(With) honey, I shrunk the wound
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, biosynthetic dressings, negative pressure wound therapy … and honey?
Yes. It turns out that modern medical science has something to learn from the ancient Egyptians, who found that certain types of honey contain anti-bacterial agents that can help in wound healing.
But before you go and swap that tube of Neosporin in your medicine cabinet for a plastic honey bear bottle, keep in mind that we’re talking about a specific type of the sweet stuff. ( Outliers advises against squeezing honey onto your infected finger after you’re done putting it in your cafe con miel.) Wound-care centers around the world, including the Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital Wound Healing Center, have begun using a new product called Medihoney, made by a company called Derma Sciences, in Princeton, N.J.
The product, which passed muster with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, consists of wound dressings treated with a “medical-grade honey” produced by special bees in Australia and New Zealand. Called leptospermum honey, it contains concentrated doses of anti-bacterial agents that help keep a wound moist while killing bacteria.
However, to reiterate: This is medicinal honey we’re talking about. Although most types of honey start out with at least some medical properties, they can be destroyed in the process of harvesting and stuffing it into plastic bears. And Outliers will not pay your medical bills if you show up at the doctor’s office with an infected wound dripping with dinner-table-grade honey.
Should Andy Griffith nip it in the bud? ...
The CMS is banking on the power of nostalgia, hoping that soft-focus memories of Aunt Bee, Opie and the rest of the Mayberry gang will help to ease seniors’ fears and convince them of the benefits of upcoming health reforms. The government released a 30-second public service ad on July 30—the 45th anniversary of Medicare—featuring Andy Griffith, the 84-year-old star best known for his roles as the town sheriff on The Andy Griffith Show and a clever Southern lawyer on Matlock, one of Outliers’ old favorites.
The ad, which will run on cable TV stations, shows Griffith in a sunny room, intermittently addressing the camera directly and petting a yellow Labrador retriever. “1965, a lot of good things came out that year, like Medicare,” he says, in his trademark drawl. “This year, like always, we’ll have our guaranteed benefits, and with the new healthcare law, more good things are coming.”
The TV spot is only one of the ways that the government is trying to combat misinformation and educate older adults about improvements included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, such as the “doughnut hole” rebate checks and preventive-care screenings, the CMS said in a news release.
But Republicans cried foul at using taxpayer dollars to create what they say is a pro-health reform ad. In an Aug. 3 letter to HHS Secretary
... or he could get a gig at the White House
Late last month, a three-minute, 20-second infomercial of Barack Obama explaining how to navigate the healthcare.gov website www.healthcare.gov/news/blog/potus_explores_healthcare_dotgov.html was posted and, predictably, Internet coverage of the video was followed by pages of rabid comments from the president’s opponents and supporters who had very little to do with content of the video.
Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” is known for his satirical swipes at conservative pundits and politicians. But on this topic, he went after the president.
“Shouldn’t Wilford Brimley be doing this? Or Robert Wagner? Or the late Art Linkletter?” Stewart asks. “Doesn’t anybody else work at the White House, dude?” Stewart offers his theory for why Obama made the video. “At this point, he trusts no one else at the White House,” Stewart says. “He’s like the sole proprietor of a one-man movie theater.”
After doing his imitation of the president as an old man taking tickets and selling popcorn, Stewart goes on to show how a few glitches appear in the Obama video. These included popup messages from Vice President Joe Biden who says he’s thinking about relieving his boredom by making prank phone calls to John McCain and then sends the president a video of a dog riding a tractor.
OK, it was a little silly, but Outliers thinks it would be nice if all television programs discussing healthcare rose to this level of intelligence.
“It’s shocking that even relatives don’t know if their parents are alive or dead. … These cases were typical examples of thinning relationship among families and neighbors in Japan today.”
—Chiba University professor Yoshinori Hiroi, an expert on public welfare, during an interview about how many Japanese centenarians are unaccounted for because of poor recordkeeping and follow-up by
family members. Kathleen Sebelius, a group of five Republican senators said the commercial “had a clear political motivation,” and they called for the CMS to pull the ad and reimburse the Treasury.
Brooks Jackson, director of FactCheck.org, also took issue with the ad, he said, because the reform law will lead to cuts in Medicare Advantage plans. “Would the sheriff of Mayberry mislead you about Medicare? Alas, yes,” he wrote in a blog posting.
For now, Griffith is keeping quiet and has declined to comment on the hubbub.
Andy Griffith is back on television in an ad to ease the fears of seniors and tout the importance of Medicare.