Jeffrey M. Levine MD | Geriatric Specialist | Wound Care | Pressure Ulcers - News on Dr. Levine's medical and consulting practice, and reflections on our healthcare system.

Archive for April, 2010

Pressure Ulcer Prevention Lacking in High Risk Patients

A major study published in The Gerontologist has shown that pressure ulcer prevention measures are lacking in high risk patients.  A research group based in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine studied elderly patients with hip fractures, following them across care settings that included hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, and nursing homes and found inadequate use of pressure-redistributing …Read More

High-Tech Devices for Older Patients: Lots of Money for Questionable Gain

A substantial multi-billion dollar industry in implantable cardiac devices has emerged in recent years.  Technologies such as cardiac defibrillators (ICDs) and cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices are being implanted in many people who may not need them, and one of the biggest markets is the elderly.  A recent paper published in the Archives of Internal Medicine underscored the fact that although nearly 20% of the devices …Read More

Wound Healing Products: From Ancient to Modern Mythology

Greek mythology tells us that filings from the rusty spear of Achilles were used successfully on a non-healing wound.  To this legacy of using metal derivatives to heal wounds, a newer, more modern mythology has been added.  This is the use of silver in wound-care dressings.           Telephus was a hero of Ancient Greece who fought in the Trojan War.  When fleeing a battle his leg was …Read More

Ping Pong, Aging, and the Disuse Syndrome

On a trip to Australia this past November I had the opportunity to visit with and photograph the oldest professional ping pong player in the world.  98 year old Dorothy DeLow lives in a well kept home nestled in a suburb of Sydney.  She demonstrated her ability to keep a ball in the air and in doing so exhibited the hand-eye coordination of a 25 year old.  …Read More

Caution Urged with Negative Pressure Wound Therapy

I recently was called to consult on a man whose sternal wound was being treated with negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). He had undergone a coronary artery bypass operation and his chest wound had opened up. His doctor prescribed NPWT but after the third day the canister was filling with blood and clots. The wound had started bleeding, and the NPWT device was sucking blood …Read More

Tears and Anger at St. Vincent’s Hospital

Yesterday, in a clumsily administered coup de grace to St. Vincent’s Hospital, 3,500 pink slips were handed out to all employees.  It sounds unbelievable but that is what I wrote – all employees.  This applies to maintenance people, lab techs, nurses, nursing assistants, chaplains, secretaries, research assistants, doctors, administrators, and anyone else who works for the hospital. At a news conference today on 7th Avenue, …Read More

The Sinking of St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan

When the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in April, 1912, survivors were brought to New York City by the rescue ship Carpathia.  They were unloaded on the West Side docks and brought directly to St. Vincent’s Hospital where 106 of them were treated.   Now, In one of the saddest events I have witnessed in my decades of medical practice, St. Vincent’s Hospital in Manhattan has announced …Read More

How Will Health Care Reform Affect Geriatrics?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590) purports to contain provisions that will provide for better care for America’s seniors and add stimulus to growth of the field of Geriatrics.  One wonders, however, whether this historic bill will have true impact in stemming the flow of medical doctors away from caring for the elderly.  In fact, some basic flaws in our healthcare system …Read More

My Introduction to Australian Aboriginal Art

This past fall I exhibited my photographs of aging at the International Arts and Health Conference in Port Macquarie, Australia.  There I had an opportunity to experience Aboriginal art, and was captivated by its boldness and spirituality.  Native Australians have a complex cultural tradition with music, song, dance and visual imagery.  They are deeply spiritual, and believe that animal spirits inhabit the forest and nature.  Art is …Read More