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Friday, January 19, 2007

Surgeon chops off patient's penis in fit of temper

Doctors' unions in Romania have criticised a decision to make a surgeon pay £100,000 in damages after he lost his temper and hacked off a patient's penis during surgery.

Surgeon Naum Ciomu, who had been suffering from stress at the time, had been operating on patient Nelu Radonescu, 36, to correct a testicular malformation when he suddenly lost his temper.

Grabbing a scalpel, he sliced off the penis in front of shocked nursing staff, and then placed it on the operating table where he chopped it into small pieces before storming out of the operating theatre at Bucharest hospital.

A Romanian court has now awarded Radonescu £20,000 costs – to pay for the operation to rebuild his ruined penis using tissue from his arm – as well as 100,000 pounds in damages.

The medical costs will be paid by the hospital's insurer, but doctors' unions have criticised the decision that the money for the damages has to be paid by the doctor.

They say the move sets a dangerous precedent and that Professor Ciomu, a urologist and lecturer in anatomy, has already been punished enough after having his medical licence suspended.

They said he had been under stress and had lost his temper after he accidentally cut the man's urinary channel and 'overreacted' to the situation. He told the court it was a temporary loss of judgement due to personal problems.

Vice-president of the Romanian Doctors Union, Vasile Astarastoae, said: 'Ciomu's case is a dangerous precedent for all Romanian doctors. In future doctors may have to think very carefully about what work they undertake.'

Because obviously, the last thing you want is a doctor thinking carefully about the work they're doing.

The director of the ophthalmology hospital in Bucharest, Dr Monica Pop, agreed saying that doctors would in future avoid any cases where they could end up in court having to pay damages.

She added: 'Doctors in Romanian earn too little to be able to pay amounts like this. As a result it will be entirely fair if they only accept cases where they cannot make mistakes. The only way this can be avoided is if the insurance companies cover all the risk.'

Er, pardon my ignorance but isn't there a huge difference between an accidental mistake and deliberately chopping off a man's penis in a fit of temper? The so-called surgeon should have been sent to jail for grevious wounding, in my opinion!

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wii Wee Death Radio DJ's sacked

A California radio station has dismissed 10 of its employees after a woman who had taken part in a water-drinking contest it held died.

The KDND 107.9 station in Sacramento sacked the hosts of its morning show and other members of staff.

The show had challenged listeners to drink as much water as they could to win a Nintendo Wii video game system.

Jennifer Strange

One participant - Jennifer Strange - later died as a result of drinking too much water, initial tests showed.

Ms Strange, 28, said she wanted to win the game - "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" game - for her children.

A work colleague said Ms Strange had complained her head was hurting hours after the contest and was going home.

She was found dead on Friday at her house in Rancho Cordova.

The Sacramento County coroner later said preliminary autopsy findings suggested she had died of water intoxication.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gonorrhoea link to cancer

Men who have had gonorrhoea are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer, a study has found.

Researchers analysed the histories of 286 bladder cancer cases and confirmed a link between the sexually transmitted infection and cancer.

In total, the Harvard School of Public Health team examined detailed health records on 51,529 US men.

Writing in the British Journal of Cancer, they said inflammation caused by gonorrhoea could be the key.

Dr Dominique Michaud, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and lead author on the paper, said: "Two studies have previously suggested a link between gonorrhoea and bladder cancer in men.

"But these were retrospective studies - meaning information on gonorrhoea history was gathered after the cancer was diagnosed.

"These studies can sometimes give misleading results."

This study was done prospectively - the cases chosen had full gonorrhoea histories available before the study started.

It is the first time such a prospective study has confirmed the link.

Dr Michaud said: "Gonorrhoea is an infection that often recurs, causing local inflammation and symptoms such as incomplete emptying of the bladder.

"The inflammation itself or the associated symptoms could be contributing to the development of bladder cancer."

Professor John Toy, medical director of Cancer Research UK said: "This study strengthens the suspected link between infection with the gonorrhoea bacterium and bladder cancer in men.

"The next step is to confirm whether the increased risk could be caused directly by the gonorrhoea infection or its symptoms.

"Further research is also needed to exclude the possibility that gonorrhoea is acting as a marker for the real cancer-causing agent, such as a separate infection.

STI (STD) Dangers in the UK
Although the number of new patients each year is falling, gonorrhoea is the second most commonly diagnosed bacterial sexually transmitted infection in the UK and the new study emphasises the importance of protecting against such infections.

Dr Gwenda Hughes, head of STI surveillance at Health Protection Agency said:
"According to our latest annual figures of all STIs (STDs), Gonorrhoea decreased by 13% (from 22,350 in 2004 to 19,495) in 2005.

"However, we should not be complacent and overall figures of STIs (STDs) are increasing.

"Quick diagnosis is essential, so anyone who thinks they may have put themselves at risk of contracting an STI (STD) or has developed symptoms should seek advice from their GP or go to a GUM clinic as soon as possible."

Saturday, January 06, 2007

French pork soup handouts illegal

A top French judge ruled that an extreme-right group cannot serve pork soup to the needy, saying the charitable handouts aim to discriminate against Muslims and Jews who don't eat pork because of their faith.

Judge Christian Vigouroux of the Council of State, the country's highest administrative body, said late Friday that such giveaways by the far-right group Solidarity of the French threaten public order.

His ruling approved a decision by Paris police to refuse permits to the group on the grounds that such handouts could spark angry reactions.

France is home to more than 5 million Muslims and some 600,000 Jews. Both Islam and Judaism prohibit eating pork, and Vigouroux said the group had shown "a clearly discriminatory goal" with its charity.

Solidarity of the French was just one of several far-fight groups that began distributing pork soup across France over the last four years.

Who would've thought free soup could be illegal?

Monday, January 01, 2007

It's official - Housework helps protect against breast cancer

A study of 200,000 European women has found that doing housework is more likely to protect you against breast cancer than job or leisure-based physical activity.

The study is published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

The abstract can be read here

How could any man not feel a bit smug about this research?

"I'm only being a lazy git because I love you and don't want you to get breast cancer"

I understand the topic isn't a funny one - breast cancer is a killer. I personally know several women who have had the disease - some, unfortunately, didn't make it despite the treatments.

But come on! I'm a guy and housework helps protect against disease!

Cancer Links
Institute of Cancer Research
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