Can Childbirth be a Laughing Matter?

Laughing gas has long been used for pain relief, most commonly at the dentist office. Women used it to ease labor pains during the early 20th century, but its use declined as other pain killers became available. A small group of midwives is bringing it back to the mainstream. Before the 1950s, nitrous oxide was … Continued

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The Debate over the White Doctor’s Coat

The white lab coat, the semi-official uniform of the physician going back a century, has come under attack by the infection control community. Until the late 19th century, surgeons wore black coats in the operating room. German doctors were the first to trade the black coats in for white ones. The white coat became a … Continued

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Galactic Travel Makes Astronauts into Real “Space Case”

A recent study by UC-Irvine found harmful effects of long term space travel on the human body. Galactic cosmic rays cause cognitive problems, including chronic dementia. Space radiation can damage neural tissue and hurt cognitive function. The brain recovers slowly from exposure. This is a real concern for NASA. Space is filled with high-energy particles … Continued

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After the Storm, Hidden Dangers Remain

For the last four days, I have been glued to the Weather Channel watching the field reporters braving the elements surrounding Hurricane Matthew. This massive storm trekked up the southeastern U.S. coastline after blasting its way through the Caribbean nations of Haiti, Cuba, and the Bahamas. Although most of Florida was spared from the forecasted … Continued

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Is Taking “The Pill” Bringing You Down?

Oral contraception has been widely available for decades. The side effects of nausea and headaches are nothing new to users, but now a new Danish study published in JAMA has found that the pills increase risk of depression. Pills that had a combination of progesterone and estrogen increased the rate of women taking antidepressants by … Continued

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Drug Use Moves from the Back Alley to the Break Room

According to data collected by Quest Diagnostics, illicit drug use in American workers has reached the highest level in a decade. Illicit drugs range from marijuana to heroin and metamphetamine. “Safety-sensitive” workers, such as truck drivers, pilots, ship captains, subway engineers, and other transportation workers had an increase in positive drug tests from 1.7% to … Continued

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Need a Lyft? Rides to the Doctor are Uber Convenient

Riding the bus is affordable and handy for those who don’t have other transportation to get around. Patience is something you learn after years dealing with public transportation. What happens when something urgent comes up and you can’t wait an hour for a bus to get you to a medical appointment immediately? What if the … Continued

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Radiation Exposure: Not Always as Dangerous as You Think

Nuclear weapons are very dangerous, yes, but the fear of what these weapons can do has given the public a false impression about radiation (the aftereffects of nuclear exposure) exposure at low levels. Since the atomic bombings of Japan 71 years ago, about 120,000 survivors and 77,000 of their children have been studied to help … Continued

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Olympians, Bikinis Found in Rio; Mosquitoes Elusive

Rio locals are continuing life as usual, despite the Zika hype. Since it is winter in Brazil, with temperatures ranging from 66 to 78 during the day, it is hard to find any mosquitos. Zika cases have dropped 93% since January. Dengue fever cases, which is also carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, have also … Continued

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