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Reading Room

The reading room includes articles and videos of potential interest to consumers and medical professionals. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the NC Medical Board, its members and staff.

Why Hospitals Are Getting Into The Housing Business

Kaiser Health News
October 4, 2019
One patient at Denver Health, the city’s largest safety net hospital, occupied a bed for more than four years — a hospital record of 1,558 days. Another admitted for a hard-to-treat bacterial infection needed eight weeks of at-home IV antibiotics, but had no home. A third, with dementia, came to the hospital after being released from the Denver County Jail. His family refused to take him back.

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Why Lifesaving Drugs May Be Missing on Your Next Flight

The New York Times
October 3, 2019
Citing chronic shortages, airlines have received exemptions from regulations requiring that flights carry five drugs on board.

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Babies born by Caesarean section have different gut bacteria from other infants, researchers say

The Washington Post
September 24, 2019
A large study of babies’ stool samples has found key differences between infants born vaginally and via Caesarean section, offering clues about the development of the human immune system, researchers say. Vaginally born babies got most of their gut bacteria from their mother, but C-section babies did not and had more bacteria linked to the hospital around them, a new study found. It is not clear what impact the difference may have on children’s future health, and the findings should not deter women from having C-section births, the scientists leading the work said.

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Why the measles surge could open the door to a host of other diseases

September 5, 2019
With measles making a comeback in many upper-income countries including the United States and still rampant in some poorer nations such as Democratic Republic of Congo and Madagascar, a leading measles expert is warning of a danger beyond the spread of the disease itself: There’s mounting evidence that when a person is infected with measles, the virus also wipes out the immune system’s memory of how to fight off all sorts of other life-threatening infections – ranging from gastro-intestinal bugs that cause diarrhea to respiratory viruses that trigger pneumonia.

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Women may be more adept than men at discerning pain

August 26, 2019
The pathway to opioid abuse for women often starts with a prescription from the doctor’s office. One reason is that women are more likely than men to seek help for pain. Pain researchers say not only do women suffer more painful conditions, they actually perceive pain more intensely than men do.

“The burden of pain is substantially greater for women than men,” says researcher and psychologist Roger Fillingim, “and that led pain researchers like myself to wonder if the pain perception system is different in women than in men.”

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Doctors say most metrics provided by your Apple Watch, Fitbit aren’t helpful to them

USA Today
August 14, 2019
We use wearables to count calories, measure heart rates and even rate our quality of sleep. With healthier living in mind, we purchase kid-friendly versions for our children and step-counting options for grandparents. Apple Watches, Fitbits and other fitness trackers are everywhere as data-obsessed users tap away at tiny screens from the gym to the doctor’s office. It’s clear that consumers love wearables and the information they provide – but do physicians?

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