Northeastern Man Takes Stab At Surgery

“A man in northeastern Brazil is recovering after surgeons removed a 4-inch (10-centimeter) blade that had been stuck in his head for three years following a bar fight. Edeilson Nascimento, a 29-year-old tire repairman, tells reporters Friday he is feeling great after the three-hour surgery earlier this week. He is expected to be released from a hospital in the city of Recife next week.

Nascimento says he got into a bar fight in 2007 and was attacked by assailants when he returned home. At the time, doctors only removed the knife handle, fearing that pulling the blade from his head would cause brain damage. But three years of intense headaches led Nascimento to take a chance on the surgery.” – Source

Brazil’s Bid to Be the Four Seasons of Medical Tourism

“Brazilians endlessly repeat the old saw that the world thinks of only three things when it thinks of Brazil: samba, carnivale and football. But its healthcare industry would like to add a fourth–surgery. As part of Brazil’s efforts to leverage both the tourists and the infrastructure investments expected in the wake of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, the country hosted its first medical tourism conference last week in São Paulo.

One of the speakers was Ruben Toral, the former marketing director of Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital who I profiled in Fast Company two years ago. Since then, the number of medical tourists leaving the United States for heart- or hip- or brain surgery abroad has risen from 540,000 in 2008 to an estimated 878,000 this year. And that will practically double to 1.6 million in 2012, according to Deloitte’s projections. But earlier this year Congress threw a monkey wrench into Toral’s grand vision for the “Toyota-ization of healthcare,” in which U.S. hospital groups would buy foreign ones and insurers like Aetna and United Health Group would offer patients discounts in exchange for outsourcing themselves and their bad knees overseas. It hasn’t happened, thanks to health care reform. Not because 47 million uninsured or underinsured Americans are suddenly covered, but because the legislation created so much complexity the insurance giants have curled into the fetal position.

Healthcare reform “sucked all of the oxygen out the industry’s hopes that insurers would engage,” Toral said Thursday during a break in the conference. “The un- and underinsured won’t be coming anymore. Instead, you’re going to see people with money leaving,” the same kinds of people who have been fleeing the long waits in socialized medicine for decades. “You’re getting the Canadian system,” in other words. “They’re better-informed medical travelers looking to meet their needs rather than head someplace that’s cheap. They’re going to be leaving for service. The industry is in the midst of transforming itself.” – Source (more here)

Brazil ‘needle boy’ to undergo surgery

I read about this the other day when the news broke but at that time, it was only in reference to a boy with needles, now more information has come in and macumba is involved (must be why my macumba post picked up hits) and they have the suspect in custody, plus the int’l news is all over it.

“A Brazilian toddler found with 42 sewing needles inside him has been airlifted for emergency surgery. Doctors have rushed him to a specialist cardiac unit in Salvador after discovering two needles in the left ventricle of his heart. Police earlier said his stepfather had confessed to sticking the needles into the two-year-old boy. Roberto Carlos Magalhaes told them his mistress had told him to ritually kill the child to take revenge on his wife. Doctors plan to extract the most dangerous of the needles – but removing them all will be too risky.” – BBC (a little more here, plus video)