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2018 archive

Aug. 29

Prescription opioids a factor in many overdose deaths, study shows
Research by Dr. Tara Gomes
The Toronto Star

One third of the people who died from opioid overdoses in Ontario in 2016 held active prescriptions for the powerful medications, according to a new study examining the role prescribed and illicit drugs had in thousands of deaths across the province.

Is it time to see a doc about your heavy period?
Interview with Dr. Yolanda Kirkham
Reader's Digest: Best Health

According to Heavy Period Talk, one in five women experience heavy blood loss, pain and exhaustion each month that disrupts daily life. But more than half of these women don’t realize that their heavy menstrual bleeding is actually a treatable medical condition called menorrhagia.

Diabetes medication increases cardiac energy in diabetes patients through glucose and fatty acid oxidation, study finds
Research by Dr. Subodh Verma
HealthCanal

A medication used to treat Type 2 diabetes was found to have a positive impact on cardiac energy amongst diabetes patients, according to a study completed by Dr. Subodh Verma, cardiac surgeon-scientist and director of the CardioLink platform at the Keenan Research Centre for Biomedical Science (KRCBS) of St. Michael’s Hospital, and his research team.

Aug. 28

Why the medical world needs a #MeToo movement
Interview with Dr. Sharon Straus
CTV News' Your Morning

"For too long, we've had a culture of silence in academic medicine. We've tolerated bad behaviour in bright people. They'd get a pass because they're good at their jobs," said our Dr. Sharon Straus.

Aug. 26

New medications for diabetes management have additional heart benefits, study finds
Research by Dr. Subodh Verma
Medical Xpress

A drug used to manage diabetes may reduce heart disease and death in people with diabetes regardless of their cholesterol levels and whether they are on a statin therapy, suggests a new analysis of the LEADER trial.

World's largest transfusion study in cardiac surgery changes transfusion practices
Research by Dr. David Mazer
Medical Xpress

Lower thresholds for blood transfusions for cardiac surgery patients compared to traditional thresholds provide positive patient outcomes and safety at six months after surgery, according to the world's largest research study on this topic.

Ross procedure may provide longer survival and better quality of life, study suggests
Research by Dr. Jan Friedrich
Medical Xpress

The Ross procedure, a valve replacement surgery that is largely unused in practice, may provide long-term benefits including longer survival, less clotting and bleeding complications and better quality of life than other valve replacement surgery, finds a study led by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital.

Aug. 26

Restrictive transfusion deemed safe in cardiac surgery patients
Research by Dr. David Mazer
MedPage Today

A restrictive strategy for transfusion was safe longer-term in moderate-to-high risk cardiac surgery patients, the TRICS III trial showed.

Aug. 23

Here’s a breakdown of what alcohol does to your body
Interview with Melissa Murray
Global News

Having a few social drinks every weekend may not seem like much, but experts say excessive drinking over time can do all kinds of damage to our bodies.

Aug. 21

'It doesn't heal as quickly as the bones': trauma survivors group offers peer support
Profile of the MyBEST Trauma Survivors’ Network
The Canadian Press

Wednesday marks one month since a gunman went on a shooting rampage on a bustling street in Toronto’s Greektown, leaving two dead and 13 injured. Yet for these survivors, the trauma related to that night of violence may go far beyond their physical injuries.

Aug. 20

#MeToo and medicine
Interview with Dr. Nancy Baxter
CBC Radio Metro Morning

It's time for medicine to acknowledge it has a Me Too problem. That's according to an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal published Monday morning. Dr/ Nancy Baxter is surgeon and a professor at the University of Toronto

Aug. 18

Experiences at first sexual encounter impact risk of HIV and violence for women in Kenya
Research by Dr. Sharmistha Mishra
Medical Xpress

Adolescent girls and young women in Mombasa, Kenya are more likely to experience higher risks of HIV and gender-based violence when they are involved with sex work venues or have sexual experiences at a young age, suggests a study co-led by St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Manitoba in Canada.

Aug. 11

New dads show signs of postpartum depression too, experts say
Interview with Dr. Andrew Howlett
CBC News' The National

Men can suffer from postpartum depression along with new mothers, according to the American Psychological Association. Psychologists are calling for screening of new dads the same way many women are screened — but experts say fathers will experience depression differently than mothers.

Aug. 7

Meet the doctor who’s changing our perception of problem gambling
Interview with Dr. Flora Matheson
Local Love

Dr. Flora Matheson uncovered a link between homelessness and gambling—and changed how one shelter helps its clients.

Beyoncé reveals she suffered from toxemia during her last pregnancy. What is it?
Interview with Dr. Deborah Robertson
Global News

In an as-told-to feature in Vogue’s September issue, Beyoncé reveals that she suffered serious complications while pregnant with her twins, Rumi and Sir, last year.

Aug. 4

PCs 'playing politics with people's lives' on injection sites, drug policy expert warns
Interview with Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi
CBC News

After question period on Thursday, Ontario's health minister was asked about the review her ministry is conducting into supervised injection sites. Elliott says she's heard concerns about supervised injection sites from people living in the areas where they operate, but she wants to look at the evidence on their effectiveness.

