Friday, September 21, 2018

Addressing the Issue of Antibiotic Resistance

Zachary Lutsky, MD, graduated at the top of his class at RFU/Chicago Medical School before going on to become an accomplished emergency physician, including at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he served for more than a decade. Throughout his career, Dr. Zachary Lutsky has had an interest in topics such as antibiotic resistance.

Posing a significant risk to public health, antibiotic resistance arises primarily from an overprescription of antibiotics. As urgent care centers across the country prescribe antibiotics for the common cold and other viral ailments unaffected by antibiotics, patients become at risk for gut issues and allergic reactions.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that 30 percent or more of antibiotic prescriptions are gratuitous. This overprescription may lead to a loss of antibiotic effectiveness.

To combat this problem, the White House issued The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in 2015, setting a goal for decreasing overprescription by half within five years. Some groups have tackled the issue by providing lists of non-antibiotic alternative prescriptions and requiring that the reason for prescribing an antibiotic be indicated in patients’ electronic health record.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Sudden Pains that Require a Visit to the Emergency Room

Dr. Zachary Lutsky is a board-certified practitioner of emergency medicine. For over 10 years, Dr. Zachary Lutsky provided medical care to patients with acute illnesses and severe injuries as an attending physician for Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Emergency Department.

Sudden pain can be a sign of serious injury or illness that requires immediate treatment. Here are a few types of pain symptoms that should be addressed with medical attention.

Abdominal Pain -- Abdominal pain is often a symptom of serious conditions such as appendicitis or a ruptured spleen. Sudden pain combined with fever and/or bloody bowel movements, or abdominal pain that remains for longer than a few days, is a sign of a serious problem.

Testicular Pain -- Intense pain that appears suddenly may signal that the testicle is twisted. This is a dangerous condition that can prevent blood flow to the area. Testicular pain accompanied by nausea or fever should also be examined by a doctor.

Back Pain -- If lower back pain appears simultaneously with abdominal pain, it may be a sign of an aneurysm in the aorta, an artery that pumps blood throughout the body. The combination of these symptoms suggests that the aneurysm has ruptured the aorta, which can be life-threatening.