Polite Dissent – Triage

First-hand reporting: Polite Dissent – Triage.

Last night, I was one of two physicians on hand as a plane full of New Orleans evacuees landed at our small airport. Our clinic provided 5 people (2 physicians, a physician’s assistant, a nurse, and a medical assistant) and our senior physician was in charge of the medical operations on site. Our job was primarily one of triage – deciding which patients need medical care and how quickly – rather than hands on medical care.

People straggled off the plane one or two at a time, clutching plastic bags filled with toiletries and other belongings. Several people held on to their cats and dogs tightly as well. As they stepped into the terminal, we’d give them a quick medical look-over and make sure they were doing OK. Volunteer greeters came up and directed each passenger and family to food and water and helped them fill out the necessary forms. After that was accomplished, they were taken to the first floor for more food and then loaded on buses to take them to their lodgings.

Read, as they say, the rest.

CPR-bot: And The Beat Goes On – MedGadget – www.medgadget.com

MedGadget found one of my favorite gadgets, an automatic CPR-giver: CPR-bot: And The Beat Goes On – MedGadget – www.medgadget.com.

I was an EMT in an ED before I went to med school, and I’ve done my share of CPR.  Doing it right is hard work, and isn’t nearly as easy as it looks on TV.  Mechanical widgets like this are not just better from a mechanical performance standpoint, but they’re force-multipliers: your techs or nurses can now be doing something other than hard manual labor.

And now that I’ve said that, your rescue squad isn’t going to show up with one of these.  Please take a basic CPR course.

Blogborygmi has Katrina First-person posts

Go over to Nick’s at Blogborygmi, and read the two first-person accounts from the Katrina effort.