July 30

Toronto high school project published in academic journal
Interview with Annie Gravely and Dr. Jane Batt
CTV News Channel

While some researchers spend their entire careers searching for a way to conduct an experiment in space, a group of young Toronto students were able to do it with just a school project. Four students between Grade 8-12 proposed the idea of sending worms into orbit in an effort to learn more about gravity's effect on muscle deterioration.

Saving lives in wake of Danforth shooting attack
Interview with Dr. Najma Ahmed
Global News

After the Danforth shooting, many of the wounded were taken to St. Michael’s Hospital for life-saving surgery. It’s one of two adult trauma centres in Toronto. Farah Nasser speaks with Dr. Najma Ahmed, who operated on most of the victims that night.

July 29

Toronto students become published scientists after sending worms to space
Feature and video about the high schoolers' research, plus interview with Dr. Jane Batt
The Canadian Press, via the Globe and Mail

Some researchers spend years working to conduct an experiment in space, but for a group of young Toronto scientists, all it took was a school project.

July 27

The Surgeon vs. The Bullet: Meet the trauma doctor who performed life saving surgery on Danforth shooting victims
Interview with Dr. Bernard Lawless
The National Post

Dr. Bernard Lawless lives five minutes away from St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto. After a relatively uneventful Sunday in July as the on-call trauma surgeon in the critical care unit he had made the call, as he sometimes will, to duck home around 8:30 p.m. for a hot meal — he loves to cook — a hot shower, some television and to be, well, “civilized” for a spell, before heading back to work at one of the busiest hospitals in the country.

Lowering default pill count in EMR could curb opioid prescribing
Interview with Dr. Nancy Baxter
Reuters, via M.D./alert

Lowering the default number of pills in a healthcare system's electronic medical record (EMR) may reduce opioid prescribing, researchers say.

July 26

St. Mike’s trauma surgeon relives night of the Danforth shooting
Interview with Dr. Najma Ahmed
The Toronto Star

Dr. Najma Ahmed was starting to get ready for bed on Sunday, when she got an urgent text from a fellow trauma surgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital. It wasn’t until she was on Shuter St., with the hospital in her sights, that she realized “something terrible had happened.” Ahmed was not nervous. "This is what I do."

Doctor who operated on Toronto shooting victims says it ‘changes your life’
Interview with Dr. Najma Ahmed
CBC News' The National

Dr. Najma Ahmed, who operated on and helped save the lives of several victims of the Sunday night shooting in Toronto, says a night like that 'changes your life, and you're never the same.'
Also from CBC News: While Toronto mass shooter was ending lives, this doctor was saving them

July 25

Engaging patients in health care redesign improves outcomes
Research by Dr. Yvonne Bombard
Medical Xpress

Engaging patients in the redesign of health care services can lead to reduced hospital admissions and more efficient and effective health care, a study led by a St. Michael's Hospital researcher suggests.

July 23

All five Danforth shooting victims being treat at St. Michael’s Hospital remain in serious condition
Dr. Najma Ahmed provides a statement
Global News

Dr. Najma Ahmed, a spokesperson for St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, confirmed Monday morning that all five victims of the Danforth mass shooting being treated in their hospital remain in serious condition. Full story

July 20

Hospitals share media imaging data with aim to cut radiation doses
Interview with Kate MacGregor (page 14)
Canadian Healthcare Technology

Patients might expect radiation doses for medical imaging scans to be comparable from one hospital to the next, but a team at St. Michael’s Hospital said the dose variance can be startling. In some cases, the machine itself may be emitting higher than needed doses of radiation and in other cases it may be that too many tests were being ordered or the length of the scan too long.

Enhanced partnership brings dementia care closer to Scarborough homes
Interview with Elizabeth Davison
Toronto.com

People living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias can now access more support in Scarborough with an enhanced partnership that is bringing essential services closer to home. Providence Healthcare and the Alzheimer Society of Toronto (AST) have partnered to create an AST satellite clinic at Providence, helping to link people seeking support with a team of experts in one place.

July 17

5 reasons why you keep missing your period (other than pregnancy)
Interview with Dr. Yolanda Kirkham
Global News

Regardless of age, women can experience irregular or missed periods, but what’s normal? Dr. Yolanda Kirkham, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Women’s College Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto, tells Global News the average cycle can last anywhere between 25 to 40 days, and if you miss your period for three or more months, it’s time to talk to your doctor.

July 13

Deaths due to cardiovascular disease up in rural areas: Study
Research by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Hindustan Times

While cardiovascular disease is the cause of over a quarter of Indian deaths each year, in a counter-intuitive trend, the mortality rates for rural populations due to this condition have surpassed those in urban areas, according to a new study.

Health Canada told to share data
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud (segment starts at 12:10)
CBC Radio's As It Happens

A federal court judge denies Health Canada's effort to force a researcher to keep data from a drug trial secret — and I'll speak with a doctor who hopes that sets a precedent for him.
Also, see the CBC News story

Minimally invasive procedure and medication benefits patients with stable coronary artery disease
Research by Dr. Peter Juni
Hospital News

A non-surgical procedure, called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), along with prescribed medication, is better than medication alone as initial treatment for people who have the most common form of heart disease, suggests an analysis of an international clinical trial co-led by St. Michael’s Hospital.

