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 2012

In Search of Aging and Mother Teresa in India

It’s been over a year since I traveled across northern India to photograph faces of aging, and I’m still sorting through the images that I brought back. In the holy city of Benares, home of the great god Shiva, I heard of an old age home founded by Mother Teresa. As a geriatrician with a camera the thought of visiting and photographing inside this place …Read More

Historical Roots of the “Avoidable-Unavoidable” Pressure Ulcer Controversy

Some years ago while browsing in an antiquarian bookstore I opened a volume entitled Lectures on the Diseases of the Central Nervous System by Jean Martin Charcot published in 1877. Among the yellowed pages was an illustration of a necrotic sacral pressure ulcer, and my heart started pounding. I had come across one of the earliest descriptions of pressure ulcer pathogenesis. I excitedly purchased the …Read More

Sketching on the Left Bank

In the summer of 1977 I traveled to Europe carrying a sketchpad. These were my last months of freedom before entering medical school, and I had doubts about whether I was making the right decision. My acceptance letter was hard-earned, but I rationalized the decision by telling myself that medicine is a noble profession and I could still make art on the side. I wandered the streets …Read More

Victory Day in Moscow: Part II

It was Victory Day in Moscow, May 9, 2012 – the day that commemorates Russian triumph over the Nazi regime after a long and bloody war.  I went there to take pictures. The day started with clouds and rain but by noon the sun was gleaming off the massive columns of the Bolshoi Theater. Water splashed in the fountain as elderly veterans milled about collecting roses, …Read More

Research Links Nursing Home Staffing to Death from Viral Gastroenteritis

Low staffing levels in nursing homes have long been linked to adverse outcomes such as pressure ulcers, urinary tract infections (UTIs), weight loss, dehydration, and deterioration in ADL’s, but new research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association links mortality from viral gastroenteritis to nurse-to-patient ratios. This is the first time this outcome is linked to RN staffing levels …Read More

Jubilation and Aging Hippies in Times Square

As it became clear that Obama was going to win the Presidential race, I grabbed my camera and headed to Times Square to photograph the celebrating crowds. To my delighted surprise I ran into an old friend – an aging left wing activist and hippie named Aron Kay who was infamously known as Pie Man. Aron is a holdout from the radicals of the 1960’s. …Read More

9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and a Weeping Willow Tree

Trees are extremely precious commodities in Manhattan, and it makes me sad whenever I see one come down. I was extra saddened this morning on the FDR Drive when I noticed a favorite weeping willow tree partially toppled by Hurricane Sandy. I didn’t have my camera so I picked it up from my office and got back on the highway to take the shots posted …Read More

Manhattan After the Hurricane

My office downtown is dark with no phone service or water, but I am thankful because my home is intact and we have electricity. Not so for many people whose lives have been upended by this historic, devastating storm. I took my camera out in the storm’s aftermath to see joggers on a closed FDR Drive and downed trees all over the City. I stopped …Read More

Victory Day in Moscow: Part I

Victory Day is the Russian national holiday commemorating surrender of the German army on May 9, 1945. The country fought for 6 bloody years and lost over 26 million people including 8.5 million soldiers. In Moscow there is a military parade in Red Square, and afterward there is a gathering near the Bolshoi Theater that honors veterans, many of whom show up in full dress …Read More

New Research Sheds Light on Hospital Acquired Pressure Ulcers

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society sheds light on hospital acquired pressure ulcers with data on epidemiology, mortality, and patient characteristics.  Its results are certain to fuel the debate on avoidability of pressure ulcers. The researchers analyzed 51,842 discharges of hospitalized Medicare patients in 2006 and 2007 for occurrence of hospital acquired pressure ulcers (HAPU).  They found a nationwide HAPU prevalence …Read More