De Novo
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Father gets chickenpox, but doesn't infect his two children. How is this possible?
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14 votes

To add to @BryanKrause's answer re: rare events happen all the time, the children are not out of the woods yet. The mean incubation time for a primary VZV infection (the clinical syndrome known as ...

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Can a calorie be neither protein, carbohydrate, nor fat?
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11 votes

Ethanol is caloric and is neither a carbohydrate, protein, or fat.

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What are the limits on the amount of pathogens that a body can be immune to at any given time?
9 votes

Won't this (having a flu vaccine every year) put them in an uncharted territory as far as effects on the immune systems are concerned within a couple of decades? No You are exposed to and develop a ...

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Is lipaemia the same as hyperlipidemia?
9 votes

Because the context refers to a serum sample, and it sounds like a low quality one, you should use lipemia (or, the british variant lipaemia), not hyperlipidemia. See here for an example of the ...

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How do the symptoms of viral tonsillitis differ from bacterial tonsillitis
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9 votes

There is a great deal of both overlap and variability in the symptoms associated with pharyngitis. Many causes can include visible swelling of the tonsils and tonsillar exudate, and so can be ...

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Put kid upside down while doing Heimlich on her/him
8 votes

First, don't hold your 4 year old child upside down when performing abdominal thrusts for choking. This is what you (and any bystander) should do for a choking child (Note that intervention for a ...

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How does exercise improve health?
8 votes

Exercise does seem to have beneficial effects in treating and preventing many chronic diseases. As far as mechanism is concerned, we should probably narrow the scope: Question: What is the ...

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Is the abbreviation"r/o" on a test report used in the declarative or imperative sense?
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7 votes

A full radiology report typically contains several sections, similar to a progress note. The "HISTORY" section discusses the medical history and possibly indications for the imaging. Here, r/o means ...

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Definition of Prevalence
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7 votes

There are two broad types of prevalence statistics: point prevalence and period prevalence. In both cases, more details need to be specified in order to fully describe the statistic. Point prevalence ...

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What is the difference between Eisenmenger syndrome and ventricular septal defect?
7 votes

Eisenmenger syndrome is a clinical syndrome. A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is an anatomic lesion. They are related in that Eisenmenger syndrome can be caused by a VSD (among other things). VSD A ...

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The Ethics of extra treatment
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7 votes

You're describing an unexpected intra-operative finding. The possibility of unexpected findings (and their treatment) is usually discussed during the consent for the original procedure. Of course, in ...

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Outcomes after uterine rupture
7 votes

What are the outcomes of uterine rupture? Treatment of uterine rupture is surgical. Goals are stopping the hemorrhage, delivering the baby, and repairing the uterus if possible. The range of risks ...

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How is hereditary cancer risk estimated?
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7 votes

There are really two distinct questions here, but they are common. Is cancer heritable? Is cancer (or cancer risk) contagious? tl;dr Most cancer cases are not heritable. Some are. Heritable cases ...

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Does an organ of a male donor work on a female patient?
6 votes

@NilsPawlik has addressed the issue of a donor/recipient gender mismatch (it's not the most important factor, but it is something to consider). I thought I'd clarify the point about donor/recipient ...

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Surgery of the hemorrhoid or other veins
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6 votes

What happens when a blood vessel is cut during surgery? Blood vessels (not just veins, but arteries also) are transected (cut), ligated (tied off), and/or cauterized (burned closed) in just about ...

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Do uteruses return to their original size after a full-term birth or are they slightly bigger than one that's never grown?
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6 votes

Does the uterus return to its original (pre-pregnancy) size after a full term birth? Good question. No. Uterine involution, the return of the uterus to the nonpregnant state postpartum, does involve ...

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Do fridges really keep things fresh?
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6 votes

Your milk and chicken both have bacteria in them. If you leave them at room temperature, those bacteria will grow rapidly. Some may produce toxins that will not be inactivated by cooking. The greater ...

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Is there scientific evidence that spacing out vaccines have any positive effects?
6 votes

There is evidence that delaying or refusing immunization puts children at risk of disease here and here. There is also evidence that delaying or spreading out MMR or MMRV in particular puts children ...

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Are long term sedatives used to treat suicidality?
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5 votes

Effective treatment of suicidality involves treatment of any underlying disorder and multi-modal treatment to address the suicidality directly. For pharmacotherapy, there are few drugs that show clear ...

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Is there a common standard to assess the safety of medical procedures?
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5 votes

No. There is not a set standard for the safety of medical procedures. The risks of procedures varies and is balanced against the potential benefits of the procedure (which will also vary). Unlike ...

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“There is a very strong correlation between consuming dairy products — such as milk — and acne, skin breakouts and aging.”
5 votes

These are biologically plausible effects supported by moderate quality observational evidence. As a personal aside, I do not believe there is enough evidence for harm to recommend eliminating dairy ...

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What is the fetal viability of a full-term birth baby?
5 votes

The concept of fetal viability is really only relevant when discussing premature infants. You are correct that the wikipedia figures are difficult to interpret. They come from this website, which is ...

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Why is some alcohol consumption healthier than no alcohol consumption?
5 votes

While there is some evidence for what we call a J-shaped curve in the relationship between alcohol consumption and certain health outcomes, at best this evidence only suggests people who already drink ...

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how do diabetics keep their kidney healthy?
5 votes

Diabetes does cause kidney problems, and is the leading cause of end stage renal disease in industrialized world (see Cecil Medicine, Chapter 126, Diabetes and The Kidney). Though neither fully ...

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Are drugs not approved by the FDA allowed to be prescribed?
5 votes

@BryanKrause's answer is correct. To add a little more, rules and regulations for physicians are primarily set by the state medical board and state legislature. States are different in the particulars,...

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Why is Tobramycin prescribed for ear infections?
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4 votes

Summary Tobramycin is an aminoglycoside antibiotic. All aminoglycoside antibiotics carry a risk of irreversible ototoxicity. The risk is reduced when applied topically, but not eliminated. Even ...

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Why you can't take viagra more than once a day?
4 votes

Why is the recommendation to not take more than 100mg/daily? Because that is what the clinical data show. If you take more than 100mg/daily you are at a higher than acceptable risk of undesirable ...

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Could an old person get arthritis in only one knuckle?
4 votes

Monoarticular arthritis, or inflammation of a single joint, is a not uncommon complaint. Common causes in an older patient include gout, pseudogout, trauma, and infection. Gonococcal arthritis is a ...

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Does staying at home expedites recovery from infections?
4 votes

Quarantine (self or imposed) does help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. This is sufficient to recommend convalescence at home, but there is no good evidence for a shorter recovery period for ...

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Any scientific evidence of "Breastfeeding Elimination Diet "?
4 votes

Because food antigens both cross the placenta and are excreted in breast milk, there was biological plausibility to the hypothesis that maternal avoidance of certain foods during both pregnancy and ...

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