Archives for 2005

U.S. nurses regularly face sexual harassment

(Via code: theWebSocket;.)

U.S. nurses regularly face sexual harassment says the headline, and that’s probably true – somewhere in America, a few of us are going to get the offer for a kiss, a pinch on the bottom, or an offer for more intimate relations post discharge.

You need to go and read Alwyn’s experience with sexual harassment from a patient, it’s shocking!

And, this reminds me of one of those completely inexplicable things that happen in the ED, the patient who actively antagonizes their nurse.

It happens less often with docs, but it’s bizarre when I hear a patient start using four-letter words to the nurse who’s trying to be a pro and take care of them. I swear to you we need a ‘non-abuse’ exclusion from EMTALA so we can assist these people with the discharge from the ED they richly deserve.

Learn medicine from US experts in Mumbai in 2 years

When I saw the title, I really thought this was a diploma mill scam, but it’s not. It appears to be a pioneering approach to teach some medical specialties in India not currently offered there:
Learn medicine from US experts in Mumbai in 2 years

Mumbia Newsline

Mumbai, December 14: Every year, several post-graduate students from the city travel to foreign shores to learn medicine. But two years from now, they may have the option of learning from medical experts from the US right here in Mumbai.

This is because the University of South Florida (USF)—along with Maharashtra Medical University—has offered to start various post-graduate courses in medicine in Mumbai.

Speaking to Newsline, (USF President) Dr Genshaft said that USF would like ‘‘to extend (its) expertise to city doctors and help produce better trained physicians’’. The newly-constructed 13-storey building of GT Hospital could be used for this purpose, USF officials suggested.

Director of Public Health Dr P P Doke said that this initiative is aimed at providing specialisations that Mumbai University does not currently offer.

‘‘Students have to spend a lot of money to go abroad and study subjects like immunology or emergency medicine,” he said. “If these courses are made available right here, it will help a lot of prospective doctors. They will probably pay the same fees, but won’t need to go abroad.’’

Dr Doke added that a policy decision will have to be taken by the cabinet soon. Only then will the process start. And though only certificate-level courses will be offered initially, the certificates will be acknowledged internationally and be on par with those received after actually studying abroad, he added.

Random thoughts:

  • I am so thankful I only had to travel to California for training, instead of another country and culture.
  • I hope Dr. Genshaft didn’t really say that, or said something similar that didn’t sound nearly as bad.
  • Some USF docs could be in for a very interesting experience, teaching medicine in the biggest democracy on earth.
  • Not having this education system, what is a ‘certificate level’ of medical instruction? I need education on that subject.

USF is one of three Florida med schools, in Tampa.

So, there’s a little international medicine thrown in. I’m trying not to be too predictable.

American Red Cross

I’ve decided to take the American Red Cross off the top of the left sidebar today, but still fully endorse them.

(Why are you taking it off then?)

Sidebars aren’t static and neither am I. Time waits for no one, and giving the ARC money for disaster relief is a wonderful thing.

Give for Disaster Relief

American Red Cross: Together, we can save a life

So: Give, give generously, and enjoy your good fortune. Hope that some day, you’re not the one counting on the good fortune of others, and their willingness to part with theirs.

New HIPAA Guidelines

Azygous has a tough job. Glad I don’t have to transport medical records…

New HIPAA Guidelines:

These new HIPPA guidelines for carrying patient records in your car are a real bitch.

(Via Azygous.)

MedBlogs Grand Rounds 2:12

Grand Rounds. In the Pipeline:

Welcome to the latest iteration of Grand Rounds. On behalf of the greedy rapacious pharmaceutical industry, I’m glad to be hosting this week. Unfortunately for everyone, the research end of the G.R.P.I. is not immersed in the ceaseless flow of promotional swag that the medical community has come to know us for.

So for you practitioners dropping by today, enjoy a rare chance to interact with the drug industry with no free samples, pens, calendars, or trips to Martinique. Never been there, myself. . . (gazing at ice-covered yard). . . OK! Where were we?

Another compilation of the best in the Medical Blogs!

ER Doctors will Not be Fired

Nassau ER Doctors will Not be Fired

The emergency room doctors at the Nassau University Medical Center will not be fired.

The head of the medical center backed away Monday from a plan to replace most of the emergency room doctors.

Last month the hospital said the doctors needed to be certified in emergency medicine. Even though most of the 20 doctors have years of experience in the emergency room they don’t have the emergency certification.

Generally good news, certainly good if you’re one of the Nassau ED docs.

Background here.

Doc Shazam has a New Site

…And she’s experiencing the pain of the newly graduated EM Physician. Her post that told me the story:

Mr. Hassle’s Long Underpants

Five words my on call surgeon said to me tonight

1) Don’t
2) F*cking
3) Call
4) Me
5) Again

I’ve had that night myself.

Welcome to the club.

Oh, and update your links to

Happy Birthday, Brother!

I didn’t recall us being the clothes horses we obviously were (Birthday Boy is on the right):

I need another white belt...

And many, many more.

Dr. Charles tells some Professional Secrets

The ever-amusing Dr. Charles has given us a gift, a primer on assuming the mannerisms of a doctor: The Examining Room of Dr. Charles: How to Stand In for the Doctor

It was 3:00 PM on the Friday after Thanksgiving and I couldn’t see another patient. I had to go to the bathroom. The cold sweat on my forehead made me look like I was suffering from angina, or perhaps concealing a venomous snake under my white coat as it bit me repeatedly. In truth, there were four helpings of turkey, mashed potatoes, beets, stuffing, and a tubular can of “cranberry sauce” somewhere deep within me. They clamored for cool water.