July 11

Garron family donates $10-million to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto
The Globe and Mail
A $10-million donation to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto’s west end is set to expand one of the busiest MRI centres in the city.

July 9

Gun violence putting stress on emergency rooms
Interview with Dr. Glen Bandiera
CityNews

Emergency rooms in Toronto are having their resources strained by the recent spate of shootings.

Toronto shootings take toll on hospital staff, emergency room doctor says
Interview with Dr. James Maskalyk
CBC Radio's Metro Morning

Trying to save the lives of people shot in Toronto takes an emotional toll on hospital doctors and nurses, said Dr. James Maskalyk, an emergency room physician at St. Michael's Hospital.

Doctors’ Notes: Antidepressants could be affecting your COPD
Column by Dr. Nick Vozoris
The Toronto Star

COPD affects more than 10 per cent of people over the age of 40 around the world. About 70 per cent of this population also experiences low mood and anxiety. If you’ve got this lung condition and you’re on an antidepressant, it’s worth paying extra attention to your pulmonary symptoms.

July 7

What happens to your body when heat waves kill
Interview with Dr. Steven Rhee
CBC News

As the temperature, with humidity, felt like more than 40 C in southern Quebec this week, health officials reported that many of the more than 50 heat-related deaths were people over 65, or had health problems, or both. Age and chronic health issues are both frequently cited risk factors during heat waves, but why?

July 6

How Toronto’s trauma teams are coping with tide of gun violence
Interview with Dr. Glen Bandiera
The Globe and Mail

As one of two adult trauma-specialty hospitals in Toronto, and the one located in the city’s core, shootings are a familiar call at St. Michael’s – even more so as the city’s gun-violence rates have spiked in recent months.

A giant in chest medicine
Profile of Dr. Art Slutsky
Chest Journal

Like many physicians, Arthur Slutsky had no childhood ambition to become a doctor. In fact, in high school he specifically exluded a career in medicine because it seemed to involve memorizing endless relationships of anatomical structures with Latin names! Instead, he opted for engineering, where he felt his love of mathematics and problem-solving would find better expression.

The Portfolio Diet lowers cholesterol, inflammation and heart disease
Interviews with Drs. John Sievenpiper and David Jenkins
Health Canal

We’ve all heard that a plant-based diet is good for us, but the theory that it can demonstrably lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease has been given new validation through an initiative developed by St. Michael’s staff physicians.

Don’t forget ear plugs though, says doctor at St. Mike’s hospital
Interview with Dr. Jennifer Anderson
The Toronto Star's Wheels.ca

Dr. Jennifer Anderson, chief of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at St. Michael’s Hospital in downtown Toronto, is a racing fan and participates herself but has some concern about the potential for hearing loss at noisy events like auto races.

July 5

The stages of diabetes care
Patient features, and interviews with Dana Whitham, Sofia da Silva, Brenda Pozzebon and Jennifer Spencer
Hospital News

St. Michael’s Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology follows individuals whose diabetes management requires insulin, multiple medications, or whose diabetes itself is complicated and requires more specialized, comprehensive and multidisciplinary care.

July 3

People 'dying unnecessarily' because of racial bias in Canada's health-care system, researcher says
Interview with Dr. Janet Smylie
CBC News

While some people have raised concerns about anti-Indigenous racism in the Northwest Territories' health-care system, an expert says it's not just an issue in the territory. Dr. Janet Smylie said it's one of the biggest health inequities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people across Canada.

June 30

Time's up for sexual harassment in medicine, says Lancet editorial
Interview with Dr. Sharon Straus
CBC News

A career in medicine can be gruelling, and harassment is making the job even tougher for women, says an editorial in The Lancet. Long hours and heavy workloads make the job physically and emotionally demanding, the medical journal says, as it highlights a damning 300-page report on sexual harassment of women in academia.

June 28

The eyes: windows to our health
Interviews with Dr. Yeni Yucel and Neeru Gupta
University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine

It’s said that the eyes are windows to the soul. But to Professors Yeni Yucel and Neeru Gupta and their research team, the eyes are windows to our health.

June 27

Volunteers improving care for patients
Interviews with Jennifer Barretto and Zak Nakhuda
Hospital News

When you look inside volunteering in healthcare you will find many reasons why people give back – a personal connection to a hospital where they or a loved one received care, a life milestone reached with retirement but a strong connection to the place where they spent years of their career working, or it’s a career of interest and an opportunity for hands-on experience and a new start.

June 26

Antidepressants can kill patients with lung disease
Research by Dr. Nicholas Vozoris
Big News Network

According to a study conducted by the St. Michael's Hospital, usage of antidepressant in people with the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) results in 20 percent increase in the likelihood of death while it may also cause a 15 percent increase in the likelihood of hospitalization due to related symptoms.

