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Archives for February, 2011

Word Fatigue

     There was a story in the Boston Globe last week about “alarm fatigue.” In hospitals across the country, alarms designed to alert staff to critical changes in patients’ vital signs are often not heeded, lost among the many beeps and blares that have become background noise in emergency rooms and ICUs everywhere. In the [...]

Take Two of Anything and Call me in the Morning

     We all know about the placebo effect. Patients often report improvement in their symptoms if they think they are taking an approved treatment for them, even if that treatment turns out be no more than a sugar pill. In typical studies comparing real drugs to placebo, patients are not told which kind of pill [...]