Coronavirus Fail

As of yesterday (Friday) evening, a major American hospital in an affluent suburb has no face masks available for its medical personnel.

And no coronavirus test kits, naturally.

The information comes from a frontline medical employee of the highly trained, professional type. A person who treats patients. The suburb and hospital shall go unnamed. Someplace on the East Coast of America.

What is the condition of the U.S. medical system? How bad is the incompetence and dysfunction? We’re not talking about individual frontline employees. They are usually well-educated, conscientious, dedicated.

The incompetence and dysfunction is at a higher, systemic level. Higher than the individual hospital, for sure. Doctors, nurses, hospitals understand what is needed.

But at a higher, industry-wide, systemic level, the necessary planning, coordinating, and administration doesn’t get done. Stockpiles don’t exist or can’t be delivered. Funding isn’t available. Information and communication lag behind reality.

Top-level officials appear uninformed, even befuddled.

— John



Medical Research May Cause Heartburn

So now we learn that Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid, to name a few brand-name proton pump inhibitor drugs — used to treat acid reflux — might be related to chronic kidney disease and heart attacks.

The research on kidney disease (Johns Hopkins) and heart attacks (Stanford) was reported in The Washington Post on Jan. 12, 2016. The research does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship; only a statistical association, as I understand it. (Truth too tell, I don’t understand scientific and medical information at all. It makes me queasy. I think I need to lie down. But reclining makes it easier for the acid to reflux.)

I take omeprazole, the generic of Prilosec. Therefore, I resent the implications of this research. I mean, I take it personally. Does this suggest that we need to choose between kidney disease and/or heart attack, and acid reflux?

It’s worth noting that acid reflux, untreated, can result in damage to the esophagus. Just thinking about  this stuff gives me heartburn.

A possible alternative to omeprazole would be to give up pizza and chocolate. Or I could stop reading the newspaper and watching news on cable TV.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.

— John Hayden