New insights into the long-term toll of opioids
Interview with Dr. Tara Gomes
Psychology Today

The United States has been in the throes of an opioid epidemic for years. Based on long-term trends in mortality and mental health over the past two decades, new research highlights just how devastating the crisis has been. But monitoring and understanding these trends could help policymakers implement effective prevention and treatment programs.

June 21

Study suggests prenatal sex selection for boys remains a trend among some Canadians of South Asian ancestry
Research by Dr. Susitha Wanigaratne
The Globe and Mail

The odds of having a boy in Canada are nearly 50-50, except in certain communities where males are especially prized, research has shown. Now a new study suggests the use of prenatal sex selection is being passed to the next generation – the Canadian-born children of South Asian immigrants.

June 19

Better continuity of primary care could lower emergency department visits for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Interviews with Drs. Anna Durbin and Bill Sullivan
Science Daily

One in three adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) visit the emergency department annually but effective primary care could reduce these numbers, suggests a new study led by St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES).

June 13

How one doctor is fighting poverty to make people healthier
Interview with Dr. Gary Bloch
Local Love

Dr. Bloch credits his mother, Dr. Susan Comay, with inspiring his mission to make health care about more than addressing physical symptoms. “I didn’t set out to follow in her footsteps, but I did see her go through decades of enjoying her work and feeling like she was doing good in the world,” Dr. Bloch says. “I developed a picture of the world and my own skills and interests, and I wanted to do something hands-on that could match with that.”

June 11

Better outcomes for patients using single-pill combination for blood pressure
Research by Dr. Amol Verma
Medical Xpress

People who are prescribed a combination pill to manage their high blood pressure are more likely to take their medicine as instructed and have better health outcomes than those who take the same medications prescribed as separate pills, according to a new study published today.

Coronary angioplasty now closer to home
Interview with Dr. Christopher Buller
Soo Today

Over the last year, Sault Area Hospital has been working collaboratively with St. Michael’s Hospital who has been providing cardiac services, educational opportunities and support for SAH’s staff and physicians.

June 9

'Left behind': The struggle people can face after a loved one dies by suicide
Interview with Dr. Sakina Rizvi
CBC News

It's been almost 30 years since Corinne McDermott's mother took her own life, but she still carries a copy of the suicide note inside her Kate Spade wallet. When she learned on Tuesday that Kate Spade herself had died by suicide, McDermott said she felt like she'd been taken right back to the moment she learned her mother was dead. In a move she says is uncharacteristic of herself, she found herself sharing her feelings in a Facebook post.

June 7

Opioid epidemic is deadlier than the Vietnam War in ’68, study says
Research by Dr. Tara Gomes
The Washington Post

Slightly less than 1 percent of all Americans who died in 1968 lost their lives while serving in the Vietnam War. Yet even the toll of that conflict’s bloodiest year was less significant than that being caused by the opioid epidemic. According to new research, 1.5 percent of all American deaths in 2016 were attributable to opioids.

Scarborough's Providence Healthcare is helping seniors thrive at home
Toronto.com
Toronto.com

Providence Healthcare plays a vital role in the Scarborough community by empowering people to age in good health and with confidence. One of the most flexible ways we can help seniors stay in their own homes is through our Assess and Restore outpatient services.

June 5

St. Joe's hospital to open palliative care centre following $11M gift
Donation by Hans Koehle, with comments from Dr. Graham Berlyne and Maria Dyck
Toronto.com

Hans Koehle’s first introduction to St. Joseph’s came after an accident in the waters of the Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club some 60 years ago. Nearly 60 years later, Koehle is repaying his “debt” with a multi-million dollar donation to pay for a new palliative care centre for the hospital.

June 1

One in every five young adults' deaths in the US is an opioid overdose, study suggests
Research by Dr. Tara Gomes
Daily Mail (England)

Opioids are involved in one in every five deaths of young adults in the US, a new study reveals. In 2016, about 64,000 people died from opioid overdoses, making it the leading cause of death in those under 50.

‘Be An Angel’ project offers a little taste of humanity for most vulnerable patients
Interviews with Dr. Stephen Hwang and Emily Carreiro
The Catholic Register

Socks, toothpaste, tampons, tissues and a handwritten note from a teenager aren’t likely to rewrite a life story that includes sleeping in shelters, seeking comfort in opioids and waking up in the emergency room at St. Michael’s Hospital. But they still matter. They matter to the homeless patients who receive the items, and to the hospital they rely on.

May 29

More Ontario newborns showing signs of opioid addiction
Interview with Dr. Brian Chisamore
CityNews

There’s a new crisis hitting Ontario’s hospitals, and it’s affecting the youngest of patients. Ontario’s opioid epidemic has produced more newborns with addictions and who need care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) — and that is putting stress on hospital resources.

