Tuesday, June 17, 2014

What to Expect After Laser Spine Surgery

Having laser spine surgery is a major decision, and doing a lot of research is highly recommended before you go through the surgery. Besides learning everything you can about the food and medication to take or avoid before the procedure, you also need to prepare yourself for the aftermath. What comes after the surgery and how soon will you be able to return to normal schedule? 
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Anesthesia Billing Consultants Provide Needed Service For Practices

Carla Being Given Anesthesia
Carla Being Given Anesthesia (Photo credit: ReSurge International)
I had a chance to speak with the owner of a new business that opened in Tampa Florida recently, Executive Anesthesia Solutions. I found the approach to this business very interesting as they go beyond simply acting as a consultant to the billing department, rather taking on a much larger consulting role within the business.. Jason Trudell, whom I spoke with explained that their approach was to bring some of the concepts of supply chain and logistics to performance management in the health care field. As with most industries tightening their belts the last decade, the world of medicine has made a substantial push to improve efficiencies and reduce waste. Anesthesia, of course, is no different.

With years of experience both in anesthesia and the general business environment, Trudell's team brings a unique skillset to the table and helps clients provide strategies rarely seen in the world of medicine.

EAS works with anesthesia groups to help valuate their group to the organization, surgeons and patients on procedures ranging from billing to within the operating room. Ultimately, they aim to quantify performance on a number of fronts, and develop strategies for ongoing measurement and improvement on a variety of measurables such as room starts, staffing, preoperative clearance, and others. Measuring and managing inefficiencies in the process leads to reduces costs and a better patient experience.

To learn more about how EAS aims to serve physicians, check out this link: http://executiveanesthesiasolutions.com/anesthesia-providers-physicians

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Sleeping Tips That Will Improve Your Spine

More and more people are experiencing back problems, especially in sports. Football is just beginning to see steps being taken to prevent increasing numbers of injuries. Concussions are extremely common and can cause serious effects on the spine as well. Penalties are being imposed on the field for inappropriate tackling, helmets are being redesigned, and more care is being provided after a player is injured. Nevertheless, back pain may be a result of this constant contact or other normal activities. To help a person relieve this problem, Michigan Spine Center recommends some posture and sleeping tips to follow that will help improve the spine.
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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Workouts You Can Do at Your Desk at Work

We already know that sitting all day is bad for our health. However, if our job entails working in front of the computer from 9 to 5, we just can’t help a sedentary lifestyle. According to a study by epidemiologist Steven Blair at the University of South Carolina, men with more than 23 hours a week of sedentary activity are more prone to the risk of dying from heart disease than those with less than 11 hours a week of sedentary activity.
Other serious conditions that result from sitting all day are obesity, back pain, leg cramps, and tense muscles. In order to avoid these, why not try out some exercises that you can do while at work?
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Options For Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery In Michigan

X-ray of spine after scoliosis surgery - anter...

Minimally invasive spine surgery has been used for 30 years now. In the past five years advancements in technology have allowed for expanded use of this type of surgery on a growing number of disorders. Historically, spine surgery has been a very comprehensive procedure that required large incisions, dissecting of muscles and tissue and extremely long recovery times. Much like minimally invasive procedures that have been performed on joints for many years, the recovery time from a minimally invasive procedure, along with substantially less noticeable scarring.

Some procedures that can now be done with minimally invasive surgery include herniated discs, compression fractures of vertebrae, spinal infections, certain types of scoliosis and spinal instability. As mentioned, this list continues to grow as the technology allows.

In Michigan there are several good options for an MIS procedure. Here are a few locations that perform them:

  • Lansing Neurosurgery – Don’t let the name fool you, LN is one of the most respected surgery locations in Michigan and has a staff with extensive experience in minimally invasive surgery for spine and head trauma.
  • The Ann Arbor Spine Center – If you’re in the southeast corner of the state, this is one of the leading options for cervical spine, lumbar spine, scoliosis and spinal fusion procedures.
  • Spectrum Health Medical Group in Grand Rapids – For people on the west side of the state, few places offer an array of minimally invasive spinal surgery options as Spectrum. Follow the link to see the complete list.

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Grouchy Nurses? They're Out There.

You know everyone has worked with one. One of those I hate my job, I hate these patients and heaven forbid if you ask them a question. Not to mention all around stuck up bitchy to coworkers or even patients.. I really try to get along with everyone I work with. In fact I don’t mind working with any of my coworkers regardless of what shift they are on. There is one young nurse who has been an ER nurse for 3 years and she is a really hard worker. She can run rings around everyone and usually bales me out if I am in a bind. BUT she has a tendency to belittle her other coworkers and get smart with the patients. To the point it embarrasses the hell out of me if I am in the patients room with her.

When I first started as a new RN I was afraid to ask her questions (I felt like a CNA in training) because she always made me feel stupid or awkward. I mean I am 10 yrs. older than her first off and second she always made me feel like my questions were really stupid. So I have learned not to ask her any questions and save my questions for the season nurses that don’t eat their “young” . I would like to confront her about her way of talking to the patients. She shrugs it off like “I was just joking with them.” When I want to shout at her “hey idiot this is a freaking ER. This is not the time to joke around” I have even had a patient complain to me about her causing me to apologize and try to play it like she is having a “rough” day. Even though she spends every moment of the day bitching about how she hates this job and blah blah blah. I still love my job.

Now when we get to the new facility I will probably change my mind. Since we will be poorly staffed. But she is young and I hate to generalize but at least in this area young people don’t want to work. They want it all handed to them. GRRR. I had to work my ass to get where I am today. I paid for my own college, my own car and when I was growing up I had to buy my own 1st TV. Now the kids get it all. You wouldn’t believe the nurses that I went to school with that the parents were footing the bill. They were the ones out partying and talking through class. I wanted to choke the crap out of them. But anyway…back to this nurse. I like working with her because she does work. Just wish her attitude would change. Bad attitude can become contagious.

