(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘health care

“We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane”*…

 

For three days, thousands of uninsured Americans converge on the Wise County [Virginia] Fairgrounds for the largest pop-up clinic in the country. Most are poor, many are in pain, but all have faith in a level of care that neither the government nor private industry can provide…

A story both heart-warming and horrifying: “Tent Revival.”

* Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions

###

As we tend to the needy, we might send instructive birthday greetings to William Sanford “Bill” Nye; he was born on this date in 1955.  A mechanical engineer turned actor, science educator, and television presenter, he is best known as the host of the PBS children’s science show Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993–1998), and for his many subsequent appearances in popular media.

Nye was greatly influenced by Carl Sagan, with whom he studied astronomy at Cornell University. He began his career with Boeing, in Seattle, designing hydraulic systems, from the early to mid 1980s. From 1986-91, he created and developed the Science Guy persona for local radio and TV, while eking out a spartan existence as a stand-up comedian.  But in 1992. he made a pilot program for the local PBS station, attracted underwriters, and launched what became a five-year national PBS series, Bill Nye the Science Guy.  Since then he has appeared in other TV science programs and as a guest expert on TV shows, continuing his quest to make science accessible to the public.  He currently serves as CEO of The Planetary Society.

 source

 

 

Written by LW

November 27, 2016 at 1:01 am

Say “ah”…

 click here for larger, interactive version

In 1960, hospital costs were were 38% of total U.S.healthcare costs; in 2010, they were 37%.  But in 1960, hospital costs were $9 billion of a total $23.4 billion in healthcare costs; in 2010, they were $814 billion of a total $2, 186 billion.  (Simple inflation, using the CPI as a metric, means that the 1960 figure, in 2010 dollars, would be around $1.8 billion.)

But in many ways more interesting than the growth in the overall total are the changes in how healthcare is financed– in who pays.  In 1960, for example, almost 100% of the spending on prescription drugs came out of the consumer’s pocket; by 2010, out-of-pocket spending was down to 20%.

Watch the healthcare economy evolve in the California Healthcare Foundation’s interactive graphic, “U.S. Healthcare Spending: Who Pays?

###

As we stock up on supplements, we might spare an anatomically-correct thought for Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne (de Boulogne); he died on this date in 1875.  Regarded by many to be the “father of modern neurology,” Duchenne developed the first working understanding of the conductivity of neural pathways; he was the first to understand the effect of lesions on these structures; and he innovated diagnostic techniques including deep tissue biopsy, nerve conduction tests, and clinical photography.  He’s probably best remembered for identifying the myopathies that came to bear his name: Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne-Aran spinal muscular atrophy, Duchenne-Erb paralysis, Duchenne’s disease (Tabes dorsalis), and Duchenne’s paralysis (progressive bulbar palsy).

source

Written by LW

September 15, 2012 at 1:01 am

“Time moves in one direction, memory in another”*…

 source: xkcd

* William Gibson

###

As we Dance to the Music of Time, we might spare a thought for Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.  An accomplished writer (her poems and her letters home from Turkey, where her husband was Ambassador, were widely influential), Lady Mary was perhaps as importantly a health-care pioneer: she was instrumental in establishing the practice of vaccination against smallpox.

Her last words, uttered on this date in 1762, were– appropriately enough– “It has all been most interesting.”

 Lady Mary, with her son Edward (source)

Written by LW

August 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

Salt of the Earth…

What’s going to become of health-care in the U.S. in the wake of partial “reform” and evaporating public funding, is anyone’s guess.  What’s more certain is that it’s prudent for one to take good care of oneself– to stay out of the system…

The Mayo Clinic reminds us that the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg for those age 51 or older, or African-Americans, or those with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

But the average American takes in about 3,400 milligrams of sodium every day.  And studies suggest that a high-sodium diet is linked to a host of ailments, including high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and exercise-induced asthma.

So it’s bracing (if not indeed shocking) to consider the salt content of restaurant meals…

P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles with Pork

7,900 milligrams sodium
1,652 calories
84 g fat (12 g saturated)

Sodium Equivalent = 23 Slabs of Hormel Canadian Style Bacon
Here are a few things with less salt than these sodium-sunk nefarious noodles: 239 Saltine crackers, 153 cups of Newman’s Butter popcorn, and 22 orders of McDonald’s large French fries…

Chili’s Fajita Quesadillas Beef With Rice and Beans, 4 flour tortillas, and condiments

6,390 milligrams sodium
2,240 calories
92 g fat (43.5 g saturated)
253 g carbohydrates

Sodium Equivalent = 194 Saltine Crackers
This confounding creation delivers nearly a dozen Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts worth of calories, the sodium equivalent of 194 saltine crackers, and the saturated fat equivalent of 44 strips of bacon…

Applebee’s Weight Watchers Chipotle Lime Chicken

4,990 mg sodium
490 calories
12 g fat (2 g saturated)

Sodium Equivalent = 31 servings of Ruffles (that’s more than two “Family Size” bags!)
Avoiding salt at Applebee’s is nearly impossible. Not even the “healthy” selections pass muster. The six items on the Under 550 Calories menu average 2,341 mg of sodium per entree. The five items on the Weight Watchers menu average 2,448 mg…

27 other meals-to-miss at Eat This, Not That’s “30 Saltiest Foods in America.”

As we insist on at least two colors (not counting ketchup) on our plates, we might wish a juicy Happy Birthday to actress Shanelle Workman (Gray); she was born on this date in 1978.  While she’s probably most widely recognized for her role as Sarah “Flash” Roberts on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live (2003 and 2004), she is probably most widely heard as the voice of “Wendy” in commercials for the fast food chain.

Shanelle Workman Gray (source)

 

%d bloggers like this: