At one New York hospital where backup generators failed, staff carried premature babies down more than a dozen flights of stairs in one of the more dramatic moments for healthcare workers during powerful storm Sandy.
Several days before Mollie Pier’s son, Nathaniel, died of complications from AIDS, she joined together with his doctors, Nathaniel and his longtime partner, Michael, as the couple exchanged rings and vows in his hospital room.
A young boy with a serious illness was a big football fan. So Grossman, Usdan and the staff made some calls and found someone to donate two Super Bowl tickets, and someone else to sponsor the trip. When the boy found out about the trip, his parents said it was "the first time he smiled since getting his diagnosis."
Having cancer has emboldened Kaufman in other ways, too -- after her first surgery in 1999, she traveled to Israel for the first time.
Since most Americans lose their dental insurance benefits when they retire, the majority of people over 65 pay out of pocket every time they visit a dentist. Medicare does not cover routine dental care (nor does Medicaid in most states) and more than 80 percent of older Americans have no private dental insurance, according to a recent report by nonprofit advocacy group Oral Health America.
Yet, older adults may need dental care more than any other age group.
"Patients age 65 and over will have potentially an increase in cavities or decay on the root surfaces of the teeth," said Dr. Matthew Messina, an American Dental Association consumer adviser and practicing dentist in Cleveland. "And that comes secondary to the medical condition of dry mouth -- a decrease in the amount of production of saliva because of age and certain medications.... We also see periodontal disease in patients of that population."
Messina advises his older patients to see a dentist at least once every six months for an oral cancer screening and recommends an annual visit for denture wearers.
In the fall, my Vioxx patients fled to Celebrex. The other day they fled to Aleve. Now they don't know what to do.
Now that it was discovered that patients taking naproxen (Aleve) for three years had a 50 percent increased risk of heart disease, my patients want to know if any arthritis drug is safe.
I tell them that all these drugs are probably safe -- if taken for the right reasons and if judiciously prescribed.
"A woman came into my office yesterday needing to make a decision about the amputation of her husband's leg," said Rabbi Levi Meier, the chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "It was a very difficult case, because her husband cannot give proper, informed consent, because his mind is not functioning anymore
It is a bright, sunny day at Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services. In her office, medical director Dr. Susan Schmidt-Lackner is sitting on the floor with one of her young patients -- not an easy feat for a tall woman in a long skirt, but the doctor is more interested in the little boy than in her own comfort. The child's mother, seated nearby, recounts her concerns, such as how her son can't tolerate the texture of most foods and is subsisting on a diet of McDonald's Happy Meals.