Finding Inner Peace With A Buddhist Lama Chaplain

WR_BuddhistAsk someone what a Buddhist Lama does and you might hear prayer, meditation, and introspection — but not clocking in at the local hospital. Yet, Tsering Ngodup Yodsampa works at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center teaching meditation and counseling patients, a STAT article reports. Eastern medicine can be worlds apart from Western methods, which is a continuous challenge for the native Tibetan who once ran a restaurant in Kathmandu, Nepal, during the 1970’s. He encourages minimal use of medicine, focusing instead on helping patients find “inner peace” and “inner strength” through meditation. That doesn't sound too far off from the total consciousness greenskeeper Carl Spackler is set to receive courtesy of the Dalai Lama in the movie Caddyshack — “I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.”

As Opioid Victims Increase, So Do Organ Donations

WR_organsPrescription painkillers and heroin continue to kill dozens of Americans every day, though there is one aspect of the opioid epidemic that has gone unnoticed — the surging number of organs harvested from overdose victims. Donors who have died from drug overdoses skyrocketed by 270 percent between 2006 and last year, up to almost 850 donors, according to U.S. News & World Report. In New England, the uptick was nearly 600 percent during that time period, up to 54 donors last year. “It’s a silver lining to what is absolutely a tragedy,” Alexandra Glazier, president and CEO of the New England Organ Bank, in the article.” Some wary hospitals and patients, meanwhile, have required some convincing to tap into the ballooning organ supply, because of fears that they may contain hepatitis C or other infectious diseases. 

Take It Off in the Name of Safety

WR_decontaminateA recent study found ninety-nine percent of chemical contamination can be avoided by removing clothes and wiping skin with a paper towel or dry wipe, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Researchers from parts of the United Kingdom's Department of Health noted removing clothes removes up to 90 percent of chemical contamination and cleaning exposed skin with a wipe eliminates a further nine percent. It’s common to use high-pressure water to shower a contaminated patient while clothed, but the study shows doing so washes chemicals into the skin — increasing contamination.

Americans Have A Beef With Drug Companies

WR_drugadsYou know those ads for new drugs that air when you’re trying to watch TV — well most Americans want them gone, a STAT-Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll found. In fact, 57 percent of those polled supported removing the ads from the air. Many were concerned they push patients to look for pricier drugs they might not need, and believe the heavy marketing of those drugs bumps up prescription prices. The American Medical Association has called for a ban late last year for similar reasons. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only countries that allow these ads to air, according to the AMA, while another estimate found four-year spending for drug advertisements has ballooned 60 percent to a whopping $5 billion.

How Do You Know Your Pepperoni is Antibiotic-free?

WR_pizzaYou'll have to take their word on that. A report in Bloomberg looked at U.S. fast food companies that make antibiotic-free claims, and found almost all of them have different ways of implementing their policies — many with no oversight whatsoever. These companies are asking us to believe an industry that brings us sandwiches with meat molded into the shape of ribs, and Mexican food laden with bacteria of various kinds.