The “I swear, I am not trying to kill you edition.” So that shopping post I promised last time? Yeah, life intervened. I had to get back to teaching the class that originally led to this blog fall semester and help put out the fires that kept popping up with the testing project all semester! … Continue reading “Building a COVID-19 Lab (3/n)”
These are not your grandmother’s nasal swabs.
A spirometer is a medical device often used to assess respiratory function and diagnose respiratory diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asbestosis.1 To use the device, you inhale and exhale as deeply as possible into a breathing tube attached to the spirometer itself, which measures your forced vital capacity (the maximum amount of … Continue reading “The Racialized History of the Spirometer”
Black communities are already faced with substandard healthcare, so when a medical device that monitors vital signs, such as the pulse ox, is developed without Black and dark-skinned people in mind, it is much more than just a design flaw.
Another day, another COVID-19 discussion… With each passing week, we are learning more and more about how to deal with this pandemic, both individually and as a community. We are now well-versed with preventative measures like washing our hands frequently and wearing masks, but what happens if you actually start feeling sick? While the symptoms … Continue reading “To pulse ox, or not to pulse ox?”
“What did Elon Musk say this time?”: COVID-19 Edition A few weeks ago, Elon Musk promised to purchase and send ventilators to hospitals experiencing equipment shortages. He faced backlash from the media after one of the hardest-hit hospitals in Queens, New York, tweeted a picture featuring one of the “ventilators” he sent – actually a … Continue reading “Can you really hack a ventilator?”
After spending the last few weeks talking with students, journalists, neighbors and family members, I’ve decided that there might be some value in discussing some of the terminology that we use when talking about diagnostic testing. Science communication and media relations folks always discourage “jargon” when describing scientific concepts to laypeople. However, technical terminology can … Continue reading “What we talk about when we talk about diagnostics.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a great testing debate in this country, and you’ve likely heard a lot of terms thrown around: RNA tests, antibody tests, point of care tests, laboratory tests, etc. But what are the differences between them? When is each one useful? Not every test gives your healthcare provider the same information, … Continue reading “Let’s Discuss Testing for COVID-19”
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