Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Epidemic of Prescription Drug Abuse

Photo Attribution:
By J. Troha (Photographer)
[Public domain or Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
Originally published: Dr. Wen’s blog:

Original author: Leana Wen, MD MSc

Recently, I learned of some shocking statistics:
  • Every year, pharmacies dispense 257 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers — one for every adult American.
  • While the U.S. makes up less than 5 percent of the world's population, Americans consume 80 percent of its total opiate supply.
  • 1/3 of people who used illicit drugs for the first time start by using a prescription drug.
  • Prescription narcotics kill 6 times more people per year than heroin.
As an emergency physician, I prescribe narcotic drugs for pain every day. I began to wonder how complicit doctors are in furthering this epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

My recent article in NPR explores this struggle, between relieving people's pain, and possibly fueling this worsening epidemic.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Proper Adult Lumbar Puncture Technique

Author: Nick Pettit, OMS 2
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Proper Lumbar Puncture (LP) technique is critical for both obtaining a pure CSF sample as well as minimizing patient discomfort and post LP side effects. Herein, a summary of the proper technique will be described.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Smoking Cessation in the ED

Author: Nick Pettit, Ph.D. OMS-II
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Patients present to the emergency department (ED) at some of the lowest points in their lives, and in many cases their visits can be directly attributed to the chronic use of tobacco products. Having a history of tobacco consumption increases the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, genitourinary cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and accounts for 430,000 deaths annually. (1)