In a move that could signal a shift in the way we test pharmaceuticals, researchers at Harvard University have developed a human lung on a chip. The tiny device contains actual human cells, mimicking the way the human lung works.
Good article in ADVANCE: Social Networking Websites Dos and Don’ts:
- Don’t deliberately disclose protected health information
- Don’t discuss “OMG” clinical situations
- Do consider whether those compromising spring break pictures are really going to enhance your social standing
- Do use restraint when discussing your personal opinions
- Don’t expect any privacy when using your employer’s computer or mobile device
The whole thing is worth a read. In general, never put anything online that you would not be comfortable appearing on the front page of your local paper.
The bit about disclosing patient information is much more critical, and stems from a more general point about the incredible importance of patient privacy rights.
I’ve added a new service called TypePad Connect, which will be a way for people to comment on this blog from other kinds of accounts – OpenID, Facebook, Livejournal, Blogger, lots of different kinds of accounts. It’s just a test and I’m not sure how well it will work. Try it out!
I never took care of anyone who was in an iron lung, but I did see one in action on a patient at UVa many years ago. The main thing I remember was that the huge piston which provided the actual pressure gradient to cause ventilation. As I recall, the vent sheets were different because an iron lung is so different from a mechanical ventilator.
The family of a Tennessee woman who spent more than 50 years in an iron lung says she has died after a power failure shut down the machine that kept her breathing.
Dianne Odell said she died early Wednesday. The 61-year-old had been confined to the 3.5-metre-long machine since she was stricken by polio at 3 years old.
Brother-in-law Will Beyer said family members were unable to get an emergency generator working for the iron lung after a power failure knocked out electricity to the Odell family’s residence near Jackson.
Ms. Odell spent her life in the iron lung, cared for by her parents and other family members. Though confined inside the apparatus, Ms. Odell managed to get a high school diploma, take college courses and write a children’s book.
Any of our readers ever manage an iron lung?
Background on iron lungs, which includes some interesting links to other iron lung information.
The David Blaine holding-his-breath stunt is pretty amazing, and rather scary. It looks like he pulled it off with rigorous training, and lots of medical supervision. Time has a good wrap up in How David Blaine Held His Breath:
With or without pure oxygen, holding your breath is a difficult and dangerous pasttime even for elite athletes. When not done carefully, it can lead to drowning, or to potential tissue damage in the heart, brains or lungs. Preliminary results from Potkin’s research into apnea’s long-term effects show some abnormal brain scans among young, extreme free divers. There’s still much to learn about the phenomenon; as a medical student, Potkin recalls, he was told that no one could hold his breath for more than five minutes without suffering brain damage. Now, he wants to see if the technique can be used for medical purposes — and he’s hoping Blaine’s latest stunt provides the impetus for a greater scientific understanding of how to hold one’s breath.
Have any of the RTs out there worked with people doing this kind of training?
I’d imagine when this goes wrong, it goes really wrong.