Is the stethoscope dying? High-tech rivals pose a threat

From the AP:

 Two centuries after its invention, the stethoscope — the very symbol of the medical profession — is facing an uncertain prognosis.

It is threatened by hand-held devices that are also pressed against the chest but rely on ultrasound technology, artificial intelligence and smartphone apps instead of doctors’ ears to help detect leaks, murmurs, abnormal rhythms and other problems in the heart, lungs and elsewhere. Some of these instruments can yield images of the beating heart or create electrocardiogram graphs.

Dr. Eric Topol, a world-renowned cardiologist, considers the stethoscope obsolete, nothing more than a pair of “rubber tubes.”

What if you call 911 and no one comes? Inside the collapse of America’s emergency medical services.

From NBC:

There is no hospital in Hebron. In fact, when someone calls 911, there isn’t even a law that requires anyone in Hebron to answer the phone. Like so many other low-income, rural communities across the country, the small town’s ambulance runs on altruism alone.

And those ambulance services are closing in record numbers, putting around 60 million Americans at risk of being stranded in a medical emergency. Because so many emergency medical services (EMS) agencies have been struggling financially, some states are stepping in with funding. But emergency medical experts say it’s not enough to cure the dire situation.

Insulin Therapy for Hyperkalemia Is a Common Iatrogenic Cause of Emergency Department Hypoglycemia Cases

From Renal & Urology News:

Insulin administration to treat hyperkalemia is the most frequent iatrogenic cause of hypoglycemia cases encountered in emergency departments, according to investigators.

Chaitanya Chittieneni, BS, of Hennepin County Medical Center and University of Minnesota School of Medicine in Minneapolis, and colleagues performed a chart review of 591 adult patients with a chief complaint or emergency department diagnosis of hypoglycemia, or an emergency department glucose value of 70 mg/dL or less. In 99 (17%) of the 591 patients, the cause of hypoglycemia was iatrogenic, the investigators reported in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine. In 61 (61%) of the 99 patients, insulin administration was the cause of hypoglycemia. In 38 patients (38%), the cause was unrecognized malnutrition.