30 September 2011


Me: What illnesses run in your family?
Patient's mother: My high blood pressure was giving me seizures so they took out my spleen.

26 September 2011

Emergency Medicine orientation

"Sometimes the facial structures are traumatized, complicating the intubation. Although, it is a lot easier to get the jaw and tongue out of the way when they are disconnected."

"You want to make sure the NG tube is not in the lungs; it can't really decompress the stomach from there."

"He came in with a skeleton of a finger, no flesh, and said 'fix me.' Well, sorry dude, you're f*cked. There's no saving that finger. Degloving injuries require amputation."

"In Europe, not everyone who goes into a trauma bay gets a rectal, but here we log roll everyone and do a rectal exam. The surgeons love it."

05 September 2011

it shouldn't bother me, but it does

I'm talking about medical inaccuracies on television. We won't even get into the inaccurate representation of resuscitation, which is so egregious that there is published research on it. Recent errors I've noted:

1. Nurses, unless they are CRNAs, don't intubate patients.
2. There is no such thing as part-time medical school.
3. You don't get a long white coat at the white coat ceremony, you get the short one.
4. Diabetics requiring insulin do not leave needle impressions on their hip bones.
5. Hospitals cannot turn away acutely ill patients because they don't have insurance.
6. You are not forbidden from speaking with a person after neurosurgery because getting them emotional could cause their brain edema to worsen.
7. If you coded, you would be moved to an ICU, not put on a stretcher along the hallway. And a lot of people would show up, not just one nurse.
8. I don't care if there's a killing spree, a random nurse would not be authorized to read confidential patient data (about a potential victim) over the phone to a police officer. She would be fired.
9. If a trauma victim is talking, they don't go straight to the OR. They go to the ER to be stabilized or for images. There is no magic hallway connecting the outside door to the OR.
10. If you sprained your pinkie finger, you would not have a hard cast placed on your hand.

Another time I'll let loose on the absolutely ridiculous depictions of medical school. I have yet to see anything that remotely resembles actual medical training on television.

02 September 2011


I'm apparently late to the party, but I just stumbled across the poet Rumi. Some favourites:

You think you are alive
because you breathe air?
Shame on you,
that you are alive in such a limited way.
Don't be without Love,
so you won't feel dead.
Die in Love
and stay alive forever.

It is your turn now,
you waited, you were patient.
The time has come,
for us to polish you.
We will transform your inner pearl
into a house of fire.
You're a gold mine.
Did you know that,
hidden in the dirt of the earth?
It is your turn now,
to be placed in fire.
Let us cremate your impurities.

I am so drunk
I have lost the way in
and the way out.
I have lost the earth, the moon, and the sky.
Don't put another cup of wine in my hand,
pour it in my mouth,
for I have lost the way to my mouth.

More at http://www.rumi.net/rumi_poems_main.htm