In the news – 2017 archive

Archives: 2019, 2018, 2017

Dec. 28

Black boxes in operating rooms
Interview with Dr. Teodor Grantcharov
CBC Radio’s Metro Morning

You’ve probably heard of black boxes, but have you heard of them being used in the operating room? We speak to a Toronto doctor improving surgeon performance by recording conversations, videos and even room temperature in the OR.

Precilla Veigas touched hearts as she fulfilled dying wish of getting PhD
The Toronto Star
Aurora mother died of a rare form of cancer in October, months after receiving PhD in medical science at special ceremony at U of T.

Dec. 27

Five questions about your vagina that you’re too embarrassed to ask
Interview with Dr. Deborah Robertson
Global News

While most people generally feel very comfortable talking to their doctor about any manner of illness or concern — after all, we’ve been led to believe that they’ve heard it all before — some questions about women’s health tend to come up more in conversations among friends than they do in the doctor’s examination room.

Dec. 26

In-school pediatric clinic gives Toronto students greater chance of academic success
Interview with Dr. Sloane Freeman
The Globe and Mail

The thinking behind the in-school pediatric clinic is that by providing health services close to home and in a school setting, often considered a safe, comfortable space, families living in poverty or newcomers are more likely to access it. For children, diagnosing and treating health issues and learning disabilities early gives them a greater chance of academic success.

Dec. 24

Advocates urge more action for shelter crisis in Toronto
Interview with Dr. Glen Bandiera
The Toronto Star

City of Toronto has a target of a 90 per cent occupancy rate but on Dec. 21, homeless shelter system was at 95 per cent capacity with more than 5,400 people.

Dec. 22

Swapping animal protein for plant protein can lower cholesterol
Research by Dr. John Sievenpiper
Global News

Close to 50 per cent of Canadians have an unhealthy level of cholesterol. New Canadian research shows swapping out some servings of animal protein for plant protein could be good for your heart. Allison Vuchnich reports.

Woman has a heart-shaped baby bump; here’s how it could cause complications
Interview with Dr. Deborah Robertson
Global News

Sometimes babies really are born out of love — almost literally. That’s because for a small group of women, their baby bump takes the shape of a heart, instead of your garden variety beach ball. At least that is the case for one woman in Turkey.

Researchers find lack of data and protocols for head injuries in mixed martial arts
Research by Dr. Joel Lockwood
The Globe and Mail

Mixed martial arts is considered one of the fastest-growing sports in the world, with the professional UFC league worth more than $4-billion (U.S.) and amateur gyms popping up across the country. Yet in spite of its popularity and full-contact nature, the rate and risk of brain trauma involved in the sport remain unclear.

Dec. 20

Swapping one or two portions of meat or dairy for plant-based protein every day reduces the risk of heart disease by 5 per cent, reveals study
Research by Dr. John Sievenpiper
Daily Mail (London)

Substituting one to two servings of meat or dairy with plant-based proteins every day reduces the risk of heart disease by five per cent, research suggests.

Amanda Hignell nominated for Torontonian of the year
CBC Metro Morning
A social worker who helps new moms in need has been nominated for Metro Morning’s Torontonian of the Year.

Dec. 18

‘It’s worrisome’: More babies being treated for opioid withdrawal in Canada
Interview with Dr. Suzanne Turner
CTV News

When Courtney Castonguay gave birth to her daughter Emma 15 months ago she just knew something wasn’t right. Emma had an unnaturally high-pitched cry and she was inconsolable.

Dec. 12

St. Michael’s Hospital surgical schedule stays on track during major construction with mobile medical device reprocessing unit
Interview with Catherine Hogan
Healthcare Purchasing News

When St. Michael’s Hospital began a major building and renovation project, its Medical Device Reprocessing Department had to move out of its longtime home in the basement so its space could be modernized to meet Canadian Standards Association requirements and improve workflow.

Dec. 10

Dry coughs, wet coughs, mucus: Everything you need to know about coughs and phlegm
Interview with Dr. Samir Gupta
Global News

It’s not just you. Everyone seems to be coughing right now. During the winter months, people can develop lingering coughs and a build up of mucus in the nose and nasal cavity area. And according to a Toronto-based respirologist, there is a difference between the type of coughs a person can get.

