Steve Fossett circled the globe!

CNN.com – Fossett makes history – Mar 3, 2005

Pilot Steve Fossett has become the first person to fly solo nonstop round-the-world. His plane, the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, touched down Thursday afternoon in Salina, Kansas, more than 66 hours after he lifted off from the same spot.

This also in: Burt Rutan continues to be a genius of aerospace design, and his team can apparently do anything!

“Fun in the Emergency Room” by a patient

No Treason ? Fun in the Emergency Room

I did a dumb thing the Saturday before last. While sawing a rabbet in the edge of a board, my table saw kicked the board back at me. As the result of my instant, unthinking attempt to catch the flying board, I opened my left index finger up, down to the bone.

I initially called to my lovely wife for help, but then decided that she probably didn’t really need to see it. I wrapped it in a towel and baggie, and, since it was past 8:30 at night and the Prompt Care was closed, drove myself to the emergency room.

I spent the next three hours recieving a total of 20 minutes of medical care, in three different rooms. I don’t fault the doctors, of course, and I’m happy to have their expertise, but the sheer institutionalism and bureaucratic mindlessness of it all is worse every time I end up in a hospital.

I recommend reading the entire post. He’s peeved about a lot of the things I see as screwy nearly every shift.

When you’re done with the article, read the comments. They’re interesting, too. Everyone has a ‘fix’ for modern medicine / healthcare, and I don’t think we’re going to like the fixes much better than what we have now (though I’m willing to try nearly anything).

Global Flyer: Short on Fuel

8am tues update

Mission Control have released a statement this morning regarding a loss of fuel in the early hours of Steve Fossett’s flight, which could lead to the attempt being abandoned.
There was a discrepancy of 2,600 pounds in readings between the fuel burn and a series of probes in the main beams of the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer in the first three and a half hours of the flight.
During last night, Mission Control carried out various tests, but still know little as to why and how the problem occurred. Early flight fuel readings have been concluded to be “not accurate”, and the lower reading of the amount of fuel onboard is the one that has been taken into account by the team for safety reasons.
Jon Karkow from Scaled Composites was unable to say whether it was due to leakage or evaporation. “We really don’t know what it is… It’s more than likely a system issue, such as a fuel venting line. It’s been very puzzling for us, and we saw it quite early on.”

Umm, if it was seen THAT early-on, why not just do an abort back home and try again? As I write this he’s just left Japanese airspace and will make a decision halfway to Hawaii about continuation.

His plane has an enormous wingspan, and it’ll probably glide for quite a while, but it’s a long way home from where he is.

Solutions to ED Overcrowding: Suggestions

I have thought about the overcrowding in my ED and about ways to solve, or at least mitigate it. As there are several medical visionaries who read this blog (and the rest will probably need an ED someday), so I’m looking for constructive criticism.

First, I propose the ED Lobby Vending Machine™, which will have the following: Hydrocodone, Amoxicillin and Work Excuses. They’ll be in single day packs, the machines will accept all major credit cards. A third of my truly questionable visits would/should use this and be gone. (I need a feature so they can bill it to their ever-present cellphone).

That leaves the remaining crush of patients. I don’t know if you’ve had this experience, but our ED has been wall-to-wall patients, literally. We have patients lining all the hallways, in beds: now, we’re running out of hallway space. Therefore, let’s go up! Stackable Patient Beds™, using those stand-on forklifts see in warehouse stores like Home Depot or Costco. I mean, with a zillion patients in the hall it’s not like anything’s going to happen quickly anyway, and expansion possibilities! The roof’s the limit!

Those are my considered solutions at the moment. I look forward to your constructive criticism.

MedBlogs Grand Rounds XXIII

intueri: to contemplate

Welcome to Grand Rounds. Please be seated and peruse the menu for this week’s premium medical dishes. The diversity of our selections can suit your every gustatory whim. We trust that you will discover several delectable morsels and savor this intellectual culinary experience. Bon appetit!

Blogrolling off (temporarily)

As of 5 AM blogrolling seems to be having “issues”, and it’s killing the page loading. So, for the mean time, I’ve taken it off to let the site load. It’ll be back, but not until it works well again.

Update: Fixed.

Around the World Solo Airplane Flight

Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer : Flight Tracker He’s airborne! I hope he makes it all the way around, as taking it apart and shipping it home is probably not an option.

Oh, their site is really slow now, so it’s not you.