Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Long-term prognosis from severe brain injuries

Hi. I'm back from my interstate-moving hiatus, and I thought I'd get right back into the loving of perplexing, data-challenged articles which must (must!) tell us something about what we do to/say to our patients.  They must, right, or why else would I be blogging about them?  This is the sort of radical new thinking that these northern latitudes are inspiring in me.


Neurology has two articles about the long-term prognosis, and the phenomenon of late-recovery, for patients with severe brain injuries (patients in the vegetative state - VS - and the minimally conscious state - MCS).

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010 by Drew Rosielle MD ·

Coming & Going

'There's a statue of an ice cream, with a cherry on a spoon, in the park Dad!'  Such is the nature of memory, inventing details of the reality that you wish existed, even if it doesn't.  This is my 4 year old son's description of seeing Claes Oldenburg's Spoonbridge & Cherry piece at the Walker Art Center Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis.  There's no ice cream, but it's still present.

As I've alluded to on the blog before, my sort-of hiatus from Pallimed has been due to me packing up my family and moving to Minneapolis, where I'm now working as

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by Drew Rosielle MD ·

AAHPM Education Exchange - Call for Submissions

The call is out for next year's Educational Exchange at AAHPM 2011.  If you missed it last year, it was one of the best sessions I've been to in a while - a chance to witness and participate in some of the more innovative and interesting curricula in HPM education.

Here is this year's call for submissions.  I don't think there's a webpage you can go to to access all the forms - I'm happy to pass them along if you email me - but you can also use the contact info below:

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by Drew Rosielle MD ·

Sunday, June 20, 2010

An Explorer's View of Life

I stumbled upon a remarkable blog "An Explorer's View of Life" where Barry Fraser chronicles his experiences living with metastatic esophageal cancer. Fraser, who lives in Ontario, started the blog in 2008 approximately one year before he was diagnosed with cancer. The blog's original purpose (as per Fraser's bio) was to take "a lighthearted look at the events of the world around me, especially the adventures of my dog Lindsay." While many of his posts recently have been about his illness, the adventures of Lindsay still sneak in, of course.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010 by Lyle Fettig, MD ·

NYT Sunday Magazine: Turning Off Pacemakers

The New York Times Sunday magazine published a must-read article for any hospice or palliative care professional.  I just read it this evening after receiving a couple of tips from Pallimed readers* and don't have time to do the analysis tonight before the email goes out. Hopefully Lyle or I will likely get to covering the article in more detail later this week.

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by Christian Sinclair ·

Boston Med on ABC: Will palliative care be highlighted?

If you have watched even a little TV in the past week or read the entertainment section of your newspaper, you may have heard about the summer TV series Boston Med on ABC.  The premiere of the eight part series is this week on Thursday June 24th at 10/9c and covers three Boston area hospitals (Massachusetts General, Brigham and Woman's and Children's Hospital Boston).  So if this is anything like Hopkins in 2008, I wonder how will palliative care be portrayed?

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by Christian Sinclair ·

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

OncRN Blog on Goodbyes

OncRN is a wonderful blog written by an anonymous author sharing stories and insights in her line of work that many times speak to palliative themes.  S/he says it best in her blog description:

my life gets intermittantly (sic) rocked by the wonders/horrors of being an oncology nurse. i just need to talk it all through sometimes.
A recent post is about how to say good-bye to our patients, particularly the words we use.  Words are a great teaching point for anyone new to hospice and palliative medicine as it is a great demonstration of how a very difficult or awkward situation can become meaningful, poignant, funny, inspiring with the right choice of words.  Here the blogger writes:

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010 by Christian Sinclair ·

Odyssey Hospice Acquired by Gentiva - Let's Talk

If you have not heard by now Gentiva Health Services (Stock Ticker: GTIV), a large home health care company has acquired Odyssey Hospice (ODSY) for a straight up cash deal worth nearly $1 Billion dollars. That's right one b-b-b-b-billion.  But oddly I have not heard very many people in hospice talking about this super-size merger. (Late edit: Larry Beresford covers it here)   I have lots of questions so I thought I would throw them to you.

