Archives for January 21, 2007

New Zealand hospital has run out of adrenaline

and is reduced to using unapproved US epinephrine (oh, they’re exactly the same drug, by the way):

STOCKS of an essential drug used in life saving situations have been depleted at Middlemore Hospital.
Ampoules of the Ministry of Health approved adrenalin 1:1000 ran out late last week.
Middlemore is not alone in its predicament which may put patient safety at risk says the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).
Adrenalin is an essential drug used in emergency situations such as life-threatening allergic reaction and cardiac arrest.
Doctors will be able to use an alternative supply of adrenalin from America, but must gain consent from the patient, as it is not ministry approved says Counties Manukau District Health spokesperson Lauren Young.

That will be an interesting conversation:

NZdoc: ‘Hello, I see you’re about to die without our New Zealand approved adrenaline.  I suppose we could give you the American version, which they call ‘epinephrine’ and does exactly the same thing, but because it’s not approved I need your permission to give it to you”.

patient: choke/gasp/wheeze

NZdoc: “I’ll record that as a yes; nurse, give the unapproved epinephrine, please”.


And, that reminds me that we have these revolving shortages of medicines you wouldn’t think of as being hard to get: injectable compazine until recently, this month it’s Bicillin LA, a long-acting penicillin shot.  It’s penicillin for goodness sake, but we’re out.  I never know why we have shortages like this, but they crop up all the time.

Docs and Blogging

Via Blogdigger, I find the following at Digital Influence Mapping Project:

A colleague asked whether doctors were taking up with social media – i.e. starting blogs, participating in social networks/communities.

The simple answer is yes. We know this from our own research and observation as well as the good work of Dimitry of TrustedMD and Fard at Healthcare VOX. Physicians has been a traditionally non-tech savvy crowd except when you take into account generational change. Then they start to look like trailblazers. For instance, my doctor – Dr. K – old-school all the way. He barely says a full sentence to me when I am in the office and has a fleet of “girls” in the front office to operate the fax machine and other high-tech equipment. But any doctor 40 and under is walking in to the profession with PDA in hand, email-smart and even with their MySpace page up and accruing “friends” (okay, that’s for the 28-year-old doc). This is yet another case of a demographic commonly misunderstood as “not online.”

There’s a lot more, in which Kevin, MD and yr. hmbl. srvnt. are described as, I kid you not, “A-list bloggers”.  It’s an interesting ‘outsider’ analysis of different types of doctor blogging.