Daily Rounds: Dangerous Snow; A Bullet In The Brain; The Obesity Ambulance; Resveratrol Doubts

The Research Report: Many Risks of Shoveling Snow - "U.S. hospitals treat on average about 11,500 injuries and medical emergencies a year related to shoveling snow, according to a study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine that analyzed data from 100 emergency departments from 1990 to 2006. The study, the first national survey of snow-shoveling injuries, said the activity places extraordinary demands on the cardiovascular system and can raise heart rates above recommended upper limits after only two minutes. Freezing temperatures also constrict peripheral blood vessels, further stressing the heart. Two-thirds of shoveling injuries occurred in men, and 15% of injuries were in children under 18 years old. More than half of injuries resulted from acute musculoskeletal exertion, 20% from slips and falls, and nearly 7% from cardiac problems, such as heart attack." (Wall Street Journal)

Hopeful Signs But Many Questions For Giffords' Medical Outlook : Shots - Health News Blog : NPR "Rhee said that the bullet entered the back of the head first and exited above Giffords' left eyebrow, a few millimeters above the center of the brow. That could indicate that the bullet missed the visual center in the back of the brain. But he also said that there’s still a degree of uncertainty as to exactly which brain structures were injured. Plastic reconstructive surgeons operated on the area above the eyebrow to relieve pressure from a broken bone that was affecting the eye socket."(

Boston revamps ambulance for obese patients - The Boston Globe "The ambulance retrofitting, which cost about $12,000, bears testament to the increase in morbidly obese patients and the wrenched backs and necks sustained by emergency medical technicians and paramedics straining to lift them. Most weeks, Boston rescue crews ferry two to four patients weighing at least 450 pounds.
“With a 300-pound patient, it’s not too bad, or even 400 pounds,’’ said Jose A. Archila, a Boston EMS captain. “But to be honest with you, with a 500-, 600-, 700-pound patient — it’s just too much for you.’’ (Boston Globe)

Doubt on Anti-Aging Molecule as Resveratrol Trial Is Halted - "The pharmaceutical company Sirtris announced last month that it had halted the last of its clinical trials of resveratrol, the minor ingredient of red wine that some researchers see as a drug that can extend life. The decision signifies an apparent divergence of views on the merits of resveratrol between the current head of the company, which was bought by GlaxoSmithKline in 2008 for $720 million, and its founders." (

This program aired on January 11, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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