After doping up on fruitcake over the past few weeks the blogosphere finally seems back in sync for this first PGR of 2007. What was lacking in the quantity of submissions was made up in quality. I want to thank everyone who participated.
In the category of heady stuff is Phillip Gordon’s post in Tales from the Womb, Ashley X and the Red Flag of Eugenics. For those of you unfamiliar with the case, Ashley X is a child in the Seattle area who has undergone removal of her uterus and breast buds in order to stave off growth and the development of secondary sexual characteristics. This is clearly the stuff that medical ethicists thrive on and Dr. Gordon gives us a great jumping off point. If you’re interested in black and white jpegs of the original authors (suitable for framing) of this case as well as their personal attributes, you can check out his follow up post.
Perhaps the most thought provoking post in the pediatric blogosphere is Malaria from Neonatal Doc. He takes on the issue of worldwide allocation of resources by comparing the cost of resuscitating one preemie with that of widespread malaria prevention. Neonatal doc is your destination if you like clean, solid writing. And speaking of a great voice, check out Signout. I particularly liked Behavior that Persists.
Breath Spa for Kids has posted on the use of alternative and complementary medicine on the other side of the pond. In Homeopathy and Herbalism on the NHS Shinga covers a recent paper from the British Journal of Pharmacology that found that among all ages, patients under 12 months are among the most likely to receive herbal or homeopathic therapy in Scotland. This is really good or really bad depending how you look at it.
Sandy Szwarc at Junkfood Science takes on the misconceptions about healthcare costs in chubby children in Fat Children Burdens. Her embedded discussion concerning the myth of cholesterol screening in kids is right on (note to self: be sure to post on the lunacy of cholesterol screening in healthy kids). And while I thought mercury thermometers went out with the hula hoop, we’re reminded that this isn’t quite the case. Sandy’s post, Does the World Have a Fever, cites thermometer mercury as the latest source of public health hysteria. While reading this one I was preoccupied with the thought, “where the Sam Hill did she dig up these articles?”
Over the past two weeks I’ve have the charge of covering the inpatient transplant service at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. For me it’s been quite easy to wrap myself in the numbers and levels that represent my patients. Moreena in The Wait and The Wonder shakes me from it all with her stark view from the other side titled, Interstitial. When I hear criticism of the blogosphere all I have to do is read posts like this to feel the power of one voice. As recent as 10 years ago voices like this were sequestered quietly in their hospital rooms.
If my issue this week was iron in formula, Master Flea’s was antibiotic abuse and its consequences. In Another Source of Irritation his controlled mini-rant exposes the nasty habit of using superdrugs when they’re not necessary. Apparently the makers of those superdrugs aren’t sending Flea the proper reps. And this week Flea introduced me to a new blog, Just Practicing. It’s a candid look inside a small practice on the recovering Mississippi Gulf Coast.
And I wasn’t sure whether to be frightened or amused when I received an email this week from a patient who had visited my blog but only wanted to know about Flea. Who is he? Were we med school buddies and what did I know about him? She never asked about me and Parenting Solved. Must be the bad boy picture and the guitar.
If you love words and language like I do, don’t miss Blog MD's Cancer Slang. You’ll find a primer on the linguistics of oncology. This is well done and deserving of more attention. And by the way, my favorite language blog happens to be Away With Words. Not medical, just fun if you like to think about the way we communicate.
Left for dead in late 2006, Clark Bartram is back and bigger than ever in 2007 with PGR’s first ever post on the sebaceous nevus in Revenge of the Not So Normal Nursery. The photo in the post is from either a senior citizen or a baby with aggressive progeria syndrome - you be the judge. While I might have expected Clark to have written Google – Where Antiimmunization Pseudoscience Reigns, it comes from from Medgadget. This edgy post suggests that Google searches on the topic of vaccinations may be biased against immunization. Perhaps the spiders pick up on the fanatics who seek to read only what they already believe? Speaking of vaccinations, I’m going to order this book on Amazon: Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver. The blog looks great. For a quick summary of the AAP’s new vaccine recommendations take a peek at Pediatrics Info.
It’s a true sign of the times when parents themselves post on the merits and misconceptions of allergy testing. This is what you’ll find at the Purple Puzzle Place in Allergy Diagnosis and Testing. Now this is what I call parental empowerment. If you still keep up with the MSM, The Epidemic of Diagnoses essay found in the New York Times brought comments from Flea and Diseaseproof. Check it out.
I want to thank Shinga for providing valuable tips this week. Pediatric Grand Rounds for January 28th is Clark Bartram at Unintelligent Design. Check his site continuously for updates on deadlines, etc.