Medical Error Could Be ‘Third Leading Cause of Death in the US’

You’ll never see a death certificate with the words ‘medical error’ as the cause of death. But a new study suggests that it could be considered the third biggest cause in the US.

Source: Medical Error Could Be ‘Third Leading Cause of Death in the US’

We often see the doctors as the faces of healthcare, but we forgot that there are others that work just as hard to make sure the patient goes home better than they came in.  Nurses, lab folk, and techs.

That said, at the end of the day – people are fallible.

This Chart Shows You How You’ll Probably Die

Wondering how you’re most likely to die? Skip the online quizzes and morbid daydreaming, and sate your curiosity with this grim government chart.

Source: This Chart Shows You How You’ll Probably Die

I just got my genetic testing back, so I have all kinds of new, way more exotic stuff to worry about. 😀

Five Crazy Ways Humans Have Preserved Their Bodies Throughout History

Nobody can cheat death, but for thousands of years, humans have tried to elude decomposition. Whether we’re saving our bodies for the afterlife or time traveling to a better future, peoples throughout history have gone to astounding lengths to preserve their mortal remains.

Here are five fascinating ways human corpses have defied the natural process of decay.

Source: Five Crazy Ways Humans Have Preserved Their Bodies Throughout History

Girolamo Segato (Do not Google this guy’s other work if you aren’t fond of dead babies. Yuck.) was an Italian anatomist in around 1800, he discovered a method of artificial petrifaction.  According to a contemporary of his American surgeon Valentine Mott, Segato “had discovered a chemical process by which he could actually petrify, in very short time, every animal substance, preserving permanently, and with minute accuracy, its form and internal texture, and in such a state of stony hardness that it could be sawed into slabs and elegantly polished!”

Segato, fearing that his methods would be stolen, destroyed all his notes about how he achieved this feat before dying unexpectedly at 44.  He took his secrets with him.  Despite many tests on the petrified remains, may of which are housed in the Museum of the Department of Anatomy in Florence, modern science has no idea how he did it.

Study: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Increases Longevity In Men

Older men whose low testosterone is restored to normal through gels, patches, or injections have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from any cause, compared to men who are not treated, scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have found.

Source: Testosterone replacement therapy may help men live longer

It wasn’t that long ago that I posted an article about the experimental treatment of administering testosterone.  The sample size and number of years is impressive – this isn’t a case of 100 or less being sampled.  What I have not been able to find is what the “acceptable level” is…

I, and I’m sure most medical professionals would agree, suggest pursuing natural means of raising testosterone levels before going for medication.

Peppers in Diet Linked to Lower Risk of Death

Eating spicy food frequently is linked to a lower risk of death in a Chinese study, adding heat to the debate on whether people should eat chilies for health benefits.

The study involved 487,375 people aged 30 to 79 across China. Half were followed for 7.2 years. Over the study period, there were 20,224 deaths.

Those who said they ate spicy food once or twice a week showed a 10 per cent reduced overall risk of dying, compared with people who ate spicy foods less often.

…In the study, the association was stronger among people who didn’t drink alcohol.

Source: Chili peppers in diet linked to lower risk of death

The article doesn’t mention that peppers are generally a source of calcium (though not much good without vitamin D to process it if you aren’t going outside), and vitamin C, folate, and iron. No vitamin K to speak of.  What makes up the rest of the diet is also important, but the article is extremely vague (or potentially misleading) as chili peppers are a particular type vs habanero, jalapeno, bell…

Eat healthy, exercise regularly, die anyways 😉

Study: Breast Implants Linked with Suicide

Loren Lipworth of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee and colleagues followed up on 3,527 Swedish women who had cosmetic breast implant surgery between 1965 and 1993. They looked at death certificates to analyze causes of death among women with breast implants.

Only 24 of the women had committed suicide after an average of 19 years, but this worked out to triple the risk compared to the average population, they reported. Doctors who perform cosmetic breast surgery may want to monitor patients closely or screen them for suicide risk, Lipworth said.

