Health Monitor

Health Monitor

April 2 2001
Health Monitor

Health Monitor

April 2 2001

Health Monitor

A doctor s departure

A Kingston, Ont., physician, who used the powerful narcotics known as opioids to treat chronic pain, plans to move to the United States, even though the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario is restoring his suspended medical licence. “It’s too little, too late,” said Dr. Frank Adams, who was left with no income after a college panel ruled last year that he endangered some patients, and judged him incompetent. The decision brought bitter criticism from Ontario pain specialists, who said it cast a chill over chronic-pain treatment in the province. “Chronicpain doctors live in fear of hearing college investigators’ knock on the door,” said Toronto specialist Dr. Peter Rothbart. “Some physicians have simply stopped prescribing opioids for chronic pain.” In its judgment, the college ordered Adams, 64, to undergo “retraining.” In a letter to the college earlier this month, Kingston anesthesiologist Dr. Hugh Brown, who supervised the retraining, rated Adams as “excellent” or “outstanding” in most skills and recommended that his licence be restored without restriction. However, the college

imposed several conditions, including a ban on prescribing injectable opioids. Adams said he would probably practise in Texas, where he once served at Houston’s M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Suspicions about milk

Juvenile diabetes and multiple sclerosis may be more closely related than scientists previously suspected, and feeding infants with cow’s milk might be a factor in both conditions, according to Canadian and U.S. researchers. Dr. Michael Dosch of Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children said that studies involving mice showed the two diseases “are almost the same—in a test tube you can hardly tell them apart.” Reporting in The Journal of Immunology, the researchers, including scientists from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital, said their research suggested cow’s milk protein—suspected as a factor in juvenile diabetes—may also play a role in the development of MS.

Cardiac breakthrough

A blood-thinning agent that is already in limited use could prevent thousands of heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths annually, a major international study has found. Dr. Salim Yusuf, a cardiologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, told a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Orlando, Fla., that the drug Plavix could potentially reduce the risk of some cardiovascular events by 20 per cent. Plavix is currently used to prevent blood clotting following a procedure to widen plaque-clogged coronary blood vessels. Physicians described the findings as a breakthrough that could prevent more than 100,000 North American cardiac emergencies a year.

Search for a badly needed transplant

As controversy flared over Candadas organ transplant policies, a Vancouver couple flew their 5V2month-old son to New York City in search of a lifesaving liver transplant. § Camilo Sandoval Ewen was under% going assessment at that city’s § Mount Sinai Medical Center. | Physicians at the Health Sciences | Centre in London, Ont.—Canada’s “ .. 1 iit Camilo in Vancouver: risky leading pediatric organ transplant J hospital—declined to perform a risky operation to give the ailing baby part of the liver from an anonymous living donor. Under Canadian guidelines, organ transplants from living donors are permitted only from a related donor or family friend. The policy is aimed at safeguarding the health of living donors—and preventing commerce in human organs.