THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2019 -- Last October, 15-year-old Alec Woodruff developed a strange-sounding cough. Less than a week later, he was fighting for his life in the hospital, partially paralyzed and with a tube in his throat attached to a ventilator because just breathing was a task he could no longer do on his own.
Alec's mom, Terri Woodruff, described the first signs of trouble: "I knew something was wrong. Alec was a preemie, and he has asthma, but the cough sounded so off that I called his pediatrician, and we went in, just for a listen. He also had a low fever and it wasn't subsiding." But the doctor didn't think it was anything concerning.
FRIDAY, Dec. 13, 2019 -- Individual patient characteristics -- not the quality of care provided by surgeons and hospitals -- account for most differences in spinal fusion surgery outcomes, according to a new study.
The study included 737 patients, average age 63, who had spinal fusion surgery at 17 U.S. hospitals between 2012 and 2018. Fifty-eight surgeons did the operations.