Oral Surgeon Dr. Visnich Fires Long-time Employee with New Cancer Diagnosis

An oral surgeon has fired a 12 year employee for being diagnosed with cancer, giving her no severance or grace employment period.

In a hand-written letter Dr. Visnich stated before she began treatment that he felt the treatment demands would prevent her from successfully completing her duties in his office.

The employee, Carol Jumper, was not given an opportunity to show if she could handle her duties while tending to her health.

Employees that are fired for health reasons are not able to receive unemployment benefits. Social Security disability is offered only to those who can hold no job of any type.

Heart Drug May Cure Ebola

Heart drug may cure Ebola, according to researchers at the University of Liverpool and Public Health England. Julian Hiscox and Roger Hewson have discovered that the cardiac glycoside drug ouabain acts against the key VP24 protein that enables Ebola virus to replicate.

Ouabain has a long history in folk medicine and has been used by some Somali tribesman as a poison that is placed on arrow tips used to hunt big game in Africa.

Thomas Jefferson University Promotes Corny ALS Ice Bucket Spinoff

In an attempt to cash in on the startling fundraising success of the ALS ice bucket challenge, pancreatic cancer researchers at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are promoting a gimmick where participants get tennis balls dumped over their heads.

One long-time Jeffersonian we spoke to was embarrassed by the ridiculous stunt and felt organizers of the corny ripoff are rather missing the entire point of the Ice Bucket challenge.

Joan Rivers Out of ICU and “Comfortable” Likely Ominous

Although we are not participating in the care of comedy legend Joan Rivers, we have noted news reports that her daughter Melissa has said her mother is out of the ICU and being kept comfortable.

Rivers was hospitalized six days ago after suffering cardiac arrest and a prolonged anoxic period (brain without oxygen.) She was placed in a hypothermic coma (lowered body temperature) as is standard for the first 24-48 hours after arrest in an attempt to salvage brain and cardiac function.

However, reading between the lines of this recent statement, this is likely an ominous development and could signal the start of a comfort care protocol using intravenous drips of narcotics such as morphine and benzodiazepines such as Ativan.

It is very typical when patients who do not regain consciousness after cardiac arrest and hypothermia to have the breathing tube removed and to be started on a high dose of continuous medications to keep them from feeling distress or struggling to breathe.

Morphine is both an analgesic (painkiller) and has sedative effects. Ativan is also heavily sedating. The desired outcome is to prevent patients who are dying from feeling any distress. It is generally acceptable to use drugs that are sedating enough to hasten death if the intent is to prevent distress.

Once a patient who has experienced severe anoxic brain injury family decides to withdraw care, it is very typical for the patients to be moved out of the ICU for more comfort and privacy for the family. ICUs are noisy, brightly lit hospital wards with constant “hustle and bustle.”

If Ms. Rivers was recovering brain function it would be more typical for a statement saying something like “she is responsive and the doctors are hoping for a full recovery.”

In the absence of that, it will likely be bad news soon.

British Ebola Patient Will Pooley Released From Hospital

British Ebola patient Will Pooley released from hospital today, according to news reports. Pooley was admitted to a London hospital on August 24, 2014 and received several doses of ZMAPP, the experimental Ebola treatment drug also given to Americans Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol.

Pooley was treated sufficiently early in his course that he avoided hemorrhage and the end-stage cardiac, liver, and renal failure that marks the disease.

Thomas Jefferson University Spends Millions on Naming Rights to Subway Station

Thomas Jefferson University spends (wastes?) millions on naming rights to the SEPTA Market East subway station two blocks from its campus.

In a move by the controversial and already unpopular new Jefferson President and CEO Dr. Stephen Klasko, the money is being spent to supposedly increase Jefferson’s name recognition. Many faculty and staff are privately grumbling that the money could have been better spent on research or clinical programs.

Ebola Strikes Second American Doctor

Ebola strikes second American doctor on Liberia is the report out of Monrovia. The physician was working in the same hospital as Dr. Kent Brantly but was not working in the Ebola ward. Rather, he was providing obstetrical care on supposedly uninfected patients.

The physician voluntarily isolated himself when he first experienced symptoms and is now in the Ebola ward that held Brantly and healthcare worker Nancy Writebol.

It is not clear at this time whether arrangements will be made to transport the physician, who was working for Samaritan’s Purse, back to the United States for treatment at Emory University Hospital. It is also unknown at this time whether doses of the experimental drug ZMAPP are available for care.

The physician has not been identified by name and is said to be in good spirits and feeling relatively well. Ebola can progress to cardiac, liver, and renal failure in the setting of widespread hemmorhage.

Nigerian Doctor Contracts Ebola

The Nigerian doctor who took care of a Nigerian doctor who got the disease from a international health official has been diagnosed with Ebola today.

Health officials are unanimous in their assessment that the crisis is deepening. The disease is marked by cardiac, liver, and renal failure in the setting of uncontrolled hemorrhage.

Ebola in Senegal

Ebola in Senegal is now being reported by health authorities there. This case occurred in a 21 year old student from Guinea and was discovered one week after Senegal closed its borders to the African nations most hard hit by the outbreak.

The patient was discovered when he presented to health officials for a checkup. He is now being kept in isolation at Fann Hospital.

Ebola presents with non-specific symptoms initially and can progress to hemorrhage and cardiac, liver, and renal failure.

Ebola in Southern Nigeria

Ebola in Southern Nigeria is being reported by health officials. In an ominous development, a patient with Ebola in Lagos purposefully evaded quarantine and left the capital to travel to the southern part of the country where he infected a local physician.

The physician’s wife is now showing signs of the disease also, which is marked by fevers, nausea, vomiting and in later stages heart, liver, and kidney failure.

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