How to Stop an AFib Episode

From WebMD: For More Info, Go Here…

A quivery heartbeat or flutter in your chest: two telltale signs you could be in atrial fibrillation, or AFib. That means your heart is beating out of sync. As weird or scary as an episode may feel, AFib by itself usually isn’t deadly.

Some episodes of AFib can come and go on their own. Others may need treatment to get your heart back to a normal rate and rhythm. Sometimes, you may be able to take steps to help ease symptoms or stop an episode when it starts.

Talk to your doctor about what’s safe and makes sense for you.

Call 911?

If you have chest pain, yes. You could be having a heart attack.

Deep, Mindful Breathing

This can help you relax and calm your nerves when your heart is racing.

  • Sit quietly and close your eyes.
  • Put one hand on your belly.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose, feeling your stomach stretch out.
  • Breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat.

Valsalva Maneuver

When your heart is beating fast, you feel dizzy, or you have other symptoms, this simple trick may help:

Why Google’s Move into Patient Information Is a Big Deal

By David Blumenthal, M.D.: For More Info, Go Here…

recent agreement between Google and Ascension, a huge national health system, is yet another sign of how the digital revolution is transforming health care. We are at the dawn of a new era where clinicians will be able to apply in real time the collective human experience in treating any particular problem to the care of every patient with that condition.

But the critical reactions to the agreement — under which Ascension will send to the Google cloud the clinical data it collects on its 50 million patients, and Google will process that data to help Ascension better manage its patients and its finances — make it clear that changes of this magnitude are never smooth. The announcement generated concerns about patient privacy and the misuse of information for the private gain of third parties. It triggered an investigation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and calls from members of Congress for further inquiries. We are obviously at the beginning of what will likely be a long, contentious, and vital debate over how to manage personal health information in the digital age.

Patients have an undeniable right to privacy and control over their personal health data. Doctors and hospitals need leeway to use patient information in their care. Patients, health professionals, and the larger society have an interest in learning from our collective experience with care to better prevent and treat disease. And tech entrepreneurs want a return on their capital when they add value to the management of health-care data. The coming debate will be about how to manage these sometimes conflicting interests as health information technology revolutionizes our health care system.

The Drugging of the American Boy

BY RYAN D’AGOSTINO: For More Info, Go Here…

By the time they reach high school, nearly 20 percent of all American boys will be diagnosed with ADHD. Millions of those boys will be prescribed a powerful stimulant to “normalize” them. A great many of those boys will suffer serious side effects from those drugs. The shocking truth is that many of those diagnoses are wrong, and that most of those boys are being drugged for no good reason—simply for being boys. It’s time we recognize this as a crisis.

f you have a son, you have a one-in-seven chance that he has been diagnosed with ADHD. If you have a son who has been diagnosed, it’s more than likely that he has been prescribed a stimulant—the most famous brand names are Ritalin and Adderall; newer ones include Vyvanse and Concerta—to deal with the symptoms of that psychiatric condition.

The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies stimulants as Schedule II drugs, defined as having a “high potential for abuse” and “with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” (According to a University of Michigan study, Adderall is the most abused brand-name drug among high school seniors.) In addition to stimulants like Ritalin, Adderall, Vyvanse, and Concerta, Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, Demerol, and OxyContin.

According to manufacturers of ADHD stimulants, they are associated with sudden death in children who have heart problems, whether those heart problems have been previously detected or not. They can bring on a bipolar condition in a child who didn’t exhibit any symptoms of such a disorder before taking stimulants. They are associated with “new or worse aggressive behavior or hostility.” They can cause “new psychotic symptoms (such as hearing voices and believing things that are not true) or new manic symptoms.” They commonly cause noticeable weight loss and trouble sleeping. In some children, some stimulants can cause the paranoid feeling that bugs are crawling on them. Facial tics. They can cause children’s eyes to glaze over, their spirits to dampen. One study reported fears of being harmed by other children and thoughts of suicide.

Rapid Opioid Taper May Do More Harm Than Good

By Joshua J. Fenton, Alicia L. Agnoli, et al.: For More Info, Go Here…

Study Synopsis and Perspective:

Nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, intense scrutiny of prescription practices, and lack of efficacy supporting long-term opioid therapy, physicians and healthcare organizations such as the CDC have considered or mandated opioid dose reduction for patients with chronic pain. One of the questions was how to execute this strategy for patients who have been taking and receiving benefit from long-term opioids and were using them as prescribed.