Dec. 9

Health Canada to release clinical trials data (third story on the page)
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud
CBC News

Health Canada quietly introduced new regulations governing the public release of confidential drug and medical device industry documents. The new regulations published in Canada Gazette would relax Health Canada’s long-standing practice of denying public access to the clinical trial documents submitted by companies in their applications for federal approval.

Dec. 8

Waterloo woman home for Christmas after rare tumour removed from spine
Interview with Dr. Sunit Das
CBC News

Rashmi Sanjay still tears up when she thinks about her daughter wanting to go with her to the hairdresser back in September. It was no ordinary haircut. She was about to go into surgery to have a tumour removed from her cervical spine at the back of her neck and the cut would make it easier to brush her hair afterwards.

Dec. 7

Inadequate surgical mesh regulation put women at risk: experts
Interview with Dr. Vladimir Iakovlev
CTV News

A new report concludes that transvaginal mesh products used to help treat incontinence and organ prolapse were approved on the basis of weak evidence and “may have exposed women to avoidable harms.”

Dec. 3

Uncounted: Census far underestimated Ottawa’s Inuit population, study says
Interview with Dr. Janet Smylie
Ottawa Citizen

Statistics Canada’s most recent census has seriously underestimated the numbers of Inuit in Ottawa, a new study has concluded.

Dec. 1

Toronto study aims to combat HIV stigma
Interview with Drs. Sean Rourke and Francisco Ibanez-Carrasco
CityNews

A research team from St. Mike’s Hospital has received $1.5 million to carry out a new study that aims to combat HIV stigma — which one of the doctors leading the charge experienced himself.

Nov. 27

Higher-risk groups should get greater access to HIV drugs, new guidelines say
Research by Dr. Darrell Tan
The Globe and Mail

Groups at higher risk of HIV infection should have access to a course of anti-retroviral medications before and after exposure to the virus, according to new national guidelines aimed at curbing the spread of the disease in Canada.

Nov. 25

The radical ex-hippie who infiltrated Ontario’s health-care establishment
Feature about Dr. Philip Berger
The Toronto Star

During a remarkable 40-year career, Dr. Philip Berger was able to walk a fine line between the decision-making health-care establishment and the rabble-rousing anti-establishment.

Nov. 24

Toronto researchers say zebrafish may be key to new flu vaccine
Research by Drs. Warren Lee and Xiao-Yan Wen
CityNews

Could a new influenza virus come from studying baby zebrafish? Two researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital say they might have found a way to identify the right compound to combat the flu and prevent deaths.

Nov. 22

Canada has the highest rate of multiple sclerosis. Now St. Michael’s Hospital is launching a $30M centre to fight MS
Interview with Drs. Tom Parker, Xavier Montalban and Jiwon Oh
The Toronto Star

The Barlo MS Centre, funded mainly by donations, is expected to be a global leader in multiple sclerosis care and research.

New MS centre announced for Toronto
Interview with Dr. Xavier Montalban
CBC Radio’s Metro Morning

St. Michael’s Hospital announced plans to build the world’s leading multiple sclerosis clinic. Matt Galloway spoke with Dr. Xavier Montalban and a patient about the difference this could make.

Nov. 21

The Dragons are taking over the ‘Angels Den’
Interview with Dr. Muhammad Mamdani and Joe Mimran
Breakfast Television

Joe Mimran, Dragons Den Judge and Dr. Muhammad Mamdani are talking about ‘The Angel’s Den,’ an event that set to raise funds for scientific research projects picked by the ‘Angels.’

Nov. 18

These are the songs playing in your hospital’s operating room — doctor’s orders
Interview with Dr. Sunit Das
The Toronto Star

Playlists are becoming a crucial part of doctors’ surgical routines, with many surgeons saying music boosts morale and concentration in the operating room.

Nov. 15

Cardiac arrest study in young athletes raises heart screening questions
Research by Dr. Paul Dorian
Reuters

Screening exams to identify young athletes at risk for cardiac arrest might not be worthwhile, a new study suggests. Not only do screening programs exclude people who could safely engage in sports, the money spent on them could be better used by having defibrillators handy at competition sites and training people to use them.

