Author Archives: CMAJ

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Ray Schachter is a lawyer in Vancouver. He is on the Executive Committee of the Global Sepsis Alliance and Canadian Sepsis Foundation

 

In March 1996, I was a healthy, fit 50-year-old man enjoying life with a young family.  A month later, I was in an induced coma fighting for my life against acute septic shock accompanied by severe adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-joint and -organ dysfunction which frequently accompanies sepsis.  My sepsis was brought on by Group A Streptococcus (Strep A) in my bloodstream which compromised almost all my joints.

My trajectory which led to acute sepsis is not unusual.  On Day 1, I had a very severe, but short-lived, bout of extremely high fever (40.5 degrees Celsius), followed by excruciating hip pain the following day.

By Day 3, the hip pain had become unbearable.  That evening, we called my family doctor’s on-call service and a doctor came to the house at midnight.  The physician felt my condition was osteoarthritis and prescribed anti-inflammatories.

On Day 4, my wife became so concerned that she called a doctor who was a family friend.  ...continue reading

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Dr. Santanu Chakraborty is Associate Professor in Radiology in The University of Ottawa and Radiology Quality Officer at The Ottawa Hospital.

Patient safety is taking its rightful place in the forefront of modern-day Canadian healthcare system that is committed to provide healthcare of the highest possible quality and value to its citizens. Medical care is not risk-free. Patients do experience complications, unintended outcomes and harm mostly related to risks inherent in healthcare but also at times due to negligence from the patient’s physicians, care team, hospital or the healthcare system as a whole. In most situations, these unfortunate situations provide opportunities for learning from mistakes and improve our healthcare system. Most if not all major accidents in medicine are preceded by a number of near misses and minor errors. ...continue reading

Photo of Kari Visscher

Kari Visscher is an artist.  She’s also a physician. And she’s turning a promising career as a radiologist into a work of art.

The fifth year radiology resident sees art and beauty everywhere - in the scans she reads, in every encounter with patients and colleagues, in day-to-day life of London’s hospitals and the world of health care. In fact, she chose radiology as a specialty because it was a fit with her aesthetics as an artist, her love of anatomy and an affinity for seeing patterns and solving complex medical problems.

Now Kari is raising awareness of the intricacies, scope and importance of her chosen profession through art. In a unique project, she is creating a series of 12 oil paintings on canvass depicting various aspects of radiology and the role of radiologists as part of the health care team.

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The new Canadian guideline presents evidence-based recommendations for prescribing of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, including maximum dose recommendations, avoiding opioids in high-risk populations, and guidance for tapering.

Jason Busse, Associate Professor in the Department of Anesthesia at McMaster University and researcher with the Michael G. DeGroote National Pain Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, co-authored the guideline (open access). In this podcast, he speaks with Dr. Diane Kelsall, interim editor-in-chief, CMAJ, and explains the recommendations.

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Interview with Dr. Andrea Boggild, clinical director in the Tropical Disease Unit at the Toronto General Hospital, and assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto.

In this podcast Dr. Boggild gives practical advice about preventing and diagnosing Zika virus in Canada. She also shares the findings of the research article she co-authored that analyzed data coming from Canadian Travel Medicine Network sites, or CanTravNet, in Canada.

Websites mentioned in the podcast:
Public Health Agency of Canada CATMAT recommendations: www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/catmat-…v/index-eng.php
Government of Canada travel information: travel.gc.ca

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Interview with Dr. Brett Thombs, professor in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University and senior investigator of the Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. He is also chair-elect of the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care and chair of the tobacco guideline working group.

In their clinical guideline published in the CMAJ (open access), Dr. Thombs and the Task Force reviewed the evidence supporting behavioural interventions for prevention and treatment of smoking in children and youth. He explains their findings in this podcast.

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Interview with Dr. Steve Morgan, professor of health policy at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health and Dr. Nav Persaud, physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Morgan, Dr. Persaud and their co-authors published a research article in CMAJ in which they estimated the likely savings from public coverage of a list of essential medicines across Canada. They explain their findings in this podcast.

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How do lifestyle factors influence breast cancer prognosis? In a review article published in the CMAJ, Dr. Ellen Warner and Ms. Julia Hamer identify which lifestyle changes can be recommended to patients as an adjunct to standard breast cancer treatments, to reduce their risk of distant recurrence and death.

Dr. Warner is a medical oncologist at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Ms. Hamer is a Master of Medical Science student and lecturer at the University of Toronto.

Full review article (open access): www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.160464

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Jay Rankin, news intern for CMAJ, reads the Humanities Encounters article "TB or not TB". The article is written by Adam Komorowski, a second-year medical student at the University of Limerick in Ireland. In the article, Mr. Komorowski describes the time he tested positive for tuberculosis. The story is true.

Full article (subscription required): www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.160828

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Interview with Dr. Nathalie Auger, principal scientist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CHUM) and associate clinical professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal and with Dr. Brian Potter, clinical investigator and interventional cardiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre, and assistant clinical professor with the department of medicine at the University of Montreal.

Dr. Auger, Dr. Potter and their co-authors investigated the association of quantity and duration of snowfall with hospital admission or death due to myocardial infarction.

Full research article (open access): www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.161064

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