Action Points

  • Among patients using long-term opioids, many had doses reduced faster than is recommended by the CDC, potentially leading to withdrawal symptoms, according to a retrospective study.
  • Note that opioid tapers as slow as 10% per month might be better tolerated among patients taking long-term opioids, and that this process should be individualized.


110 Nursing Homes Cut Off from Health Records in Ransomware Attack

From Krebs on Security: For More Info, Go Here…

A ransomware outbreak has besieged a Wisconsin based IT company that provides cloud data hosting, security and access management to more than 100 nursing homes across the United States. The ongoing attack is preventing these care centers from accessing crucial patient medical records, and the IT company’s owner says she fears this incident could soon lead not only to the closure of her business, but also to the untimely demise of some patients.

“We have employees asking when we’re going to make payroll,” Christianson said. “But right now all we’re dealing with is getting electronic medical records back up and life-threatening situations handled first.”

Christianson said her firm cannot afford to pay the ransom amount being demanded — roughly $14 million worth of Bitcoin — and said some clients will soon be in danger of having to shut their doors if VCPI can’t recover from the attack.

“We’ve got some facilities where the nurses can’t get the drugs updated and the order put in so the drugs can arrive on time,” she said. “In another case, we have this one small assisted living place that is just a single unit that connects to billing. And if they don’t get their billing into Medicaid by December 5, they close their doors. Seniors that don’t have family to go to are then done. We have a lot of [clients] right now who are like, ‘Just give me my data,’ but we can’t.”

The ongoing incident at VCPI is just the latest in a string of ransomware attacks against healthcare organizations, which typically operate on razor thin profit margins and have comparatively little funds to invest in maintaining and securing their IT systems.

Earlier this week, a 1,300-bed hospital in France was hit by ransomware that knocked its computer systems offline, causing “very long delays in care” and forcing staff to resort to pen and paper.

On Nov. 20, Cape Girardeau, Mo.-based Saint Francis Healthcare System began notifying patients about a ransomware attack that left physicians unable to access medical records prior to Jan. 1.

She Didn’t Know Her Autistic Son Could Be Tasered At School

By Rebecca Klein: For More Info, Go Here…

Rosie Phillips says she found her nonverbal son dazed and with Taser prongs still in his body. A HuffPost investigation shows that kids are getting Tasered at school around the country.

Phillips will never know the full story of what happened at Northwood High School in Caddo Parish that morning. Her son, J.H., has autism and is nonverbal. From what she’s pieced together since watching security footage and talking with a witness, J.H. was stressed, and left the classroom to go to the bathroom. On his way back, he started engaging in stimming behaviors, a repetition of movements that is common in kids with autism. He lingered in the hallway, rubbing against the wall, cupping his ears and closing his eyes.

The school’s cop, identified in a lawsuit filed by Phillips as Deputy Nunnery, arrived on the scene after staff called for backup. By that point, administrators and J.H. were engaged in a struggle ― J.H. had repeatedly tried to reenter his classroom while administrators blocked him. Nunnery already had his Taser out when he arrived, says the suit. But what Phillips’ complaint describes as typical stimming behaviors throughout, the sheriff’s office repeatedly describes as a series of threatening kicks, shoves, pushes and lunges, even throwing one administrator off balance. After five additional minutes, the teen attempted to break free from a semicircle of adults that had formed around him. While running, his leg kicked in the direction of an administrator, and Nunnery struck J.H. with thousands of electric volts, sending him tumbling to the ground.

A New Way to Report and Deal with Medical Abuse: The Medical Abuse Hotline in memory of Carrie Ann Lucas

by liminalnest: For More Info, Go Here…

I have stories. I think everyone who is disabled has stories. They’re stories of being denied medications, verbally or physically abused by healthcare providers, being gaslit about our symptoms. They are stories of medical abuse.

Under the current system, it’s very difficult for people to self-advocate around instances of medical abuse. For example, if you complain about a provider while you’re still in a hospital or institution, there’s no guarantee that the abuser won’t be in charge of providing life-saving care to you. Maybe nothing will happen, but maybe it will impact your care. Maybe they won’t be gentle when they’re doing a blood draw. Maybe they won’t order the test you need. It’s a gamble.