May 28

Vitamins won’t prevent a heart attack or make you live longer: study
Research by Dr. David Jenkins
Global News

A new study found that multivitamins showed no health benefits while folic acid and B-vitamins may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

On top of other challenges, homeless have higher heart disease risk
Research by Dr. Stephen Hwang
HealthDay

Among homeless individuals cardiovascular disease remains one of the major causes of death due to challenges in predicting initial risk, limited access to health care and difficulties in long-term management, according to a review published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

May 27

New hip-replacement technique at St. Michael’s Hospital allows for speedier recovery
Patient feature, with comments from Dr. Amir Khoshbin and Ellen Newbold
The Toronto Star

Unlike more traditional hip replacements, with incisions to reach the joint through either a patient’s side or back, Dr. Amir Khoshbin is performing the operation through the front and using a special surgical table to aid that approach. The benefit is that patients begin recovering more quickly and are able to go home the same day as the surgery, instead of needing to be admitted for at least a day or two, as is usually the case.

May 26

How music helps rehab patients learn how to move again
Features research by Drs. Corinne Fischer and Tom Schweizer
CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Art

Research on patients who've suffered some injury to the brain that affects movement — like stroke or Parkinson's disease — have suggested that using music with the right tempo "can improve their walking ability."

May 23

Toronto doctor resigns from committee, accuses pharmaceutical company of deliberately creating shortage of drug
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud
The Globe and Mail

A prominent Toronto doctor has resigned from the Ontario committee that evaluates requests for public funding of prescription medications over what he alleges is a pharmaceutical company’s attempt to effectively double the price of a drug taken by people with schizophrenia.

May 22

Governor General’s Innovation Awards: How six Canadian breakthroughs are making a difference worldwide
Interview with Dr. Kamran Khan
The Globe and Mail

Established in 2016, the Governor General’s Innovation Awards aim to inspire Canadians to embrace innovation and emulate entrepreneurial risk-takers whose creations have a meaningful impact on our quality of life.

What are your odds of getting pregnant each month?
Interview with Dr. Yolanda Kirkham
Today's Parent

Get the real numbers on how likely you are to get pregnant at each month, at every age, and how to increase those odds.

Procedure plus medication is better than standard treatment for heart disease patients
Research by Dr. Peter Juni
Medical Xpress

A non-surgical procedure, called percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), along with prescribed medication, is better than medication alone as initial treatment for people who have the most common form of heart disease, suggests an analysis of an international clinical trial co-led by St. Michael's Hospital.

May 18

'13 Reasons Why' prompts mental health conversation with 2nd season release
Interview with Drs. Tom Ungar and Jose Silveira
CityNews

It’s a popular show amongst teenagers that covers some heavy topics, everything from suicide to sexual assault. The second season of “13 Reasons Why” launched on Netflix on Friday, bringing mental health back into the spotlight.

Toronto asks Ottawa, province for help with influx of refugees
Interview with Dr. Anna Banerji
CityNews

The mayor of Toronto says the city will need to open an emergency reception centre over the next seven days to deal with an influx of refugees.

May 16

Nearly a quarter of Ontario opioid prescriptions exceeded guidelines: study
Research by Dr. Tara Gomes
The Globe and Mail

Nearly a quarter of first-time opioid prescriptions in Ontario from April 2015 to March 2016 exceeded recommended dose limits introduced in 2017. Researchers say 23.9 per cent of initial opioid prescriptions in Ontario during that time had a daily dose of more than 50 milligram morphine equivalents.
Also: Hear an interview with Dr. Gomes on CBC Radio's Metro Morning

The importance of the genetic non-discrimination act
Interview with Dr. Yvonne Bombard
Radio Canada International

In 2017 Canada passed the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, to protect people from being discriminated against over revelations of their genetic information from lab testing and any possible anomalies or mutations.

May 14

Door will open to genetic discrimination if act protecting Canadians is overturned, genomics expert says
Research by Dr. Yvonne Bombard
CBC News

If Canada's Genetic Non-Discrimination Act (GNA) is overturned by a challenge from the Province of Quebec, it will open the doors to genetic discrimination, argue authors in a commentary in CMAJ.

May 10

How to be a medtech entrepreneur before leaving your teens
Interviews with Dr. Linda Maxwell and André Bertram
The Financial Post

André Bertram doesn’t think about barriers to innovation. That’s because he was just 17 when he co-founded HelpWear with his classmate Frank Nguyen. Since then, their wearable heart-monitoring idea has been gaining attention from clinicians, hospitals and all six members of the Dragons’ Den.

May 2

Heavy marijuana use can lead to often-misdiagnosed syndrome: experts
Interview with Dr. Glen Bandiera
CityNews

As the Canadian government prepares to legalize pot this summer, concerns are growing about a condition that often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed — cannabanoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS).

World's largest cities at risk of yellow fever outbreak
Research by Dr. Kamran Khan and Shannon Brent
The Telegraph (London)

Millions of people in major world cities are at risk of a potential yellow fever outbreak despite living hundreds – and in many cases thousands – of miles from areas where the disease is present.

May 1

Mosquito season could get longer and more hazardous to your health — especially in Miami
Interview with Dr. Kamran Khan
Miami Herald

Researchers believe the climate shifts will also raise the risks that other mosquito-borne diseases considered largely eliminated as public health threats in the mainland United States could return. Yellow fever tops that list.

April 29

Homeless shelter in Toronto tackles gambling addiction with a first-of-its kind treatment program
Interview with Dr. Flora Matheson
The Toronto Star

When Jason Smith arrived at Good Shepherd Ministries, a homeless shelter in Toronto, one of the first questions staff asked was if he needed help with a gambling addiction.

