Richard O’Brien, MD

Richard O’Brien, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine at The Commonwealth Medical College of Pennsylvania in Scranton. Dr. O’Brien, who died in 2015, was also a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians, ACEP.org, and a recipient of the group’s Communications Lifetime Achievement Award.

Pets

6 Ways Your Cat Can Make You Sick—or Even Kill You

For me, there are few things in life that can beat the comfort of snuggling with my pet cats—and I’m…

Wellness

Jewelry That Can Save Your Life

Medical ID jewelry has evolved. Those simple and basic necklaces and ID bracelets that people used to wear to alert…

Vision

A Mystery Car Crash Solved

It was a sunny day when a healthy 39-year-old woman named Margrette was driving on a familiar road near her…

Travel

When Exotic Travel Turns Deadly

Not long ago, Shannon, an exceptional laboratory tech at the hospital where I work, joined a group of medical professionals…

Personal Safety

“It’s Not That Bad” Is Risky

Donna had just turned 50. Even though her husband and family threw her a big birthday party with lots of…

Medications

How an Antibiotic Can Make You Pregnant

One recent morning, a 17-year-old college freshman was brought into the ER by ambulance. He was feeling weak and confused…

Health Care Providers

When It’s OK to Skip a Test

One afternoon, we received a call that an ambulance was on its way to the ER with a landscaper who…

Personal Safety

5 Holiday Dangers That Send You to the ER

Nothing says "Happy Holidays" like a trip to the ER. Emergency physicians have a jaded view of the holidays. The…

Fungal

“Sneaker Foot”: The Infection That’s a Greater Risk Than Tetanus

When I first spotted Marco, a muscular, middle-aged man who came to the emergency department one recent Sunday morning, he…

Hearing

Clean Your Ears!

Ever hear the one about the guy who lit a candle and stuck it in his ear? People actually do…

Cardiovascular Disease

“The Devil’s Grip”: Chest Pain Mystery Solved

When I caught a glimpse of Clara, a local college basketball coach in her mid-30s, clutching her chest as she…

Diseases & Conditions

When a Needle Goes Awry

Acupuncture has been used as a form of traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and has a reputation for…

Obesity

Can Obese Patients Get Good Medical Care?

New Health Problem: Obese Patients Require Specialized Medical Services Not that anyone has to search far and wide to find…

Emergencies & Disasters

When Lightning Strikes

  The weather outside is frightful, inside it’s so delightful... it’s awfully early in the year to sing this song,…

Personal Safety

When Kids and Dogs Get Sick First

Early last fall, nine-year-old Beverly called her grandparents to remind them of her visit that weekend. The weather reports warned…

Emergencies & Disasters

Do-It-Yourself Dangers

Home repairs that can send you to the ER It may be cheaper to do home maintenance and repairs yourself…

Diseases & Conditions

Remove a Splinter

Sterilize pointed tweezers and a sewing needle in boiling water or over an open flame—or just wipe them clean with…

Allergies

The $7.99 Lifesaver

At 88, Fred lived independently in a small apartment and took meticulous care of himself. On mild days, he donned…

Skin Disease

A Sweet Way to Treat Wounds

Treating a simple cut or scratch isn’t always so simple anymore, a fact that is becoming clearer with every new…