Nov. 14

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust award winners announced at Toronto gala
Book by Dr. James Maskalyk wins top prize
The Globe and Mail

Dr. James Maskalyk’s Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine is the winner of this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Nov. 13

New transfusion threshold affirmed for cardiac surgery
Research by Dr. David Mazer
MD Magazine

A restrictive red blood cell (RBC) transfusion strategy was non-inferior compared with a more liberal approach for patients undergoing cardiac surgery, according to phase 3 findings from the TRICS-III trial presented at the 2017 AHA Annual Meeting and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Through 20 years of MS and marriage, couple is grounded by their love
The Toronto Star
Paul Bacakos adjusts his wife’s legs, one baring a large scar that travels down her right shin — a reminder of the many arduous surgeries she has been through. Mary Bacakos rests beside him in a bed at St. Michael’s Hospital. Around her neck is a small fan that cools her face, which turns red when she’s in pain. Mary, 56, has had multiple sclerosis, an incurable condition, for almost as long as the pair have been married.

Nov. 8

Small babies born preterm at much higher risk of neonatal death
Research by Dr. Joel Ray
Health Canal

Neonatal mortality is 100 times higher for infants born preterm who are also severely underweight for their gestation age, according to a new study from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and St. Michael’s Hospital.

Nov. 7

Exercise may be most effective for preventing falls in older people: study
Research by Drs. Sharon Straus and Andrea Tricco
Xinhua

Exercise appears to be the most effective strategy for preventing falls causing injury among older people, a new study showed Tuesday.

Nov. 1

Baseball, softball players should wear helmets to prevent brain injuries: study
Research by Dr. Michael Cusimano
The Globe and Mail

Traumatic brain injuries occur infrequently in baseball and softball, but the effects can be devastating. Yet players often fail to wear helmets and many do not comply with return-to-play guidelines following a concussion, according to a new research paper published online Monday in the journal Frontiers of Neurology.

Nighttime coughing? Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do
Interview with Dr. Nicholas Vozoris
Global News

So what can you do to relieve that cough? Or should you even relieve it at all? Here’s what Dr. Nick Vozoris, respirologist and sleep physician at St. Michael’s Hospital, has to say.

Oct. 31

Diary of the week: Angel Ball raised $4 million
Hello!
The St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation rounded out its fundraising campaign with its annual Angel Ball at the Beanfield Centre. The foundation raised $4 million in support of the hospital’s Slaight Family Emergency Department.

Oct. 30

Review finds poor compliance with helmet use in baseball and softball
Research by Dr. Michael Cusimano
Medical Express

Despite lower rates of traumatic brain injuries in baseball and softball, there is poor compliance overall with helmet use and return-to-play guidelines following a concussion across all levels of play, according to a new systematic review.

An hour in the life of an influenza case
Interview with Shara Junaid
Canadian Healthcare Technology

St. Michael’s Hospital infection preventionist Shara Junaid is at her desk when the phone rings. It’s the hospital lab; a patient in the Emergency Department has tested positive for Influenza A.

Oct. 23

St. Michael’s sets new Angel Ball record, raising $4 million to wrap up fundraising campaign and finish ED renovations
Yahoo! News
St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation raised a record $4 million net at its Angel Ball Saturday, completing its most successful fundraising campaign ever. Proceeds from the ball will go specifically to completing the renovation of the Slaight Family Emergency Department, which treats some of the most critically ill and injured patients in the city and the region.

Sweating blood: bizarre disorder baffles doctors
Interview with Dr. Michelle Sholzberg
CBC News

It was probably one of the most bizarre medical cases a team of Italian doctors had ever seen. A 21-year-old woman was admitted to hospital with a condition that caused her to sweat blood from her face and from the palms of her hands. This despite any sign of skin lesions.

Oct. 22

Time to start using our heads on contact sports
Editorial in the Globe and Mail
Recently, a high-school football game in New Brunswick was called off after one of the teams, Moncton’s École l’Odysée Olympiens, saw nine players leave the field with head injuries. The problem is not the way the game is played so much as it is the nature of the sport itself.

Oct. 20

Battling breast cancer with the power of awareness
Interview with Dr. Christine Brezden-Masley
CTV News Toronto

“It’s about MBC time,” is a new campaign aimed to raise awareness between early stage and metastatic breast cancer.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome: Small victims in a big opioid crisis
Interview with Dr. Maya Nader
CBC News

Hundreds of Canadian infants were hospitalized last year with neonatal abstinence syndrome. They are the small, innocent victims of an opioid crisis, which policymakers and health-care officials are struggling to contain.

