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  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Itching—a Diabolical, Peculiar and Often Unsolvable Problem

    Relentless itching (pruritus) has been described as one of the most distressing of all physical sensations. While technically merely a symptom, itching affects a patient’s quality of life. In one rare and bizarre case, a patient with a severe itching problem on the scalp was reported to have engaged in prolonged and continuous scratching that penetrated all the way through the skull and into her brain. 1 The injury left the patient partially paralyzed. Many of us...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    A Case for Quality from an Industry Perspective

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently has asked whether it has been using the right methods to improve device quality. To answer that question, the agency has developed and embarked on a plan to reduce the number of recalls related to failed devices. The problem, according to FDA, lies in the fact that, in the past, there was more focus on compliance than on quality. Based on this account, it could be argued that FDA knows more about quality than industry or ...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Fecal Transplant—a Very Unusual Treatment Method

    Could anyone imagine a medical condition that would warrant administering a stool specimen from a donor? Such treatment would seemingly belie the "Above all, do no harm" axiom thought to be part of the Hippocratic oath. 1 It just so happens that such treatment first occurred more than 50 years ago, and continues today. In 1958, doctors in Denver, Colorado, administered donor feces by enema to patients with fulminant, life-threatening pseudomembranous enterocolitis, an ac...
  • Feature ArticlesFeature Articles

    Bed Bugs—Creatures of the Night!

    For those of us who travel frequently, there is a major hazard to consider: bed bugs! Once nearly eradicated, these blood suckers have made a rapid comeback in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. This spread may be a global pattern. Traveling to and staying in hotels overnight in New York City is especially problematic, as this city appears to be particularly affected. New York, however, is not unique. Bed bug infestations have been reported increasingly in homes, ap...