Simple blood test can help predict mortality, Utah researchers find

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  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Jan. 19, 2013 8:20 p.m.

    Why are people worried about more information? Human judgment should still reign supreme.

    And as far as "death panels" go, someone has to decide. Usually it's on the individual level. Do we give preferential treatment to the mother or her unborn child? Hospitals and first responders must use triage skills when faced with multiple traumas, as do military medics. The availability of life-changing treatments depends on how much money you have or how expensive your insurance is. The likelihood of avoiding the death penalty depends on how expensive your legal team is. Parents choose every day how to treat each individual child. Dilemmas are a way of life.

    In all cases, more information is better.

  • Lionheart West Jordan, Ut
    Jan. 19, 2013 5:31 a.m.

    One advantage of such data would be for surgeons. Surgery is a scheduled trauma and these blood markers could indicate a patient's readiness for surgery.

    Of course some surgeries must happen at the earliest possible opportunity but others, like joint repair, could be postponed to give time to treat anemia or other factors that would reduce the prognosis for post-op recovery.

  • TimBehrend Auckland NZ, 00
    Jan. 18, 2013 4:29 p.m.

    Hofstadter's observations more than half a century ago about the "paranoid style" in American politics remains a useful paradigm for understanding popular discourse and the general "moral hypochondria" in America. The DN is feeding the tendency here -- paranoia and fear are great market stimulants. That readers like JMT become agitated and HIGHLY alarmed reading it is the whole point.

  • OhioDoc Columbus, OH
    Jan. 18, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    Completely ridiculous comments. This is just another of MANY prognostic tools used by physicians. When we identify a patient at increased risk of death or other poor outcome, we work even harder to save them. This data is simply a formalization of the process that every good physician uses when he or she sees a patient. In addition, such data may be useful in ensuring that appropriate conversations are held with family members such that they are not blindsided should a negative outcome occur. Such prompt & open conversations greatly aid the coping mechanisms of the "significant others" in a patient's life. There is absolutely no implication that this tool or any other prognostic device is being or will be used to limit care. This has nothing whatsoever to do with payer source, insurance or lack thereof. This hysteria is unwarranted.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 18, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    To "Allen#2" actually those people do not have socialized medicine. They are still dependant on the free market. Federal employees get insurance through private companies, along with state, county, city, and public schools. The armed forces when not deployed use the free market hospitals and doctors. Only when deployed are they forced into a system that is owned and operated by the government.

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 10:54 a.m.

    Just not in the hands of bureacrats who will administer Obamacare. This is what scares me, too many who have no value for the worth of a human, but only look at the bottom line of their company or their perceived values.

    Great for the doctor and the family and of course the patient.

    Jan. 18, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    America already has a socialized medical system for those lucky enough to be employed by the federal government, armed forces, state government, county government, most city governments, and most public schools.

    Many other Americans had a socialized medical system provided by most large businesses.

    Why not provide "comfort" medication for those who have little or no chance of living and provide life saving medical attention to those who have an excellent chance of surviving and living a good life?

  • catcrazed Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Enough with the doom saying, please. I don't see this as anything but praiseworthy.

  • caa ,
    Jan. 18, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    Doctors use different markers to decide futility all the time. It is nothing new. Would you prefer doctors invading your body and keeping you alive even though they knew that the end result is the same?

  • bdckpakccd Plano, TX
    Jan. 18, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    I thought this, too. Inevitably, more information is good in the right hands and perhaps can be used badly in the wrong hands. And our citizenry chose it.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    Jan. 18, 2013 7:00 a.m.

    In one sense this is very neat. In another HIGHLY alarming!

    When we consider that America is headed to a full socialized medical system we should open our eyes and see the results. In a fully socialized system costs must be contained. In a free market system costs are contained by people buying what they can afford. When all can "afford" "free" health care costs are contained by controlling how much care can be received.

    This is where the "death panels" come into discussion. I know many do not like to discuss this and insist it is not true but the fact is, the concept is very true. Panels are created, guidelines established that make blanket determinations. Under a certain age you qualify for a transplant. The next day is your birthday, you are now over an age you no longer qualify for a transplant. Call it what you will.

    So in this world does the future include all trauma patients in an emergency room recieving triage (sic), keep them alive for one-hour, run this test and the results will determine the level of care? Bad results they essentially make you comfortable and let you die?

    I worry!!