Oct. 19

Doctor quotes Descartes in case on whether to keep Brampton woman on life support
Interview with Dr. Andrew Baker
Toronto Star

In the legal battle over whether to revoke a death certificate for a Brampton woman on life support, on Thursday, Dr. Andrew Baker, chief of critical care at St. Michael’s Hospital, quoted the famous French philosopher Rene Descartes, “I think, therefore I am,” to explain how consciousness helps determine whether someone is alive.

Oct. 18

All five major banks supporting St. Michael’s Hospital fundraising gala
Yahoo! News
To support a downtown Toronto neighbour’s goal of becoming the premier critical care hospital in Canada, all five major banks have joined together as lead sponsors for St. Michael’s Hospital’s Angel Ball on Saturday, Oct. 21. BMO Financial Group, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank and the TD Bank Group have each donated equally as presenting sponsors with a total commitment of $1.25 million, in recognition of the hospital’s 125th birthday.

Oct. 17

St. Michael’s Hospital Angel Ball gala: one of Toronto’s most inspiring parties
Yahoo! News
St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation will hold its Angel Ball gala this Saturday, Oct. 21. Proceeds from the Angel Ball will go toward completing the new Slaight Family Emergency Department, part of a larger project to transform St. Michael’s into Canada’s premier critical care hospital, which includes construction of a 17-storey patient care tower and renovations to much of the rest of the hospital.

Oct. 15

When it comes to brain injuries, how dangerous is youth hockey?
Interview with Dr. Michael Cusimano
The Globe and Mail

Data from the Institute show the number of hockey-related brain injuries that required emergency-department visits in Ontario and Alberta edged up slightly to 3,008 in 2015-16, from 2,929 in the previous year. The greatest number of those injuries occurred among children ages 10 to 14.

Oct. 11

Book from emergency room doc
Interview with Dr. James Maskalyk
CBC News’ Metro Morning

Matt Galloway talks to James Maskalyk, author of “Life On The Ground Floor”, an emergency doctor’s view of life and death. It’s one of five books nominated for the Toronto Book Awards.

Oct. 2

Supercharge your hand-hygiene education: Are you a Tough Scrubber?
Features Laura Shapiro and Rebecca Bunston
Canadian Patient Safety Institute

Fun, fast, challenging, hilarious. Is this how your staff would describe their hand-hygiene education? Try Tough Scrubber and they just might.

Sept. 30

As lawsuits mount, doctors insist surgical mesh is an important tool
Interview with Dr. Vladimir Iakovlev
CTV News’ W5

Dr. Vladimir Iakovlev, director of Cytopatholagy at St. Michael’s Hospital, explains how the tissue around the implant changes over time.

This cognition-enhancing drug may be most effective for Alzheimer’s
Research by Dr. Andrea Tricco
Yahoo! News

A team of researchers has recently suggested that a drug – donepezil – is most likely to enhance concentration, memory, alertness and moods in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia.

Sept. 26

You’ve got questions? We’ve got evidence
Research by Dr. Andrea Tricco
ScienMag

A St. Michael’s Hospital scientist will lead a Canada-wide alliance that seeks to answer health-care research questions submitted by policy makers, doctors and other clinicians, as well as patients.

Sept. 22

Researchers examine whether religion influences rates of cervical cancer screening
Research by Dr. Aisha Lofters
Health Canal

Immigrant and refugee women are consistently less likely to have had a recent screening for cervical cancer than women born in Canada.

Sept. 21

Dairy farmers vs. vegans: Health Canada prepares to rewrite the food guide
Interview with Dr. David Jenkins
National Post

The food guide is undergoing its first major overhaul in a decade with every sign it’s going to emerge leaning more vegan than omnivore.

Sept. 20

India prevented 1 million child deaths since 2005: Lancet
Research by Dr. Prabhat Jha
Yahoo! News

India has averted nearly one million deaths of children under five years of age since 2005, owing to a significant decrease in deaths from preventable diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, tetanus and measles, according to a study, led by a researcher of Indian-origin.

