AHEC Educator
Mar. 12, 2014

Nation's first mobile stroke unit unveiled in Houston
Houston Chronicle
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, in partnership with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, are unveiling the country’s first Mobile Stroke Unit Monday.

According to a news release the ambulance is equipped with a computed tomography scanner that allows a mobile stroke unit team member to quickly assess whether a patient is having a stroke caused by a blood clot and if so, the clot-buster tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can be administered. More

Treatment or jail: Patrick Kennedy wages fierce anti-pot crusade
NBC News
As a hard-partying teenager, Patrick Kennedy met President Reagan at a fundraiser for the JFK Library, a meeting captured in a photograph that the former Rhode Island congressman now hangs in his home office. He used to think of it as a funny episode, a collision of Camelot's cocaine kid and America's foremost opponent of illegal drug use. But Kennedy took his last hit of anything in 2009, and he’s since honed an anti-drug message that sounds a bit like Reagan with a Boston brogue.More

'Bizarre' cluster of severe birth defects haunts health experts
NBC News
A mysterious cluster of severe birth defects in rural Washington state is confounding health experts, who say they can find no cause, even as reports of new cases continue to climb. Federal and state officials won’t say how many women in a three-county area near Yakima, Wash., have had babies with anencephaly, a heart-breaking condition in which they’re born missing parts of the brain or skull. More

Insurers invoking all-product clauses to fill exchange plan networks
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
Some physicians are experiencing confusion and surprise by learning they are contracted to accept patients covered by insurance exchange plans despite the fact they rejected offers to participate in those plans. Plans are invoking what is known as an “all-product clause.” This is a provision many physicians may not be aware are present in their contracts, but essentially force physicians contracted in a particular payer plan to participate in all of the plans offered by that payer in the state, including those offered through the exchanges.More

X-rays overused in ICU: Ultrasound safer, just as effective
Medical Xpress
A new study shows that the use of ultrasound testing rather than x-rays or CT scans in the ICU reduces patient radiation exposure and lowers costs of care. The study was presented at CHEST 2013, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.More