One thing that’s happened to me is that when I’ve tried to self-advocate around medical abuse, the hospital network has said that since I’m “able to self advocate” then I “can’t be that sick.” Maybe it’s time for me to be discharged. Maybe I don’t need care that badly after all. This is one of many ways that the medical industrial complex (MIC) silences patients who are dealing with medical abuse.

Or perhaps after the experience is over and you’re safely home, you decide to call the hospital patient advocate or another doctor at someone’s practice to report the abuse you experienced. These systems are designed to protect the hospital/practice from potential legislation. So in my experience, what typically happens after reporting medical abuse is that I get a form letter saying the hospital will “take care of it.” The abusive person maybe receives a talking to from their supervisor, and nothing else.

I am lucky in that I have friends and family who can help me advocate in a medical setting. They can “be the bad guy” and take the brunt of the hostility from providers, and ideally this does not affect my access to care. Additionally, with a witness present it’s harder for medical abuse to pass unchallenged. However, not everyone has this type of social safety net.

Medical abuse can kill.

University to Students on Medicaid: Buy Private Coverage, or Drop Out

By Sarah Kliff: For More Info, Go Here…

Emily and Kullen Langston were enrolling in classes for the winter semester at Brigham Young University-Idaho when they hit an unexpected roadblock.

The school, like many others, requires all students to have health coverage. But this month, the university made an unusual announcement: It would no longer accept Medicaid.

Ms. Langston, 20, enrolled in the free government insurance program last year after becoming pregnant with the couple’s daughter, who is now 4 months old. Mr. Langston, 22, was planning to sign up for Medicaid in January, when it is set to expand in the state.

To remain in school, they would have to buy private coverage. The cheapest option available is the university’s student health plan, which does not comply with the Affordable Care Act’s consumer protections and would require the Langstons to pay a $3,125 annual premium.

Ms. Langston said her family, which relies on the income her husband earns as a call-center operator, cannot afford that. She had hoped to become a teacher, but now intends to drop out of school, and her husband is unsure whether he will attend.

“I’m disappointed that they’re showing prejudice against those of us who are poor right now,” Ms. Langston said. “I’m disappointed that I’m not going to be able to finish school.”

Disabled veterans say they face intense struggles when flying and airlines often won’t help

By MATTHEW M. LEY: For More Info, Go Here…

While many airline passengers will rush this holiday weekend to make their connecting flights, Shaun Castle, a paralyzed Army veteran, says he has been forced multiple times to crawl down the aisle of an airplane in order to make his next flight on time.

In July, after he said he waited more than 20 minutes for an aisle chair, a wheelchair designed specifically to fit in the aisles of airplanes for individuals with disabilities to board and disembark safely, Castle said he had no choice but to lift himself and drag his body along the floor to get off the plane.

“They knew I was coming and they still didn’t bring me an aisle chair,” Castle said. “I had to drag myself down the aisle, on my bottom, down the aisle to get to my day chair, to transfer myself back into my day chair, to get to my connecting flight, to get back to D.C., to testify before Congress,” he said in an interview with ABC News.

Castle, who was paralyzed in a training accident while stationed in Germany in 2003, is one of 61 million Americans with a disability that has a major impact on life activities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and he says stories like his are not uncommon.

Sickle Cell Drug OK’d for Adults, Kids

by Crystal Phend: For More Info, Go Here…

ngd- About time….

Voxelotor (Oxbryta) gained approval for sickle cell disease in adults and children as young as 12 years old, the FDA announced.

The drug is the first in a new class that helps keep sickle hemoglobin from creating a polymer that, when deoxygenated, deforms red blood cells into the characteristic sickle shape that causes tissue damage and pain.

“With Oxbryta, sickle cells are less likely to bind together and form the sickle shape, which can cause low hemoglobin levels due to red blood cell destruction,” Richard Pazdur, MD, acting director of the Office of Oncologic Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a press release. “This therapy provides a new treatment option for patients with this serious and life-threatening condition.”

The approval was based on the phase III HOPE trial, in which normal hemoglobin levels rose more than 1.0 g/dL from baseline to week 24 for 51% of voxelotor-treated patients compared with 7% of those on placebo (P<0.001).