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by Christian Sinclair ·

Pallimed needs your Photos and Artwork

Looking for a way to show off your creative skills in photography or other artistic mediums? We are looking for creative Pallimed readers (and their friends or family) who would like to submit artwork or photos to be used in upcoming posts. The themes do not necessarily have to be hospice/medical related. Actually that would be a big plus!

Since some of our posts are well how shall we say, a little wordy, and a nice photo can really help break up the droning monotony of our words. Usually I go hunting on Flickr for something somewhat related, but I have been wanting to feature work from our community.

If you are interested please email me ctsinclair@gmail.com with one or two pics attached as samples.

Submissions once accepted will be posted to a Pallimed Flickr account with credit to the originating creator. All pictures would be filed under an 'all rights reserved' creative commons license unless otherwise specified by the creator.

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by Christian Sinclair ·

Monday, June 7, 2010

Pallimed 5th Anniversary

On June 8th, 2005 Drew wrote a simple 86 word post on pallimed.blogspot.com titled "First post: good news":

Well this is my first post. Hopefully in the next few days I'll fill out the links & other supplemental info sections (not that anyone is going to be reading this immediately anyway). Today is an auspicious day to begin my blog as I just learned that the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Family Medicine Board have decided to recognize palliative medicine as an official subspecialty! This info was from an acquaintance, so I'll be digging around for confirmation in the next few days.
He makes the obvious realization that he is talking to nobody yet it was the beginning of talking to everybody all at the same time.  If you haven't thought about how polarized it is to write this way, just take a second!

To demonstrate how long Drew was writing without feedback I went through the first year of posts to find the 'first' comment; the first real tangible proof that someone was listening. It was 'Dave' who commented in August 2005 on Drew's 38th post on the subject of transmucosal fentanyl dosing.  Just a simple comment, but apparently enough to keep Drew moving along, thank goodness.

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Monday, June 7, 2010 by Christian Sinclair ·

Pallimed Redesign Planned for June 2010: Input Welcome

It has been over 3 years since Pallimed had a major overhaul and so this month there will be some tweaking going on at the main site to clean up the design and navigation, add a few new special features, and take any special requests from you our readers.  Please be patient if the site goes down for an hour or so.  It will be back soon.

If there is something you would like to see added, removed or changed, this is a great time to let us know.

Here is what I am planning on so far:

  • Change in layout of the three column template to fix bugs found in IE7,8
  • Maximize the use of the header image
  • Clarify the navigation to the sister blogs of Arts and Cases
  • Add permanent pages for Comment Policy, Contributors, First Time Readers/FAQ, Prognosis, Social Media Education, HPM blogs (maybe a sortable table)
  • Major update of Prognosis page (send me relevant articles puh-leeeze!) maybe with table and better navigation
  • Reorganize various subscription options including iPhone app, RSS, email
  • Reorganize various social media interaction options (FB, Twitter, Slideshare, LinkedIn, YouTube)
  • Possibly add Twitter and Facebook login options for comments (anonymous will still be an option)
  • Possibly add ratings system for the comments to find good comments, provide feedback
  • Rotating mini banner under the header featuring different posts to highlight
  • Rating system for the posts to help find high quality posts
  • 'After the jump' clickable options to allow for more scanning of posts of interest (full post still available with subscribing)
  • Update disclaimer
  • Repository of pictures from Pallimed readers
  • Calendar and listing of past and future Palliative Care Grand Round hosts
Here is what I am not planning on adding:
  • Podcasts or videocasts unless there is a dedicated volunteer to provide the support and time
  • Areas for advertisements

by Christian Sinclair ·

Palliative Care Grand Rounds Up at 'Bedside Manners' (Schwartz Center)

Palliative Care Grand Rounds, the monthly best of the HPM blogosphere is up at 'Bedside Manners' the blog of the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center, well known for the foundation of Schwartz Center Rounds.

Many thanks to Julie Rosen, executive director of the Center for hosting and getting more professional organizations involved in blogging and blogging about other blogs!

You can always get the latest about Palliative Care Grand Rounds by heading over to: http://palliativecaregr.blogspot.com/

Geripal is hosting for July so get any good blog posts over to them to be included next month!

by Christian Sinclair ·

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