End of Year Top Health Stories of 2009

End of year lists: Top Health Stories of 2009 included the following:

1. Health Care Reform dominated the news with talk about "Death Panels" terrifying seniors who feared being bumped off early to make way for younger patients.  It was, of course, total nonsense.  The mere fact that anyone took it seriously is a sad commentary on the state of our nation.

2. In second place, H1N1 dominated the news.  Patients became frantic about getting vaccines for both the regular flu and H1N1.  The fact that children were at greatest risk for death from H1N1 did not deter older adults from pushing to the front of the line. 

3. Breast cancer recommendations took a leap into the bizarre as women under 50 were advised against mammograms, defying all previous guidelines.  Since my practice partner had her cancer caught at age 48 by a mammogram (link to story), we took particular offense at these recommendations.

4. A story that got a lot of local attention was the banning of smoking in bars. As a rabid anti-smoking fanatic, I still could not get much energy up for this one.  Good grief!  It's a BAR, not the YMCA!!!

5. Finally, a drug too many of us are familiar with, Coumadin, may have finally met its match.  Coumadin is life saving, but a nightmare of deadly side effects.  It is also labor intensive to monitor on the part of both doctors and patients.  A replacement that does not require monitoring may be on the way!


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