Hospital drug shortages: What is really causing them?

Valerie Lapointe Most of us assume that a saline IV drip for dehydration or a nitroglycerin injection for heart attack symptoms would be available at any hospital any time in the U.S. Yet both are on a growing list of drug shortages. Currently, the FDA’s Drug Shortage Program (DSP) lists 60 drugs, mostly generic injectables, […]

Preliminary research links habitual marijuana use with inhibited mental development

By Valerie Lapointe Habitual marijuana use may inhibit the brain from maturing properly, according to on-going research conducted by a team of scientists at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. Kuei Tseng, associate professor of molecular pharmacology,  reported Tuesday on preliminary findings from the research with rats. He stressed the need […]

Climate disruption: What do we do now?

By Valerie Lapointe, video by Chencheng Zhao Global warming sounds too cozy, says Seth B. Darling, a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory and a fellow at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Molecular Engineering. He prefers the term “climate disruption” for the kinds of threats to coastlines, weather, food and water that the world faces. […]

The high price of prescription drugs: A hard pill to swallow

By Valerie Lapointe A new hepatitis C drug that costs $750 per pill came on the market in 2015. Martin Shkreli acquired the rights to an AIDS medication and raised the price 5,556 percent in 2015. “Does this represent a cultural shift in the orientation of pharmaceutical company executives and of the public’s tolerance to […]

Tracking the Zika virus – the 70-year saga

By Valerie Lapointe The CDC is investigating a connection between the Zika virus and Guillain-Barre, a condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves eventually resulting in complete paralysis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This latest development comes on the heels of WHO global health alert on the virus  and an […]

Picking the perfect painkiller

By Valerie Lapointe Open any medicine cabinet in any bathroom and you are likely to find some form of ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen. These generic NASIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) act as painkillers, fever reducers, and are a first line of defense in curing general aches and pains. They can be found in many over the […]

Women with chronic pain disorder struggle to be diagnosed

By Valerie Lapointe Katie Payne was in the prime of her life – a 25-year-old married illustrator living in New York City.  Yet she was suffering quietly from  the worst pain of her life. The sharp painful sensation emanating from inside her vagina and externally on her vulva had intermittently plagued her since puberty. But […]

Paging Dr. Doppler for ultrasound training

By Valerie Lapointe  Ultrasound imaging, a mainstay of medical diagnostic testing, produces dramatically sharper pictures today than when it was introduced more than 50 years ago. Yet the training procedures used to master the technology haven’t evolved much in that time. A new ultrasound training device, called Dr. Doppler, developed by Illinois-based SIMnext, aims to change […]