Daily Rounds: Patrick Before Congress; 'Medical Parole'; Pain Pills And Impotence; PTSD License Proposal

Patrick defends Bay State health care law before Congress - The Boston Globe Patrick seized the chance to staunchly defend the state’s own health care plan and sought to assuage fears about President Obama’s national overhaul, which was based on the Bay State’s program.
“We chose to try something, and we moved, and it worked,’’ he said, noting that the Massachusetts plan has accomplished many of the goals of the national law, including near-universal coverage. He added that officials continue to make adjustments to the law and work to rein in the costs. (

Medical parole: Hospitalized prisoners costing California taxpayers millions - Reporting from Vacaville, Calif. — A degenerative nerve disease has left 57-year-old California inmate Edward Ortiz semi-paralyzed in a private Bay Area hospital for the last year. The breathing tube in his throat tethers him to a ventilator at one end of the bed; steel bracelets shackle his ankles to safety rails at the other. Still, California taxpayers are shelling out roughly $800,000 a year to prevent his escape. The guards watching Ortiz one day last week said department policy requires one corrections officer at the foot of his bed around the clock and another guard at the door. A sergeant also has to be there, to supervise.
"Some of this is ridiculous, but you can't argue with policy," said Corrections Officer Allan Roper as he stared down at the unconscious Ortiz, a convicted child molester who requires medical attention beyond the prison system's capabilities. (Los Angeles Times)

New study links pain relievers to erectile dysfunction - Men who regularly take pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin may be at increased risk for erectile dysfunction, new research suggests.
Men who use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) three times a day for more than three months are at a 22% increased risk of erectile dysfunction, reports Steve Jacobsen, director of research for Kaiser Permanente Southern California, in this week's Journal of Urology."Regular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use is associated with erectile dysfunction beyond what would be expected due to age and other conditions," he says.More than 30 million people a day take these prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers. (

Vet pushes PTSD stamp on license - Veterans and active members of the armed forces diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder will be able to alert everyone to their troubles on their driver’s license if a newly proposed law passes muster on Beacon Hill. (Boston Herald)

Hospitals Cut Deadly Bloodstream Infections, But Challenges Remain : Shots - Health Blog : NPR In the past decade central line infections among ICU patients fell by more than half, from around 43,000 in 2001 to just 18,000 in 2009, according to estimates just published online in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The decline in infections, which can kill an many as one-quarter of people who get them, means from 3,000 to 6,000 lives were probably saved, the CDC says. (


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