April 27

Researchers map the potential spread of yellow fever virus to cities around the world
Research by Dr. Kamran Khan
Medical Xpress

The deadly yellow fever virus has the potential to spread into cities around the world where it previously hasn't been seen, according to a new study led by St. Michael's Hospital.

April 26

Opioid-related deaths in Ontario have tripled over last 15 years, study finds
Research by Dr. Tara Gomes
CTV News

The rate of opioid-related deaths in Ontario has tripled over the last fifteen years with the drugs now blamed for one out of every six deaths of residents between the ages of 25 and 34, according to a new study by researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

What organ donation means to an ICU doctor at St. Joseph's Health Centre
Interview with Dr. Rob Cirone
Toronto.com

As an attending physician in the intensive care unit at St. Joe’s, I have provided end of life care for many patients. As we reflect this month on the significance of organ and tissue donation, I think about one patient whose story has stayed with me and epitomizes what organ donation means to me.

April 25

What do patients want?
Interview with Dr. Andreas Laupacis
Sudbury Star

What is critical to patients is often not even on the minds of health-care professionals and researchers, said Dr. Andreas Laupacis of St. Michael's Hospital.

April 24

‘Do you know if this is real?’: After countless drills, Sunnybrook Hospital was about to respond to one of the nation’s deadliest attacks
The Globe and Mail
Code Orange. Code Orange. When the overhead speaker at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre blared the code that means mass casualties are on the way, surgeon-in-chief Avery Nathens had to pick up the phone to make sure it wasn’t another drill.

April 23

Obtaining funding an age-old problem for young researchers with novel ideas
Interview with Dr. Warren Lee
CMAJ

With the infusion of billions into scientific research in the 2018 budget, the government is promising to support young researchers. But young scientists with novel ideas will likely still face challenges. It’s an age-old problem, as the University of Toronto’s Dr. Warren Lee can attest.

April 22

Doctors call on Ottawa to launch criminal investigation into opioid marketing in Canada
Research by Dr. Nav Persaud
CBC News

A group of Canadian doctors and opioid researchers sent a letter to the Attorney General of Canada and to Health Canada demanding a criminal investigation into the marketing of opioids to Canadian doctors.

April 16

St. Mike's improves accuracy of AI by teaching it with simulated images (Page 10)
Interviews with Dr. Joe Barfett and Hojjat Salehinejad
Canadian Healthcare Technology

A novel approach to obtaining big data has allowed the Machine Intelligence in Medicine Lab of St. Michael’s Hospital to improve the ability of artificial intelligence to interpret medical images.

April 14

Experts agree naloxone is central to fighting Canada’s opioid crisis — but they also say it’s not a ‘wonder drug’
Interview with Dr. Tara Gomes
The Toronto Star

The kit is not a cure, or foolproof, but experts agree that as it is pushed out to the public, it remains central to combating Canada’s opioid crisis.

April 12

B.C. mom who lost son to overdose backs MP’s call for criminal probe of opioid manufacturers
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud
The Toronto Star

A federal investigation could lead to a government lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, sending a message to drug companies and the public, Helen Jennens said, whose son fatally overdosed.

April 11

Price of cigarettes should increase by 50% to help the poorest in society, new findings show
Research by Dr. Prabhat Jha
The Sun (London)

Slapping an extra 50 per cent on to the price could lead to "unprecedented health gains and poverty reduction". And it's people on low incomes who have the most to gain - not just in terms of their health but their wallet too, new research shows.

Traumatic brain injuries increase your risk of dementia later in life: study
Interview with Dr. Tom Schweizer
Global News

A person who experiences traumatic brain injuries is more likely to develop dementia – even decades later, according to a new study.

April 9

Gender gap in academic medicine has negative impact, but there are simple solutions
Research by Drs. Sharon Straus and Reena Pattani
Medical Xpress

Existing gender gaps in academic medicine may have a negative impact on workplace culture and organizational effectiveness, but there are simple, systems-based solutions, suggests a new study.

The science of antidepressants
Interview with Dr. Sidney Kennedy
TVO's The Agenda

Canada has some of the highest rates of antidepressant use in the world. These drugs are ubiquitous, and are prescribed to adults as well as children. But how much do we know about how they work, and how effective they are? The Agenda discusses the science behind antidepressants.

April 5

Wellness Certificate Program helps hospital staff commit to self care
Interview with Shivalee Paliwal
HealthScape

A new, one-year certificate program at St. Michael's Hospital offers clinical and administrative staff a different kind of professional development: how to support one's own wellness.

April 4

Expanding influence of engineers in health-care infrastructure
Interview with Mike Keen
Engineering Dimensions

Previous Enginering Dimensions treatments of the links between engineering and health care have focused primarily on such areas as digitalized medical records, biomedical engineering advances, fine-tuning and precision enhancements of surgical devices, and the process system applications to patient scheduling and wait-time decisions. Each of these themes in their own way emphasize the vital interplay between engineering and medicine and the importance of technology in helping medical practitioners better respond to patients' needs.