Women with breast implants also had a tripled risk of death from alcohol and drug use.

Source: Breast implants linked with suicide in study

Considering how sensational the headline is, I really wanted to point out the details of the study.  The end of the article mentions that cosmetic breast implant surgery was the second most common cosmetic procedure (behind liposuction) in 2006.  But it doesn’t mention how common the procedure was within the timespan that was looked at, which would provide some insight into acceptance within our culture.  I don’t remember people discussing fake vs natural until the late 80s or early 90s, and it was the silicone ban that really brought the surgery into the public view.  Then there’s the fact that the statistic is based on 24 out of 3,547 women committing suicide…

These days, some girls are getting face and/or breast augmentation surgery for graduation presents.  And it’s not a North American thing either – South Korea in particular, it’s widely accepted that cosmetic surgery is in a girls future.  The rest of us get by on tricks and better bras.

I had to explain once to a co-worker why cosmetic surgery was better than a TV.  He did not comprehend that cosmetic surgery was an investment in yourself, and while cosmetic surgery isn’t common for guys now – it likely will be in the future.  I wonder when we’re going to stop telling our kids that we should not “judge a book by its cover” when we have so much evidence to support that attractive people are treated better.

Why a Weak Handshake is Bad News For Your Heart

The strength of your handshake could indicate the chance of a future heart attack, a major study suggests.

Researchers found that the vigour of a person’s grip could predict the risk of heart attacks and strokes – and was a stronger indicator of death than checking systolic blood pressure.

The study in The Lancet, involving almost 140,000 adults in 17 countries, found weak grip strength was linked to shorter survival and a greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Source: Why a weak handshake is bad news for your heart

While I agree that an inexpensive, non-invasive test would be great… A percentage under 20% is not worth the effort of pursuing.

What Gives a Decaying Body Its Distinctive Odor?

Dead bodies give off a distinctive, sickly-sweet odour that’s immediately recognisable and hard to forget. The smell of death can consist of more than 400 volatile organic compounds in a complex mixture. These compounds are produced by the actions of bacteria, which break down the tissues in the body into gases and salts.

Source: What Gives a Decaying Body Its Distinctive Odor?

Cadaverine – how creative.

Tuna Company Charged Over Worker Cooked Alive With 6 Tons of Fish

Bumble Bee Foods and two of the tuna company’s employees were charged Monday with willfully ignoring safety rules, leading to a plant worker burning to death inside an industrial pressure cooker in 2012, prosecutors said.

The San Diego-based company, former safety manager Saul Florez, and Angel Rodriguez, the director of plant operations, were each charged with three felony counts of committing an occupational safety and health violation that caused a death, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Source: Bumble Bee Foods, 2 others charged after employee died in pressure cooker

This is the type of story that I always wish that I hadn’t read after I’ve already read it.

Things like these happen from time to time.  One of my rugby coaches died, attempting to rescue two people from an enclosed space.  They had already succumbed to gas, and because he didn’t know (so he would have used breathing apparatus) he fell victim to the gas as well.  The first rule of first aid training is to ensure your own safety – there’s nothing more sad than additional, unnecessary death because someone had an overwhelming desire to help.

Another sad story I heard was how some pools of water are quite hot due to the hot springs or fissures in Yellowstone National Park.  Someone’s dog jumped out of the vehicle, entering the water.  The owner followed when they heard the dog yelp.  People tried to stop the owner, who then dove into the water.

This is why I struggle with the idea of pursuing water related first aid.  I’m a strong enough swimmer, for myself.  But having experienced my lungs fill with blood due to blood thinner complications and stress while swimming – I have to remind myself I’m likely to be putting everyone in danger.

Eating The Wrong Shellfish Could Give You Temporary Amnesia

Believe it or not, there is such a thing known as “amnesic shellfish poisoning”. Eating the wrong piece of shellfish — or occasionally just the wrong anchovy — can make you lose your memory.

Source: Eating The Wrong Shellfish Could Give You Temporary Amnesia

I love anchovies, and I can’t remember a time this has happened to me!

Wait…