Sept. 18

Study suggests neighbourhood design may help prevent the risk of poor blood sugar control among immigrant populations
Research by Dr. Gillian Booth
Longwoods

Neighbourhood designs that promote walking may reduce the risk of prediabetes in immigrant populations, according to new research being presented at this year’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal (11-15 September).

Sept. 15

BMO donates $21 million to be shared by seven Toronto hospitals
The Toronto Star
Affiliated with the University of Toronto, the hospitals will receive the donation over the next 10 years. “This is the biggest philanthropic commitment in our company’s 200-year history,” said a BMO spokesperson.

St. Michael’s Hospital doctors cycle to raise funds for trauma patients
Interviews with Dr. Alun Ackery, Dr. Joel Lockwood, Amanda McFarlan and Margaret Harvey
The Toronto Star

Four doctors from Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital are tackling some of the toughest climbs in the Pyrenees mountain range in France and hoping to raise money for survivors of traumatic injury.

People who most need prescribed heart disease prevention drugs least likely to get them
Research by Drs. Fahad Razak and Amol Verma
CBC News

Socioeconomic inequities may be preventing millions of people in the U.S. from getting standard medications to prevent heart attacks and strokes, according to Canadian doctors who see it as a warning signal for this country.

Sept. 14

Ontario bans Big Pharma
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud
Zoomer Radio

A Big Pharma marketing scheme that uses electronic medical records has been banned by the governing Liberals. Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins says in a statement “Ontario patients must have confidence that prescribing decisions are not influenced by marketing programs or electronic vouchers. Dr. Nav Persaud, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital shares his experience with big pharma marketing.

Selena Gomez gets kidney transplant
Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Perl
ET Canada

Pop star Selena Gomez, who has lupus, is recovering after receiving a kidney transplant donated by her best friend, Francia Raisa. Nephrologist Dr. Jeffrey Perl said Gomez will have ups and downs as her body adjusts to the new kidney, but that her life should return to normal so long as she takes care of herself by leading a healthy lifestyle and taking her medications.

Von Willebrand disease: common, treatable and often missed
Interview with Dr. Michelle Sholzberg
Personal Health News

Von Willebrand Disease affects men and women equally but women are more likely to be diagnosed because of problems with menstruation. Still, hematologist Dr. Michelle Sholzberg from St. Michael’s Hospital said many people aren’t even aware they have the disease and suffer silently with excessive bleeding and resultant iron deficiency anemia.

Vaginitis: Are you suffering from this common condition?
‌Interview with Dr. Mark Yudin
Reader’s Digest: Best Health

Do all of your symptoms point to vaginitis? If so, here’s how you can cope with this condition to get your vagina back on track.

Sept. 13

Hospital overcrowding
Interview with Dr. Doug Sinclair
CBC Radio’s Metro Morning

This isn’t a time of year when people usually get sick. So why are hospital emergency rooms across Ontario seeing far more people than usual coming in this summer? Matt Galloway speaks to the Chief Medical Officer of St. Michael’s Hospital.

Sept. 12

Suicide awareness project aims to offer hope through storytelling
Interview with Dr. Sakini Rizvi
CTV News, via the Canadian Press

Suicide. It’s a word rife with stigma, an act spoken about in hush-hush tones or not acknowledged at all — and one that leaves family and friends not only bereft but reeling at the desperation that drove a loved one to take their own life.

Sept. 9

Cash may be the best medicine: doctor
Interview with Dr. Andrew Pinto
The Catholic Register

Patients who visit Dr. Andrew Pinto for help managing their health often receive prescription for money. Pinto isn’t the average family doctor. He’s a scientist in The Upstream Lab, part of the Centre for Urban Health Solutions in Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital. A lot of his patients are poor, so Pinto sends them down the hall to talk to a full-time “income security health promoter” who works in his clinic.

Sept. 8

New hospital program aims to turn babies in bookworms
Comments from Cathy O’Neill and Dr. Douglas Campbell
CityNews

The Books for Babies program was founded by Cathy O’Neill, daughter of Maryrose O’Neill. Her mother was a volunteer preemie cuddler at the hospital before her death. Literacy was her baby. Her family hopes this program will become her legacy.

