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‘We’re Just Out of Shape and Weak’: What We Heard This Week

“We have more falls in the aged because of the hard reality that as a nation, as a civilization, we’re just out of shape and weak.” — Blogger, emergency physician, and self-proclaimed “gravitologist” Edwin Leap, MD, on why he’s seeing more patients with falls at the ED.

“The fundamental problem is that it’s an unstable molecule.” — David Light, CEO of the online pharmacy Valisure, discussing the heartburn drug ranitidine (Zantac), which is being shelved across the country over carcinogenic concerns.

“In many jurisdictions … police don’t drag the victim out because they say, ‘We’re the police. We don’t do patient care,’ and the paramedics say, ‘We’re not going to drag the victim out, because there’s some dude who’s shooting.’ So in reality, the victim just stays there and languishes.” — Babak Sarani, MD, of George Washington University, on some of the hurdles to getting timely medical care to mass shooting victims.

“These are patients who are much more on the edge of survival.” — Clifton Callaway, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, on findings that hypothermia improved neurologic outcomes for patients in a coma after cardiac arrest with nonshockable rhythm.

“If the message to patients is, ‘You need to quit now. Here are some nicotine patches. Good luck,’ that’s setting them up for failure.” — Paul M. Cinciripini, PhD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, discussing a comprehensive tobacco cessation program that achieved high and sustained quit rates in smokers with cancer.

“The fear of failure is a larger driver than the hope of success.” — David Muhlestein, PhD, JD, of the healthcare intelligence business Leavitt Partners, on how Medicare accountable care organizations, or ACOs, are learning to be successful.

“It is pretty much impossible for you to know what is in the e-cigarette or vaping product that you’re getting.” — CDC Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, MD, discussing the vaping-related lung illness that surged passed 1,000 cases and 18 deaths this week.

“Then the surprise came with survival … this was completely unexpected.” — Joyce O’Shaugnessy, MD, of Baylor-Sammons Cancer Center/Texas Oncology in Dallas, on a negative breast cancer trial presented at a European cancer meeting that delivered unexpectedly positive results.