April 2

Study suggests pasta can be part of a healthy diet without packing on the pounds
Research by Dr. John Sievenpiper
Medical Xpress

Carbohydrates get a lot of bad press and blame for the obesity epidemic, but a new study suggests that this negative attention may not be deserved for pasta. Unlike most 'refined' carbohydrates, which are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, pasta has a low glycemic index, meaning it causes smaller increases in blood sugar levels than those caused by eating foods with a high glycemic index.

March 26

Study: More people rely on government catastrophic drug plans
Research by Dr. Mina Tadrous
Medical Xpress

Government spending for the catastrophic drug program in Ontario rose 700 per cent between 2000 and 2016, during which there was a three-fold increase in the use of this plan, a new study has found.

March 19

Despite access to healthcare and medications, people with HIV in Ontario still dying at higher rates than general population
Research by Dr. Sean Rourke
Longwoods

People who are living with HIV in Ontario have access to good health care and medications, yet they are still dying younger and at substantially higher rates than the rest of the population, according to a new study published today.

March 16

Prescription drugs: The Costco kickbacks
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud (segment starts at 28:30)
CBC's The Fifth Estate

Family physician Dr. Nav Persaud discusses his CLEAN Meds program, which aims to have free pharmacare for everyone in Canada. He said some of his patients opt to skip their prescriptions because they cannot afford to fill them.

March 13

High blood pressure is a ‘silent killer’ — but many still don’t know the risks
Interview with Dr. Peter Mitoff
Global News

We all know what high blood pressure is, but some experts say most still don’t know exactly what the risks of this “silent killer” looks like, said Dr. Peter Mitoff, a cardiologist at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto.

March 11

Rowan's Law and concussion safety
Interview with Dr. Michael Cusimano (segment begins at 38:33)
Zoomer Radio

Dr. Michael Cusimano said the enactment of the new Rowan's Law -- Bill 193 -- is an important step toward changing the culture of aggression in sports and protecting youths from concussions. However, he said the law might have the unintended consequence of causing even more underreporting of concussions.

March 8

Study finds biomarker that predicts who responds best to common diabetic complication
Research by Dr. Rajeev Muni
Medical Xpress

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have found a biomarker from fluid in the eye that predicts which patients will respond best to current treatments for diabetic macular edema, one of the most common complications of diabetes.

March 7

Waterloo woman celebrates motherhood after kidney transplant
Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Zaltzman
CityNews

A Waterloo woman has three special reasons to celebrate World Kidney Day and International Women’s Day Thursday after giving birth to three healthy children despite being diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease.

March 2

St. Michael’s Hospital cardiology team reports a world first
Details of procedure by Dr. Neil Fam
Medical Xpress

Interventional cardiologist Dr. Neil Fam of St. Michael’s Hospital has performed a world-first procedure, which he described in the Feb, 26 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Feb. 28

Report says Indigenous people in Toronto are far more likely to be homeless, unemployed and hungry
Research by Dr. Janet Smylie
Front page of the Toronto Star

According to a new study, an estimated 57 per cent of Indigenous residents have a high school diploma, 63 per cent are unemployed and 87 per cent can be categorized as low-income.

Feb. 26

Recommendations aim to help doctors provide in-flight medical aid
Research by Dr. Alun Ackery
The Toronto Star, via The Canadian Press

“Is there a doctor on board?” Not all doctors are trained in responding to emergencies on airplanes, and some are nervous about doing so.

Feb. 23

Frail elderly face increased risk of delirium after surgery
Research by Dr. Jennifer Watt
Reuters

Older adults who have elective surgery are more likely to experience delirium afterwards when they’re frail, a research review suggests.

Feb. 19

Study looks at how newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels
Research by Drs. Philip Marsden and Jeffrey Man
Medical Xpress

A new study published today found that a newly discovered gene helps grow blood vessels when it senses inadequate blood flow to tissues. The findings are important because they could help scientists better understand cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and strokes, which result from inadequate blood flow.

Feb. 16

Would you give away your genetic data for science?
Interview with Dr. Michael Szego (segment starts at 9:11)
CBC Radio's Spark

Companies now make it possible to sell your genetic information anonymously. But is that in the public interest?

Coming to a long-term care facility near you, Toronto’s Fabulous Invictones
Performance at Providence Healthcare
The Toronto Star

The men’s chorus has been performing in retirement homes, long-term care facilities, hotels and hospitals across the city for 60 years as of 2018.

Feb. 14

Doctors use infamous 'Game of Thrones' murder to explore treatments for poisoning
Report by Will Wu and Drs. Emily Austin and Steve Lin
The National Post, via The Canadian Press

“Game of Thrones” fans may have shed few tears over the poisoning death of King Joffrey I Baratheon, a nasty character if ever there was one. But could real-world medicine have saved the young monarch?

Feb. 1

'You need heart and you need compassion': Surgical patients teach medical students bedside manner
Interview with Dr. Jory Simpson
CBC News

Three years after getting a diagnosis of Stage 3 breast cancer, Jennifer Schultz is getting her life back on track. She's been told she's cancer free. Now, she's sharing her patient experiences with future surgeons as part of a pilot program at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto that gets patients recounting the best and worst about their doctors and treatment.