Sept. 7

CEO of Toronto builder donates $10 million to St. Joseph’s hospital
Interview with Maria Dyck‌, president and CEO of the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation
The Toronto Star

Peter Gilgan, founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, a residential homebuilding company, provided St. Joseph’s Health Centre with $10 million.

Potentially lifesaving implantable cardioverter defibrillators underutilized in eligible patients
Research by Dr. Paul Dorian‌
Science Codex

Canadian and international guidelines strongly recommended that many people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital receive an implantable cardioverter defibrillator to prevent a future arrest, which can cause death within minutes. Yet a study led by our Dr. Paul Dorian and published today in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found that only 57 per cent of qualified patients receive the potentially lifesaving implant.

Sept. 6

Older adults who are frail more likely to have negative outcomes after trauma
Research by Dr. Camilla Wong‌
Medical Xpress

Frailty is associated with negative outcomes among older patients who suffered trauma, a new study has found.

Sept. 5

Spike in suspected overdose calls over the summer
Interview with Dr. Glen Bandiera‌
CityNews

New numbers show just how busy a summer it was for our city’s emergency room doctors and paramedics dealing with the spike in suspected overdose calls. Amanda Ferguson with whether or not it is having an effect on wait times for patients.

Sept. 1

Health Canada reviewing fix to protect pacemakers from hackers
Interview with Dr. Chi-Ming Chow‌
CBC News’s The National

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved programming fix for pacemakers that are currently vulnerable to hacking is now being reviewed by Health Canada.

10 health stories that mattered this week
Includes research by Tara Gomes‌
CMAJ News

Alcohol was involved in one in five opioid-related deaths in Ontario between 1993 and 2013, according to a study by Tara Gomes. Recent spikes in opioid deaths from dealers cutting fentanyl into street drugs have overshadowed the lesser known risks of mixing opioids with alcohol, researchers warned.

Aug. 31

1 in 5 opioid-related deaths in Ontario involve alcohol, study suggests
Interview with Tara Gomes‌
CBC News

A new study out today shows that alcohol may be a factor in one in five opioid-related deaths in Ontario. The paper looks at a 20-year period between 1993 and 2013. During that time, the number of opioid-related deaths that involved alcohol in Ontario increased from 48 in 1993 to 137 in 2013.

Aug. 30

Researchers discover MRI can measure kidney scarring and predict future kidney function
Research by Drs. Anish Kirpalani and Darren Yuen‌
Medical Xpress

Researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital have made what are believed to be two world first discoveries: an MRI can measure kidney damage and can predict future kidney function within one year while avoiding needle biopsies.

Aug. 29

Ontario earmarks $222 million more over three years to fight opioid crisis
Article about Health Minister Eric Hoskins’ announcement at St. Michael’s‌
The Toronto Star

The funding increase over three years will provide for more naloxone kits for overdoses, more supervised injection sites and more “rapid-access” clinics, like the one at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Aug. 28

Hamilton’s opioid deaths more likely from illicit use
Research by Tara Gomes‌
The Hamilton Spectator

An Ontario report warns Hamilton shows signs of having among the highest illicit opioid use in the province. It also flags a potential lack of addiction treatment services here compared to the high death rates found by the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network.

Aug. 24

The more we know about sports-related concussions, the less we can justify them
Research by Drs. Nathan Churchill and Tom Schweizer‌
Editorial in The Globe and Mail

The story may sound familiar: Eminent medical researchers from a famous Boston university examine a bunch of football players and publish headline-grabbing papers on the dire consequences of head injuries. A spirited debate ensues, and influential voices call for the sport to be reformed or banned. Did we mention the year was 1906?

University athletes with concussions still show changes in the brain after medical clearance to play
Research by Drs. Nathan Churchill and Tom Schweizer‌
Global News

University athletes who are given medical clearance to return to play after a recent concussion still have changes in their brain structure and function, a new Canadian study has found.

Aug. 23

Toronto seemingly showed foresight during solar eclipse
The Toronto Sun
The vast majority of Torontonians appeared to have heeded advice to not look directly at Monday’s eclipse. But St. Michael’s Hospital reports that four people arrived at its downtown Toronto emergency department with presumed eclipse-related eye symptoms.