Aside from that amazingly gentle euphemism, this is an excellent start on how to (not) be a doctor.

Added to the BlogRoll: NHS Blog Doctor

Dr. Crippen made a comment, and that’s how I found his very nicely written blog form the UK: NHS Blog Doctor.

Here’s his “About Me”

Dr Crippen
London, United Kingdom

Dr Crippen is angry. Once a lawyer, but now a doctor, he has worked for over 20 years in the NHS. He watches and weeps as the Health Service, slowly but inexorably, is destroyed. He takes a sad, sometimes humerous, sometimes cynical, look at the health care from the inside

Apparently he’s only started blogging this month, and I’m breaking my rule about not announcing new blogs without a bit of a track record, but if you read a few of his entries you’ll be glad I did.

I sincerely hope he keeps it up.

Preschool Snowman

My grandson brought this home from daycare/preschool/whatever a few years ago, and we found it in the Christmas things today. Yes, this is how it was when he brought it home.

We laughed, and I think you might, too.


So, my first-ever Caption contest. Winner gets to lord it over the non-winners.

BBC NEWS | Health | Dummies ‘reduce cot death risk’

BBC NEWS | Health | Dummies ‘reduce cot death risk’

It’s from the BBC, and the ‘divided by a common language’ rule applies: dummy=pacifier, and cot=crib.
original clipart from

Giving a baby a dummy when they go to sleep may reduce their risk of cot death by 90%, a US study says.
It compared 185 cases of sudden infant death syndrome with 312 healthy babies and adjusted for known risk factors.

The British Medical Journal study found the benefit was greatest for children sleeping in an ‘adverse’ environment.

It said dummies may help stop babies from cutting off their air supply. UK experts welcomed the research, but stressed it was a small study.

Cot death rates have fallen in recent years, but it still claims the lives of 300 babies aged under a year old in the UK every year.

The researchers, from healthcare provider Kaiser Permanente, say that approximately one in 2,000 babies die of cot death in California.

But, if all babies used a dummy, they calculate the risk would be one in 20,000.

They say the key may be the fact that dummies usually have a bulky external handle. This may help to prevent a child from cutting off its air supply by burying its face into soft bedding, or an overlaying object such as a blanket.

Writing the BMJ, they also say sucking on a dummy may enhance the development of pathways in the brain that control how airways in the upper respiratory system work.

Previous research has also suggested the use of dummies can cut the risk of cot death – but not to the same extent.

And, a recapitulation of advice to avoid crib death already out there:

Put your baby to sleep on its back
Do not expose your child to smoke
Keep your baby cool, with its head uncovered
Parents should not share a bed with their baby if they are very tired, smoke or have been drinking or taking drugs which make you drowsy. But the baby should be in a cot in the same room for at least the first six months
The adverse conditions included babies sleeping in a house where both parents smoked.

I like “dummy” over “pacifier”, by the way.

Southwest 1248

I was on the way to work last night when I heard about the Southwest Airlines accident in Chicago, which has resulted in the death of a 6 y/o child in a vehicle, and several other injured folks in other cars. There were no serious injuries on the airplane.

Walking past patient rooms last night I caught a few more details, that the airplane went off the end of a runway that doesn’t have a lot of runoff room. How little runoff room?

Courtesy of Google Maps, here’s an overhead of the airport (click for larger):

Now, that's a tight airport

The accident aircraft came to rest in the intersection on the upper left of the airport.

My personal reference for an in-tight airport is Dallas Love Field (Southwest Airlines HQ), and by comparison it’s out in the Texas plains (click for larger):

Dallas Love

It’ll be interesting to see what the ultimate outcome of the NTSB investigation is, and those usually take a year to be concluded.

Prayers to those injured and their families.

Is my flu shot going to help?

Picking the yearly Flu antigens is an interesting exercise, and more often than not it’s gotten right. The vaccine has to be committed to well in advance of the first US case happening, and it’s still an educated guess.

So, it’s always fun to see if the shot we got will actually help. Here’s the latest:CDC

Antigenic Characterization:
CDC has antigenically characterized 3 influenza viruses collected by U.S. laboratories since October 1, 2005: 1 influenza A (H3N2) virus and 2 influenza B viruses. The influenza A (H3N2) virus was characterized as A/California/07/2004-like, which is the influenza A (H3N2) component recommended for the 2005-06 influenza vaccine.

Influenza B viruses currently circulating can be divided into two antigenically distinct lineages represented by B/Yamagata/16/88 and B/Victoria/2/87 viruses. One of the influenza B viruses isolated belonged to the B/Yamagata lineage and was characterized as B/Florida/07/2004-like. This is a minor antigenic variant of B/Shanghai/361/2002, the recommended influenza B component for the 2005-06 influenza vaccine. The other influenza B virus was identified as belonging to the B/Victoria lineage.

So, mostly. They missed one of the B antigenic types, but it’s also been in the minority of reported cases so far.

Answer is: Yes!

Update: I saw our first case of Influenza here last night (12/10/05), and it was Type A.

Dr. Emer wins Philippine Blog Award

For All of You!

I have recently been informed that I won the 2005 Philippine Blog Awards for the category of Most Informative Blog. I would like to thank the judges and organizers of the Philippine Blog Awards for bestowing that honor to this 2-year-old weblog of mine.

Many congrats to an excellent blogger!