Archives for September 24, 2005

Hurricane Rita Evacuee Story

We’ve all been aware of Hurricane Rita, and here in the Metroplex we’ve noticed the influx of folks from Points South, very wisely getting out of the weather hazard.

Sometimes, leaving one hazard exposes you to another.

Last night I cared for an evacuee from the Houston area who was shot (in an alleged drive-by shooting).  The patient will recover, but the irony wasn’t lost on any of us, the patient especially.

BBC Invents New Germ: the E. coli “virus”

E.coli airlift for four-year-old: "A four-year-old boy suffering from the E.coli virus is airlifted to hospital as the number of cases rises to 108 ."


The BBC invents a new Germ


(Via BBC News.)

They describe E. coli, a bacteria, as a virus. Twice. This is not to make light of their outbreak, but makes me wonder about the basics of medical reportage.

Update 9/25/04 @ 0845: the story has been significantly rewritten.  Viruses are no longer referred to, but E. coli isn’t described as being a bacteria, either.

VP Cheney’s Popliteal Aneurysm Surgery

From CNN, comes the good news that VP Cheney’s popliteal aneurysm surgery was a success. Their article has good information in it, including something I hadn’t known, that he had bilateral (both side) aneurysms, and they did them both at the same time.

Since popliteal artery aneurysms aren’t very common complaints in the ED, I decided to read about them, and here’s some good information from "Aneurysm Center":

Popliteal artery aneurysms are the most common peripheral artery aneurysms, comprising 70% to 85% of the total aneurysms in the periphery.1-3 More than 95% of peripheral artery aneurysms occur in males, and the average age of patients at presentation is 65 years. ….Although the standard treatment of popliteal artery aneurysms has been open repair, there are increasing reports in the literature of endovascular management.

At the time of presentation, approximately 50% to 85% of popliteal artery aneurysms are symptomatic, and most are 3 cm to 4 cm in diameter…

And, why do we need to fix these? They cause thromboembolisms (clots inside the vessel), and:

Amputation rates of approximately 25% have been reported with thromboembolism.


I’ll let you read about the types of repair in the article, and I didn’t see what type of aneurysm Cheney had.

CNN went a little nuts toward the end of their article, saying he was at risk of blocking circulation in the leg or causing a stroke. The first is correct, but there’s no way a popliteal aneurysm could cause a stroke.


PS: I wrote this on the mac mini, using MarsEdit, which is one slick little program. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t post from there. so it was cut-and-paste. I’ll figure it out, eventually.

I found my answer here: Submit Response. Darn clever security people.

Interesting Search Phrases

A phrase used to find this blog recently:

"if my patient has abnormal vitals and i dont call an ambulance will i lose my license"


Well, it depends.  Depends which vital sign was how abnormal, and what happened to the patient.  There you go.