing to make sure that surgical equipment was clean between procedures. “Why don’t I just come down and take a look at your process?” I suggested.

And that’s how I saw the sterilization logs.

William Heisel's picture

Some new research and reporting on global mental health and mental health disparities has me thinking about these topics in a new way. This is the kind of context that can add more nuance and sophistication to your reporting on mental health, particularly in ethnic minority and immigrant communities, so read on:

Barbara Feder Ostrov's picture

Primary care may give way to specialization

Adriana Venegas-Chavez's picture

Part 2: Researchers trying to find why people with disease fail to act against it. 

Adriana Venegas-Chavez's picture

Part 1: Innovative ways are sought to get patients to follow their treatment 

Adriana Venegas-Chavez's picture

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