Planning makes perfect in stairwell demolition project
Interviews with Michael Keen and Catherine Hogan
The Hospital News (on page 5)

More than one year ago, planning started for the demolition of the Cardinal Carter South stairwell. The 17-storey structure stood in the way of linking the new Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower to the existing hospital. After seven months of demolition that dismantled 410 stairs and 2,317 cubic metres of concrete, the project is complete.

Supercharge your hand-hygiene education: Are you a Tough Scrubber?
Interviews with Laura Shapiro and Rebecca Bunston
The Hospital News

Fun, fast, challenging, hilarious. Is this how your staff would describe their hand-hygiene education? Try Tough Scrubber and they just might.

Jan. 31

'The fog is gone': How ketamine could help lift hard-to-treat depression
Interview with Dr. Sidney Kennedy
CTV National News

Though probably best known as the party drug “Special K,” ketamine has been used as an anesthetic and painkiller for decades. But in recent years, it’s been explored as a treatment for depression.

Accessing diagnostic images is easier for patients using PocketHealth
Interviews with Jennifer Meher and Cristhian Moran
Canadian Healthcare Technology

St. Michael’s Hospital’s new image-sharing platform, PocketHealth, puts patients first by making it easier to obtain and share medical images.

Jan. 27

What's robbing Adele, Céline Dion and more singers of their voices
Interview with Dr. Jennifer Anderson
CBC News

Dr. Jennifer Anderson is one of a handful of doctors in Canada that specialize in relieving vocal cord strain, which is increasingly becoming an issue for singers. From opera singers to Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy, performers like Milman come to the vocal clinic at the St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto looking for solutions.

Jan. 26

Old age not necessarily a risk factor for surgical complications
Research by Dr. Jennifer Watt
Reuters

Older adults may not necessarily be at risk for surgery complications just because of their age, but their risk for serious complications may be at least doubled if they’re frail or suffering from dementia, a research review suggests.

Jan. 25

Ontario sees drop in opioid prescriptions: report
Interview with Dr. Tara Gomes
The Globe and Mail

Ontario doctors are starting fewer new patients on opioids, according to the first major report to examine how physicians in one part of Canada prescribe the potentially addictive painkillers to people who do not already take opioids regularly.

Jan. 24

Census vastly undercounts Indigenous population in Toronto, study says
Research by Dr. Janet Smylie
Column in the Toronto Star

Study by researchers from York University and St. Michael’s Hospital, in collaboration with Indigenous agencies, estimates numbers at least double that of census findings. This finding has major implications, particularly in funding for health care and community services.

Jan. 17

Popular morning sickness drug is not effective, new analysis finds
Research by Dr. Nav Persaud
The Toronto Star

Toronto doctor’s new report on Diclectin is based on clinical trial records kept secret by the drug’s manufacturer and Health Canada.

Jan. 15

Why holding in a sneeze can be dangerous
Interview with Dr. Jennifer Anderson
Global News

Doctors are warning against holding in your sneezes after a man ruptured the back of his throat when he did so and was hospitalized, a new case study details in the BMJ.

Jan. 14

Merger creates largest Catholic healthcare network
Interview with Dr. Tim Rutledge
The Catholic Register

Toronto’s new, giant, still-unnamed Catholic health care network has its first boss lined up and with him a commitment to help engineer a better health system in Canada from the bottom up.

Jan. 12

Old age alone not to blame for surgical complications
Research by Dr. Jennifer Watt
HealthDay

Various factors can increase a senior's chances of experiencing complications after surgery, but age apparently isn't one of them.

Jan. 9

Hospital black box project aims to reduce OR errors
Interview with Dr. Teodor Grantcharov
CBC News

Three years ago, St. Michael's Hospital installed its first black box in an operating room. Now Dr. Teodor Grantcharov, the doctor behind that project, is bringing the devices to hospitals in Ottawa.

Jan. 7

Toronto opens Moss Park armoury to homeless ahead of schedule
Interview with Dr. Glen Bandiera
The Globe and Mail

A downtown armoury opened to Toronto's homeless on Saturday evening as the city faced a 13th day with an extreme cold-weather alert in effect.

Jan. 3

Dr. Tim Rutledge, North York General Hospital's president and CEO, to lead new health network
Inside Toronto
After eight years as president and CEO of North York General Hospital (NYGH), Tim Rutledge is taking on a new role with the newly formed health network comprised of Providence Health Care, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital.

Jan. 1

Fireworks mark the arrival of Toronto’s first babies of 2018
The Toronto Star
When Shiloh Dlamini was born at the stroke of midnight, colourful fireworks exploded outside St. Michael’s Hospital at Nathan Phillips Square in celebration of a new year — and in her family’s case, a new life.

Wellness Certificate Program helps hospital staff commit to self-care
Interviews with Shivalee Paliwal and Orla Smith
Hospital News

A new, one-year certificate program at St. Michael’s Hospital offers clinical and administrative staff a different kind of professional development: how to support one’s own wellness.

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