Mumps – an American tale…

Vaccine Failure – Over 1000 Got Mumps in NY in Last Six Months screams the headline.  And it’s not even the Daily Mail!  It’s not new – February 8 – but as it’s linked to from a current article I see no reason why it shouldn’t be looked at closely. See *** at the end for the current article details and link.

Around 1,000 young Hasidic* Jews in New York state have contracted mumps since last summer, despite having been vaccinated, claims the article (and what the hell their religion has to do with anything I really have no idea).

(*The Jewish Chronicle refers to the people as Charedim, not Hasidim – and they should know, presumably. What the difference I really don’t know.)

“Vaccine failure” is Continue reading

MRSA and antibiotics – an opinion…

This is a revised (for clarity and to update it), version of a post of the same name from a couple of years ago. Parts of this post – for the third time today –  appear in others, in slightly different forms. I make no apology for this as people don’t always read other posts, or read them in sequence, so may have missed the information.


We are routinely told that one of the reasons for the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections like MRSA, in hospitals, is the over–prescribing of antibiotics. As someone whose life has depended on antibiotics (I have Stage 4 COPD), for as long as they’ve been available to the public (which is longer than most people realise – they date from about 1953, when Penicillin became widely available – prior to that, and afterwards too, as it was cheaper, the sulphonamide drug M&B kept me alive), I’m not convinced.

Whenever I’ve been admitted to hospital – or even when I’ve hung around outpatients for too long (time was when an OPD visit would tie up half a day, easily) – I’ve always Continue reading

The NHS – too many chiefs, not enough indians…

Tens of thousands of NHS workers would be sacked, hospital units closed and patients denied treatments under secret plans for £20 billion of health cuts. Says the Telegraph.

And that set me thinking – by how much are patients actually subsidising the NHS (in addition to taxation)? Because I doubt my situation is unique.

I have Stage 4 COPD. The recommended treatment for flare-ups is prompt antibiotic therapy at the first sign of purulence. In reality, that means Continue reading

GPs and prescribing…

According to the retards at the Daily Mail, family doctors are dishing out pills like sweets.

Ha! I wish they were, especially when it comes to antibiotics…

For years it’s been impossible to get antibiotics to treat my purulent COPD flare-ups without a sputum test (though taste and – for a subjective test – smell make it obvious enough). Yes, I know it’s gross – try living with it!

The inevitable delay – usually Continue reading

Computerised patient records – are they secure?

The answer to that question seems to be a resounding No!

Patient records are about to be computerised, as I’m sure you know, and as everyone else should be, I’m concerned about security. Not least because the assurances are, frankly, piss-poor.

Paper records, by the way, are Continue reading

Observer magazine – going down the pan?

Some months ago I wrote about how the Observer should change if it was  to survive its financial crisis and lo! – it came to pass almost exactly as I’d suggested. That’s OK, guys, no charge…

And then they buggered it. (A note for my colonial readers – that expression has nothing at all to do with gay sex…)

The Obs is a serviceable Sunday paper, but still with the problems of its type – too much actual paper – though much less so than previously. However, the magazine is a Continue reading

The best sleeping position for COPD…

From my search-engine slush pile “sleeping positions for COPD.”

Many years ago I was taught by a physiotherapist that the best sleeping position for any respiratory illness – I hadn’t graduated to COPD in those days – was the recovery position. Googling it is easier than having me describe it.

You’ll probably have to do as I did, and modify it a little to get comfortable, and you’ll have to work at it – it does require discipline – but it really does pay dividends.

There are two ways of further modifying it, Continue reading

BT is abusing the TPS system…

BT is ignoring not only the Telephone Preference Service listing of its customers, but also its own ex-directory system, to market its own products. This is totally unacceptable.

For months I have been plagued by phone calls, half a dozen times a day,  from two 0800 numbers. They are 08009533008 and 08004082362 (this one by far the worst offender). Googling them showed Continue reading

Motability and DLA…

A question from my search-engine slush pile – “Will I lose DLA if I get a Motability car?”.

Since having the higher rate of the DLA mobility component is a pre-requisite for getting a Motability car, then no.

If, however, what is actually meant is will having a Motability car prevent my losing DLA in the future, the answer Continue reading

A food fascist at war…

US commander in Afghanistan bans burger and pizza bars at Kandahar base Famously sober General Stanley McChrystal calls for an end to the junk food culture at top military base.

So says the headline in the Guardian.

Remarkably, there are branches of Burger King, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and TGI Friday’s, among others, at Kandahar airbase. Afghanistan, and by all accounts they’re remarkably popular**, which illustrates perfectly that this is what the troops want. So Continue reading