Aug. 22

Brain scans reveal impact of contact sports even on young, healthy athletes: study
Research by Drs. Nathan Churchill and Tom Schweizer‌
The Globe and Mail

Young healthy athletes who play sports where body contact is an integral, or even a possible, part of the game have differences in their brains typically associated with concussion or mild brain injury, a new study has found. Plus, see video coverage from CTV News Toronto.

Ontario opioid prescriptions are smaller in dosage, but given out to more people: study
Research by Tara Gomes‌
The Globe and Mail

Pharmacies in Ontario are filling a growing number of prescriptions for opioids, but a new report from the Ontario Drug Policy Research Network suggests this may actually reflect safer prescribing practices. Plus, see video coverage from CTV News Toronto.

Aug. 18

Health team exploring how to prescribe income security
Research by Dr. Andrew Pinto‌
Medical Xpress

Members of the Family Health Team at St. Michael’s Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Aug. 14

Will smoking marijuana during pregnancy harm the child?
Interview with Dr. Maya Nader‌
The Globe and Mail

“There is a lot of messaging on the Internet saying that marijuana is safe to use during pregnancy, while it is actually not,” says Dr. Maya Nader, a family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

Aug. 12

Second opinion: What happens when people get free prescription drugs?
Interview with Dr. Nav Persaud‌
CBC News

A 2012 study found one in 10 Canadians can’t afford the drugs their doctors prescribe. But so far there is limited research about what happens if those same people have improved access to the drugs they need. That’s what this new trial is designed to find out.

Aug. 11

What do opioids do to your brain?
Interview with Dr. Thomas Ungar ‌(starts at 23:23)
CBC Toronto News

The opioid crisis is spreading, particularly where we don’t expect it, said Dr. Thomas Ungar. It’s not just a downtown problem, it’s in the suburbs and rural areas too. Learn why he said it is so hard to stop using, and why the harm reduction method is better than just quitting outright.

Aug. 10

Could this explain why some women miscarry? Breakthrough on why the mother’s immune system destroys the foetus – paving the way for preventative treatment
Research by Dr. Heyu Ni‌
The (U.K.) Daily Mail

One cause of early pregnancy loss can be a condition called FNAIT, which is when a mother’s immune system attacks fetus’ cells as if they’re foreign invaders. Canadian scientists now understand how this happens following a study on mice: Natural killer cells are triggered, causing deformed placentas and the blocking of nutrients. Even if the baby is delivered, death or disability can occur from a brain bleed. Miscarriage is considered unpreventable – but we may see new treatment for FNAIT.

Is ‘watchful waiting’ safe with breast cancer?
Interview with Dr. Ralph George‌
The Globe and Mail

I have been diagnosed with a breast condition called ductal carcinoma in situ. My doctor says it could turn into breast cancer and should be removed. I did a search online and learned that researchers are doing studies where they don’t immediately operate on this condition. Instead, they take a wait-and-see approach. Only if it progresses will they then cut it out. Is it safe to wait?

Aug. 9

Is there life after opioids?
Interview with Dr. Thomas Ungar‌
CBC Radio’s Ontario Today

Opioids hijack your brain and change your ability to feel pleasure. So, is there life after an opioid addiction? The hosts talk with a former teen addict and psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Ungar.

Aug. 3

Hoskins will ‘express concerns’ about patient record software being used to sell drugs
Interview with Dr. Doug Sinclair‌
The Toronto Star

Toronto’s St. Michael’s Hospital encouraging its doctors to opt out of controversial feature of prescription program.

Aug. 2

Limiting residency hours may not be beneficial for aspiring surgeons
Research by Dr. Najma Ahmed‌
Science Media Centre of Canada

In the past 15 years, there’s been a move to reduce the number of hours doctors spend on shift in the residency phase of their training, with the intention to improve patient safety and the doctors’ work-life balance. However, a recent review study suggests that such measures aren’t beneficial across the different specialties – in particular, for surgical residents.

Aug. 1

Merger of three Toronto hospitals approved by ministry
Comments from Tom Woods and Dr. Bob Howard‌
Inside Toronto

The voluntary merger of three Toronto hospitals is now official. As of Aug. 1, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has approved the plan which officially unites Providence Healthcare in Scarborough, and St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital, both downtown, under one corporate entity.

Archives: 2019, 2018, 2017

For more stories about St. Michael’s Hospital from before the creation of Unity Health Toronto, please visit its archives.