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Michael Shaw
DC metro: Fairfax County, VA
Interests: Music, movies, human behavior, fitness (mental, physical, spiritual), true health care--not "disease care" which sadly is the current model
Recent Activity
This HND piece delves into that familiar "rotten egg smell" compound—hydrogen sulfide (H2S). We cover its toxic properties and regulatory status. It turns out that it's second only to carbon monoxide as the leading cause of fatal gas inhalation exposures... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece examines the big decline in medical private practice. In 1972, it was 72 percent. 2016's figure was 33 percent. But, for all the talk of "economies of scale," you may have noticed that your costs have only... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece examines electromagnetic fields. They're all around us, but are they also a health hazard? The conventional wisdom holds that unless heating is involved (as in microwaves), non-ionizing radiation is harmless. But maybe, that is not the case.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece gives an introduction to the very common, and sometimes dangerous problem of heart arrhythmias. It starts off with some essential anatomy, and then gets into the basics. From there, we describe a few widespread conditions, with caveats... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece examines the country's most UN-heralded drug problem. I'm talking about benzodiazepines--aka "benzos." This class of drugs is not only very addictive, but it is extremely difficult to wean yourself off them. Some patients go on tapers of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece begins by defining "branding," and then goes into some of the ways that physicians and hospitals can create a unique name and image for their enterprise. Fortunately, this is a bit easier to accomplish now, compared to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece examines a few practical ways that lives really can be saved. Accidental deaths are a good place to start, and this topic has been in the use quite a bit lately. After all, drug overdoses have now... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece discusses how science became distrusted by Americans, and what we can do to restore its lost luster. We look back to the short-lived "Golden Age" of science, peaking in the postwar years, with the structure of DNA... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece examines some of the good reasons behind healthcare reform. We site several rather disturbing statistics, and then get into the practice of defensive medicine. Given the current legal situation, most doctors must practice defensive medicine—even if it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece serves as a reminder that the matter of toxic and contaminated Chinese drywall never really went away. Rather, it fell out of the news cycle. The fact is, thousands of homeowners are still suffering the effects of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece looks at toxic gas detection, from a point of view somewhat different from this earlier posting. We cover basic definitions, and get into the regulatory landscape, with many key links. We follow that with the methods used,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece examines two contemporary issues: the legalization of hemp cultivation and physician-assisted suicide, as handled by officialdom. With hemp, we are looking at the US Senate and current Farm Bill, and with PAS, we are looking at the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece explores the long-running argument over how endoscopes should be processed before their next use. High-level disinfection is favored by the endoscopes users, since it is cheaper and faster, but more and more evidence is suggesting that they'd... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece dissects the American Medical Association's recent touting of its progress in fighting the opioid epidemic. Their big argument is that opioid prescriptions have been decreasing every year since 2013. But, is this unmitigated good news? Not if... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece provides an introduction to the matter of withdrawal—a subject that isn't discussed much within the near saturation level media focus on the subject of addiction. We discuss the symptoms that might occur in both drug and alcohol... Continue reading
Posted May 26, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece takes its title from a 1970s bumper sticker, and examines some real fads in the Green movement. We look at recycling, and discuss both famous columns on that subject by John Tierney. We link to the columns.... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece traces the history of toxic gas detection back to 1816 and the Miner's Safety Lamp. We cover other major developments, including detector tubes, but then discuss how progress started to derail in the 1960s. You see, that... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece traces the sad history of how physicians became merely "providers," and that was only the first step toward how they are becoming more devalued every day. The goal, of course, is to save costs by allowing so-called... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece first explains the concept of supply chain management (SCM), and then gets more specific as to its special functions in healthcare. We catalog some of the biggest current problems in SCM, and conclude with a look at... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece covers two unrelated, but quite important subjects. Fetal alcohol syndrome shows a much higher prevalence now, compared to 20-30 years ago. Symptoms seem to vary on a "spectrum," perhaps related to dosage (not that anyone could confirm... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece begins with a definition and brief scientific history of the discovery of radiation. It then moves into how radiation is used in healthcare--from X-rays to a variety of other diagnostic techniques. The final section discusses the measurement... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
Yet another garbage scare study on e-cigs is the trigger for this HND piece. This one comes from Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and looked for "scary" chemical diacetyl (butane-2,3-dione) in e-liquids. Lo and behold they found it,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece provides a good introduction to the topic, and provides a historical perspective. We mention the usual suspects, such as Marie Curie and Wilhelm Röntgen, and also detail the now forgotten story of Eben Byers. Eben who? Yes,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece examines the relatively new phenomenon of bringing classical quality control techniques--such as benchmarking--into the troubled world of healthcare. We go into the history of the concept, which was popularized by Xerox, and then discuss a specific case,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic
This HND piece focuses on two surprising new research findings--one in opioids and the other in type 2 diabetes. As it happens, opiods may not be any more effective against pain that non-opioid meds; and the constant hype on glycemic... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2018 at Shaw's Eco-Logic