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Space, Time and the DNA Continuum

Time. The great beyond, the relative, unfathomable, progression of the universe. Time, time, time. It’s what becomes of you.

This whole chain of thought started with telomeres. In case you don’t know, and I know some of you do, so I apologize in advance, your DNA replication only works one way. Without going into the big analogy to the New Jersey Turnpike I just made up, because it’s off-topic, I’ll simply put it this way: every time your DNA replicates, a little part of one end gets lost. Scary thought, isn't it? I mean, if that’s so, it serves as a useful explanation for stupid people, right? Their DNA must just replicate faster and thus they lose all sort of important genes.

Fortunately, this is not the case. Which leaves you to find another excuse for stupidity, but I’m sure you’ll manage. Your body has attached long bits of random repeated sequences to the ends of your chromosomes that don’t represent anything. Your DNA got tail, baby. And that tail is the telomere. The enzyme that attaches this tail, however, only works when you’re very very little (unless you have cancer, but it’s not the only wacky thing messing up during cancer), and then stops. Call it seriously early retirement if you like. This means your cells only have a certain number of replications before they start chopping into the Important Stuff, which usually causes them to die (in a very cool way, however - it looks a lot like a “splat” cartoon under the microscope, but really is a highly controlled explosion). But get this - the amount of tail chopped with every replication varies significantly, so there’s no real telling when you’ll get to the “point of no return.” And a lot of cells, for reasons we don’t understand, die “naturally” before they ever get into the DNA-chopping stage. But nevertheless, telomeres are very important, and are one of the many timing mechanisms of the cell.

There are many others, most of which are very poorly understood. Most cells aren't dividing - they’re just sitting there. Your liver cells, for example. Unless you do something profoundly necrotic, like become an alcoholic and destroy your liver, your liver cells replicate maybe once every few years. Obviously, this is asexual reproduction, because if it were sexual, there’d be a lot more of it. That said, your cells somehow know how many divisions they “are allowed” and die off after that number (and it’s pretty consistent among specific tissues. I believe liver cells get about 40 divisions each).

So the train of thought went like this in my mind this morning: “hmmm. telomeres. sucks to be the woman who cloned her cat for $50,000. life, the universe, and the definition of time. hmmmmmm.”

Now, you may be wondering why it “sucks to be the woman who cloned her cat for $50,000.” Well, barring the obvious attachment issues that led her to drop enormous sums on one cell when she could have maybe bought an entire animal shelter, there’s a simple problem with cloning. The DNA taken from the original cat is at a certain point in its “replication life cycle,” and that point is a lot further along than the original cells of an embryo. Which is to say, when the clone is born, its cells are already much older than the cells of all the other kittens on the block. This doesn't mean the kitten looks any different than any other kitten, but it does mean the kitten will age much more rapidly than those other kittens. This was the problem facing Dolly the sheep, and something that “science” has yet to overcome. So the woman who dropped the huge chunk of change isn't getting a cat for the next two decades, she’s getting a cat for a much shorter amount of time. I have no idea how aware of this she is, but I think it kinda sucks for her (given her aforementioned obvious attachment issues and all).

Then my mind sort of wandered off and started wondering how cells perceive time? I mean, technically we define time in I.S. units - seconds, minutes, etc…. But not always. Sometimes time is a distance “Just…. three…. more…. steps…. to…. the…ice cream!” Sometimes, it’s a list or a numbered set “Three questions to go, then it’s over.” Now, these things are also distances and lists in their own right, but we wrap time up in their definition, measuring the time of each question without resorting to minutes or seconds, but by the starting and stopping of the event - the exam. The exam is 40 questions long. Usually, this is then followed by “and you have 50 minutes to complete it in” but the initial measurement of the event is a set of numbered questions. It’s convoluted, but it’s a perceptual shift. And that’s what I’m getting to: the perception of time. We define time; we perceive it; time drags, speeds, slows, etc…. Time itself, however, is constant, not relative. It is our perception that is relative. How does a cell view time? In replication cycles? In nerve impulse firings? In glucose depletion and replenishment? Of course, that would require perception, which there’s no guarantee a cell has. But cells mark the passing of time - they start/live, grow and end/die. Bacteria, cells, plants, dingoes, etc, all mark the passing of time, with or without consciousness, by a different set of rules. That is to say, while it may be that only humans have a perception of time (and I have no thoughts on animals and this matter), all life has a definition of time, a unit of measurement. Cell cycles, seasons, sun-dark cycling, time outside a host/time inside a host. Beginning, middle, end. Life itself, being an event, is thus a definition of time. I wonder: do atoms also define time thusly? They have a spin, electrons have an orbit, things move, although there is no point at which they started or stopped moving, except in terms of temperature raising or slowing the spin. Does temperature impact atomic time - does it give the definition of time to the atom? Does the atom define time in temperature, then? Does the universe define time in the movement of atoms - in the location of molecules? Is time defined by Universe in terms of geography then? Is it really all about location, location, location?

Anyway, it was obviously a very stimulating virology lecture. The end result is that Science Theater today is a lesson in molecular biology’s Big Picture. Teensy-Tiny DNA vs. Goliath Time. Time is an enormous arrow; DNA is a tiny (yet powerful) trigger for the continuation of life. Time is the constant the universe defines in infinite and relative ways. Time is why you shouldn't clone your cat (or yourself?). Time was, I didn't think so much before my second cup of coffee. Time for another, I say.

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