Category Archives: Healthcare

“Do No Harm” Means Providing Proper Pain Treatment

“First Do No Harm” Means Providing Proper Pain TreatmentBy Lynn Webster, M.D – July 2020

Many physicians say their ethical duty is to “First, do no harm.” This principle is often mentioned in the context of prescribing opioids.

Some people believe that prescribing opioids to treat people in pain violates the Hippocratic Oath, because, they say, a doctor’s first obligation is not to do anything that could make things worse for a patient.

However, that is a flawed oversimplification of the “First, do no harm” directive.    Continue reading

The social threats of COVID for pain pateints

The social threats of COVID-19 for people with chronic pain – free full-text /PMC7382418/ – July 2020

The negative impact of social changes prompted by the COVID-19 crisis may disproportionately affect individuals living with long-term painful conditions.

Living with chronic pain can threaten an individuals’

  • fundamental social needs for autonomy (agency or independence),
  • belonging (social connection), and
  • justice (fairness).

In turn, for some, experiencing heightened social threat can maintain and exacerbate chronic pain.   Continue reading

Potentially More Chronic Pain after COVID

Considering the potential for an increase in chronic pain after the COVID-19 pandemic: PAIN – August 2020

I’m immediately skeptical after noticing that the first 2 of the 4 authors specialize in various forms of mental illness: Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Psychotherapy.

  • Clauw, Daniel J. – Departments of Anesthesiology, Medicine (Rheumatology), and U Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center, the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
  • Häuser, Winfriedb, – Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Technische Universität München, München, Germany and Department Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken, Saarbrücken, Germany. 

The toll of this pandemic extends beyond physical illness, with important psychosocial stressors that include prolonged periods of limited interpersonal contact, isolation, fear of illness, future uncertainty, and financial strain.   Continue reading

Common colds train immune system to recognize COVID

Common colds train the immune system to recognize COVID-19 | Live Science – By Rachael Rettner – Senior Writer – Aug2020

This existing immune system “memory” may explain why some people have milder COVID-19 infections.

Previous infections with common cold viruses can train the immune system to recognize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a new study.

The study, published Aug. 4 in the journal Science, found that immune cells known as T cells that recognize common cold coronaviruses also recognize specific sites on SARS-CoV-2 — including parts of the infamous “spike” protein it uses to bind to and invade human cells.   Continue reading

Dogs can identify COVID in humans

Scent dog identification of samples from COVID-19 patients – a pilot study | BMC Infectious Diseases | Full Text – Research article, Open Access – July 2020

With our search for solutions to the current health crisis focused only on cutting edge science, we sometimes forget to reevaluate older, simpler remedies that could be repurposed or improved quickly to use while we wait for a better technological solution.


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, early, ideally real-time, identification of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals is pivotal in interrupting infection chains.

Volatile organic compounds produced during respiratory infections can cause specific scent imprints, which can be detected by trained dogs with a high rate of precision.  Continue reading

About Wearing a Mask…

I was blogging about an article, Does Wearing a Mask Protect Me?, and found myself getting angrier and angrier about all the propaganda (deliberate lies) we’ve been fed about how to protect ourselves from COVID.

“It’s been a real deficiency in the messaging about masking to say that it only protects the other,” said Charles Haas, an environmental engineer and expert in risk assessment at Drexel University.

“From the get-go, that never made sense scientifically.”

That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking all along, it seems so obvious.  Continue reading

The Grade Working Group: Grading the Graders

Welcome to the  Grade Working Group: From evidence to recommendations – transparent and sensible

The Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (short GRADE) working group began in the year 2000 as an informal collaboration of people with an interest in addressing the shortcomings of grading systems in health care. 

The working group has developed a common, sensible and transparent approach to grading quality (or certainty) of evidence and strength of recommendations.

So this is a group that’s grading the graders?  Continue reading

Low-Dose Radiation for Viruses like COVID

Interest grows in low-dose radiation for Covid-19, but experts are dividedBy Juliet Isselbacher – July 2020

Back in 2013, toxicologist Edward Calabrese and a colleague at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, were combing over a cache of century-old data on low-dose radiation therapy, hunting for evidence on the scientific idea that small doses of certain poisons might actually be beneficial.

They found small amounts of radiation were surprisingly successful in combating pneumonia. Again and again, doctors reported symptoms subsided within hours of a single X-ray.

The use of “micro-doses” of radiation as therapy for various aliments has come up before here: The Radioactive Remedy. Continue reading

Of Course, Masks Protect the Wearer!

Does Wearing a Mask Protect Me? Some Evidence Says Yes – The New York Times – By Katherine J. Wu – July 27, 2020

People wearing face coverings will take in fewer coronavirus particles, evidence suggests, making disease less severe.

Researchers have long known that masks can prevent people from spreading airway germs to others — findings that have driven much of the conversation around these crucial accessories during the coronavirus pandemic.

But now, as cases continue to rise across the country, experts are pointing to an array of evidence suggesting that masks also protect the people wearing them, lessening the severity of symptoms, or in some instances, staving off infection entirely.  Continue reading

Crowdsourced Coronavirus Tech Handbook

The Coronavirus Tech Handbook is a crowdsourced library of tools, services, and resources relating to COVID-19 response. It is a rapidly evolving resource with thousands of expert contributors.

This is an amazing project, gathering together ideas from all kinds of people with all kinds of expertise to collaborate on all kinds of projects that affect every single one of us on this planet. It displays the best of humanity’s capabilities, not only with scientifically cutting edge efforts and technical know-how but also fueled by a moral imperative.

Without any “official” organization or mandate (and probably precisely because no officials were involved), a few people with the necessary technical skills started this globally editable website/document/handbook that allows everyone to contribute, whether expert or layperson.

They have been collecting ideas, tools, and other resources from around the world in a single location, accessible from anywhere on the planet with an internet connection.   Continue reading